Paul’s Soccer Stories

Author Paul Gerald shares his adventures from seeing more than 100 games all over England.

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Fulham’s Craven Cottage: A Proper Civilized Football Ground

September 4, 2018

Going to a game at Fulham is among the more civilized experiences I’ve had in my English soccer travels. First, it’s in a lovely and posh area of West London, and to get there from the nearest tube station you actually walk through a park along the River Thames. Second, the ground, Craven Cottage, is…

Watching a Match at Burnley FC:
A Trip Back in Time

September 3, 2018

(This is a repost of a game report from Burnley FC in 2014.) The first thing I heard about watching a game at Burnley was from a Sunderland fan – and it wasn’t completely positive. I had just told her, during a game at The Stadium of Light, that I like the old grounds, such…

tour st andrews birmingham city fc

Seeing a Game at Birmingham City FC

September 3, 2018

Birmingham City are one of several teams in England's second city. And while they've been stuck in the second-tier Championship for some time now, for the neutral they are a fun and easy club to check out. Here is a report from a game I saw there in 2015. Walking out of my hotel in…

Seeing a Game at Brentford FC’s Griffin Park

September 3, 2018

Paul shares his experience of seeing a game at Griffin Park prior to Brentford FC's move to their new ground. Never heard of Brentford? Join the masses -- outside of England, that is. They currently play in the second-tier Championship, they only got there a few years ago, and they haven't been in the top…

fans celebrate SS Lazio victory at Stadio Olimpico

Italian Interruption: Seeing a Game at SS Lazio in Rome

April 10, 2018

Groundhopper Paul happened to be in Rome when Lazio played a home game against Salzburg in the Europa League. This is the story of his first foray into the world of Italian football, or calcio. It’s a story whose intensity I could not have imagined and, in fact, it’s one I didn’t even see coming.…

Hull City vs Reading:
I Guess We Have To Do This

January 16, 2018

(Note: This post was written in January, 2018, when Hull were in the Championship. As of the 2020-21 season, they are in League One.) By the time I rolled into Hull, everything was pretty much falling apart. The night before in Sheffield, the local derby had been a passionate, loud … nil-nil. Then an alarm in…

english football teams playing a soccer game

Back in Sheffield for Another Steel City Derby

January 14, 2018

Somewhere, in the streets near my hotel, a small band of lads are giving it one last “We are BLAAAADES!” The result is a kind of echoing silence. No “We are Wednesday” response, no clopping of police horse hooves, no sirens, no word from any other Blades. Still determined to give it a go, I…

My Visit to Blackburn: Town and Football Club

January 11, 2018

(2020 Update: Blackburn Rovers were promoted to The Championship in 2018 and are still there for the 2020-21 season.) Before I tell you about my day in Blackburn, and the game I saw at Blackburn Rovers FC, allow me to introduce you to the Standard Northern English Town Story. I have seen this in every…

Liverpool-Everton and the Magic of the FA Cup

January 10, 2018

“The Magic of the FA Cup” is a phrase you hear tossed around the world of English football. And sometimes that magic is real -- especially around early January’s Third Round. In 2018, as in all years, we had big clubs being upset, little clubs playing on big stages, enormous crowds making big impressions, drama…

Elland Road stadium home of Leeds United

A Tour and a Game at Leeds United FC

January 8, 2018

With Leeds United now in the Premier League, it's among the places I most recommend getting to for a game. Here's a report from my trip there on New Year’s Day, 2018. I had been to Leeds before — a none-too-thrilling 1-0 victory over Preston North End a few years back. And I was impressed…

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