Ollerton Town is my happy place .  . and I can’t wait to be back

Non-league grounds are the happy places of many fans.Non-league grounds are the happy places of many fans.
Non-league grounds are the happy places of many fans.
Any watchers of the recent series of “I’m A Celebrity…” will have seen runner-up Jordan North declare Turf Moor, the home of Burnley FC, his “happy place”, the place he transported himself to in order to get through the trials and tribulations of camp life.

There were some great scenes at professional grounds this weekend as certain fans returned to their clubs, and their happy places, for the first time in months.

For many, going to watch their team at their home ground is a pilgrimage and is much more than just the 90 minutes of football, it’s the whole experience and the rituals that come with that.

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Now if I was ever stood in front of Ant and Dec and I had to think of my happy place, there’s a very strong chance that I’d think of a Saturday afternoon watching Ollerton Town FC.

There is a lot made about people supporting their local teams and though I do have Mansfield Town, Nottingham Forest and Notts County nearby, Ollerton’s Walesby Lane home is a two-minute walk from the house in which I grew up.

To the majority of people reading this, the names “Stones”, “Adge”, “Gibbo” and “Tap” would mean nothing but to me they represent one of the big reasons I love being involved with the club which is the hard-working, committed people behind the scenes.

Whilst some fans enjoy trips to huge, shiny stadiums which can hold tens of thousands of people, I’m happy with our battered, old pavilion and standing out in the open, chatting to familiar faces and cheering the team on.

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Football teams are a bit like children, or opinions. If you’ve got one, you probably think it’s better than everyone else’s and I’m no different. There’s a wealth of local teams in the area and though I respect them, I wouldn’t swap any for Ollerton.

I’ll be at Ollerton on Saturday to watch us hopefully keep up our good start to the season but sadly, I won’t be joined by our fans.

We don’t have a huge fanbase but we have a loyal one and they’re feeling the frustration of missing out on games just as much as Mansfield, Forest and County supporters are.

With vaccines on their way, let’s hope we can all be back in our happy places soon.