PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – NOVEMBER

November’s football watching began with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Carrick Rangers.

That was then followed by a first trip of the season to Old Trafford to see Manchester United take on
Partizan Belgrade.

The following Saturday, came another football trip, but it was a relatively short one Foyleside, to get some photos of the abandoned stadium at Drumahoe, and then Linfield’s match against
Institute.

After that, it was a dash back to Belfast on the 212 to see Northern Ireland play Holland in aEuropean Championship Qualifer.

The month ended with Linfield’s matches against Glenavon and Larne.

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Manchester United v Partizan Belgrade

Manchester United v Partizan Belgrade Photo Album

Drumahoe

Drumahoe Photo Album

Institute v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Holland

Northern Ireland v Holland Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Linfield v Larne

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – SEPTEMBER

It took a week for September’s football watching to start, with a trip to Solitude to see Linfield beat Cliftonville on their return to domestic action after their European exploits.

That was followed 48 hours later (well, 52 hours and 44 minutes later, to be precise) with a trip to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Germany in a Euro 2020 Qualifier.

It was Windsor Park again the following Saturday to see Linfield beat Glentoran, before a nine day wait to see Linfield take on Carrick Rangers on a wet Monday night live on TV.

The month ended with a goalfest, as Linfield hammered Glenavon 7-0.

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Germany

Northern Ireland v Germany Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

CAVEHILL – JUNE 2020

Coronaboredom got the better of me. When you’re stuck indoors for 22 hours a day, it’s only natural that you’ll be getting the urge to go outdoors

This blog post too six weeks to write, let me explain.

Stuck indoors all day, you just want to get out. I was planning that I would only go to Cavehill once a year, but that went out the window when other travel options become unavailable, if I wanted to go somewhere, i’d have to explore Belfast a bit more.

Regular readers will know that this blog is mostly football matches and concerts, neither of which are happening. I hadn’t taken a photo of anything since I attended the Carrick Rangers v Linfield match in early March.

Early May saw a three day weekend, with the Bank Holiday being moved from the Monday by four days to the Friday for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

That Friday, I got up early, and drove to the entrance at Innisfayle Park. It’s the way I know how to get in to Cavehill.

Unfortunately, the gate for cars was closed, you could still get in on foot though.

So, where do I park my car?

I could have parked safely on the street, but I was worried about falling foul of a busybody resident, even though most people would be safely tucked up in bed.

I didn’t take that chance, instead heading to North Circular Road and parking at a place when I catch a bus to football matches from there (Ahh, going to football matches, remember that?) and entering Cavehill via an entrance in Ballysillan.

I’m not sure where I ended up, but it was not somewhere I was familiar with, I ended up walking along Upper Hightown Road. It might not have been Cavehill, but it was one heck of a walk.

That day didn’t go to plan.

Two weeks later, I headed back for another early morning trek, parking in one of the bays at the Antrim Road entrance.

As I was entering at a different point, further away from where I usually enter, being timebound meant I couldn’t cover as much ground, only getting about halfway up before I had to go down.

Rejoice though, as it was announced that Belfast City Council would be reopening the car parks of their Country Parks from Wednesday 27th May.

To save myself a wasted car journey, I made that my cycle route on the Saturday after just to check it out, and it was indeed true. Open gate. Party time.

However, I wouldn’t be parking the bike and going for a walk, as it was a bit of an arduous cycle there, and a walk upwards would be too much. Just wait until the following Saturday for that.

The following Saturday, I headed over in the car. The weather, was not kind, dull sky and light rain. I was up, so I might as well go for a walk.

Thankfully, when the rain came down it was when I was in the well covered foresty bit, so I didn’t get too wet. It was cold, but a good cold, if that makes sense. The sort of cold air that makes you feel refreshed, if that makes sense.

As I approached the first gate, I decided to turn left instead of going forward towards McArt’s Fort, out of curiousity as i’d never been that way before.

There wasn’t really much, other than lots of cows. I think I saw more cows than people. Try again next week, hopefully have better luck.

Well, I did walk up to the top the following week, but the weather was crap. It was dull and didn’t make for good photos, so I didn’t bother taking any, which made for an empty experience.

I did take some photos during my visits in May, collating them into an album if you wish to view.

One week later, waking up and seeing the sun shine coming though my blinds, I jumped straight out to make the most of this opportunity.

The Car Park at Innisfayle Park at Cavehill usually opens at 7.30am, which is when I aim to be there for.

You may think being up and about on a day off at that time is madness, it probably is, but it’s worth it when you see the end results.

A bonus of this is that I can stop off at Tesco on Antrim Road to get some groceries as it’s off peak, something I can’t do during the week because i’m in the house until 5pm and all the supermarkets near me sell booze so there’s always a mile long queue outside when I get there.

Sooner the pubs open the better, so I can get some groceries. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

Where I live, I have a bit of a clear run to North Belfast, especially when the traffic is light, so I was able to arrive there at 7.45am, and had my choice of parking spaces as they were all empty, another benefit of arriving so early.

That turned out to be the case when I headed back to my car just before 10am, as every space was filled resulting in some people being creative with their parking, on grass banks and wherever they bloody well wanted to.

The sun was shining, which made for good photos.

What I wasn’t expecting, was that my path would be blocked. By cows. Yes, you read that right.

A group of cows were wandering about and blocking the path. That would have been a comical demise, getting attacked by a cow and falling down a hill.

Thankfully, I avoided such a fate, waiting for them to pass before moving on.

It’s quite the experience when a cow walks up to you, looks you in the eyes, and moos at you.

When I reached the top in February, I walked straight ahead, taking in Carnmoney Hills. This time, I turned left to have a look as i’d never been that way before.

There was some nice areas to shoot as well as somewhere if you want to have a short break and/or picnic. Unfortunately, some had already done that and left their rubbish behind.

I headed towards a mast but there was barb wire and an inconvenient walkway. I could have carried on if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to risk getting into trouble for possible trespassing, so I turned back.

On my way back, I headed to McArt’s Fort and had a look over Belfast, before heading back down.

The next time I head up Cavehill, i’ll go an explore more of Carnmoney Hill. That might not be too far away, as I might make an early morning visit when i’m off during the July Holidays.

Next week (29th June – 1st July) I should have been having a short break in Dublin/Bray, trying to blag a ticket for the Euro 2020 game on 30th June and walking up Bray Head while i’m there.

As we now know, Euro 2020 has been put back a year, and even if I wanted to go, my hotel cancelled on me (I get a refund, if you were wondering).

However, I have rebooked for the new date in 2021, so at least I’ve got to look forward to. Although, if things calm down, I might try and sneak in a Dublin/Bray trip later in the year, although the weather won’t be on my side in terms of temperature and daylight if I want to walk up Bray Head.

Despite not going anywhere, i’m still going to use the Annual Leave that has been booked and just relax.

I may use that time to explore Blackmountain. If you’ve got any suggestions for what I should do on my time off, feel free to leave a comment.

One walk I did last year which is up in the air for 2020 is Arthur’s Seat.

I hadn’t anything booked, but I usually head to Edinburgh in August, but there is no Fringe so I won’t be there in August. I may try to sneak in a short break to Scotland (ideally, a Edinburgh/Glasgow/Stirling triple header) later in the year.

Another travel idea i’m having is Brecon Beacons. Being in lockdown, I’ve been watching a lot of TV, some of which has been shows about Brecon Beacons, which looks an amazing place to visit.

If things had been normal, I would have been looking at a short break to Warsaw in October, but everything is up in the air at the moment.

Even staying in Belfast, my plans are taking a hit.

This week has seen concerts by Lightning Seeds (September, already postponed from March and then May) and Paul Weller (October) both being moved to 2021.

2020 is already looking like a write-off. The only entertainment i’ll be having is walking up hills.

Photo Album

Cavehill May 2020 Photo Album

Cavehill February 2020

Cavehill November 2019

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WORLD SOCCER – AUGUST 2003

Ronaldinho is the cover star of World Soccer with the headline “THE TWO RONNIES”, not a reference to him doing a sketch show with Ronaldo, but the differing on and off-field life he leads.

The recent transfer of David Beckham from Manchester United to Real Madrid gets four pages of coverage, and what it will mean for player and club.

Summer transfers are the main topic in this magazine, with Italian clubs shopping in the bargain basements.

Manchester United are armed with cash after the sale of Beckham and are linked with either Damien Duff or Harry Kewell, as well as Eric Djemba-Djemba and Tim Howard.

In Germany, Bayern Munich are eyeing up moves for Roy Makaay and Martin Demichellis.

There is a Q and A with Deco of UEFA Cup winners Porto, who considers Portugal his home now having played there for six years, and got a call-up to the national team despite being born in Brazil.

At Napoli, there is an interesting name at their youth team, Diego Maradona Jnr, the estranged son of the Napoli legend.

There is a double page feature on cover star Ronaldinho, then of Paris Saint Germain, but set to be a Manchester United player in a matter of time according to World Soccer.

The monthly Soccer Cities feature does a region instead, The Ruhr in Germany, home of Schalke and Borussia Dortmund.

There is a six page review of the recent Confederations Cup, a tournament marred by the tragic death of Marc Vivien Foe, a tournament which was described by Keir Radnedge as cheap and demeaning before Foe’s death.

There is a full page report on Real Madrid winning La Liga thanks to a win over Athletic Bilbao, a result which ironically helped Barcelona to sneak into the UEFA Cup.

In England, Michael Owen became the youngest player to win 50 caps, while Northern Ireland got a creditable draw against Spain, but it meant they continued a scoreless run of 972 minutes.

Porto added a domestic double to their UEFA Cup, but he local council chairman wouldn’t meet the team as he supports Boavista. There was more good news for Porto as manger Jose Mourinho committed his future to the club until 2006.

Staying with Porto, there is a profile of Helder Postiga, who has just left Porto for Tottenham Hotspur.

In South America, there is a profile of Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, who has attracted the attention of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but a clue to his future destination could come in the shape of him describing his post treasured possession as a Manchester United shirt given to him by David Beckham after a friendly between United and Boca the previous summer.

In Africa, Nigeria reach the finals of the African Nations Cup, while there is a profile of Aruna Dindane.

The magazine ends with Brian Glanville’s column, which states that David Beckham deserved better from Manchester United than the manner of his departure to Real Madrid.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 3.3.1979

Lou Macari is the cover star of this edition of Shoot, which features action from the recent European Championship Qualifier between England and Northern Ireland.

As you open the magazine, there is a double page spread assessing West Brom’s chances of winning the title, canvassing players from three rival clubs.

Martin Dobson of Everton says they won’t, while Ian Wallace (Coventry City) and Viv Anderson (Nottingham Forest) say they can. Dobson would be proved right.

In news, Liverpool are adding extra seats at Anfield, while Warren Feeney scored twice for Linfield against his former club Glentoran.

Ray Clemence uses his column to comment on the modern game, that defenders need to make their contribution in the goalscoring department.

Jim McCalliog is interviewed about football in the USA having recently played there, declaring it to be 4th Division standard and not recommending it for English players.

England’s recent 4-0 win over Northern Ireland gets four pages of coverage, with England manager Ron Greenwood still considering Northern Ireland to be a danger to his side’s chances of qualifying.

Elsewhere, there was a full page asking if the England team is too old.

In foreign news, France are in danger of not reaching Euro 80, and some fans are calling for a change in manager.

Elswehere, Dino Zoff is interviewed and states that he has no plans to retire. Good choice, ad he won the World Cup in 1982.

QPR are the subjects of this week’s Club Spotlight, including a centre page poster.

Gordon Hill uses his column to discuss the PFA Player Of The Year Award, stating that he has voted for Garry Birtles as Young Player Of The Year.

Ahead of the Tyne/Wear Derby, John Bird and Mike Docherty preview it. Sunderland won the game 4-1 but neither side ended up winning promotion that season.

With the 1980s approaching, Danny McGrain uses his column to look back at Scottish football stars of the 1960s.

Staying in Scotland, Shoot does a two page feature asking if English clubs are exploiting the Scottish transfer market to sign players for bargain prices.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 10.2.1979

Terry Butcher and Frank Worthington are the cover stars of Shoot, in a week that sees England, Scotland and Northern Ireland playing European Championship Qualifiers, with England facing Northern Ireland at Wembley.

That match gets a double page feature as you open the magazine.

Brian Talbot might have just signed for Arsenal, but he says he still supports his former club Ipswich Town.

Ray Clemence uses his column to declare that West Bromwich Albion are Liverpool’s biggest rivals for the title.

Emlyn Hughes of Liverpool tells Shoot that he is at a crossroads in his career, as he looks to recover from injury.

Mick Mills of Ipswich Town has a revolutionary plan for the future of English football – A Winter break and reduction of the top two divisions to 16 clubs each.

Nottingham Forest are the subject of this week’s Club Spotlight, having won the title in 1978. They are described as “History makers”, and the day before the publication date, they signed Trevor Francis from Birmingham City, Britain’s first million pound transfer.

Watford have reached the Semi-Finals of the League Cup, and manager Graham Taylor says this was no shock to him.

In foreign news, Argentina star Rene Houseman tells Shoot of his dismay after a move to Middlesbrough fell through.

Cover star Frank Worthington is being nominated for a place in the England team by his Bolton team-mat Willie Morgan.

The magazine ends with Derek Johnstone’s column, as he gets ready for big European games at club and international level – A European Cup Quarter-Final for Rangers against Koln, and a European Championship Qualifier for Scotland against Belgium.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : FOUR FOUR TWO – OCTOBER 2004

Various stars from Barcelona are the cover stars of this edition of Four Four Two, as the club are at the beginning of a revival after a few lean years at the start of the century.

Steve McManaman is the subject of this Month’s Cash For Questions, where he urges Wayne Rooney to stay at Everton, and reveals his first footballing hero was Bob Latchford.

Brian Clough uses his column to suggest that Trevor Brooking should replace Sven Goran-Eriksson after a sex scandal involving the Swede. Clough died before this magazine hit the shelves.

Lloyd Dyer of West Brom and Alan Blayney of Southampton are the subject’s of this month’s The Boy’s A Bit Special. Blayney reveals he doesn’t share Antti Niemi’s love of Metallica and Iron Maiden.

Robbie Savage uses his column to talk about his excitement about the forthcoming World Cup Qualifier between England and Wales at Old Trafford. It would be a match he wouldn’t take part in as he was suspended after his red card against Northern Ireland the previous month. He never played for Wales again.

Lawrie McMenemy is subject to a Q and A where he reveals that he’s not much of a drinker.

New Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is also subject to a Q and A, where he reveals that Arsenal were interested in signing him in 2002. Eventually, in 2015, he would sign for Arsenal.

Cover stars Barcelona get 15 pages of coverage, as they return to the Champions League after a season in the UEFA Cup, after a turbulent period at the start of the century. That month, they would give a debut to an unknown teenager called Lionel Messi.

There are three pages dedicated to a round table discussion between fans of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ahead of the 2006 World Cup Qualifiers, where England, Wales and Northern Ireland were all the the same group.

Gilberto Silva of Arsenal reveals a dark secret to Four Four Two ……… he plays the Mandolin.

Pete Winkleman is interviewed as MK Dons begin their first season in Milton Keynes, having stolen Wimbledon’s place in the Football League.

Elswhere in the Football League, there is a full page feature on Nick Barmby, as he has signed for his local club Hull City.

In Scotland, there is turmoil at Hearts as the club plans to sell Tynecastle and play home games at Murrayfield.

2019 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November 2019 began with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield get a win over Carrick Rangers.

A few days later, I made my first trip of the season to Old Trafford, to see United beat Partizan Belgrade in the UEFA Cup.

While I was there, I got photos of Street Art in Manchester, and then visit to Rochdale in search of Street Art, after there was a festival held there in August.

The following weekend, I headed to The Brandywell to see Linfield take on Institute. While I was there, I was able to get some photos (from a fence outside) of Institute’s abandoned former stadium, Drumahoe.

Later that day, on my return from the North-West, I took in a second football match, Northern Ireland’s European Championship Qualifier against Holland.

Six days later, I was on the road again, to see Linfield lose 1-0 to Glenavon.

A few days later, I headed to Vilnius in Lithuania for a very short, very cheap and very cold break. Unsurprisingly, I was out snapping with my camera.

On the last day of the month, I got up early and walked up Cavehill, my first time doing so. Later that day, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield face Larne.

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Partizan Belgrade

Manchester United v Partizan Belgrade Photo Album

Rochdale Uprising

Rochdale Uprising Photo Album

Drumahoe

Drumahoe Photo Album

Institute v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Holland

Northern Ireland v Holland Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Vilnius

Vilnius Photo Album

Vilnius Street Art

Vilnius Street Art Photo Album

Cavehill

Cavehill Photo Album

Linfield v Larne

2019 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

My first photo adventure of September 2019 was a trip to Solitude to see Linfield get a 1-0 win on their return to domestic competition after their European adventures the previous month.

That was then followed by a Windsor Park double header, taking in Northern Ireland v Germany and Linfield v Glentoran.

The day after that match saw me have an adventure, taking in some Street Art in Belfast, and Edwyn Collins doing an instore gig at Strange Victory.

My next adventure came the following Friday with Culture Night.

It was then two football matches, seeing Linfield get wins over Carrick Rangers and Glenavon.

The month ended with a trip to Yorkgate to check out a new mural.

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Germany

Northern Ireland v Germany Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

Ulster Sports Club Street Art

Ulster Sports Club Street Art Photo Album

Edwyn Collins live at Strange Victory

Edwyn Collins live at Strange Victory Photo Album

Culture Night

Culture Night Photo Album

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

Yorkgate Street Art

Yorkgate Street Art Photo Album

2019 IN PICTURES – MARCH

March began with a first concert at Elmwood Hall for me, to see KT Tunstall.

A few days later was my first football match of the month, as I travelled to Mourneview Park to see Linfield lose to Glenavon.

The football didn’t get much better, as I headed to Seaview to see Linfield lose the County Antrim Shield Final to Crusaders.

Thankfully, things got a bit better as Linfield beat Institute 2-0.

There was a flurry of football as the month ended, with three games in four days, with Linfield’s trip to Dungannon Swifts being sandwiched inbetween Northern Ireland’s opening Euro 2020 Qualifiers, at home to Estonia and Belarus.

KT Tunstall live at Elmwood Hall

KT Tunstall live at Elmwood Hall Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Institute

Northern Ireland v Estonia

Northern Ireland v Estonia Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Belarus

Northern Ireland v Belarus Photo Album