A Parent’s View – Alex Horne
The Meadow has witnessed many dramatic moments over the years and has also been used in the fantastic Taskmaster on Dave. The brains behind the programme is Alex Horne who is also a great CUFC fan and gives you a parent’s eye-view of what we do every weekend…
My son plays for the Chesham Utd Under 8s
By Alex Horne
I was in Istanbul when Liverpool pulled off their miracle, pummelling AC Milan 3-3 back in 2005. But that only comes third in my all-time list of “Best Football Matches that I’ve Attended.”
That’s partly because I was in Bristol ten years later when Chesham Utd, Andy Leese’s finest, absolutely hammered Rovers 1-0 in the first round of the FA Cup, when Dave Pearce deliberately missed that penalty to give the opposition a chance, and when Blakey scored the winner probably from just inside his own half after beating twelve men.
What a game; the trip to Bradford for our heroes’ narrow 4-0 defeat in the next round did nothing to diminish the result of the century that quite rightly led to the players lifting their own trophy as Giant-killers of the Year at halftime in the Wembley final. Who remembers the winners of the actual cup? Literally no one. Who will forget Chesham’s performance? Literally no one.
But my number one spot has to go to a match I was lucky enough to witness this year. There must have been upwards of twenty people at the game, the conditions were blustery or sunny or something and the opposition was Westwood Park FC. Yes, it was Chesham Utd, the under 8s, and they were our biggest rivals.
Halfway through the season and our boys were yet to win a game. But we were some team, class oozing through the squad of eight and young coaches who led with ambitious vision and endless patience.
My son Tom was left back that day, and goalie and striker and substitute. He had an absolute stormer, passing into space at least twice, tackling just about within the law occasionally and very nearly heading the ball. He’s still never scored (at the right end), but he’d played with these kids every week for two years and the memory of them hugging each other at the end of the game, then shaking every opponent’s hand, still raises the hair on my skin and sometimes even a tear to the eye.
They’d won 5-4 in a topsy-turvy ding-dong white-knuckle ride of a game. None of those there can quite remember the details so enthralling was the contest and so heady the celebrations, but various people have suggested there was a penalty, a sending off, flares in the crowd and a pitch invasion. I’m pretty sure I was refereeing (in my wellies) too so I may well have had some effect on the result. Either way, it was the best game of football ever.
I still get emotional thinking about the Liverpool game but I was fifty yards from the pitch, miles from home. We’d walked to the Chesham Westwood game and danced all the way home.
United vs Rovers will always be special too. It was Tom’s first away match and we picked up bacon rolls and the coach from The Meadow, singing songs to and from the League Two side’s ground. We stood behind the railings as close to the pitch as possible and Tom was in the background of all the photos when Ryan Blake celebrated his goal and is even in the picture on the season ticket he got given as an Under 8 player. If you look closely you’ll see a little boy who can’t believe his eyes, beside a dad celebrating like a man who definitely forgot he was meant to be looking after an 8 year old.
He’s since been a mascot at another magnificent FA Cup victory, got Ryan’s autograph on several occasions and has Chesham United memorabilia alongside a poster of Philippe Countinho on his wall (we’re praying we get to see both play again for the two best teams in the land).
In this football-less summer we’re both counting down the days until we get another crack at the Champions League, another glorious FA Cup run and, more than anything, many many magic moments with the Chesham United Under 9s. Whatever the weather, whatever the results, this team will make my heart soar.
For more details about Taskmaster check out the links below for details of what else he’s up to when he’s not supporting CUYFC!