Albion fan nets complete set of all 92 league football grounds

Simon Medhurst, Richard Hamlin and Colin Pinkard at Cardiff
Simon Medhurst, Richard Hamlin and Colin Pinkard at Cardiff

A Brighton & Hove Albion supporter joined the prestigious 92-club on Saturday as his trip to Cardiff saw him complete the whole current set of Football League grounds.

Simon Medhurst, from Southwater, has seen more than 1000 matches and visited a total of 130 Football League grounds in finally netting the current crop of sides that make up the 92.

Simon Medhurst Brighton

Simon Medhurst Brighton

The landmark game came as Albion suffered a shock 4-1 defeat across the Welsh boarder at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The 50-year-old father of two, who is a season-ticket holder at the Amex, generally takes in games with a crowd of six from Southwater and Wisborough Green.

Medhurst said: “My journey started as a young Hammer back in March 72 with a trip to Upton Park.

“My dad taking me to my first game was my stand-out childhood memory, I still remember the trip on the tube, the East End markets, the queue getting in, the atmosphere and the game itself. West Ham won 4-2 winners thanks mainly to a Bryan Robson brace and I was immediately hooked on watching live football.

“A trip to my dad’s beloved White Hart Lane followed but then I caught a bug that led to me coming out in Blue and White stripes and the Goldstone Ground becoming home from home.

“Brighton’s plight up and down the Football League ladder enabled me to take in many grounds and this was complimented with trips to the likes of Watford, Norwich and Baseball Ground, Derby hanging out with my QPR supporting mates.

“From then on I was on a mission to complete my 92. My work around England allowed me to take in many midweek fixtures including plenty of Johnson Paint Trophy bore draws.

“It’s been a long, weird and wonderful road that I am so chuffed to have finally have driven down. Ironically, next season I will have to go to West Ham to top up my 92.

“There were absolutely no champagne moments to celebrate completing the 92 just Bovril at half-time to try and warm our soaked skins.”

Scares at Millwall’s Den, getting lost in Accrington and crashing his wife’s car on the way to Hull are just some of the less memorable moments as well as the Withdean days.

Medhurst added: “In recent years the Southwater BHA lads and our better halves have been making long weekends of certain away fixtures.

“The most eventful trip has to be last season’s win at Bolton. The highlights have been plentiful; I loved my first trip to Anfield in the 70s, being amongst the notorious Man United fans at the open School End, Loftus Road, having a laugh with the Walsall contingent at Shrewsbury and both stadiums in Manchester being magnificent.

“The stand-out stadiums have been the two owned by Arsenal. Highbury was classy and so different to other stadiums and of the modern stadiums Emirates just pips the Amex and Etihad.

“That said, without doubt the best away day with Brighton has to be that famous trip to Newcastle when we secured promotion to the promised land.”

Mementos collected along the way, however, rarely see the light of day. All are tucked away in the attic, but that’s just a small price to pay for the football enthusiast, who added: “My programme collection is vast but stored away in the loft, Jane, my wife, hates football memorabilia with a passion.

“Although she does deserve a mention allowing me to spend numerous hours and wads of cash at the footie.”

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