This Saturday past I was at Bilston football club for the ex-players reunion at Queen Street. These events are excellent in themselves and for me an awesome access to memories and stories that you simply cannot research. Everyone at the club has always been friendly and approachable and decent and every single ex-player I have met has been a gentleman and more than happy to talk about the time they spent at Bilston FC. They speak of Queen Street, their comrades from teams gone by, with love and respect and it’s a pleasure to be around. So many nice people, who achieved so much, more than happy to share what they have and what they can. It’s amazing. I can’t think of many, no any, other non league clubs at this level that do such a thing. And do it so informally and so welcoming and so well. Fair play to Bilston Town for that, it really is brilliant.
It has given me so much encouragement and information that it really does keep me going. I know I’m doing it for them and the club. I’m struggling to balance definitive versus relevant when it comes to the book and the many hundreds of hours of searching and reading and researching can sometimes appear like nothing is happening but it is, its pretty much my main focus these days and it really shouldn’t’ be, but genuinely it is. The weight of such a project, that so many people are waiting for, weighs very heavy indeed sometimes. But each of these events helps me focus on what I need to do and so I walk away from time wasted on researching irrelevant or fruitless avenues, and get on with the historical detail, the human stories and the successes, these ex-player reunions really have been a great help and positive influence.
Writing has never been something I’ve needed a crutch for, I’ve been writing for nearly twenty years. But I’ve never done anything like this before. Fiction is easy, be it a script or a story, you can essentially make that shit up if you have an imagination and a half decent vocabulary and editing skills. This is something else. It’s an absolute joy. I suppose it helps being a football fan. You couldn’t do it if you weren’t. I find little bits that prick my imagination simply because I like football that would be lost or ignored otherwise. I’d like to think that makes me the best man for the job but I know that I’m probably not; the man who is the expert on this matter told me on day one that the “book had already been written” and almost made me walk away from the project at the first hurdle. Thanks JC! But I use your 45 second telephone conversation as inspiration only. I’m sure you could’ve made my journey easier and been very helpful but clearly you are an old man with your own reasons and so I forgive you. I was never doing this to piss on your camp fire but if the book already exists maybe you should publish it ay?
Anyway, the book is happening and it’ll be as good or as bad as I make it and I’m doing all I can to make it pretty damned sweet as fuck. My next question is: Where are you Bilston fans? Where the fuck are you? I don’t want to go all Delia Smith but come the fuck on. Premier league football guaranteed this season. Yeah it might be step 6 on the pyramid but where are you? You can’t just turn up at the cup finals they play and buy the programme and talk about how you remember it like you give a shit. Come on guys. Get your arses down to Queen Street. I often wonder how many home games do Bilston play when Wolves are away. I bet the two clubs could have a deal where the Wolves season ticket holders could get reduced fees to come to Bilston or even free entry if they bring someone else. It sounds like it should work. When Bilston are at home and Wolves are away the gate at Queen Street should go up. How many Wolves regulars live in or around Bilston? Come on guys, support some grass roots football and bring the kids and buy them all a programme, a scarf and a cheese cob. Support local football. You can nail your heart to a club but still offer something to your local non league club. Everyone needs a non league club to support and I think Wolves fans should come down and support Bilston. A team they have played many times in league football (Wolves A) and in one off special games like when Bilston officially opened their flood lights against Wolves.
Please think about it Wolves fans, affordable games are available to you when you can’t travel away. Mix it up a bit and pop your head around the gate at Queen Street, Bilston. You won’t regret it, it’s an old school, nice, friendly experience.