footy weekends -Kyoto & Brighton-

Footy tourism

One Japanese barmy football fan goes on a footy adventure in Sussex 2

とある日本人フットボールファンによる、サセックス地方のフットボールを巡る旅 2

Being my first English football adventure, there was no way that this news was going to make me call it a day, and within a few more swipes on the phone, we found another game from a different league that was going on less than an hour away by car. Driving back down the road we’d just arrived on, even without seeing the CDG game, from seeing the ground I was getting the feeling of what grass roots football is. On top of that, heading off knowing that I could see another game that was going on so close by, being in a place with so much football going on around me, I was getting a real glimpse of the depth of football culture here.

初めて挑戦したイングランドでのフットボールを巡る旅、ここで諦める訳にはいかない。早速、他のクラブの試合を調べてみると、イーストブライトンでWhite hawk F.C.が、試合をやっている。クルマで1時間もかからないところで他にも試合が行われていることに、この国のフットボール文化の層の厚さを垣間見た気がした。
さきほど来た道を戻りながら、CDGの試合は観ることは出来なかったけど、Grass roots footballの雰囲気を感じることが出来て、そしてまた違うクラブの試合を観られるのはとても幸運だと思い、充実した気持ちを味わっていた。

About 40 minutes later, we arrived at the home of Whitehawk F.C. and the Enclosed Ground. We parked the car on the road leading up to the ground, and could already hear the chanting. My heart pounding with anticipation, we paid at the turnstile and entered the stand to find plenty of locals cradling cups of beer intensely watching the game. I was moved by these fans, many of whom not only were wearing Whitehawk scarves around their necks, but also sporting Seagull shirts, Brighton’s Championship league team.

約40分ほどでWhite hawk F.C.の本拠地であるThe Enclosed groundに到着すると、入り口に続く道路にはクルマが連なって止まっており、チャントも聞こえてくる。
ブライトンの誇りであるChampionship leagueのSeagullsのシャツを着て、White hawkのスカーフを首に巻いた、地元愛にあふれる人が数人いたことに感動した。

Through football they really showed their love and support for their local area. Gazing around the ground, in one corner a pub, in another a booth selling official merchandise, I was jealous of this vision of a close relationship between the club and its fans, a sight not so common yet in Japan. The ground with its neatly mown and cared for but slightly slanted pitch, the lively stands, the cosy pub, and the players running around hard in the centre of it all after the ball, the image brought a real smile to my face.


Unfortunately Whitehawk lost 1-2, even so, the spectators watched the game with all sincerity, clapped and shouted out words of support. Feeling how much they liked football and experiencing this type of atmosphere, I felt was a very special thing, and without overanalysing it, I knew that I wanted to get further immersed in the purity of the atmosphere.

試合は残念ながら地元のWhite hawkが1−2と逆転されて負けてしまったが、お客さんは真剣に試合を観て、拍手や声援を送り、本当にフットボールが好きなんだということが伝わり、その雰囲気を感じることが出来たことはとても貴重で、余計な分析をせず、純粋にこの雰囲気に浸りたいと感じた。

After this first leg of our footy adventure, I had this nagging feeling that having created some connection with CGD in my mind, I had to take something of theirs back with me. It happened that the next day on our way to Griffin Park to watch the former club of Rod Stewart, Brentford F.C., we dropped by the CDG club house just off the A23. Due to it being a Sunday though, the place was shut, not even a training session going on. We decided to have a quick walk around the outside of the building. That facility not only houses the club, but is also a community centre, with a cafe, skateboarding area, and other local events going on there. There was the football club again, right at the centre of the community. As a Japanese person, I felt I too wanted to try living somewhere like here.

しかしこの旅では、Craweley down gatwick F.C.を直接知ることでもあるので、クラブの何かを持って帰らないと気が収まらない。
そこで我々は、翌日、ロンドンのグリフィンパークで行われる、かつてロッドスチュワートが在籍したBrentford F.C.の試合を観に行く途中、A23からBrighton roadを経て、Crawley down gatwick F.C.のクラブハウスを訪れた。
ところが、その日は日曜日であったせいか閉まっており、練習も行われていなかったので、建物の回りをまわって後にした。 しかし、ここでも、クラブハウスは地域のコミュニティの核であることがわかった。それは、当然のようにカフェ/パブがあり、グラウンドの横ではスケートボードで遊べるようになっており、そして様々な催しが日々行われ、クラブが地域コミュニティの核を担おうとしていることを改めて知り、日本人である私もこんな街で暮らしてみたいと改めて思った。

We continued on and saw the home games of League 1 Brentford F.C. and Championship team Brighton and Hove Albion.

この旅はその後、League1のBrentford F.C.、そして、Championship leagueのBrighton&hove albionのホームゲーム観戦へと続いていく。

Spending New Year’s Day at the Amex Stadium, sitting behind the goal in this giant theatre like stadium was a passionate experience, one that even now I play back in my mind in great detail it stuck with me so much. I had arrived at the grass roots of the globally understood word and culture of football, and strongly felt that this is why people all over the globe live for tomorrow.

New year's dayにアメックスコミュニティスタジアムという、まるで巨大な劇場のようなスタジアムのゴール裏で体験した熱狂は、今も細かく心の中で再生出来るほど沁みついているが、そこにたどり着くまでのルーツをたどったことは、世界共通語であるフットボールを通じて、人が地域の中でいかに明日の生きがいを持って生きるかを再発見出来た、一生忘れることの出来ない旅となった。

Front of the Amex community stadium(Falmer Stadium)


Fan's comments


View from north stand lower


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