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Wait! The people in the back didn’t hear me…
Wycombe is in the Championship!
A year later and I’m still basking in the warm glow of our Wembley glory. And why not?
Many fans of lower league clubs go their entire lives without seeing their team win a major
honour, or compete higher than the bottom two divisions, so we should absolutely savour
that incredible moment in our history and be thankful we were there to witness it, even if
we did have to settle for watching it in our living rooms, as opposed to Wembley Stadium.
We were lucky enough to witness Wycombe Wanderers win the League One Playoff Final,
lucky enough to see Joe Jacobson’s penalty hit the back of the net, lucky enough to see Matt
Bloomfield hold the trophy aloft and lucky enough to see Wycombe Wanderers compete in
the Championship for the first time in our history. Who cares if that meant we had to watch
it all on a screen? Many loyal fans of other clubs will never get to see their team reach such
dizzying heights - I’d previously feared I was going to be one of them. Having missed out on
the Martin O’Neill glory days of the early nineties, the only silverwear I’d seen a Wycombe
captain lift was the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup in 2012 and as the years passed, I had begun
to wonder if beating Chesham United on penalties was as good as it was ever going to get
for me. Even now, twelve months on, I still worry that this is all a dream and I’m going to
wake up to find it’s the 14 th of July 2020 and Oxford won 3-0.
I personally haven’t been to a live game since Bolton away on 15 th February 2020 and I can’t
even remember the last time I sat down to write an editorial. It’s been an extraordinary
eighteen months and we still don’t know when we’ll all be able to get back into Adams Park
to cheer on our beloved Chairboys. This also means we don’t as yet know when we’re next
going to be able to bring out a copy of The Wanderer. I never thought I’d say this, but what I
wouldn’t give to be standing out on Hillbottom Road in the rain, with people coming up to
me and asking ‘is that the matchday programme?’ In the meantime, we’ve put together this
special promotion issue (only a year late!) to celebrate our historic achievement and pay
tribute to our Wembley heroes. Please spread the word to your fellow Chairboys that there
is a free online edition. If they’ve never read The Wanderer before, now is their chance to
enjoy a free sample before we hopefully return to normal sometime soon.
Our first ever season in the second tier may have ended in relegation, but we can hold our
heads high for how well we played and how valiantly we battled. I have full confidence we
will find our way back into the Championship and when we do, we can look forward to all
watching it happen together, as it should be. We may not have the best players, the most
fans, the richest owners, or the biggest stadium, but I believe there is no-one in the Football
League who can match us for desire, commitment, team spirit and togetherness. The future
looks incredibly bright for Wycombe Wanderers. This isn’t the end of something, it’s the
beginning; The Chairboys are coming - and the people at the back are going to hear us.
THE BIG FAT QUIZ OF THE SEASON
How well do you remember the record breaking 2019/2020 campaign?
1. Who set up Wycombe’s first goal of the season?
2. Which 2 players missed penalties in the shoot-out defeat to Reading in the EFL cup?
3. How many penalties were there in total in the home win v Milton Keynes?
4. Against whom did Darius Charles make his first appearance of the season?
5. Excluding shoot-outs, which 3 players scored penalties for Wycombe this season?
6. Which player scored in the most different competitions for Wycombe?
7. Which 2 players scored their first Wycombe goals in the EFL Trophy win over MK?
8. What was the score at half-time in the 4-3 win over Southend?
9. Which former Wycombe player scored for Lincoln City in our famous 3-1 home win?
10. What did the Wycombe Wanderers Twitter feed state after the win at Rochdale?
11. Who was sent off in the 3-3 draw at home with Peterborough?
12. What four word phrase did Darius Charles quote after the win against Sunderland?
13. Which opposition manager tasted defeat at Adams Park twice in three months?
14. Who did Rolando Aarons join on loan from?
15. What was the aggregate score of all 3 matches against Tranmere in November?
16. What did Jack Grimmer do at Gillingham that he didn’t do in any other league game?
17. Who were the last team to lose to Wycombe in 2019?
18. Why did Wycombe wear their away kit at home to Rochdale?
19. Who was sent off in the 4-0 defeat away at Peterborough?
20. Who scored his first league goal of the season in the home win against Blackpool?
21. Who made his first start of the season in that game?
22. Which BT Sport programme followed Gareth Ainsworth around for a day at training?
23. Why did Matt Bloomfield have 2 reasons to celebrate after the win over Bristol Rovers?
24. Who did Wycombe record their first away win of 2020 against?
25. Who returned from injury to set up a goal in the 3-1 home win against Tranmere?
26. Who did Bayo Akinfenwa overtake to become the club’s leading scorer in the EFL?
27. What position were Wycombe in the league after the 3-1 defeat away at Doncaster?
28. Which player was fouled for our penalty in the Playoff First Leg win at Fleetwood?
29. Which player did Paddy Madden claim had fouled him in the box in that same game?
30. Who provided the assist for Fred Onyedinma’s second goal in the Playoff Second Leg?
31. Who did Oxford united beat in the other Playoff Semi-Final?
32. Which Wycombe player started both the 2015 and 2020 Playoff Finals?
33. Who came on as a substitute in the 2015 Final and was substituted off in the 2020 Final?
34. Who was an unused substitute in the 2015 Final and started the 2020 Final?
35. Who finished 8 th in the League One table?
Answers on page 50
Letters to the Editor
Even the most one-eyed Wycombe fans must, in their hearts of hearts, admit that the
flawed ‘Points Per Game’ process used to push them into the play-offs was ridiculous and
unjust when much fairer systems were available to the EFL.
I myself suggest the much simpler ‘Height, Weight, Ferguson, Capacity Algorithm’, in
which the combined heights and weights of the squad, season ticket holders and
matchday stewards are multiplied by the number of times your manager’s dad has won
the Premier League, then added to the number of seats in your stadium, to give a figure
that could have been easily compared across the League.
Bizarrely, this was rejected out of hand by the blazered dictators of the Football League
and as such they will be hearing from my lawyers,
Greetings (insert name of soccer club here) fans!
As your Prime Minister, I know you all want to put on your soccer rosettes and get back
into your club houses and pagodas as soon as possible to swing your rattles, buy a stout
and some meat-based food of some sort and give your chaps a rousing cheer, as they
make a glorious return to the field of play. To this end, my heroic Minister of Culture,
Media and Sport (put the name here, Jane, I’ve got no idea who is supposed to be doing
this...is it Grayling?) has been working closely with the relevant sport and health officials
to fast track some solutions and there are already a few options being tabled:
1) Let fans cram into grounds as per usual. (Cross fingers and see what happens!)
2) Let them in gradually, in dribs and drabs and full body coverings. (Cross fingers and
see what happens!)
3) Require all fans to boost the economy by buying TV sport packages (Cross fingers,
buy shares in Comcast and see what happens!)
4) Never let football be played in front of crowds again. (See if we’ve still got those water
cannons in storage. We’ll need them.)
I’m sure whichever one of these very carefully researched options is chosen, we’ll all do
our patriotic duty and unquestioningly get behind it.
Up the (insert name of soccer club here)!
This is an open letter from football fans to all other football fans to commiserate upon the
sad and depressing news that Wycombe Wanderers were promoted to The Championship.
We League One teams, who play attractive, one-touch football across the whole pitch,
feel that on top of a worldwide pandemic we have been victims of a much more
pervasive virus that has infected our beautiful game. The archaic ‘taking three points’
and ‘winning games’ mindset that has polluted the English Football League mean a team
that no-one would willingly want to watch every week can enjoy a level of success that
frankly sticks in the craw of any right-minded devotee of Association Football.
They do not have to nurture a tortured flair player with silky skills, when some old Welsh
bloke with no pace can just whip the ball in off the goalkeepers top-knot from a corner.
Not for them the 27 passes from left to right across the field, looking for the perfect
opening, when the ball can simply be nicked off the foot and either lobbed up to some big
bloke or some little scrapping urchin and find its way into the back of the net. And rather
than standing back and admiring attacking guile, they cynically resort to blocking shots,
hoofing it out of the area, or running out from the back and launching it towards the
previously mentioned big bloke or scrapper.
Certainly, they seem to ‘like’ each other, score ‘goals’ and win ‘points’, but they will
now be plying their trade at a much higher level and receiving television revenue that is
rightly ours and it saddens us to see the state our wonderful game has been reduced to.
In the interests of unity in these troubled times, we hope that 'The Chairboys’ are found
out, get thrashed every week and Ainsworth’s hair goes grey.
Too many Names and Addresses supplied. (You know who they are).
Dear Wycombe FC,
YOU’RE WELCOME! The mission that I first started in November 2003 has finally been
completed. You may have questioned my methods at the time, but I think we can now all
safely say that I was right, with the Chairmen promoted to Championship League.
I can guess a minority of you will now be droning on with nonsense like; “But Tone, you
left the club in 2004”, “You got us relegated” and “You are a complete mentalist who
thought Roger Johnson was a right winger and told Danny Senda off for eating an apple”,
but those people are crazy. Most Wickham fans know that I selflessly laid the foundations
that gave Gareth the relatively simple task of taking over a club several millions in debt,
steering it away from relegation to the Conference and guiding it to two promotions in
three years, all on a budget of £2.40 and a packet of Space Raiders.
No need to thank me, but if anyone knows of any clubs looking for a manager, please do
put my name forward (and maybe talk me up a bit).
T. Adams (London)
THE LEFT-HANDED ARCHER
The Lincoln hordes arrived at dawn,
With battle lines distinctly drawn,
Their touted brother generals stood,
The way impending victors would.
Yet in the way of Impish joy,
A stern blue army of Chairboys,
Upon their own momentous wave,
The road to glory, partly paved.
As both sides took up arms that day,
With fate uncertain in their way,
The gathered crowd roared on the men,
The Park a loud tempestuous den.
With the clash about to start,
All fevered brows and fluttered hearts,
A Welsh left-handed archer, Joe,
Drew back the string of his longbow.
Upon the breeze, an arrow flew,
And hit its target, flush and true,
The Wycombe faithful yelled with verve,
The arrow had turned on a curve!
Before the Lincoln men could find,
Some new repose of soul and mind,
A second arrow found its mark,
And raised the roof of Adam’s Park!
For yet again the shot had found,
A path of flight less straight than round,
And sheer confusion took the foe,
With sure defeat writ on that bow.
And though the battle ebbed and flowed,
And Lincoln halved the heavy load,
Their hope was but a short reprieve,
From certain doom that archer weaved.
With one last arrow drawn and primed,
That hero Joe so aptly timed,
The speed and flight to curve again,
And so compound the Impish pain.
At last the weary left the field,
The red and white men brought to heel,
As cheerful flags of quartered blue,
Proclaimed the victory anew.
And to this day, in Lincoln bars,
Their folk remember from afar,
The day they were destroyed by bow,
And the Welsh left-handed archer, Joe.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
We look back on the times when managers have spoken a little bit too soon…
“The best that Wycombe could have done is match us. There is no way they could have
prepared better than us.” Joey Barton
The set-up – Football was on hold for four months and then Wycombe and Fleetwood got
into the playoffs after cheating and voting themselves into the top six ahead of championselect
Peterborough. Nobody knew how the game would go, with no recent matches to base
any form on and the two teams training in isolation. It was a unique situation that presented
a new challenge, but Barton was convinced nobody would be as ready as his side.
What happened – From conceding inside two minutes to having two players sent off,
Fleetwood looked out of sorts, whereas Wycombe were fit, prepared and ruthless.
“On a good pitch, playing the way we did today, we’d have beaten them.” Mark McGhee
The set up – After probably the least memorable match of the 2000-01 F.A. Cup campaign, a
0-0 draw at Millwall, McGhee claimed his side were the better footballing team and the
patchy turf at The New Den was the only reason we’d scraped a replay. He was fonder of
the Adams Park surface and was confident Millwall would pass Wycombe out the cup.
What happened – Goals from Andy Rammell and Paul McCarthy saw Wycombe through to
the bright lights of Round Three and as the Valley End Terrace emptied into the December
night, the chant was unmistakable… ‘Cheer up Mark McGhee, Oh what can it mean…’
“Any team we put out should be capable of beating Wycombe.” Chris Coleman
The set up - League Two Wycombe headed to Craven Cottage to take on Premier League
Fulham in Round Two of the League Cup and Coleman made a statement that, to be fair,
was accurate. Any side he put out should be capable of beating little old Wycombe…
What happened - Fulham, despite fielding seven internationals, lost. An early goal from
Jermaine Easter and a Tommy Mooney penalty earned a 2-1 win and Coleman was forced to
endure a rousing rendition of ‘Coleman, Coleman, What’s the score?’ from the gleeful away
fans, as he dejectedly made his way across the pitch at full-time.
“That goal changes nothing.” Paul Lambert
The set up – As we’re a fair, balanced and impartial publication (compared to TalkSport and
the Peterborough Telegraph at least) we’ll include one that blew up in our own faces. Paul
Lambert’s Wycombe took on Stockport County in the 2008 League Two Playoff Semi-Finals
and Delroy Facey made a few gamblers happy by giving us the lead in the first leg at Adams
Park. Ten minutes from time, Stephen Gleeson scored an absolute worldie completely mishit
a volley from a yard out that hit nine players, both posts and the bar before trickling over
the line at 0.0000000001 mph to make it 1-1 ahead of the second leg.
What happened – Lambert’s remark was odd, as it meant Wycombe needed to go and win
at Edgeley Park, rather than just draw. Lambert, in fairness, was referring to the fact that,
had the goal not gone in, Wycombe would still have gone to Stockport with the intention of
winning the game, rather than playing for a draw (although that in itself sounds unlikely,
given Lambert’s defensive minded approach to, well, everything). Yet it galvanised the home
support and a fired-up County won the second leg 1-0 to go through to the final.
The 2020 Nolan Award
Celebrating the angriest opposition manager of the 2019/2020 season.
The Wanderer is delighted to once again present the Nolan Award,
named in honour of aneurism-on-legs Kevin Nolan and awarded each
year to the angriest opposition manager from the previous season.
2019’s winner was then-Plymouth manager Derek Adams, who carried
off a £5 book token. Sadly, despite inviting him to get in touch, Derek
has declined to let us know which title he spent his winnings on.
But who takes the nagging rights this time? Well, we’re going to break
with tradition and award the 2020 prize, not an opposition manager,
but Chairman. Step forward Peterborough Utd’s Darragh MacAnthony,
who takes the title with a fine display of pram de-toying in the wake of
our excellent promotion at the end of the 2019/2020 season.
Take it away Darragh!
“If clubs can’t afford that sort of money [to finish the season behind closed doors] I’m not
sure what they’re doing in competitive football.”
“I’m a football person who wants the clubs to play football again. The ones who would
rather hibernate than play are the problems.”
“We will take action against clubs and the EFL if they deny us the chance to have a go at
“Football will be back and [the] season will get finished or owners who refuse to fulfill
fixtures will be getting their asses sued.”
“I am devastated. I would have bet my life on us finishing in the top two and going up… We
were the team no-one wanted to face in the play-offs and maybe that’s why some voted the
way they did. We have suffered an injustice…”
“…If they don’t want to play the fixtures they can forfeit them all 3-0.”
“I’m not buying this nonsense at all. Clubs who say they are within weeks of going bust
because of the pandemic are talking bull. All this shows is how poorly they were running
their clubs before the Coronavirus arrived. These people shouldn’t be running clubs anyway.”
“We have the largest chip you’ve ever seen on our shoulder… For me it’s about vengeance.”
“We have to right this injustice. We have to right this wrong.”
“The EFL/Sky Bet League One shit show draws to a close. Enjoy your summer football fans.”
All taken from either the Peterborough Telegraph, Darragh’s Hard Truths podcast, or his
personal Twitter account.
Darragh wins this lovely, personalised £5 book token, which we sent to him along with a
congratulatory letter. We also made a donation to the National Literacy Trust on his behalf.
Despite inviting him to get in touch, Mr. MacAnthony has so far declined to contact us.
What-Ho, Binky old bean!
I hope lockdown on that Fijian island wasn’t too traumatic. Getting trapped in that awful
looking hotel must have been hellish. Only four stars? My heart went out to you. I know
you’d much rather have been with us in Four Ashes. Hopefully you’ll be able to travel
soon, but I should warn you, things have changed at the Park. None of the old crew can
even get into the Boardroom these days...and not just because of the killer Covids
keeping everyone under their tables or down in the wine cellar with Aunty Claudine.
You may recall we just made it over the line last term, to great celebrations despite old
doom and gloom Trev moaning about the balance sheet. Post survival it was all tears
and hugs and jolly-well-dones all round, but just as we were congaing around the
boardroom, the Stroudster comes barging into the party, tie askew, tears in his eyes,
and starts ranting again, waving bills and pointing at random players shouting ‘You’re
out! You’re out too! We’ve had it I tell you!’ until that Northern foreman in the leather
jerkin got him off the table and led him out.
Short version: yet again, we were bucketless and old Long Hair and the Quiet One were
told they would be starting next season with £50 cash, any players too old to sell and the
pick of the catering staff to make up the numbers. Took the shine right off, I can tell you.
Long faces all round. When you’re not sure where the next snifter is coming from, the
very mention of belt-tightening always makes one so damned thirsty. Anyway, two
weeks later, there we all were at the next meeting, you know the sort of thing; everyone
with a face like a mile of bad road, eyeballing the trophy cabinet and wondering who last
had the key and what would get the best price if we had to divvy it all up, when old
Trevor skips in, grinning from ear to ear and shouting about what a wonderful day it is to
our open mouths and shocked clocks.
It turned out, he’d managed to get the rabble to scrawl their Xs on a deal with another
pair of wild colonials, Rob 'n Pete, who have slapped wads of greenbacks on the table
and taken over the place - lock, stock and drinks cabinet. We’ve been turfed out without
so much as an invite to the FA Cup Third Round drinkies and nibbles soiree, while Trev
and Rob ‘n Pete strut about the place pointing at sites for beer tents, demanding BBQs
and inviting beat combos to shake their fringes at us before every game. Shocking stuff.
Cissy hasn’t been back since some chap in a greasy parka pointed at her from the stage
and yelled at her to ‘Roll With it’! (There is more, but I cannot say too much, as I hear
one of the new cabal is a lawyer and we all know the sort of fiscal damage that can be
done to your Trust Fund by a legal eagle who thinks your lips are a bit loose…)
Toastie Watters and I both had some dollar on the management being poached by a big
club (there were rumours of 30 guineas a week and ‘as many tabs as you could smoke’
from somewhere up in the Frozen Wastes) but Rob ‘n Pete told us the funny Northern
bloke was one of the reasons they bought the place and upped the budget so the
Dynamic Duo could get in some new faces and chivvy up the OAPS, so before you could
say ‘Ding Dong’ we were back to twanging everyone in the League’s last nerve again…
Only this time by winning a lot of games. …I know!
It may surprise you to know that we were top of the table for most of the term, but our
luck being what it was, by the time everyone was barking ‘Who Ate All The Pangolines?’
and the world was shutting down, we were just outside the top six. So when virus
stopped play, things were looking a bit sticky.
Well, that's when the bun fight started in earnest, with everyone, his wife and his
Twitter account trying to work out how best to end the season for all concerned while
retaining the integrity (I know...big yok-yoks!) of the League. As you would expect, there
was a surfeit of bigwiggery, honking and yammering on the airwaves about fairness and
the best way to get the biggest teams into the playoffs, throughout which we proudly
maintained a dignified silence. Jimbo claims that was only because, having tried to
explain the offside rule and how Bayo manages to play football without actually moving
to our new owners, Trev thought it best not to excite them with an insight into the
machinations of the EFL and so just smiled and nodded through the Zoom meetings and
pretended the sound on his laptop was playing up.
Upshot of it all was, the EFL brainiacs came up with some equation which allowed us to
leap over some pretty angry frogs into third place and a chance for a tilt at an historic
promotion. Facing another season down in the brown stuff, there was a lot of wailing
and crying into chequebooks from some of our gracious opponents. So much so that on
a quiet night you can sometimes still hear it. Of course, humiliation is immediately
predicted by all and sundry, but it turns out that all through the lay-off, while the suits
were carping at each other, old Long Hair and the PE teacher had so much success in
making the workforce eat melons, ride bikes and do press-ups in front of inspirational
cinemagraphs from the below stairs staff, that they come out of the stalls like Seabiscuit
and three games later, we’re on the Championship gravy train.
So here we are - up with the slightly bigger boys. Revenue doubled, the chance of more
of the lower orders squeezing through the turnstiles and even more televisual and
wireless moolah, but after all we’ve done for the club through the lean years, no thankyou,
no-one answers my calls, the free mattress got recalled and now yours truly can’t
get access to the drinks cabinet or even the left-over Tom Kerridge pies! It's hard being
frozen out of the decision making...even if I never actually made any...but really it's the
social side I miss. My heart did rise when I heard Rob ‘n Pete were planning on funding
a Yo-Yo Club, but I’ve seen no sign of exotic cocktails and risqué German cabaret, so I’m
assuming something’s been lost in translation. They are certainly the Lead Hound’s
sweetmeats around the town at the moment though and could probably lift a load of
M&S Dine In For Two’s in broad daylight, or drag a couple of three piece suites out of
John Lewis and the Old William would just chuckle and wave them on their way.
Tickets on your telephone, booking your booze in advance, edible food, having to
sing Kumbaya outside a tent before we can go in - this new world is all a bit rum, but I
suppose we had a good run. Let me know when you’re back in Blighty and though I
doubt you would want to watch it every week, if you’ve still got your diving suit and gas
mask, we might be able to take in a game!
Swan or Swann?
Your cut out and keep, at-a-glance guide to help you tell the difference
between Peterborough Telegraph whingebag Alan Swann and a large bird.
Does it have webbed
feet, smell funny and
forage about in weeds?
Does it keep going on and
on about Wycombe not
THE ICEMAN’S STREAK
There is a Buckinghamshire man who gets to a few Wycombe games every season
and he did not see a single home defeat between the 4-0 league loss to Stoke City
on 23 rd November 1999, to the FA Cup replay at home to Tranmere, on 20 th
November 2019 - a run of 20 years. We interviewed him about this incredible streak,
but as he did not want to divulge his identity, for fear of changing the odds, we have
utilized his nickname from the old Gasroom…The Iceman.
That is quite an amazing unbeaten run! Were there ever times during the
streak, before the Tranmere game, where you thought it was over? Any last
minute equalisers that preserved the run, or losses you had originally meant to
We played Darlington in October 2008 and I actually left the game early when we
were losing 1-0. I thought my streak was over at that point. My car was parked on
the hill and as I got into the car, I heard a huge roar. We had equalized! The game
finished 1-1 and the run continued. Then there was Southend last season. We were
losing 3-2 with just one minute left. My streak was seemingly over, but up stepped
Messrs Stewart and Kashket! And finally there was the game I watched from the hill.
Wimbledon, FA Cup 5 th round, 2001. I couldn’t get a ticket and there were a load of
us up the hill watching a third of the pitch. We went 2-0 down and I went home.
When I arrived home it was 2-2!
What was the most entertaining or memorable
game you saw during the streak?
I enjoyed the 1-1 draw with Sunderland the
season before last. We outplayed the big boys
with a superb performance, overcoming a
sickness bug in the camp. Unfortunately,
Sunderland’s last minute equaliser meant I felt as
low as a loss coming home. We were on a
terrible run and luck was not with us. That last
minute goal really sucked us into the relegation
battle. Also the atmosphere was electric that day
– all from the home fans!
What was the best Wycombe goal you saw?
Best goal: Steve Brown
As far as the Adams Park streak goes, I would go
for Steve Brown’s rocket versus Colchester in
2000. That was some strike!
What was your favourite Wycombe goal?
Although not in the Adams Park streak, my favourite goal during that period has to
be JJ’s free kick at the 2015 play off final at Wembley. It was sublime and the
celebration both on and off the pitch was incredible, as we thought we were in
League One. What happened after that was the cruelest moment I ever had to
endure as a Chairboy. It took me weeks to get over the result. The journey home on
the Chiltern Line that evening was surreal. The trains were packed but completely
silent. We were in total shock, but I was also so proud - proud of how far we had
come in twelve months and proud of Gareth Ainsworth’s dignity in defeat. He and the
whole team clapped Southend off the park, despite such a bitter pill to swallow. It
has taken five years and now justice has been done. We are in the Championship
and Southend are in League Two. I can hardly believe how far we’ve come since
that fateful day.
Who is your favourite player (or players)
from those twenty years and why?
In the nineties it was Mickey Bell. I used to
love his runs up the left wing. He was a great
player and I was very upset when we lost him
to Bristol City. My other favourites from that
time were Dave Carroll and Jason Cousins.
Carroll could walk on water, while Cousins’
tackles could bring water to the eyes!
But top of the list by a long way is JJ. I had
the pleasure to meet him once and he was
genuinely such a nice guy. More than that, he
can score from corners! At the Fleetwood
match, last game of the season, as JJ took
the corner, I shouted out ‘ Straight in JJ ‘ and
in it went! I’m not sure if he heard me!
Favourite goal: Jacobson fires in the opening goal of the 2015 League Two Playoff Final
Are there any opposition players or goals that stand out?
I don’t remember any!
Are there any other memories from the streak that stand out?
There was an amusing incident that happened to me at Adams Park in September
2008. The match was Wycombe v Dagenham and Wycombe won 2-1. I was sitting in
the front row of the family stand for this game and Wycombe had a player sent off. In
spite of this we still managed to go ahead. The ball came out into touch just by me
and a Dagenham player retrieved the ball. As he turned to take the throw right in
front of me, I noticed the name on the back of his shirt was NURSE. Very unlike me,
but because I was still upset about the sending off, I yelled out “You don’t need a
nurse – you need a doctor!” The player turned round and came towards me, shouted
at me to shut up and then resumed his throw in. That was pretty embarrassing and I
did feel a bit bad, although on reflection I think he was out of order, as players should
be able to take a bit of lighthearted banter.
The streak may be over, but the league streak is still intact.
That one’s still safe! 20 years and counting!
Any final thoughts on the streak, the teams and the managers over that
I am really proud of the team we have at present. They are my favourite Wycombe
team by a long way. I think it’s a tight call between this group and the team of
1994/95 as to which team is the best. I may have felt more confident watching the
94/95 side, but in fairness this current squad have now achieved more at a higher
As for best manager, it’s also a close one between O’Neill and Ainsworth. Up until
July 13 th 2020, I would probably have gone, marginally, with O’Neill, but on
achievement and battling against the odds, it goes to Gareth. How he’s done what
he has with such a low budget is beyond me and the way he conducts himself is
exemplary. I am thrilled for Gareth to have the title now, but how lucky we have been
to have both.
Finally, I’d just like to say that following Wycombe Wanderers was not a choice for
me. This was my hometown, and this was the local club. It was a given. But how
lucky I have been to follow this club from the amateur days of the Isthmian League to
the dizzy heights of the 5 th biggest league in the world! There can’t be a bigger
fairytale in football, surely. On top of that, we are blessed today with so much superb
coverage, from the club’s media team through to ‘Ringing The Blues’, through to
Chairboys Central. The content of these is already Premier League!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
We welcome back Father Nathan Jones, now reinstated at the Church of St Kenilworth
The Self Celebrant, after departing St Bet365 of the Holy Gambling Act 2005 and a
period as Travelling Pastor from the Church of St Dole and the Upcoming Vacancy.
“Greetings one and all. I hope you are keeping safe and well in these troubled times.
May your arms and the arms of your loved ones be now, or in the near future, blessed
mightily with the reviving spirits of Astra Zenica, Pfizer, or at a push, Sputnik.
It is a delight to be back at my former parish. I was invited to return when Father
Jones was, after a difficult period, suddenly but quite politely called away in the night
to do some missionary work up in the North East. Glorious as it was to return from the
wilderness, I had, of course, spent my sabbatical wisely, pondering the great questions,
like why everyone but me seems to be an assistant at West Ham, meditating on sporadic
offers from Quest and checking to make sure Crawley Town still have my number.
Though it can be said that I left St Kenilworths under a cloud (and quite a few people
DID say it, write it, carve it and spray it onto various parts of my house) I think I
can say the parish has welcomed me and my trademark world class humility back with
open arms. My Manager Of The Month photo opportunity trespasses have been
forgiven and I have already forgotten the death threats, sleepless nights, bullets in the
post and bags of human waste thrown at my window.
Indeed, when word of my return got out, the streets were lined with smiling celebrants
and ‘Tommy Robinson is innocent’ placards were laid in the road in front of my red
and white striped Bet365 Land Rover Discovery (the legacy of a spiritually guided, but
legally airtight contract negotiation) as I made my way back to Kenilworth Road.
And I did find there was much to be done. The place was in darkness. The spectre of
returning to the Godless abyss (League One) was hanging over the parish. The Temple
to hard work, being good in transition, being the best team in the land, everyone having
matching crucifixation tattoos, in short, a mirror image of my own indomitable spirit
and undoubted merits, was in ruins. The congregation had to be lifted, the new
hymnals discarded and we needed to get back to the old tried and trusted services.
And Lo, we were all righteously raised up high – To 19 th place - And there was a great
multitude who cried: ‘Thank Christ for that...!’
But there was no time to rest or even take a breath before the talk of a terrible pestilence
befalling us all began. Stories were shared of an unforgiving, relentless, seemingly never
ending darkness seeping into every corner of our existence, limiting our movements and
threatening our health, our sanity and, some would say, our very souls.
But I was not shaken. The Holy Spirit filled me with hope and strength and I was able
to ignore the tumult, the wailing and teeth-gnashing, look this new Hell in the face and
say: ‘Whatever lies ahead for this great nation, our sport and our people… the rules are
the rules. Wycombe came up fair and square and we’ve just got to get on with it...’
Having encountered you all many times on the rocky, desolate road to promotion, I was
delighted (if not somewhat incredulous) to find you risen to sit alongside the more
established parishes in the promised land of financial stability. I even recall one dark
night when I found myself whispering: ‘Surely Lord, there has been one hell of a
mistake. Can you have a word...?’ But as always, when you start invoking the spirit, the
disbelief and rising anger gives way to contemplation and calm.
Did not St Peter(borough) write that, though a man may indeed be languishing in
eighth when he votes to stop playing, yet may he still be offered redemption in the form
of some sort of hastily devised points-per-game algorithm? And though it may come to
pass that he prevails and still the doubters claim he did robbeth them blind...they
should wail not, as they may well find themselves in the same coracle at some point if
the European Union keeps making us eat bats.
I was truly heartened to read in the (in some parts poorly fact-checked) writings of
Brother Harman that within your ranks there are a number of practicing Christians.
No doubt, like myself, you will believe you are guided, lifted and supported in your
efforts by the Lord and that He will ensure that your hard work and faith will, in the
end, bring you through your present troubles and help you achieve your aims, however
insurmountable the obstacles facing you may appear.
To that I say...I was here first and, frankly, if anyone has the ear of the Almighty, I
fear it will not be anyone in a quartered shirt, who basically sneaked in by breaking the
dodgy catch on the window at the back of the Vestry.
I hope that little dose of reality will help you come to terms with the realities of the
fruitless battle ahead… God Bless you all!”
Dum-Barton: (noun) A manager who boasts of his team being more prepared than their
opponents, immediately before a comprehensive defeat.
• The manager thought it would galvanize his troops to denigrate the opposition,
but he felt like a Dumbarton after they lost 4-1 at home.
Sun-dul-lun: (noun) A rich person in a state of constant ingratitude.
• Though the man lived in the nicest house on the street, his constant complaining
and griping earned him a reputation as a bit of a Sundullun,
Peter-barragh: (verb) When a grape turns so sour that it becomes poisonous.
• The vineyard almost went out of business that year, when the entire crop was
found to have Peterbrarraghed.
Ocks-ferd: (noun) Someone who has the first laugh, but not the last.
• The player smirked when he got his opponent sent off for an innocuous push, but
felt like an Ocksferd when his club lost the big cup final to the same team.
Plim-Muth: (noun) A hallucination which causes one to see oneself as much larger in
proportion to one’s surroundings.
• I thought someone had spiked my drink when I found myself 9 feet tall. It was
only when the Plimmuth wore off that I was realised I was nowhere near that big.
Bris-toole: (noun) One who is mistakenly laughed at when not joking.
• After relaying his sad story, the man was surprised to see his audience in tears of
laughter. It was unpleasant to find oneself a Bristoole.
Cold-chester: (noun) The feeling of being irrelevant to those who once cared about you.
• I passed by an old rival, who did not seem to recognize me as he carried his
trophy past. I felt a Coldchester as I realised I had been all but forgotten.
Soll-ferd: (noun) A poor person who becomes rich without earning it and then tries to
maintain an identity of being a plucky upstart.
• After winning the lottery, the Sollferd maintained his usual seat in the pub, telling
his less wealthy companions how difficult life was for him.
Man-sitty: (noun) A newer, more expensive type of moulded plastic.
• The Middle-Eastern entrepreneurs shamelessly poured money into the Mansitty
business, until they were at the top of the plastic industry.
Mill-Wool: (noun) An inability to develop talent.
• The manager was annoyed when his employees kept going to a rival company
and achieving great things. He was beginning to be seen as having a Mill-Wool.
Red-ding: (noun) A blandness that makes one uninteresting and forgettable.
• I can’t remember the example, but it’s really boring.
Loo-tun: (verb) Awaking from a nightmare, only to discover that your real surroundings
are even worse than the nightmare.
• After dreaming I was trapped in a horrible, slimy pit with menacing orcs all around
me, I Lootunned, gasping with horror at how much worse my life actually was.
How a team from WWISC kept the blue flag(s) flying high for the Playoffs
You may recall (even if you don’t want to) that Wycombe made it to Wembley in 2015.
A family wedding already scheduled for that date meant that this fan of then 23 years
was unable to see his boyhood team at the (new) Wembley, so it was decided that when
Wycombe got there again, whenever that may be, yours truly would be there to see it. I
was therefore more disappointed with the EFL CheckingShield.org Cup Trophy semi-final
loss to Coventry than the epic 4-3 defeat at Spurs ten days earlier and I’ve never
forgiven Dominic Gape for keeping us out of the playoffs with his winner at Chesterfield.
The 2019-20 season looked like it might present another chance for a trip to the arch.
We all have our opinions on how the season would have panned out and my honest
view is that without the pandemic, we would have made the play-offs, but down in fifth
or sixth. Yet, as fate would have it, we made the play-offs and once again I wouldn’t be
getting to Wembley. Or would I?
As the club looked to deck out the Adams Park terrace in flags and offered a discount to
have them made, our WhatsApp group went into overdrive trying to work out the
colour, images, size and text that should go on our effort. Too much thought perhaps,
but puppet master Nick co-ordinated the payment, design and delivery and we sat back
to await the matches. Yet Nick was in regular contact with the club and it turned out
they actually needed some assistance with the flag display. Understandably eager not to
be overwhelmed with volunteers, our services were offered and a slightly extended
lunch break was taken to return to our second home of Adams Park.
There were some familiar faces present who had just finished training and media
commitments ahead of the first leg. As you’d expect, Gareth was his usual charismatic
self and asked if we were ready for Friday. Never mind us, what about him? He replied
with all the confidence and guts of a man whose side were about to blow the opposition
out of the water in their own back yard… Enough of the chit-chat about kicking a football
around though - we had a serious job of hanging up some flags to do. Some of the flags
were familiar: the iconic ‘Wycombe till I die 1884’ banner had been displayed at Villa
Park and Stamford Bridge but was making its home debut, whilst I recalled first seeing
the ‘We are the old Bucks Boys’ flag on a cliff by the sea in Torquay in May 2014…
Some flags were poignant reminders of fans who weren’t able to experience the playoffs
in any guise. Others possessed familiar names, some were humorous (‘Vegan. Leader.
Legend.’ was my personal favourite) and others did the proverbial “faeces-housing” (this
is a family friendly fanzine). Chairboys Central’s ‘1.74 - The Magic Number’ simply had to
take centre stage, not that a certain owner of a posh club would be watching of course...
There was a beauty to the diversity on show, demonstrating the many families and
individuals from all over the world that make up our fanbase.
After the path to Wembley was secured, the call to action to get the flags to Wembley
came and we didn’t need to be asked twice. Naturally they needed to be taken down
first and Nick’s request for assistance saw me greet him with ‘No thanks, that sounds
boring. See you at Wembley’, but it was in jest of course and another lunchtime trip to
Adams Park was required. Taking them down and flinging them in the back of Nick’s car
proved to be much easier than putting them up. The decision to also grab the ‘Wild
Thing’ flag was a last minute decision.
Screening for Wembley proved to be tight; Forms were filled in, surveys taken and we
finally headed up to the arch. Myself, Nick, Jed and Martin were on flag duty, with Pete
Couhig and Neil Peters heading up the team on the cutouts (not cardboard cutouts - the
company who makes them is very eager to point that out). The Covid test involved
checking temperature, oxygen levels and heartrate, which I was pleased to hear was a
healthy 54 BPM (Out of interest, I took it again 15 minutes before the final kicked off
and it had shot up to a not-so-healthy 85…). None the less, the club’s finance director
told me I looked nervous and to snap out of it…
Masks had to be worn and social distancing strictly adhered to. We made our way round
to the Wycombe end and went out into the glorious sunshine that bathed the stadium
bowl. We walked right up to the pitch, but were under strict instructions not to go on or
touch it. It was covered in chemicals and, despite looking fantastic, was only reportedly
60% ready. It was cut a further two times while we were there and the science that goes
into such things was plain to see. We made a start on the flags, but Wembley’s seats
were not exactly designed for easy application. We persevered, but admittedly the
novelty did wear off. It was fiddly work on a hot day and the flags just kept on coming.
Were there really this many? So it would seem.
Eventually the display was complete and we could sit back to admire our handiwork. We
took a few photos of us pretending to hide ahead of the game (well it was funny to us at
the time) before making our way round to the dugouts to see them decked out in the
colours of the mighty Wycombe Wanderers (and some other team) and take a view of
the one Ainsworth and Dobbo would be sat in ahead of the big match.
Wembley was ready and so we had to sadly retreat to our front rooms to take it all in.
We weren’t there to experience it, but can at least say we played a small part in our
famous victory. A week or so later and I was watching the F.A. Cup Semi-Finals in the
same stadium. Each end was covered with larger seat coverings, bearing slogans and
logos relative to each team, as well as various sponsors. They looked neater, they looked
smarter and they were more visible – but lacked the personality and cosmopolitan
nature of the flags designed and purchased by individual families, fans and fan groups of
clubs from the lower leagues.
All photos by PRiME Media Images.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF WWISC
The 2019/2020 season saw Wycombe Wanderers Independent Supporters’ Club
celebrate its 25 th anniversary. The club has certainly come a long way from its
humble origins, as recounted below.
The idea of a Supporters' Club at Wycombe Wanderers first reared its head in
April 1994, at an away game against Scarborough, when six like-minded fans
got together to have a good old moan about the Football Club. Principally it was
the decision by the club to sell tickets to the crucial away game at Crewe on the
proviso that you also had to buy a coach ticket. That caused enough discontent
for certain individuals to group together and formally set up a supporters' club.
A few weeks later, an informal meeting was held at Hazelmere Community
Centre, where the decision was made to approach the Football Club for their
comments on the matter.
Correspondence was sent to club Chairman Ivor Beeks, but unfortunately he
never replied. Faced with this lack of recognition, it was decided to add the
word ‘Independent’ to the club’s name. A committee was formed in early
August 1994 and the club’s aims and objectives were formulated, concerning
areas the committee felt the Football Club were neglecting, including;
- Cheaper coach travel
- Supporter social events
- Supporters' Forums, with guest speakers
- A free magazine, running all season
- Better representation for all supporters at Wycombe Wanderers
WWISC held their first public meeting in September 1994 at the Post Office
Club, High Wycombe. Over fifty people joined up, proving that the interest for an
independent supporters' club was definitely there. More meetings were held
throughout the season, with guest speakers such as Club Director Alan Parry
and representatives from the local police. The Football Club were receptive to
the new fans organisation and as a gesture of goodwill, WWISC donated £500
to help set up the club’s Youth Training Scheme.
The first edition of The Wanderer fanzine went on sale on 7 th January 1995, for
an F.A. Cup Third Round tie at Adams Park against Premier League side West
Ham United. Free for members and 50p for everyone else, sales were no doubt
helped by the then-record gate of 9,007.
In April 1995 the Football Club announced that it would be starting its own
supporters' club the following season and invited WWISC for talks on the matter.
However, following talks, it was felt that the proposed organisation was more of
a membership scheme, designed primarily to make money, that did not truly
represent the fans or have much in common with the goals and values of
WWISC and so the decision was made to continue as a separate, independent
supporters’ club. By the end of its first ever season, WWISC had 183 members.
Despite WWISC now facing competition from the new supporters’ club, more
and more Wycombe fans were signing up to WWISC for the upcoming season.
Talk of amalgamating the two organisations resurfaced, prompted WWISC to
ballot members, giving them the chance to decide once and for all whether or
not to join the new membership scheme. The result was massively in favour of
remaining independent. Originally, the Football Club responded by cutting all
ties with WWISC and the feeling among many members was that the Football
Club were unwilling to have anything to do with a supporter organisation that
they did not have control over. One well-known figure at the Football Club even
described WWISC as “terrorists”! However, in the years that followed, relations
between WWISC and the board of the Football Club have greatly improved.
In October 1996, WWISC lead a successful campaign to preserve the right of
ordinary fans to become members of the Football Club. WWISC also joined The
National Federation Of Football Supporters Clubs, the Football Supporters
Association and was also involved in the startup of The Independent Supporters
The first two and a half years of WWISC saw a lot of upheaval and challenges,
but since then the club has gone from strength to strength and become a
respected and integral part of the Chairboys community, supporting both the
Football Club and a number of local charities and building close links between
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club and its loyal supporters. Thank you to those
dedicated supporters who set up and persevered with the club a quarter of a
century ago. Here’s to the next twenty-five years!
Taken from www.wwisc.uk (edited)
Separating the fact from the fiction
We continue our occasional look at some of the popular myths, legends and
theories surrounding Wycombe Wanderers Football Club…
EPISODE 7: “WYCOMBE DIDN”T DESERVE TO GO UP”
“Wycombe finished eighth. Wycombe pressured clubs and the EFL to end the season.
PPG was unfair. Wycombe voted to end the season because it suited them. If Wycombe
couldn’t afford to play out the season, they shouldn’t have been allowed in the playoffs.
Wycombe were plummeting down the table…etc.” Take your pick from any of that.
The case for…
Whilst it’s ridiculous to claim that our ‘race was run’ and we were ‘plummeting down
the table’, it is fair to say that our long term form wasn’t the best as we went into the
second half of the season. Since our December 14 th win over Burton, we’d lost 8 of the
14 league games we’d played, conceding 25 goals. That said, it’s perhaps worth noting
that our form immediately before lockdown was comparable with Peterborough’s. Our
last 5 games before football stopped saw us win three and lose two, while Peterborough
won three, drew one and lost one, so our race was surely no more run than theirs.
PPG was undoubtedly a less than ideal way to determine the final table and no-one’s
disputing that in a perfect world, the fixture schedule would have been played out in
full. But if there was one thing the world wasn’t in 2020, it was ‘perfect’. Regarding the
vote, it’s true that we did vote in our own best interests. WE ALL DID, GENIUSES! That’s
generally how votes work. Peterborough fans seem particularly upset that we didn’t try
to stitch ourselves up by voting for an outcome that would suit them more than us. PPG
was applied after a democratic vote decided it was the best of the options tabled by the
EFL to decide the final standings. Until the season was ended and PPG was applied, the
current table wasn’t the final table. Once that had been done, Wycombe were third.
Wycombe no more finished 8 th for having briefly been in 8 th position during the season,
than we finished 1 st for having been there for the majority of the campaign.
The case against…
Let’s be clear. There was no pressure put on the EFL or any other clubs in League One by
Wycombe Wanderers. In fact, the club kept a dignified silence throughout the debacle,
although Ainsworth said he would prefer to play out the rest of the season and Rob
Couhig came out in favour of voiding the season with no promotion and relegation,
citing the financial damage of playing our remaining games behind closed doors. I’ll tell
you who did apply pressure though – Peterborough Chairman Darragh MacAnthony,
who made numerous public statements ranging from demanding clubs unable to play
being forced to forfeit games, to threatening legal action if he didn’t get his own way.
The vote was an absolute landslide in favour of stopping. Even if Wycombe had voted to
continue playing, the result would have been the same. That, coupled with League Two
clubs also deciding to end their season, should probably tell Peterborough something.
Don’t like the result? Sorry, that’s democracy baby. Perhaps Peterborough should look
to the clubs who had nothing to ‘gain’ from the season finishing; clubs like Accrington,
who explained that finishing their fixtures with no income could be financially disastrous
for them. Were Peterborough really happy to drive other clubs to ruin in their quest for
possible promotion? Forcing the rest of the league to continue would have undoubtedly
skewed things in favour of the clubs with deeper pockets to offset their losses. Not
much sporting integrity to be found in that Darragh.
Was there any hypocrisy in saying we couldn’t afford to play out the season, but then
taking part in the playoffs? It depends if you studied maths beyond the age of six.
Playing a maximum of three games, only one at home, with the losses being offset by
guaranteed television revenue, is exponentially cheaper than playing between eleven to
fourteen games, all with no income unless we’d made the playoffs at the end of it.
Fact or Fiction?
Cutting through all the anger and tribalism, the conclusive vote suggests that ending the
season was indeed the correct decision. But that doesn’t answer the wider question of
whether or not Wycombe deserved promotion? Well, opinion and speculation aside, it’s
a fact that Wycombe went into the top six on the opening day and stayed there for the
entire season, up until the last round of fixtures when we slipped to eighth, although of
course, we didn’t play that weekend. None of the teams that were in the top six at the
time Covid struck can make that same claim, which is arguably a good indicator that we
were consistently one of the best teams in the league over the course of the season. If
Peterborough were so much more deserving of promotion, why then was their PPG not
better than ours? Why weren’t they already higher up the table after 35 games?
Even after the vote, we still had to win our playoff games. Not only did we do that, we
were the only team to actually win a playoff game in 90 minutes, which we did twice. If
we weren’t truly deserving of promotion, Fleetwood and the supposedly superior
Oxford had more than enough of an opportunity to stop us. But they didn’t.
Conclusion: FICTION! Behold, your League One Playoff Champions!
AVAILABLE FROM ALL GOOD BOOKSHOPS
Highlights and Lowlights
The Wycombe squad’s highlights and lowlights of 2019/2020
Highlight: His stunning, late double save in the vital 3-3 draw with Peterborough.
Lowlight: Suffering appalling homophobic abuse in the away win at Tranmere.
Highlight: A solid display and a clean sheet in the 2-0 home win over Burton.
Lowlight: Having an absolute shocker in the 4-1 drubbing by Coventry City.
Highlight: Smashing home the penalty at Wembley that secured our Playoff Final win.
Lowlight: Missing a late penalty in the closing stages of the tense 0-0 draw away at Ipswich.
Highlight: The surprise news that he’d signed a new contract in the summer!
Lowlight: Returning from injury at Oxford, only to go off injured again after ten minutes.
Highlight: Heading in the opening goal of the Playoff Final, in a Man Of The Match display.
Lowlight: The incredibly harsh penalty awarded against him in the 4-0 defeat at Sunderland.
Highlight: A typically strong warrior-like performance on the opening day against Bolton.
Lowlight: Signing for Stevenage and helping them beat us in the Football League Trophy.
Highlight: His last minute winner (and celebration) in the 3-2 thriller against the Franchise.
Lowlight: Being scythed down when through on goal at Blackpool, only for the ref to miss it.
Highlight: A good display and an assist for the opening goal in the 3-0 win over Rochdale.
Lowlight: Failing to hold down a place in the squad during the second half of the season.
Highlight: Leading Wycombe out at Wembley and lifting the League One Playoff trophy.
Lowlight: The sickening head injury he received in the 3-1 home win over Lincoln.
Highlight: His stunning stoppage time winner in the thrilling 4-3 win over Southend.
Lowlight: His two month ban from the FA for breaking betting regulations whilst at Orient.
Highlight: Getting his chance in goal during our three Football League Trophy games.
Lowlight: Palming Clase’s shot into the path of Harris to tap home in the 2-1 loss to Fulham.
Highlight: An excellent showing in the 2-1 win against Blackpool.
Lowlight: Being skinned by Jordan Clark for Accrington’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Adams Park.
Highlight: Capping a good display with a superb recovery tackle in the 1-1 draw at Blackpool
Lowlight: Conceding a penalty and getting sent off in the 4-0 defeat away at Peterborough.
Highlight: Kicking off the adventure with the opening goal against Bolton on his debut.
Lowlight: His shocking open-goal miss in the 1-1 draw at home to Ipswich town.
Highlight: Marking Peterborough star Marcus Maddison out of the game in the 3-3 draw…
Lowlight: …But then picking up a red card late in the game.
Highlight: Finishing off a sublime move with the cross for Kent’s own goal in the Posh draw.
Lowlight: Being denied a goal by good friend Tom Davies in the 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers.
Highlight: Becoming the club’s record Football League goalscorer with his goal at Doncaster.
Lowlight: Stupidly getting himself sent off early on in the 1-0 defeat away at Oxford United.
Highlight: Scoring the winner versus Sunderland before telling them; ‘Our house, our rules.’
Lowlight: But then having to suffer a torrent of abuse from their fans in the return fixture.
Highlight: His nonchalant, no-look assist for Kashket’s late winner against Southend.
Lowlight: Missing his penalty in the League Cup shootout defeat to Reading.
Highlight: His two-goal display against Fleetwood in the Playoff Semi-Final second leg.
Lowlight: His injury in early October that saw him miss the next four months.
Highlight: Making his Chairboys debut in an energetic display against Stevenage in the FLT.
Lowlight: Joining Braintree on loan, only for the Conference South season to be cut short.
Highlight: Getting an assist and a goal in the Playoff Semi-Final first leg away at Fleetwood.
Lowlight: Being absolutely cleaned out in the build-up to Wheeler’s goal against Ipswich.
Highlight: Terrorising the Sunderland defence, winning the freekick that led to the winner.
Lowlight: Returning to Newcastle without ever really showing us what he was capable of.
Highlight: Marking his return to the club with a superb goal in the home win over Rochdale.
Lowlight: Missing out on the playoffs when his loan had to be cut short for financial reasons.
Highlight: His stoppage time winner against MK Dons in the Football League Trophy.
Lowlight: All the conspiracy theorist nonsense he put out on his social media.
Highlight: His stunning strike in the 2nd minute to give us the lead in the Playoff Semi-final.
Lowlight: His straight red for a bad foul on Tom Naylor in the 1-0 win over Portsmouth.
Highlight: Making a string of stops to help Wycombe to a 2-1 home win over Blackpool.
Lowlight: The soft second goal he conceded in the 2-0 defeat away at the Franchise.
Highlight: Becoming the first Wycombe manager to take the Chairboys into the second tier.
Lowlight: When it looked like he might be off to Sunderland.
RINGING THE BLUES
A podcast dedicated to Wycombe Wanderers
Out every Monday and available free on
Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podtail, Chartable,
Breaker, Radio Public, or The Podcast App .
FSA AWARDS - CLUB PODCAST OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED 2019 & 2020
TWENTY YEARS ON - Wycombe’s 2001 FA Cup heroes
Last year marked twenty years since Wycombe’s incredible run to the semi-finals of the
2000/01 FA Cup. Two decades later, that wonderful season is still remembered fondly -
but what became of the players who took us beyond our wildest dreams?
Martin Taylor. The legendary goalkeeper was a key player in the cup run, particularly in the
fifth round replay against Wimbledon, when he saved Neal Ardley’s stoppage time penalty
to send the game into extra time, before saving Peter Hawkins’ spot-kick and scoring his
own in the dramatic penalty shootout. Ever present in 2000/01, Taylor was voted player of
the season, the only Wycombe player to win the award three seasons running. After six
seasons and nearly 300 games, Taylor retired from the professional game after an injury hit
2002/03 season and after a season at Telford United, joined Burton Albion as goalkeeping
coach. In 2009 he joined former club Derby County as goalkeeping coach, before moving on
to Sheffield United in 2014, where he stayed for a year before re-joining Burton. He now
manages The Bubble Inn in Swadlincote, Derby.
Chris Vinnicombe. The reliable left back spent six years at Adams Park, making over 250
appearances and winning the 2002 player of the season award before being released in
2004. He returned to his native Devon, spending a season with Tiverton Town before a spell
in the Conference back at his first club Exeter City. He re-joined Tiverton in 2006 and spent
two more seasons there, winning player of the season and managing the U-18s. In 2008 he
joined Witheridge as player-manager, leaving in June 2010 to re-join Tiverton as manager,
although he stepped down after less than six months. He took over at Elmore, but left after
just over a year in February 2012 and re-joined Witheridge as a player until the end of the
season. The following season saw him appointed first assistant manager and then manager
of the club, before he left in the summer of 2016.
Jason Cousins. A fearsome, hard-tackling defender and another Wycombe legend who
spent eleven years with the Blues, having been a key part of the great Martin O’Neill side of
the early nineties. In the semi-final, he famously ‘had a quiet word’ with Michael Owen after
the Liverpool striker took a theatrical tumble in the box. The 2000/01 campaign was his
tenth at the club and the following season he enjoyed a testimonial game against O’Neill’s
treble-winning Glasgow Celtic side. Released at the end of the 2001/02 season after playing
over 450 games for the Blues, Cousins joined Aldershot, becoming a key part of the side as
they won the Isthmian League in his one season at the Recreation Ground. After one season
at Windsor & Eton and a brief spell with Maidenhead United, he retired from football and
opened his own chauffeuring business.
Paul McCarthy. Another tough defender, the former Ireland U21 international was
Wycombe’s surprise goal-scoring hero in the cup run, finding the back of the net five times
on the way to the semi-finals, including the opening goal against Leicester City. ‘Macca’
remained at Wycombe for two more seasons, but was released in 2003 after seven seasons
and over 250 appearances. After a season at Oxford United and a brief spell at Hornchurch,
he joined Gravesend and Northfleet (now Ebbsfleet United) in 2004. Appointed captain, he
played over 150 games in a nine year spell with the Kent side, winning the FA Trophy in
2008. A year later he was appointed player/assistant manager, before leaving in 2013. After
a brief spell at Crowborough AFC, he became a coach at Northfleet College, but tragically
died of a sudden heart attack in February 2017, aged only 45.
Jamie Bates. Another tough, uncompromising centre-half. who joined Wycombe from
Brentford in 1999, thirteen years after making a solitary Isthmian League appearance for the
Chairboys on loan from the West London club. A rock in the Wanderers defence, he scored
a brace in the first round game against Harrow Borough and was a key part of the Wycombe
backline in the run to the semi-final. Surprisingly, he retired at the end of the season, aged
just 33, having played exactly 100 games in two and a half seasons. He became a postman,
before later working as a courier driver for a printing company in London.
Dave Carroll. One of our greatest ever players, right wing magician ‘Jesus’ spent 14 seasons
with the Blues, playing over 600 games and scoring 100 goals. Although injuries meant he
was no longer a first team regular by 2000/01, he did make four appearances in the cup run,
scoring a crucial equaliser in the Fifth Round Replay at Wimbledon, before going on to make
a substitute appearance in the Semi-Final at Villa Park. In the following season’s FA Cup, his
appearance as a substitute in the Third Round saw him make his 600 th appearance for the
Chairboys, becoming just the third player in the club’s history to reach that milestone.
Carroll left in 2002 to join Aldershot, before finishing his career at Windsor and Eton. After
football, he spent seven years working in the Uxbridge branch of self-storage business Space
Station, before becoming the manager of the Brentford branch.
Keith Ryan. Another legendary Wanderer, Ryan was a mainstay in our midfield for 16 years,
playing over 500 games and scoring 50 goals, including against Liverpool in the semi-final.
‘Rhino’ remained a first team regular for 4 more years and briefly served as player-manager
in 2004 after the departure of Tony Adams. Adams’ replacement, John Gorman, appointed
him joint assistant manager alongside Steve Brown and rewarded him with a new playing
contract for 2005/06. However, a knee injury at the start of the season prevented him from
making a single first team appearance and he retired at the end of the season. He was
retained as a coach by Paul Lambert, but left the club in 2007 and joined Queens Park
Rangers, then managed by former Wycombe boss John Gregory, working first as a youth
team coach, before being promoted to reserve team manager. After leaving QPR he went
into the flooring industry and became director of Now Flooring in Flackwell Heath.
Andy Baird. A product of the youth team, the Scottish striker was a fans’ favourite for his
graft and bravery upfront, his tireless running and willingness to challenge for every ball
earning Wycombe many freekicks and penalties - and the nickname ‘Crash Test Dummy’.
Unfortunately, this robust style of play also meant many injuries and the one he picked up in
the Fifth Round Replay at Wimbledon ended his season and essentially his Wycombe career.
Released the following season, he dropped into non-league, with spells at Brackley Town,
Banbury Utd and Oxford City, before retiring to Hook Norton, where he ran a sales agents.
Maurice Harkin. ‘Mo’ was the first player to graduate from the Blues youth system when he
made his senior debut in 1996 and the Derry-born winger/striker went on to be capped by
Northern Ireland U21s. However, he struggled to hold down a regular place and was let go
at the end of the season. He moved into non-league, featuring for a host of clubs including
Aldershot, Crawley, Forest Green and Havant & Waterlooville. He made more FA Cup history
at Havant in 2007, scoring the winner against York City to send the Hawks through to the
second round for the first time. After beating Notts County and Swansea, Havant went to
Liverpool in the fourth round and despite losing 5-2, Harkin was named Man of the Match.
He retired after a spell at Hampton and Richmond and was working in Twickenham as a gas
engineer - making extra cash hiring out his driveway as a parking space for rugby fans.
Jermain McSporran. Plucked from non-league Oxford City, the jet-heeled forward became a
fans’ favourite for his blistering pace and eye for goal. ‘Jocky’ featured in the first two games
of the cup run, but then suffered an injury that kept him out for the rest of the season.
Inexplicably allowed to join First Division Walsall on a free transfer in 2004, he moved on to
Doncaster Rovers, before dropping back into non-league with Kidlington and Banbury
United, finishing his career back where it began with two seasons at Oxford City. He now
lives in Oxford and works as a shift manager in a Unipart distribution warehouse.
Andy Rammell. Some eyebrows were raised when Wycombe paid Walsall £70,000 for the
33-year-old striker in September 2000, but it proved to be money well spent, as the oldfashioned
centre-forward hit 13 goals in the next 30 games, including the opening goal in
the fourth round win over Wolves, which he celebrated by diving into the snow piled up
behind the Valley End goal. After three seasons at Adams Park, ‘Rambo’ moved to Bristol
Rovers in March 2003, scoring four goals in the last three games of the season to prevent
the Gas from slipping out of the Football League (for the time being at least). However, time
finally caught up with the veteran and injury forced him to retire at the end of the following
season. After working as a postman, he now lives in Wareham and works as a trainer/coach
for WISE Ability, helping disabled and disadvantaged people find employment.
Mark Rogers. The popular defender from Ontario became Wycombe’s first international
when he made his Canada debut in 2002. After scoring in the third round replay at Grimsby,
‘Ted’ was injured in the fifth round against Wimbledon but heroically played on, rather than
leave Wycombe with ten men, and subsequently missed the rest of the season. After over
150 appearances for the Blues, he joined Stevenage in 2004, but injuries forced him to retire
in 2006, aged just 30. He returned to Canada, where he was appointed Head Coach of the
British Columbia Women’s team, before becoming interim Assistant Coach for the Canadian
National side. He hosted a weekly radio program called ‘Footy Soldiers’ and now works for
The Sports Network as a Vancouver Whitecaps pundit, as well as being Technical Director of
South Delta United. He still follows the Blues and is a Wanderer subscriber – Hiya Ted!
Ben Townsend. Having captained the Wycombe youth team to the Football League Youth
Alliance Division One South title the previous season, the young right back was drafted into
the first team and produced a string of fine displays that belied his years. Many predicted a
bright future for the energetic and versatile defender, but he missed most of the next two
seasons with injuries and in 2003 was allowed to join Woking, He left in 2004 to join
Farnborough and had spells at Maidenhead United and Basingstoke, before joining the
family painting and decorating business in Woodley, Reading.
Stewart Castledine. Signed from Wimbledon in 2000, Castledine made two sub appearances
in the cup run and is mostly remembered by Wycombe fans for pushing to the front of the
post-match celebrations at Filbert Street, despite having barely touched the ball. Released
the following season he retired from football aged 29. After a spell modelling for Topman
and DKNY, Castledine, who married TV presenter Lucy Alexander in 2000 (making him the
first Wycombe player to grace the front cover of HELLO! Magazine) also moved into TV,
hosting DIY shows Big Strong Boys, Houses Behaving Badly and Builders, Sweat and Tears.
He also appeared as a French goalkeeper in the 2006 film The Pink Panther. He changed
careers again, moving into the business side of football, serving as a director at Soccerex
and marketing agency Sports Revolution. He has also coached AFC Wimbledon Ladies.
Niall Thompson. The Birmingham-born, Canadian international striker arrived on trial in
October after spells in Scotland, Belgium, Canada, America and the Netherlands, where he’d
played in the PSV Eindhoven youth system. Signed on a one-month deal, a string of gutsy
displays earned him an extension and he started the Second Round replay against Millwall.
He only played 7 more games for Wycombe and was let go when his extension ran out in
February. He returned to Canada, playing for Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and
Vancouver Firefighters and later went into coaching with Surrey United Firefighters.
George Clegg. A Manchester City-supporting Manchester United striker signed on loan in
the midst of the injury crisis prior to the game against Leicester. Clegg started the match at
Filbert Street, but failed to impress and was subbed off. The 20-year-old played a further ten
league games for Wycombe without scoring and returned to United, joining Bury on a free
transfer that summer. He later dropped into non-league, with spells at Northwich Victoria,
Worcester City, Hinckley United and then back at Northwich. Not much is known about him
now, other than he lives in Manchester and is married with two kids.
Alan Beeton. Another product of the youth system, the young left-back featured in the First
Round win against Harrow Borough, but didn’t feature again in the rest of the cup run. A
former youth team player of the year, big things had been expected of Beeton, who at one
point was supposedly being watched by Liverpool, but his career stalled after contracting
meningitis and then being injured in a car crash. Released that summer, he had a spell at
Chesham United before going into the motor trade, moving to Kings Langley and becoming
a sales manager at CD Bramhall in Hemel Hempstead. Now an MD at A2B performance.
Dannie Bulman. Signed from non-league Ashford Town, the terrier-like midfielder is best
remembered for scoring with his arse within fifteen seconds of making his debut, Bristol
Rovers ‘keeper Lee Jones firing his clearance into the substitute’s backside. 2000/01 was his
breakthrough season at Wycombe and he formed a formidable midfield pairing with
Michael Simpson. Bulman remained a regular and a popular player until he was released by
Tony Adams in 2004. Since then, Bulman has racked up an impressive five separate spells at
Crawley Town, punctuated by stays at Stevenage, Oxford and Wimbledon, where he helped
them win the 2016 League Two Playoff Final. Even more impressive, Bulman is still playing
for Crawley at the grand old age of 42, the current oldest player in the Football League. He is
currently in talks over a new contract at Crawley, combining playing with a coaching role.
Sam Parkin. The young striker on loan from Chelsea wrote his name into Wycombe folklore
when his late header against Wolves sent Wycombe into the Fifth Round. Named as a sub,
Parkin nearly didn’t play, but kept a back injury secret from Lawrie Sanchez, in case it cost
him his place on the bench. Parkin played in both Fifth Round games against Wimbledon,
but Wycombe were unable to keep him for the Quarter-Final. He left Chelsea in 2002 and
went on to play for a host of Football League clubs, as well as a spell playing in Scotland.
After retiring he went into media, presenting for BBC Radio Wiltshire and commentating for
Chelsea TV. More recently, he has been commentating for BBC Radio London and TalkSport,
writing a column for The Football League Paper and co-hosting the podcast Hanging Up The
Boots. He also often appears as a pundit on Football League highlights show EFL on Quest.
Guy Whittingham. The 36-year-old striker joined Wycombe on a free transfer in the run up
to the Semi-Final, as the club scrabbled about for players who weren’t cup-tied, and came
on as a late sub in the game against Liverpool. He retired from the professional game that
summer, joining Newport Isle of Wight as player/manager in 2003. He left the club in 2005
after they ran into financial difficulties and became manager of AFC Newbury, only for the
same thing to happen (Newbury were dissolved at the end of the season). After a period
coaching at Eastleigh, he re-joined former club Portsmouth in 2011 as a development coach.
He was appointed manager in 2012, initially as caretaker, then being made permanent at
the end of the 2012/13 season, but was sacked in November after a poor start. After a
season coaching at Crawley Town, he joined the FA as a coach developer in 2014.
Martyn Lee. A product of the Wycombe youth system, the diminutive midfielder enjoyed a
breakout season in 2000/01, featuring in most of the FA Cup games, although he was an
unused substitute for the Semi-Final. His season highlight was undoubtedly a superb display
in the Third Round Replay win at Grimsby, where he had a hand in all three of Wycombe’s
goals. After an impressive season, many predicted a bright future for him, but the following
campaign was a disappointing one, as he made just four starts and was eventually loaned
out to Cheltenham Town. Released at the end of the following season, he joined local nonleague
side Maidenhead United, where he spent three seasons before dropping out of the
game. Now living in Woking, he worked as a self-employed chauffeur before becoming a
tiler, specialising in marble and stone floors.
Michael Simpson. The tough-tackling midfielder played a key role the cup run, scoring twice
but also being harshly sent off in the fifth round replay at Wimbledon. ‘Simmo’ spent seven
years at Wycombe, playing over 300 games and named the 2003 player of the season.
However, he was one of a number of players released by Tony Adams in 2004. He joined
Leyton Orient, making over 100 appearances asthe O’s won promotion to League One. After
a long spell out with injury, he joined Burton Albion, making over 100 appearances as he
helped the them to the Conference title and promotion to the Football League. After a
season at Eastwood Town and a brief spell at the delightfully- named Graham Street Prims,
he hung up his boots and returned to his hometown of Nottingham, where he worked as a
postman and coached at Notts County’s academy. Now working for UPS and living in Derby.
Danny Senda. Another youth team graduate who broke through in 2000/01, Senda featured
in all four games against Millwall and Grimsby. Originally a striker, he shone after converting
to right wing-back and was a regular for the next five seasons before moving to Millwall.
Injured on the final day of the 2007/08 season, he spent 16-months on the sidelines and
despite going on to have brief spells with Torquay, Bristol Rovers and Barnet, he continued
to struggle with injuries and eventually announced his retirement at 29 in February 2013.
Alongside running his own fitness company, he joined Brentford as an academy coach in
September 2013, before being appointed head coach of Barnet’s under-18 team in 2017. In
February 2019, he was promoted to first team coach, leaving the position in July 2020. He
was made assistant head coach of Leyton Orient in July 2020, stepping down a year later.
Steve Brown. Another Wycombe legend, ‘Brownie’ got a late equaliser against Wimbledon,
but was harshly sent off at Leicester. After ten years at the club and over 400 appearances,
Brown retired in 2004, but a few months later was back at the club after being appointed
assistant manager alongside Keith Ryan. The pair left in June 2007 and in July Brown was
appointed academy manager at QPR, a post he held until 2009. He headed to south east
Asia, running the Indonesian U16 side and coaching on Vietnamese reality TV show ‘Soccer
Prince’. Back in Britain, he worked as an academy scout for Everton, an academy auditor
and in talent identification for Adidas. He later became Head of regional talent identification
for the FA, before joining MK Dons as head of academy coaching. He is now lead talent
identification coordinator for Arsenal and head of greens at Buckingham Golf Club
Matt Brady. A young left winger signed from non-league Boreham Wood in 1999, Brady got
off to a good start at Adams Park, scoring on his full debut away at Preston North End. He
played in both Third Round games against Grimsby before starting the Fourth Round match
with Wolves, but never realised his full potential and after just five more appearances was
released at the end of the season. In 2005 he set up bespoke personal assistant/concierge
service Limelight Access Lifestyle, based in Clerkenwell, London, which boasts a number of
Premiership and International footballers among its many celebrity clients.
Roy Essandoh. The unemployed Irish-Ghanaian journeyman striker who became a Chairboys
hero. Essandoh was out of work, having played in Scotland, Austria, Finland and the English
non-league (without much success) when his agent saw Lawrie Sanchez’s Teletext plea for a
fit, non-cup-tied striker. The rest is history, the sub’s 90 th minute header earning Wycombe
a place in the Semi-Finals and Essandoh front page fame around the world. It was the only
goal ever scored for the club. Essandoh was released that summer and went on to enjoy a
nomadic career in non-league, turning out for eleven different clubs over the next decade,
before retiring in 2012 after a season with Bury Town. With diplomas in sports conditioning
and sports massage therapy, Essandoh now works in Chesterton, Cambridge as a personal
trainer, strength and conditioning coach and sports therapist.
Lawrie Sanchez. After overseeing Wycombe’s FA Cup success, great things were expected
from the young manager, but the following season saw Wycombe finish 11th. With crowds
falling and key players leaving to cut costs, Wycombe fell to an 18th place finish in 2002/03
and after a dreadful start to 2003/04, Sanchez was fired and replaced by John Gorman. He
was named Northern Ireland manager the following year and oversaw a huge improvement
that saw them leap almost 100 places to 27 th in the FIFA rankings, and get a famous 1-0 win
over England. In April 2007 he joined Premiership strugglers Fulham, steering them to safety
thanks to a 1-0 win over Liverpool on the penultimate day of the season, but was sacked in
December after a poor start. After a long time out the game, he joined Barnet in April 2011
as a football consultant, the Bees narrowly escaping relegation from the Football League.
Sanchez took over as manager that summer, but Barnet continued to struggle and Sanchez
was sacked with three games remaining. In November 2013 he took over Greek Superleague
side Apollon Smyrni, but left after they were relegated at the end of the season. In 2020 he
graduated from Salford University as a Master of Business Administration and now works as
a football consultant in Reading, occasionally appearing on TV as a pundit.
We all follow the Wycombe
Chairboys fans share their travel stories from following the mighty Blues.
By Will Geldart
Unprecedented times. I’ll be glad to hear the back of that phrase. Yet it’s impossible to
ignore the fact that, despite 2019/2020 bringing unbridled joy and 2020/2021 being a
landmark season in our history, it just isn’t the same without fans at football.
Yes, the reasons are understandable. Yes, there are more important things than football
to worry about and in no way would I wish to trivialise that.
But rather than go on about Covid-19 and what we should be looking forward to, I
wanted to use this ‘end of season’ edition to simply reflect on a time when going to the
football seemed such a simple pleasure that we perhaps often took for granted.
Whatever we do in the Championship, my goodness it would be such a fantastic feeling
to walk up Hillbottom Road and experience being there.
The following game, while not memorable at all, made me think of what it means to
belong and be part of this special football club.
Saturday 18 th April 2015, AFC Wimbledon 0-0 Wycombe
I loved the 2014-15 season. How could you not? The previous campaign had ended with
me standing on the terrace at Plainmoor in a frenzy of sheer elation (with my now wife,
who thought I was mad!).
Mere survival had been a God-send. And yet, Gareth Ainsworth had somehow conjured
the Wycombe faithful an unlikely promotion tilt in the season that followed.
We’d fallen in love with our team all over again. But in many ways, this is a strange game
to select for a sentimental feature, as it was perhaps at this point where our automatic
promotion hopes looked like they’d run their course.
But that’s irrelevant now. What I choose to remember is both personal, yet potentially
symbolic to all of us who simply love the joy of going to watch the Wycombe.
I’d decided to head to Kingston with a good friend of mine. On an April day bathed in
sunshine, we’d opted for a pilgrimage all too familiar and captivating to fans up and
down the land - the train away day.
Train away days are characterised by two things - long journeys and lots of booze.
While the distance wasn’t particularly great, the interminable snaking into central
London and the slow crawl out to the suburbs gave this the feel of a ritual quest.
We’d started the day early and had a couple of cans on the way from Gerrards Cross into
Marylebone. Then, onto the Tube and down to Waterloo (I think?). A few more libations
were had. A group of Leeds supporters joined us in the pub we’d chosen. Rowdy bunch,
but good natured enough.
This was my first trip to the Cherry Red Records Stadium, or whatever it was called, so
there was that added sense of excitement and intrigue - all baked into this end of season
The Chairboys fans were in good spirits and fine voice. The action was frenetic, if not
total football, and on that shallow terrace, I and the other vertically challenged darted
our heads over shoulders to try and catch as much of the game as possible.
In truth, it’s one of those occasions where the pre-match excitement (and beer) got the
better of me. Its memory exists only in blurry snapshots of the mind.
Wimbledon were dogged, and when Aaron Pierre received his marching orders, and the
Don’s penalty claim was turned down, the hope I’d arrived with started to ebb away.
Still, we held on, as is the Wycombe way. Or the Ainsworth way, at least.
But it was vital points dropped (in my opinion) and the rest, as they say, is history now.
The day didn’t end there though. Back through central London we went. A group of
raucous Wycombe fans were chanting particularly salty songs about Bristol Rovers. I
must admit, I joined in with a few refrains, Dutch courage and all that.
And myself and my companion continued to talk football, life, and everything else in
between once we’d holed up back in Bucks.
For some reason, that game came to mind when thinking about football in these
‘unprecedented times’. Just to be there, to be Wycombe, to travel freely, sing heartily,
and go home merry no matter the result.
This is a longed-for pleasure we’ll all be hoping to experience again sometime soon.
Up the Blues!
The game that even Wycombe will want to play!
We all know they love a good old rant up at Peterborough, especially
when they get cheated out of a guaranteed promotion by those nasty
bigger boys at Wycombe. But who is the angriest? Who throws the
hissiest of fits? Fear not! From ‘slightly incensed’ all the way through to
‘threat-to-life weapons grade volcanic fury’, we rate Peterborough’s
angriest men and rank them on PPG (Particularly Peeved Grading – arf!).
Job: Same as his dad’s, but with less success.
Looks Like: His dad, but less purple.
Most Famous For: His dad. Less famous
himself, apart from being found guilty of
common assault in 2008.
Anger Style: Like his dad’s, but less scary.
PPG: 1.74 (+100)
Job: ‘Shock Jock’ (Knob with a microphone).
Looks Like: The kid at school who used to
remind the teacher they’d set homework.
Most Famous For: Spouting dog-whistle
nonsense in a desperate bid to get attention –
very much the Laurence Fox of football.
Labelled a ‘troll’ by the Guardian.
Anger Style: Incessant whining coupled with
Donald Trump levels of wilful ignorance.
PPG: 1.74 (+200)
Job: Ex-player, ex-manager, ex-chairman,
Looks Like: Untrustworthy used car salesman
who makes racist claims on Talk Radio.
Most Famous For: Being suspended from all
football activity in 2019 after breaking Football
Association rules on gambling.
Anger Style: Red-faced, spluttered swearing.
PPG: 1.74 (+300)
Job: Calls himself ‘El Presidente’, which
probably tells you all you need to know.
Looks Like: Contestant on The Apprentice
who gets fired in week three.
Most Famous For: Being fined for misleading
business practices in 2008, accused of fraud in
2010 and charged with theft in 2012.
Anger Style: Empty threats of legal action on
social media, like a drunk person complaining
about their pizza delivery being late.
PPG: 1.74 (+400)
Job: Local rag clickbait hack.
Looks Like: Divorced man wandering around
Lidl at 11pm buying microwave meals for one.
Most Famous For: Publishing an article in
2013 labelling women’s sport as “dull” and
“unwatchable”. Also, backing Trump in 2020.
Anger Style: The ultimate Top Grump. One
year on and still screaming into the void in
between heaving sobs. Will never fully recover.
PPG: 1.74 (+1,000,000)
‘We Did It Our Way’
Review by The Wanderer’s literary critic – P.P.G Wodehouse
The only slight disappointment in the aftermath of Wycombe’s promotion to
the Championship (other than the obvious sadness at fans not being there)
was the club not releasing the, surely obligatory, commemorative DVD, as
they have done in previous promotion seasons. However, they did bring out
We Did It Our Way; a comprehensive 108-page season review, detailing every
step of Wycombe’s promotion-winning story, from a brief pre-season
roundup through to ten pages dedicated to the playoff final at Wembley.
It’s predominantly a photobook – there’s not much text - similar in style to
2001’s Fame and Glory, which chronicled Wycombe’s 2000/01 FA Cup run.
While Fame and Glory, which with the utmost respect was a little on the
cheap and cheerful side, included press clippings and scans of teamsheets,
tickets, fixture posters and matchday programme covers, We Did It Our Way
concentrates on match action photos, with two pages given to every league
game; a full page photo on one and a brief match report with lineups, basic
stats and four or five smaller photos on the other. The inclusion of an ‘as it
stood’ League One top seven for each game is a nice touch. The matches are
interspersed, every ten pages or so, with two-page features focussing on an
array of subjects, including the Couhigs, the fans, training during lockdown
and a roundup of the cups, as well as some stunning shots of Adams Park.
Produced by Ignition Sports Media and using photos from Andy Rowlands
and David Horn from PRiME Images, this is a polished, professional effort,
with high res, glossy photos that capture some of the most iconic images
from a memorable campaign, including that superbly foregrounded shot of
Darius Charles running towards the Sunderland fans, ears cupped, a
suitably out of focus Mackem throwing up a Wearside salute from the stand.
Even just flicking through We Did It Our Way will instantly plunge the
reader into a smiley coma of nostalgia for Wycombe’s greatest ever season.
If I have any criticisms, perhaps a little more text would have been nice, one
or two of the photos seem odd choices and the unusual, sideways-A4 shape
of the book means it doesn’t ‘bookshelf’ particularly well, but these really are
minor gripes over what it undoubtedly a fantastic tome. Reasonably priced
at £15, this is a must-have souvenir of an incredible season and I would
thoroughly recommend it to all Wycombe fans. To order your copy, click on
the ‘shop’ link on the club’s website and go to ‘accessories’.
Hällo! Wykea are delighted to introduce our
new ‘Part of the Furniture’ range, each piece
inspired by a long-serving Wycombe player.
Jäkkøbsøn - A near permanent fixture in our range over the last
seven years. Usually looks best on the left hand side of the room
(great on corners) but has recently surprised us by looking equally
good in the middle. Order today - Fantastic delivery guaranteed!
Tøøls - We were thrilled to welcome back this popular piece after
a brief spell out of production. This is a sturdy and reliable unit that
will hold the rest of the room together.
Sïdü - This stylish and exotic import has proven itself to be both
eye-catching and incredibly versatile, fitting almost any style. Will
need to be carefully placed, as it does have a tendency to stray out
of its position. Telescopic legs. NO LONGER IN STOCK!
Blüms - Our longest-standing item and a real customer favourite.
There have been a few manufacturing issues over the years, but
these have since been rectified and although some claim it’s a bit
dated now, this will rightly be remembered as one of our greats.
Bäyü - A huge piece, easily our biggest and one of our most
popular, known all around the world for its immense size and
sturdy, impressive structure, which even allows it to be climbed
over without fear of consequence. Order early, as due to its size, it
tends to get many bookings. Be aware this piece is an antique.
THE MOST EMBARASSING..…WINS?
In recent issues, we’ve been through Wycombe’s most and least humiliating defeats and
now we round off this hardly anticipated series with our most embarrassing victories.
BLUES 4 THATCHAM TOWN 0, Berks & Bucks Senior Cup Final, 31 st March 1975
On a glorious day in Chesham, a Tony Horseman inspired hat-trick led Wycombe to a
magnificent 4-0 victory (after extra time) in the greatest cup competition in the entire
world, Wycombe having to play much of the match with ten men, after Keith Mead was
sent up for picking up two bookings in nearly as many seconds.
However, Wycombe were having an ongoing dispute with the Berks & Bucks F.A. who
were refusing to let the Chairboys play in the London Senior Cup. As a result, Wycombe
refused to collect the trophy and so it was awarded to Thatcham. They also declined and
officially there was no winner of the B&B for that season.
But there was more drama to follow the next season…
BLUES 4 CHESHAM UNITED 2, Berks & Bucks Senior Cup Semi-Final, 21 st February 1976
After the Thatcham debacle, Wycombe were punished by the B&B F.A. by having to play
from Round One the following season, instead of Round Three as they usually did. Wins
over Buckingham Town, Chalfont St. Peter and Rivets Sport set up a semi-final with
Chesham United and the Blues won 4-2, with Graham MacKenzie among the scorers.
Mackenzie, however, was cup-tied - having played for Hungerford Town in a previous
round. Wycombe withdrew from the competition before they could be kicked out and
Chesham went on to win the final, meaning that Wycombe had won 7 successive B&B
Cup games in 2 seasons without defeat, yet didn’t win the cup in either campaign.
OXFORD CITY 0 BLUES 1, F.A. Cup First Round Replay, 16 th November 1999
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. And then, one more time. Our F.A. Cup encounter
with former rivals Oxford City in 1999 was certainly notable, if not for the right reasons.
A home tie against a non-league team 100 places below you? Yep, we’ll have some of
that, especially as we’d turned them over 3-0 in pre-season. When Michael Simpson
opened the scoring, the floodgates looked set to open, but City equalised and forced a
replay at…Adams Park. City’s ground wasn’t deemed up to scratch for a proper cup tie,
so we were away at home. City took the lead, Simpson equalised and we had extra-time.
We STILL couldn’t find a winner and the game went to penalties, but a small electrical
fire behind the away stand forced an abandonment before the shootout could begin.
A second replay was needed and Oxford United offered to host. Given our record at the
Manor, we jumped at the chance and after the home(ish) side missed a sitter, Steve
Brown scored early in the second half and Wycombe finally overcame City - after three
games, five hours and two and a half weeks. We lost to Wigan Athletic in Round Two.
BLUES 1 COALVILLETOWN 0, F.A. Cup First Round, 13 th November 2004
On Monday 8 th November, Blues manager Tony Adams made a comment about how
Wycombe wouldn’t be taking Coalville Town lightly. He quit the next day, with the
Chairboys winless in nine league matches.
Pete Cawley took charge of the team against the Midland Alliance side, who were the
lowest ranked in the competition. With fewer than 3,000 fans in attendance, the
opposition hit the side-netting in the first half and, although there were chances, it took
a 70 th minute Roger Johnson header from a free-kick to break the deadlock. It was at
least the first Saturday afternoon since the opening day that we had tasted victory at
Adams Park, but then that’s just how sad and desperate things had become.
HAYES & YEADING UNITED 1 BLUES 2, F.A. Cup First Round, 6 th November 2010
A trip to Hayes for the F.A. Cup First Round in 2010-11 looked like an easy pass – Gary
Waddock’s side were going well in League Two with four wins in a row, while Hayes and
Yeading were struggling in the division below.
The crowd was 1,426 with Wycombe fans making up nearly half (700) of the total. These
games are never easy, admittedly, but it still took Wycombe an hour to find the
breakthrough. Surely more goals would follow? Maybe not – Hayes equalised ten
minutes later and Wycombe were hanging on. In the fourth minute of injury time, a
corner pinballed around the area and Gareth Ainsworth, in what was undoubtedly the
unpopular individual’s only decent contribution to the club, tapped in a scrappy winner.
BLUES 5 HARTLEPOOL 0, League One, 25 th February 2012
Is winning 5-0 in a league game ever embarrassing? Not ordinarily, but context is key in
this regard. The 2011-12 season under Gary Waddock was hardly going to plan, with
Wycombe never able to string a couple of good results together and just seven league
wins all season had seen us slump to the bottom of the league. Waddock called in the
ringers and handed out four debuts for the visit of Hartlepool which, combined with
other loan signings, meant that none of the ten outfield players that started the game
had played on the opening day of the season.
The win may have been impressive, Paul Hayes starring with two goals, but this felt like
a struggling Sunday league side getting a win with the manager calling up a group of his
mates who used to play semi-professional to come along for a game. It was a damning
incitement of Waddock’s woeful summer recruitment policy and while a mini-revival did
briefly offer hope, when Hayes was recalled by parent club Charlton, he took any hope
of surviving relegation with him.
A View From Afar
All I hear is "What a terrible year 2020 was”. For me, it's been absolutely wonderful. I
didn't work for 100 days and got paid. My other team, Arsenal, won the FA Cup and
Charity Shield (you were allowed to support a top team as well as your local nonleague
side back in the day). And my beloved Chairboys won promotion to the
Championship after 133 years - and most of the country knew it.
Back in January 1975, I had recently turned into a teen and Wycombe were playing
Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. They were top of the old First Division and were
managed by a legend - big Jack Charlton. The ITV Big Match crew brought their
cameras and we queued all the way past the home terrace to get tickets. Sir Stanley
Rous, FIFA President, was an occasional visitor to Loakes Park back in those days.
How could it ever be better than that?
Fast forward to the early 1990s. Martin O'Neil took his team to Wembley and won
twice. We won promotion to the Football League and I saw George Best play in the
final game at Loakes Park before the move to Sands. How could it ever be better
I took my son to his first away game at Leicester City in the FA Cup Quarterfinal and
his second away game at Villa Park against Liverpool. How could it ever be better
than that? I took the whole family to Charlton on a cold, dark night to earn another
semi-final encounter, home and away against the mighty Chelsea. Adams Park was
filled to the brim. How could it ever be better than that?
A global pandemic, the season cut short and a playoff place for the team who were
the bookies favourites to be relegated against more fancied sides with greater
financial clout. Watching from home, with links all around the country and the world,
the Blues overcome everything for promotion. At the final whistle it took a couple of
minutes to realise the enormity of the task completed, before pure joy took over. How
can it ever be better than that?
Now spring is coming and my hopes that fans could return for Easter have faded.
What a shame to have a whole season in the Championship and only a handful of
supporters see it live. For midweek matches we have taken to Zoom to share the
watching experience. It’s not the best, but sitting with beer and snacks whilst sharing
banter is fun, particularly as the normal alternative would’ve been looking like the
Michelin Man, with layers of clothes to keep out the February cold. The last 30
minutes at home against Reading was some of the best banter ever.
I thought the playoffs would have given us match sharpness and fitness over other
teams, but fellow promoted side Rotherham proved this theory wrong with their very
late winner. I also assumed we’d defend deep, but the team went toe to toe with
better opposition. The new players have been a breath of fresh air, but the quality of
some opposition players has been outstanding. Watford were pinging cross-field
balls straight to players’ feet, whereas at times in the past I’ve lamented the
Chairboys being unable to successfully complete a short pass.
Also in the past, I have monitored Yeovil in this column. In 2013 they achieved
playoff promotion to the Championship, only to then tumble to their current position
in the National League. They sold their sloping ground to a supermarket and moved
to an industrial estate. They rose from non-league to the Football League, with many
giant-killing cup runs along the way. Whilst I am not giving up on returning to the
Championship, it is vitally important that history does not repeat itself. I still believe
that if teams like Wigan, Oldham, Swindon and Bradford can make it to the
Premiership, why can’t Wycombe? Leagues One and Two are littered with teams
who have reached Everest basecamp.
It’s time to plan for next season. The club were perhaps surprised and less prepared
for promotion last year, but we now know that an assault on the Championship is
possible without spending a fortune, although reinforcements need to be brought in
sooner. I have enjoyed the season, celebrating every point and every time we lose I
simply think of the money earned, compared to zilch in League One. Despite the
disappointment of no fans and no away days, I have still enjoyed the adventure.
Stay Well. Keep the Faith.
A Sido Jombati tribute
New words enter the English language all the time, but not many can profess to truly fill
a hole by defining a concept that is not covered by any previously existing word. The
basic test is whether you need more than one existing word to describe the new one.
For example, the word “woke” — all the rage in 2020 — fails this test because it means
the same as “enlightened”, which has been around for centuries. But a new expression
has recently entered the discourse in South Buckinghamshire that definitely passes
muster: The concept of “Sido-ness”.
Sido-ness requires far more than just one word to describe. In fact, rarely has one man
required as many descriptors as Sido Jombati. At times during his Wycombe Wanderers
tenure it was almost as though he was hoarding adjectives, possibly as some sort of
misguided attempt to woo Susie Dent from Countdown. He laid claim to many across
the spectrum, including (but not limited to) skillful, clumsy, calm, panicked, graceful,
calamitous, tough-tackling, marauding, reckless, insouciant, eccentric, inspirational,
genial and cantankerous. Calling him an enigma would be giving Alan Turing and his
team of codebreakers too much credit. When Sido Jombati plays football, none of the
primitive computers in Bletchley Park would have a hope of deciphering what he is going
to do next. We loved him though, because of his... well... Sido-ness.
In many ways, it was a surprise that a walking idiosyncrasy like Sido slipped through the
net and into the Wycombe dressing room. The incredible success of the Gaz and Dobbo
era has been founded upon a workmanlike style of football, with players that know their
place within the team and stifle the opposition by keeping mistakes to a minimum. Sido,
by contrast, very rarely managed 90 consecutive minutes of football without unfurling
some sort of horrific gaffe that presented a gilt-edged chance to an opposition forward.
Thank God that he did slip through the net however, because the 89 minutes that did
not contain a hopeless clanger were almost invariably eventful, entertaining, surprising
and brilliant (another four adjectives for his collection).
The glorious/terrifying sight of the beanpole defender receiving the ball at right back
and flicking it over the head or backheeling it through the legs of an onrushing winger
with his first touch, will be sorely missed. The opponent would realise all too late that
the gangly defender they were about to rob had seen them coming and had in fact
made them the mark in his hidden ball trick. Sido would then gallop on through the
midfield, his afro bouncing in the breeze, often remaining up front for a couple of
minutes after offloading the ball, until the drift of the game caused him to mooch back
into position, like a kid that doesn’t want to go home for his tea. There he would settle
again, ready to stick out another telescopic leg to break up an opposition attack.
Some of the tackles that he pulled off were frankly incredible. Those legs would come
seemingly from nowhere, sometimes reaching around opponents Inspector Gadget
style, seeking out the ball from any angle. In a one-on-one situation, you would have to
go a long way to find a more effective defender, particularly during that coming-of-age
2018-2019 season, in which he held a makeshift, constantly changing Wycombe defence
together through injury after injury, despite playing out of position nearly every week.
Then, just when we thought we had worked Sido out, he continued his quest for
adjectives by unveiling of one of the strangest freekick techniques ever seen in the
Football League. The simplicity of the technique — which involved him curling the ball
inside the near post off a one-step run-up — is almost insulting to the generations of
freekick-takers that went before him, who like everybody else, got too tied up in the
minutiae of curl and dip and forgot that they should just kick the ball into the goal.
Sido’s one-man homage to Question of Sport’s “What Happened Next” round marched
on and by all accounts his Sido-ness also translated to other arenas. Neil Harman’s Close
Quarters notes that his distinctive voice was commonly heard in animated debates on
the team bus and matchday programme player questionnaires over the years have often
seen him nominated as the worst squad member to be stuck with in a room or broken
lift. The hipster clothes that he showed up to Adams Park in when injured were another
clue that he was in no way your typical footballer, but I am sure that any abuse from
teammates was tongue-in-cheek. I plucked up the courage to speak to him on a couple
of occasions at friendlies and always received the warmest, politest response.
Wycombe may have outgrown Sido (and there were many Chairboys fans that thought it
hadn’t) but we couldn’t have done it without his help. He joined in the summer of 2014,
with the club at its lowest ebb for many years - and left with it at its highest. Every
bounding stepover and long range sliding tackle contributed to that journey. But Sido’s
work in South Bucks is done. It’s time for him to move north in search of new adjectives
and find out how they say “Sido-ness” in an Oldham accent.
BIG FAT QUIZ OF THE SEASON ANSWERS
1. Anthony Stewart
2. Nick Freeman and Fred Onyedinma
4. Fleetwood Town
5. Joe Jacobson, Nick Freeman and Adebayo Akinfenwa
6. Alex Samuel (League, League Cup and F.A. Cup – as well as the Playoffs)
7. Nnamdi Ofoborh and Josh Parker
8. Wycombe 1 Southend 2
9. John Akinde
10. “OFFICIAL: Better than @ManUtd”
11. Curtis Thompson
12. “Our House, Our Rules”
13. Phil Parkinson (Bolton and Sunderland)
14. Newcastle United
15. Wycombe 5 Tranmere 4
17. Burton Albion
18. As part of the ‘Banish the Blues’ mental health campaign
19. Giles Phillips
20. Alex Samuel
21. David Stockdale
22. Mic’d up
23. He scored and it was his 36 th birthday
24. Bolton Wanderers
25. Fred Onyedinma
26. Nathan Tyson
28. Joe Jacobson
29. Darius Charles
30. Nick Freeman
32. Joe Jacobson
33. Matt Bloomfield
34. Fred Onyedinma
35. Peterborough United, the poor wee lambs
THE WANDERER’S ALTERNATIVE TEAM OF THE SEASON
We were all rightly proud of our promotion-winning Chairboys and many fans would
have been hard-pressed to agree on a Wanderers ‘Team of the Season’. Grimmer or
McCarthy? Gape or Ofoborh? Kashket or Onyedinma? We’re sure you all have your own
picks, but what about those unsung heroes, who made their own, vital contributions to
our charge to the Championship, all of them overlooked merely because of the tiny
detail that they were playing for the opposition? Here’s our dream XI of the men who
helped us along the way to Wembley glory – not that they’ll want reminding…
GOALKEEPER: Simon Eastwood – Oxford United. It’s fair to say Wycombe benefitted
from a few dodgy ‘keeper performances over the course of the season. There was Josh
Vickers of Lincoln City, who cheerfully waved three Joe Jacobson set-pieces into his net
and Fleetwood Town’s Alex Cairns, who appeared to have some kind of breakdown in
the playoff semi-final first leg, repeatedly trying to catch the ball long after it became
heartbreakingly apparent that he wasn’t going to. However, for direct contribution to
our promotion, the prize must go to Eastwood for his extraordinarily craptacular display
in the Playoff Final. First, he completely missed Joe Jacobson’s corner, helping Anthony
Stewart’s header into the net with his flailing left foot and then he confirmed our win -
and his place in this team - by charging out of his goal with all the calm and control of a
terrified rhino and wiping out Fred Onyedinma for the penalty, sportingly diving out of
the way of Jacobson’s subsequent spot-kick, as the Blues claimed a historic victory.
RIGHT WING-BACK: Luke Matheson – Rochdale. We feel a bit bad about this one, so
we’ll just quickly get it out the way. Having starred and scored in Dale’s heroic showing
against Man Utd in the League Cup earlier on in the season, 17-year-old England youth
international Matheson was rightly being touted for a bright future and added to a
string of superb performances with a near-excellent display against the Chairboys. We
say ‘near-excellent’, because in the third minute of stoppage time, with the score tied at
1-1, Paul Smyth raced past him into the box, only to be brought down by his clumsy
challenge. Jacobson did the honours from the spot to wrap up the points and the poor
kid left the field in tears, although Wolves bought him for a million quid about two
weeks later, so he probably cheered up fairly quickly.
RIGHT CENTRE-BACK: Harry Souttar – Fleetwood Town. Trailing 4-1 from the playoff
first leg, Fleetwood went into the game at Adams Park knowing they had to attack from
the off and they duly grabbed an earlyish goal to bring themselves back into the tie and
set Wycombe nerves jangling. They upped the pressure, whilst also keeping it tight at
the back, the Wycombe attack getting little change out of a Cod defence that showed a
lot more discipline than they had up at Highbury. Even when Fred Onyedinma did go on
a solo run towards the Town goal, Souttar kept pace and dispossessed him. However,
instead of shielding it out for a corner, Souttar inexplicably chose to hook the ball back
into the feet of the grateful Fred, who tucked the ball home from close range. The wind
taken out their sails, Fleetwood lost their early momentum and despite pulling another
one back, Onyedinma added a late second to ensure there’d be no second leg fightback.
CENTRE-BACK: Donervon Daniels – Doncaster Rovers. Donny proved tricky opposition
on their November 2019 visit to Adams Park, with top of the table Wycombe struggling
to break them down, despite the visitors being reduced to ten men early in the second
half. As the clock ticked into the 87 th minute, it was looking like Wycombe were going to
have to settle for a point, that is until Donervon Daniels needlessly shoved Bayo over in
the in box, somehow injuring himself in the process and gifting Wycombe a penalty that,
after a five minute delay for Daniels’ treatment, Jacobson eventually dispatched in the
92 nd minute to snatch the three points.
LEFT CENTRE-BACK: Frankie Kent – Peterborough United. Before Darragh MacAnthony
et al get too indignant about our ‘undeserved promotion’, they might look back at some
of their defending in the pulsating 3-3 draw at Adams Park in October 2019, where the
Posh contrived to blow a two goal lead, before failing to hold on against a Wanderers
side reduced to ten men. Having pulled themselves back into the game at 2-1, Wycombe
produced a delightful, flowing 12-pass move that resulted in Jack Grimmer’s teasing
cross being shinned into his own net by the dozy Kent, who proceeded to stumble after
the ball into the goal as he struggled to regain control of his feet. To be honest, it was a
bit of a shame it was a United player who got the final touch, as otherwise it would
surely have been our goal of the season, not that any of us really cared too much at the
time. The Peterborough players could only look on in dismay – but worse was to follow…
LEFT WING-BACK: Dan Butler – Peterborough United. Despite the setback, Posh retook
the lead and with Curtis Thompson receiving his marching orders shortly after, it looked
like it was game over for Wycombe as the game entered stoppage time. However, on an
afternoon of drama and defensive incompetence, there was one last twist in the tale
and one last moment of madness in the Peterborough backline, with Butler inelegantly
bundling Scott Kashket to the floor as they challenged for a high ball into the box. With
no Jacobson on the pitch, it was left to Akinfenwa to do the honours from the spot and
The Beast nonchalantly side-footed home the 95 th minute penalty to claim what proved
to be a vital point for Wycombe and an ultimately fatal two points dropped for the Posh.
RIGHT CENTRAL MIDFIELD: James Henry – Oxford United. After conceding an early goal
in the playoff final, Oxford immediately began to push for an equaliser, laying siege to
the Wanderers goal. Wycombe defended valiantly, but the U’s pulled level and with
their tails up, they launched wave after wave of attacks on the beleaguered Chairboys
defence. Shortly after the goal, a defence-splitting pass sent Henry through on goal. He
raced into the box, with just Allsop to beat, but just when it looked like Henry was about
to give Oxford the lead, he inexplicably squared the ball to Matty Taylor at the far post.
Taylor, who clearly wasn’t expecting the pass, hesitated, allowing Anthony Stewart to
slide in to nudge the ball to safety. Hands on his head, Henry had to endure the accusing
glares of his colleagues, but his wasn’t to be the greatest crime committed that night…
CENTRAL MIDFIELD: Marcus Browne – Oxford United. As the final approached the last
ten minutes of normal time, and with Wycombe holding on for dear life, a long ball
forward by Cameron Brannagan landed at the feet of Jack Grimmer, who, with Browne
bearing down on him, took a poor first touch, the ball almost bouncing out for a throw.
Grimmer raced to keep it in play, scuffing a dangerously under-hit backpass towards
Ryan Allsop. Browne was clean through – or at least he would have been, but he’d
turned his back on the ball, appealing to the referee for the non-existent throw-in.
Allsop rushed forward and launched the ball upfield, Elliott Moore ducked the header
(which would have earned him a place in this team, but we set ourselves a maximum of
three players per club) and Fred Onyedinma raced onto the loose ball, subsequently
winning the penalty that ultimately secured our place in the Championship.
LEFT CENTRAL MIDFIELD: Conor McGrandles – Milton Keynes. Wycombe were heading
into the break with a 2-1 lead when, in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time,
long-serving Franchise perma-villain Dean Lewington theatrically tumbled over Giles
Phillips’ outstretched leg. The referee was suitably impressed by Lewington’s Fosbury
Flop to award a penalty and up stepped McGrandles, keen to make amends, having fired
a penalty over the bar in MK’s League Cup game against Wimbledon four days earlier…
…He fired the penalty over the bar. Wycombe kept their lead and though MK equalised
in the second half, recovered Franchiser David Wheeler scored a dramatic last minute
winner to provide further proof, were it ever needed, that the county is, indeed, ours.
RIGHT STRIKER: KAYDEN JACKSON – Ipswich Town. In a tense, top of the table clash at
Portman Road, a largely dominant Ipswich side were all over the visitors for long periods
of the game, particularly in the first half, as Wycombe struggled to get it out of their own
area in the face of unrelenting Ipswich pressure. Just before the break, the Tractor Boys’
attacking supremacy paid off; Luke Garbutt’s cross finding an unmarked Luke Chambers,
who headed it down into the bottom corner. The ref gave the goal, 1-0 went up on the
scoreboard and the hosts went mental. Then the linesman belatedly intervened, having
spotted the slightest of touches from a marginally offside Jackson, just before the ball
crossed the line. After consulting with the linesman, the ref reversed his decision, the
scoreboard went back to 0-0 and the hosts went mental. The aggrieved Tractor Boys
couldn’t muster the same intensity in the second half and Wycombe held on for a draw.
LEFT STRIKER: Ellis Harrison – Portsmouth. Wycombe’s early season promotion charge
faced a stern test when perennial League One title favourites Portsmouth visited Adams
Park. In a closely fought, bad tempered game, the Chairboys’ task suddenly became
infinitely harder when Nnamdi Ofoborh was sent off for a rash challenge on Tom Naylor,
the foul sparking a mini brawl, with an incensed Harrison at the centre of it. However,
Pompey’s man advantage soon disappeared, as Harrison, who had already been booked,
needlessly picked up a second yellow for his part in the shoving match, levelling the
numbers once more and swinging the momentum in Wycombe’s direction. Wanderers
continued to frustrate Portsmouth and late in the game, Naylor handled in the box and
Akinfenwa casually rolled home the subsequent penalty to grab a 1-0 win for the Blues.
Away Day Travels on the road with our mum and
Jonny P or something (but no Colin this time).
A (nearly) full coach set off up north to Franchise F.C. and there
were a few notable regulars missing. As a result we had Teresa,
Phil, Pat and Roy running the show and as expected, they took to
it like the true professionals that years of doing this sort of thing
has trained them well for.
With the journey being shorter than usual, the food had to be
ordered in triple quick time and we phoned ahead with just
seconds to spare. OK, we’re exaggerating, but time always puts
pressure on the shorter away trips.
We arrived at the quiet country pub and, with nowhere to easily
park, there were concerns that the place wasn’t going to be big
enough. It was certainly tight, with many people pointing out to
Phil the ‘Mind Your Head’ signs (he is 9” 3’ in fairness), but there
was plenty of seating. Only three ales were on tap, with the Black
Sheep proving marginally more popular than the Loddon.
The food soon arrived and all options looked pretty tasty. Teresa
was her usual selfless, er, self, requesting her meal come out last
so she could ensure everyone else was accommodated. This didn’t
go down too well with Phil and Steve though, who’d also ordered
the Scampi and were in danger of wasting away to nothing.
That didn’t happen, obviously, and we left well fed and watered,
making the stadium in good time. The old joke about ‘turning left
at McDonald’s’ reared up again, largely because the entire place
was a MKDonalds.
Ah, Franchise football, don’t you just love it? No. You don’t and
you shouldn’t, especially not today. Decent pub though.
THE STORY OF THE BLUES
OPPONENTS: FRANCHISE (A)
DATE: Saturday 1 st February 2020
COMPETITION: League One
SCORE: Franchise 2 (Healy 68, Gladwin 86) Blues 0
ATTENDANCE: 9,699 (including 1,834 who don’t consider them rivals)
REFEREE: Darren Handley
SUMMARY: A frustrating game as we slumped to defeat against the relegation-haunted
Franchise. We only managed one shot on target – Alex Samuel’s effort being tipped over
by ‘keeper Lee Nicholls – and were punished for a lacklustre showing. Rhys Healey
opened the scoring when he tapped in at the far post, then former Marlow midfielder
Ben Gladwin sealed the win, with a long range effort that bounced over the hapless
David Stockdale. Still, a minute’s applause during the 62 nd minute for Wycombe fan
Mark Bird, who tragically passed away before the game against Blackpool, reminded us
that, win or lose, there are some things far more important than football.
BEST BIT: Still being the best team in Bucks.
WORST BIT: The second goal.
HERO: Not the result he would have wanted to mark the occasion, but 1 st February 2020
marked the tenth anniversary of Gareth Ainsworth joining the club on a permanent deal.
VILLAIN: Pete Winkleman. Never forgive, never forget.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 1/10
OPPONENTS: BRISTOL ROVERS (H)
DATE: Saturday 8 th February 2020
COMPETITION: League One
SCORE: Blues 3 (Akinfenwa 9, Charles 39, Bloomfield 41) Gas 1 (Mitchell-Lawson 27)
ATTENDANCE: 5,769 (including 970 who were probably hoping a lightning storm would
get the game abandoned in the 66 th minute)
REFEREE: Tom Nield
SUMMARY: We stormed to victory with a thunderous display against our friends from
along the M4. Ainsworth brought Bayo, Blooms and Mango Man into the starting eleven
and they rewarded him with three goals in a whirlwind first half, our shots raining down
on ex-Blue Jamal Blackman in the Rovers goal. Dark clouds threatened to gather when
Rovers equalised, but we blew them away with two lightning strikes before the break,
Charles tapping home after Blackman parried Jacobson’s thunderbolt and Blooms
storming into the box to flash home a third. Rovers came out with the wind in their sails
in the second half, but we weathered the storm and breezed to three points, much to
the delight of the Adams Park faithful, who hailed their victorious Chairboys with gusto.
BEST BIT: Bloomfield’s well-taken goal.
WORST BIT: Our defending in the build-up to Bristol’s goal wasn’t exactly our best work.
HERO: Ainsworth, for his seemingly prescient team selection and the fact that this was
his 400 th game in charge of the Blues.
VILLAIN: Us, for this match report (the important things is, we think we’re funny).
MEMORABILITY RATING: 7/10
OPPONENTS: FLEETWOOD TOWN (H)
DATE: Tuesday 11 th February 2020
COMPETITION: League One
SCORE: Blues 0 Town 1 (Madden 75)
ATTENDANCE: 3,286 (including 61 who reckon the theme tune for Captain Pugwash is a
an absolute banger)
REFEREE: Kevin Johnson
SUMMARY: On a miserable night for Wycombe, the visitors should have been 3-0 up by
halftime, but as the game went on it was looking like we’d hold on for an undeserved
point, only for us to concede a sloppy, late goal to really sum the evening up. Town did
their best to try and help us by repeatedly missing the target and having their manager
and one of their players sent off, but we threw it back in their faces with a turgid display,
Josh Parker(!) managing our only shot on target for the entire game. Ched Evans was in a
particularly wasteful mood upfront and the same player was dismissed midway through
the second half for an elbow on McCarthy. At this point, we should’ve at least held out
for 0-0, but Madden, who’d already had an effort ruled out, capped off a rubbish, errorridden
game when he tapped home his third goal in four games against us. Barton was
sent to the stands for being Joey Barton-y, but quite frankly we were so lacklustre, Town
could’ve had their entire team sent off and we’d still have struggled to find an equaliser.
BEST BIT: Allsop’s last-gasp save to claw the ball off the line and deny Town a second…
WORST BIT: …Which made up for him bizarrely passing the ball directly to Evans in the
first half (although he did at least save his subsequent effort).
HERO: The ref, for having the guts to confront an angry Joey Barton and send him off.
VILLAIN: Ched Evans, for the elbow and for being a toxic slimeball
MEMORABILITY RATING: 1/10
OPPONENTS: BOLTON WANDERERS (A)
DATE: Saturday 15 th February 2020
COMPETITION: League One
SCORE: Wanderers 0 Wanderers 2 (Nsiala 44 og, Jacobson 62 pen)
ATTENDANCE: 11,737 (including 625 who support the better Wanderers)
REFEREE: Graham Salisbury
SUMMARY: Not a game that will live long in the memory, but another exciting first for
Wycombe fans, as we made our first ever visit to the University of Bolton Stadium. We
always looked in control of this one and the only surprise when we took the lead was
that it had taken us so long to do so. Once Jacobson doubled the lead, the game was as
good as done and whilst there was maybe a hint of frustration that we didn’t push for a
third, considering this was our first away win since November, we were just glad to pick
up the three points. Bolton didn’t offer much, but looked a better side than the sorry lot
that visited us on the opening day and hopefully better times now lie ahead for them.
BEST BIT: Going away to Bolton and being the favourites. How far we’ve come.
WORST BIT: Getting home, as Storm Dennis played havoc with the trains and roads.
HERO: The returning Onyedinma, winning the penalty in his first start since October 5th.
VILLAIN: The weather.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 6/10
OPPONENTS: TRANMERE ROVERS (H)
DATE: Saturday 22 nd February 2020
COMPETITION: League One
SCORE: Blues 3 (Stewart 45+1, Akinfenwa 71, Jacobson 90+2 pen) Rovers 1 (Vaughan 63)
ATTENDANCE: 4,756 (including 434 who probably only turned up to abuse Allsop)
REFEREE: Charles Breakspear
SUMMARY: We owed Tranmere one, for a few reasons, and set about them with
ruthless determination, registering an impressive 22 shots on goal (albeit only about half
of which were on target). The relegation-threatened visitors tried to pack men behind
the ball, but couldn’t stop Jacobson’s inch-perfect corner, or Stewart’s thumping header.
Rovers equalised against the run of play, but Bayo, who had earlier hit the bar, scored a
typical goal to restore the lead and draw level with Nathan Tyson as our record Football
League goalscorer. Jacobson capped off a fine individual performance with another
stoppage time penalty, after Samuel was fouled chasing a long ball into the box.
BEST BIT: Getting revenge for Rocky and being cruelly dumped out of the FA Cup.
WORST BIT: The wince-inducing foul on Samuel for the penalty.
HERO: Bayo got the plaudits for his milestone goal, but we’re giving this to Fred, back
from injury, who provided the assist with some delightful wingplay and a perfect cross.
VILLAIN: Rovers ‘keeper Scott Davies once again frustrated us with a string of fine saves.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 7/10
OPPONENTS: HUNGERFORD TOWN (A)
DATE: Tuesday 25 th February 2020
COMPETITION: Berks and Bucks Senior Cup Quarter-final
SCORE: Blues 3 (Ofoborh 35, Freeman 52, Wates 70) Crusaders 0
ATTENDANCE: 171 (including around 50 from the right side of the Chilterns)
REFEREE: Ryan Dix
SUMMARY: After a six year absence we made a welcome return to the Berks and Bucks,
with a comfortable victory against the Berkshire non-leaguers. We first entered the cup
in 1894, winning it for the first of our record 28 times in 1902 and then at least once in
each decade that followed. It may not carry the prestige it once did for us, but it is still
an important part of our heritage and whilst the decision to withdraw from the cup was
understandable, given our small squad and lack of youth team at the time, many fans
will be delighted to see us back in the competition. A Wycombe reserve side, including a
couple of triallists, plus backroom staff Josh Hart and David Wates on the bench, had the
best of the opening half-hour, with Freeman, Samuel and Parker all going close, before
Nnamdi Ofoborh cut inside and fired a low shot into the bottom corner to give us the
lead. Freeman added a second after the break, but it was Head of Sports Science Wates,
who also featured for the Blues in pre-season, who stole the show, when he fired home
a fantastic strike from outside the area to wrap up a pleasing win.
BEST BIT: David Wates’ goal.
WORST BIT: The competition being cancelled two months later due to Covid-19.
HERO: David Wates.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 7/10
OPPONENTS: DONCASTER ROVERS (A)
DATE: Saturday 29 th February 2020
COMPETITION: League One
SCORE: Rovers 3 (Ennis 45, Sadlier 71, McCarthy 83 og) Blues 1 (Akinfenwa 67)
ATTENDANCE: 7,522 (including 432 thinking ‘at least it can’t get worse than this’…)
REFEREE: David Rock
SUMMARY: We missed the chance to go back up to third, as a failure to take our
chances coupled with some soft defending saw us slump to a demoralising defeat. We
actually dominated the first half, with Smyth and Samuel spurning good chances to put
us in front, but then some horrendous defending just before halftime allowed Niall Ennis
to wriggle free in the box and poke the ball home. Bayo equalised midway through the
second half to become our record Football League goalscorer with his 54 th strike in the
blue quarters, but it was the home side who found another gear and our woes at the
back continued as we conceded two more soft goals to hand victory to the hosts.
BEST BIT: Bayo’s record-breaking goal.
WORST BIT: Our defending for all three goals.
HERO: Bayo. What a signing he’s been for us.
VILLAIN: Not a villain exactly, but McCarthy’s clumsy own goal summed up a poor
performance from our backline.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 4/10
OPPONENTS: FLEETWOOD TOWN (A)
DATE: Friday 3 rd July 2020
COMPETITION: League One Playoff Semi-final, First Leg.
SCORE: Town 1 (Evans 4 pen) Blues 4 (Ofoborh 2, Jacobson 6, Wheeler 45+3, Samuel 57)
REFEREE: Tony Harrington
SUMMARY: Bloody hell, where to start with this one? Most of us were still getting the
sofa cushions how we wanted them when Ofoborh rocketed home the opener. Within
six minutes it was 2-1 and by halftime it was 3-1, Fleetwood were down to ten men and
we’d missed a penalty. Four months without a game didn’t seem to have dulled our lads,
as they burst around the pitch like hyperactive schoolchildren, sweeping Town to one
side in a first half blitz. Even their super-soft penalty felt like it didn’t really matter, just a
brief respite for them before we retook control. Town were mostly architects of their
own downfall, with Lewis Coyle receiving his marching orders for a reckless challenge on
Jacobson and ‘keeper Alex Cairns first flapping JJ’s devilish corner into his own net and
then kindly dropping the ball in front of Alex Samuel for our fourth, though he did partly
make amends with a good save from Joe’s spotkick. Paddy Madden, so often a thorn in
our side in recent encounters, then completed the self-destruction when he ‘talked’ his
way into a second yellow in the space of sixty seconds, to more or less hand us the tie.
BEST BIT: Ofoborh’s early strike settling our nerves.
WORST BIT: Lewis Gibson’s tumble for their penalty. Still not sure how that was given.
HERO: Take your pick.
VILLAIN: Lewis Coyle for his foul on Jacobson. Lewis Gibson for his dive. Paddy Madden
for his dive. Ched Evans for being Ched Evans. Joey Barton for being Joey Barton.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 10/10
OPPONENTS: FLEETWOOD TOWN (H)
DATE: Monday 6 th July 2020
COMPETITION: League One Playoff Semi-final, Second Leg.
SCORE: Blues 2 (Onyedinma 47, 90+4) Town 2 (Andrew 22, Evans 60 pen)
REFEREE: Darren Bond
SUMMARY: We booked our place at Wembley, but were made to work for it by a Town
side who, to their credit, came to Adams Park and gave it a good go, attacking from the
off and taking a deserved lead via Andrews’ fine strike. They probably should’ve had a
penalty when Barrie McKay’s shot struck Stewart’s arm, but just after the break they
gifted us yet another goal, when Harry Souttar inexplicably kept the ball alive in his own
area to set up Fred. Fleetwood regained the lead with a spotkick that looked far less of a
penalty than the one they didn’t get, but they never got to grips with the trickery and
pace of Onyedinma and as the seconds ticked down, he wriggled through their defence
and curled a delightful shot into the bottom corner to cap a superb individual display.
BEST BIT: The final whistle.
WORST BIT: Being made to feel oddly uncomfortable despite our first leg advantage,
thanks to a spirited performance from the visitors.
HERO: Fred, for an excellent, two-goal performance.
VILLAIN: The Fleetwood official who made degrading, racist comments about Bayo.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 9/10
OPPONENTS: OXFORD UNITED (Wembley Stadium)
DATE: Monday 13 th July 2020
COMPETITION: League One Playoff Final
SCORE: Blues 2 (Stewart 9, Jacobson 79 pen) Plucky Non-Leaguers 1 (Sykes 57)
REFEREE: Robert Jones
SUMMARY: Everyone knows what they’re going to get with Wycombe - it’s just a shame
no-one knows how to deal with it. A lot was made about the two contrasting styles
going into the game; Oxford 1 st in League One for possession, passes and sequences –
Wycombe bottom. But there was another key difference that wasn’t discussed in the
pre-match waffle; Heart. We have it in abundance and it showed. Man for man, Oxford
had a better side than us, with technically better players, but we had eleven men who’ll
always top the table for desire, work-rate, determination and togetherness. We ran and
ran from the first whistle to the last, we didn’t let our heads drop when they equalised
and we defended like lions when they threatened to add a second. The difference was
typified in the build-up to the winner. Marcus Browne turned his back on a long ball that
he probably would have got to if he’d bothered to chase it, Allsop sent it long and Elliot
Moore ducked out of the header, allowing Fred to steal in and be clattered by the
onrushing Simon Eastwood. JJ down the middle – Wycombe is in the Championship.
BEST BIT: Stewart’s performance, JJ’s penalty, Allsop’s save, the final whistle, Blooms
lifting the trophy, Bayo’s interview, Wycombe getting promoted to the Championship.
WORST BIT: Not being there to witness it in person.
HERO: Every single person associated with Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.
VILLAIN: No villains today – we love everybody.
MEMORABILITY RATING: 1,000,000/10
PETERBOROUGH HIT BY MYSTERY EARTHQUAKE
Seismologists are baffled by a small earthquake that hit the
city of Peterborough on the evening of 13 th July 2020. No
damage was reported, although one angry business owner
claimed that the side dish of his evening meal was ruined,
when his side unfairly tumbled down the table.
Analysis of the tremors traced the source of the quake to
the sports desk of the Peterborough Telegraph offices. One
scientist commented; “I’ve heard the theory of a hurricane
being caused by a butterfly flapping its wings, but never an
earthquake being caused by a Swann having a tantrum.”
GOLIATH SUPPORTERS CRITICISE DAVID’S TACTICS
Fans of Philistine warrior Goliath have angrily criticised
the tactics of plucky underdog David, who stunned the
biblical world with a shock win over the much-fancied giant.
“You always know what you’re going to get with David”,
complained one disappointed Philistine, “He’s good at what
he does and it’s effective, but let’s face it, all he does
is launch it up at the big man. He’s had one shot on target
all day and unfortunately for Goliath, it’s killed him.”
The Philistines also complained about the god who oversaw
the encounter, arguing that he was biased and clearly
favoured and exalted David among all others.
Goliath himself was also unimpressed by David following the
shock defeat, saying; “I’m glad I don’t have to watch that
every week, and indeed I don’t, because I’m dead now.”
COUHIG ELECTED ON PROMISE TO ‘BUILD A WALL’
Rob Couhig has romped to a resounding victory in his bid to
become President of Wycombe Wanderers, partly due to his
bold pledge to build a Wanderers Wall on the border between
Monty’s and the players’ entrance.
Mr Couhig promised supporters at a rally; “I will build a
great wall…and nobody builds walls better than me, believe
me…and I’ll build it very inexpensively and I will make
Mexico pay for that wall, although you guys could also help
out by purchasing a personalised brick.”
Couhig denied that the wall was being built to keep Mexicans
from entering Adams Park. “Just Carlos Lopez” he confirmed.
BARTON; “MAYBE WYCOMBE DID PREPARE BETTER THAN US”
Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has grudgingly admitted
that, contrary to his claim prior to the League One Playoff
Semi-Finals, there is perhaps a chance that Wycombe may have
been slightly more prepared for the occasion than his side.
“I said before the first leg that the best Wycombe could
have done was match us and to be fair, that’s pretty much
all they did,” insisted Barton, speaking to us outside a
courtroom, “We should have had a penalty, plus if you take
out my two guys being harshly sent off and the four goals we
conceded, then we win that game 1-0 and it’s a completely
different tie. So, yeah, ok, Maybe Wycombe did do some
preparation after all, but we were still clearly the better
team and besides, I read a book by Neitzsche once – well,
some of it anyway – so just remember that, the next time
you’re trying to paint me as some kind of moronic thug.”
Barton then punched a door for ‘looking at me funny’.
PETERBOROUGH LEFT FURIOUS AS MIDLAND LEAGUE
CLUBS CHOOSE TO END 1939/1940 SEASON
Peterborough United have slammed the Midland Football League
for electing to end the season early, due to a devastating
worldwide outbreak of war.
“We’ve been cheated out of what we assume was going to be a
definite promotion to the Division Three South, which would
have absolutely happened, regardless of what any of the
other teams did,” raged the furious Peterborough chairman,
“Wisbech Town and Spalding United weren’t going to go up.
Their race was run and they were on a downward spiral before
this appalling injustice occurred.”
“If clubs don’t want to play because they’d rather go off to
fight against fascism, then they should just forfeit their
remaining games and leave those of us who do want to play
football to get on with it.”
Oxford vaccine loses Playoff Final to Pfizer
‘Stop moaning about the season ticket price increases’
scoffs 19 year-old Wycombe fan who still lives with his mum.
David Icke tells Josh Parker to ‘tone it down a bit’.
Oxford defenders praised by Chris Whitty for maintaining
social distancing throughout League One Playoff Final.
Rick Parry’s calculator voted Wycombe Player of the Season.
Your guess is as good as ours! However, we are looking at hopefully
bringing out a ‘proper’ issue sometime in September. We will announce
any news on our Twitter page, as well as on the Gasroom and the main
Wycombe Wanderers Facebook groups, so keep your eyes peeled.
The next issue – when it does come out - will be available at the WWISC
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2020 League One Playoff Winners