Watching on at Waterside Park. Photo: Matthew Smith.
Watching on at Waterside Park. Photo: Matthew Smith.

A perfect match day: Thatcham Town FC

Matthew Smith on a perfect match day taking in a game at Waterside Park
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Watching on at Waterside Park. Photo: Matthew Smith.
Watching on at Waterside Park. Photo: Matthew Smith.

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A perfect match day isn’t really anything to do with football. It’s what goes on around the great game at whatever level. Whether it’s the pubs and tap rooms of West Reading or this tale from Football in Bracknell reader Matthew Smith.

“Where do you want to go today, son? Reading and Thatcham are both playing at home”. 

More often than not his answer is ‘Thatcham’, especially over the past two seasons. Yes, Thatcham have had success recently while Reading have struggled massively but why would a 7yr old choose to watch the Kingfishers over the Royals? 

Answer: Enjoyment

If he’s enjoying himself my day as a dad becomes easier. If he’s happy, I’m happy, everyone’s happy. Even if the result hasn’t gone Thatcham’s way he’s still had fun, no doubt this will change the older he gets.

Weather permitting, we either walk or cycle to Waterside Park and arrive in time for a drink and a chat with pals while the little fella has a kick about on the practice area behind the club house.

Queuing at Thatcham Town. Photo: Matthew Smith.
Queuing at Thatcham Town. Photo: Matthew Smith.

The cheesy chips at £2:20 are a winner when inside the ground, £1 for a programme and a raffle which we’ve still yet to win. Got to be in it to win it and all that…….

I’d imagine visiting teams don’t look forward to a trip to Thatcham. The pitch is far from perfect and the crowd can get quite vocal, especially when attacking The Shed End.

There’s more ‘enjoyment’ to be had after the final whistle and this is when the supporters made to feel part of the club. 

Back into the clubhouse we go for refreshments and to watch the scores coming in. Shortly after the post match debrief players, management and coaching staff are then mingling with their friends, families and punters alike.

The younger fans are really fond of chatting to those that they’ve just watch play the game they love. 

For me it’s important to have that bond or attachment at any football club, especially in the Non-League where every penny counts.

At around 17:30 (weekend games) we head home and I’ll try and talk the boy into one more drink in The Kings Head or Crickets in Thatcham Broadway.

Not always a successful chat, unfortunately.


Thatcham Town FC: Waterside Park, Crookham Hill, Thatcham RG19 4PA

If you’d like to contribute a ‘perfect match day’ please do drop us a note on our contributor page. It doesn’t have to be Berkshire, it can be anywhere in the country but importantly, it’s not really about football.


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