Soapbox: hopping mad for proper football in Coalville and beyond

A long weekend of international football, starting with France’s disgraced World Cup flops – or some of them – being welcomed back by Laurent Blanc and continuing with perfunctory success for England, holds no joy for Pete Sixsmith. So off he went on the sort of mission he regards as heavenly, others might consider grounds for having him certified …

It’s 7.15 on a Friday night. After a busy week at work and a bout of unpleasantness with rumbling gall stones, I am parking the car next to a small football ground in a South Yorkshire village called Kinsley.

Situated between the liquorice fields of Pontefract and the (former) coalfields of Barnsley, this is not the most prepossessing of places. It’s only a spit and a throw away from Grimethorpe, immortalised as Grimley in Brassed Off and, like many similar towns, it seems to be made up of boarded up pubs, kebab shops and places selling anything and everything for 99p.

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