With the expansion of our League (and the alterations which the FA have made to the pyramid) we have a number of clubs who are entirely new to us, haven’t been part of our setup for rather a long time, or are returning to us after some time away. We decided that the best way to introduce- or to reintroduce- them to Bostik League supporters was through the eyes of one of their own.
On this occasion the supporter is Elsa Jones, who does so much work for Hanwell Town on a matchday that we're surprised she has time to watch any football!
How long have you been a supporter of Hanwell Town?
Hanwell Town captain Elsa Jones celebrates winning the FA Cup!
My dad and I have supported Hanwell for 3 seasons now.
Tell us how you became a fan? What attracted you to the club initially?
We first came across the club on a bike ride as it is only about a 10-minute cycle from our house, and we popped in and started chatting to a few other supporters. Later on that month Hanwell were playing Grays Athletic in the FA Cup, so we decided to go and watch. We went over and sat in the stands just in front of the directors table as they were really the only seats left!
Just as the whistle blew for kick off, we begun chatting to some of the Hanwell directors, including Bob Fisher, David Iddiols and Clive Cooke, who had all been there ten plus years. The fact that on our first visit we were made to feel so welcome really attracted us to the club and made us want to go back.
And what is it about the club that has kept you there since?
It’s the friendliness of the directors, the supporters and the players which has kept us at Hanwell. Everyone at the club is so welcoming and just love football- which brings us altogether.
Hanwell Town panorama
What does a typical home matchday look like for you?
Since attending every home and away game for the past two seasons we have become a lot more involved with the club. My dad built a huge wall which you will see when you enter the ground, and a general matchday for me is arriving at around about 2 hours before kick off and managing the turnstile until about half time- and also selling our 50/50 tickets on the gate. When it gets to the second half, I usually do the announcing- substitutes etc. Then after the match me and one of the committee members, David Marchant, clear out the changing rooms. Once that is completed I go into the bar to see everyone, then we tend to get a lift home from one of the players- which perhaps demonstrates how we all join together for the benefit of the club.
Is there a moment in the history of your club that supporters always talk about? What would it be- and why is it important to you all?
One of my most memorable matches was against Hayes and Yeading away. We scored in the first half, and despite them being in the play offs and us being considerably lower we believed we could win. But around 2 minutes from full time the tables had turned, it was 2-1 to them. I remember this well because in extra time Mergim Quarri scored a superb goal from outside the box right into the top corner, we were going absolutely crazy in the stands, even David who just tends to shout one-word comments to the players such as “shape!” We still discuss Mergim’s goal today.
If an away fan was travelling to your ground for the first time, how would you recommend they got there? Tell us about parking and public transport.
Getting to the Powerday Stadium is really quite simple. We are situated just off the A40, our new digital board makes it hard to miss us! It is also very accessible to those supporters on public transport as Perivale station is a 7 minute walk from the ground, there are bus stops outside, and regular buses come from Ealing Broadway, which is on the district and central line, as well as the Great Western Rail. Despite the great transport links to Hanwell there is also a big car park, and although there is a height barrier if you go into the clubhouse someone will happily open it for you.
Are there any local sights or amenities you’d recommend they visit? Tourist attractions, pubs etc?
There are many attractions near Hanwell including other football stadiums such as Brentford, QPR and of course Wembley stadium. There are also many parks and gardens including Kew Gardens and Hanwell Zoo, as well as the black plaque to commemorate the life of Jim Marshall founder of Marshall Amplifiers which is a hot spot for musicians, which is right in the heart of Hanwell Broadway.
Hanwell Town scoreboard- so bright you can see it from space!
Finally, pie, burger or pint? What would you recommend, and why?
Recently thanks to our commercial director Nigel Hunt, we have secured a deal with Budweiser beer, so that is available in the clubhouse, as well as a range of bottled and canned beer and ciders. All food and drink is reasonably priced, and the burger is properly meaty, not the thin excuse for a burger which you get at some other grounds- definitely a 10 out of 10. So, if you are visiting Hanwell this season or in the future, I would definitely recommend a burger.