Scott Mclachlan Reaches Half-way Point of Epic Walk at Valley Parade
By Mike Thompson
No, not the brother of our illustrious #1, this guy is a Portsmouth supporter who made a life-changing decision in 2011 to join in with the spirit of sport in 2012, quit his job and took on an eight month project of walking to all 92 Premiership and Football league clubs. This has never been attempted before and is a major feat (or should that be feet) in itself. But he is also raising funds along the way for the Football League's chosen charity for 2012/13, Prostate Cancer UK.
He arrived at the half-way stage, club number 46, the Mighty Bantams at 10am, Friday 28 December and after a tour of the ground and a few photo calls (whilst dodging the queues of people picking up their Aston Villa Capital One Cup Semi-final tickets), was swiftly on his way to his next port of call, Huddersfield, in time for their game on Saturday 29th. To be followed by another trek to Elland Road to pick up their New Year's Day game. And then onward into the Yorkshire countryside. He is attempting to take in a game at every ground where he hasn't previously seen one.
It was great to meet such an enthusiastic character and show him around Valley Parade. He was impressed with the facilities we now have but, just like a certain Mr Wenger, thought that our dressing rooms needed a touch of improvement. He did remark though that our much reduced Club Shop facilities were in much finer fettle than the Super Store at Portsmouth but was gob-smacked at the high rent we currently pay to play at our spiritual home (and that's without the similar sum we used to pay for the use of the Club Shop/Office premises before the deal was done to develop the One in a Million Free School). Many thanks to David Baldwin for giving us the opportunity to show off the stadium at such a busy time for the Club.
Of course, we football fanatics love our sport and our teams, but as we left the ground we spent some time putting that in perspective as we visited the Valley Parade Memorial, the Tribute from our Twin City of Hamme at the top of Hamme Strasse and finally the wonderful sculpture which they also donated, which stands on the fringe of City Park. It's always humbling to know the warmth of feeling and depth of support in the hearts of not only the football community, but also people worldwide.
Scott loves football and is an ardent Portsmouth Football (Pompey) fan. He has supported his team since a child. Being born and raised close to the ground, its fortunes have been a big part of his life, even continuing whilst living away from the City for many years now. Football is a passion and he proudly works for the Pompey Supporters Trust in trying to secure Fans a say in how the club is run. They are currently working to buy the club out of Administration in combination with a number of wealthy individual fans, corporate bodies and a large group of fans who are prepared to join together in a joint investment. It will be interesting to see how things unfold over the next few weeks.
Scott is keen to promote unity and togetherness in the wider football community and is using his contacts with all the clubs along the way as a means of doing this. You can follow his progress and discover more about his project by going to: www.walkthe92.com. He started out on 19 August 2012 at Portsmouth and, if all goes well, he will complete his journey of a lifetime on 7 April 2013 at Brighton.
Although Football is much more of a family sport today, the fan base is still predominantly male and so many could be affected by the development of Prostate problems. If you want to donate to the Scott's charity, click on the Charity button on the website where you can donate through http://www.justgiving.com/Walkthe92 . There is also a link to the Prostate Cancer UK Website.