FGIF Profile...Andy Gallon

                                                                                                                                         Andy writes: 'I blame university for getting into the groundhopping game. Three years in Liverpool during the early 1980s opened up many new horizons after an upbringing spent watching first Doncaster Rovers and then Halifax Town struggle in the lower reaches of the Football League. Together with like-minded student friends, I found myself frequenting dodgy terracing and even dodgier football social clubs across the North West. After graduation, my job as a journalist, taking me to points as far removed as Whitehaven, Middlesbrough and Exeter, afforded plenty of opportunities to visit more and more grounds. I'm in my forties now but the thrill and sense of anticipation from watching football remains undiminished. A glimpse of floodlight pylon, a stand spotted across rooftops, the whiff of embrocation, the sight of a programme seller. All enough to stir the senses. And yet, something like 1,000 grounds (in various sports) down the line, I still feel like a beginner. I'm constantly amazed by the dedication of some hoppers I bump into. The distances they travel and the sacrifices they make astonish me. But, above all, it's fun - or we wouldn't do it. Often, I find the match is incidental. It's great discovering new places and meeting enthusiastic football people. Long may the adventure continue'.

updated 02/08/08