Festive 20

Armed gratefully with your votes, Ian Plenderleith picks out some of the very best sites, many of which have featured in this column over the past five years, though they appear in no particular order

Pyramid Passion Sister site to the excellent Nomad Online (covering Sussex non-League football), both run by David Bauckham, PP boasts great pictures and text about English non-League stadiums, plus galleries of dug-outs, floodlights, ground signs and even “rollers and mowers”.

Football Grounds Frenzy A broad selection of current and historical photos from grounds in a variety of leagues across the UK, and Belgium, too (check out FC Winterslag) by Mike Floate, contributor to the imperious Groundtastic magazine. Includes entertaining commentaries.

Internet Football Ground Guide Not just superb photography, but essential information on matchday drinking, eating and singing experiences at all English and Scottish league grounds, plus the Conference, from the views of contributing fans as well as site creator Duncan Adams.

Stadionwelt Almost worryingly comprehensive German site covering domestic and international stadiums, with up-to-the-second info on reconstruction and new grounds. Check if the Germans are on target for 2006 (as if they wouldn’t be…).

The Homes Of Football
World-class stadium photographer Stuart Clarke’s homepage. Not necessarily all about football, more a reflection of the era during which stadiums have changed.

Blind, Stupid and Desperate (Watford) Ten years old and now with a “Best Of” section, BSaD still produces some of the best football writing on the internet. Recommended by several non-Watford fans.

Cod Almighty (Grimsby Town) Updated almost daily with sharp, witty prose, supplemented by blackly funny match reports and features. And check out Sepp Natter.

Greens On Screen
(Plymouth Argyle) Everything an independent team website should be – packed with photos, video clips, stats, clever graphs and concise match reports. “An ama­teur website aiming to add, not compete,” it says modestly. If only every team had one.

Up The Arse! (Arsenal) Not clever, but quite funny, and as true as any unofficial club site to the feral fanzine spirit that has lapsed with the advent of the generic Rivals and Footy-Mad sites. Still love the “Spurs clock”, ticking away for eternity.

HTFC World (Huddersfield Town) Another survivor from our last website awards, this site is five years old and increasingly notorious for its feisty pictorial match reports. As Huddersfield Town decline, this site goes from strength to strength.

Soccerbase Lightning-quick English/Scottish compendium, with managers, grounds, cur­rent transfers and player stats, head-to-head results, and even lists of referees. Bonus point for still calling Champions League “The Euro­pean Cup”.

The Rec. Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation Still wearing the “Golden Anorak” for statistical sites, with results and tables both historic and current from top divisions around the world. Only thing missing are scores from the Venus and Mars Interplanetary Cup.

Scottish Football Records Every Scottish League and cup game, with the tables as they stood on the day the games were played. In­cludes history section that dates back to the 15th century.

Football Club History Database Ambitious but worthy ongoing project to document season-by-season historical stats of every club ever in England and Wales. Check out how Oswald-twistle Rovers fared in the 1902 Lancashire Combination.

Tony Kempster (Non-League) Features up-to-date results and tables from the entire English non-League network, as well as crowd comparison tables and mileage charts with maps.

Danger Here
Watchdog site for commentators, highlighting the bad, the ugly and the plainly absurd utterances of football pundits.

Football Economy
Smartly redesigned with stats, an archive and a global section, this clearly written site is still the place to find out which teams are going bust and who’s about to launch a hostile takeover.

Football Poets
Home to the “Poetry of Motion”, FP posts more compositions by the day, from the surreal to the sublime. A classic, even clas­sical, site.

The Global Game Revamped, intelligent US-based independent site covering the game and its culture from an international and mostly unusual perspective.

Football Crests Not just the club logos, but the history and meaning behind them.

From WSC 215 January 2005. What was happening this month