April 15, 2006: Andy came from Edinburgh, leaving at 2am and coming via Manchester, where he picked up two fellow hoppers. Others like Mike came from closer places like Slough and Dawlish. Trevor, visiting after an 18 year gap, brought the 1987 team list with him, complete with names of manager, linesmen, etc. In the end eight Ground Hoppers (plus one wife/chauffeur) arrived at the Okehampton Road football ground to watch Town play a relegation nail-biter against Seaton yesterday.
'Overwhelming' was how Mike Burt described the reception Hatherleigh FC gave the Hoppers. "This is the kind of welcome that, when I wake up tomorrow, I'll wonder if it really happened," he said. More Hoppers would have come but for the difficulty of reaching Hatherleigh by public transport (note to bus and rail companies). Hatherleigh scored highly not only for its welcome and the special 8 page programme organised by Roy Smith and colleagues, but also for its ammenities, including brand new railings around the pitch and the size of the crowd who turned out to watch. 'You make teams in much higher leagues look inferior', thought Hopper Brian. Pictures of Ground Hoppers and the match online shortly. Earlier, Hatherleigh youth elevens and sevens played North Tawton in matches that were a joy to watch and fun to photograph. Pictures coming from those too. A busy day meant that photo files ended up on three machines in two locations - bear with us while we track them all down!