Who Are These Jobbers?
In a sport dominated by greed, dictated by oil magnates, regimes with questionable human rights records, TV executives and betting corporations there is something uniquely pure about a football club sponsored by an ice cream company. Step forward Wycombe Wanderers and Beechdean Ice Cream Group.
While the bourgeois Sunderland AFC run around with a betting company slapped across their midriff, the humble Chairboys are sporting the name of the producer of clotted cream ice cream like Lovingtons. Splashed across the instantly recognisable navy and sky blue checkered shirts - could there be a more aesthetically pleasing jersey in the English game?
Alongside the ice cream, the excellent nickname and the Mundial-enticing shirts, Wycombe can also call upon two banter legends of the game. The flowing locks sprouting for manager Gareth Ainsworth’s forehead makes you wonder “was he in that INXS tribute band I saw in the pub last week?” and the answer is an emphatic yes.
When not guiding the likes of club legend Matt Bloomfield to promotion and nurturing Luke O’Nien into the swashbuckling full-back he is today, you’ll find Ainsworth shredding AC/DC covers down your local boozer. If this doesn’t get your bant-o-meter juices flowing then how about Beast Mode himself, Adebayo Akinfenwa?
Thanks to being the size of a house, Akinfenwa continues to terrorise defences up and down the land and mystifying opposition supporters who stare open-mouthed as a 36-year-old bloke who can barely run wallops a hat-trick past them. And let’s be honest, how many footballers can boast both having a Lithuanian Football Cup and Welsh Premier League winners medal on their CV?
Exactly, no-one. Anyway, if Wycombe do manage to body the Lads at the weekend at least there will be some delicious ice cream to soothe your misery.
What’s The Ground Like?
Your reward for weaving through the industrial parks of High Wycombe is arguably the most picturesque setting for a football ground. Nestled in a Buckinghamshire valley, you will be able to gaze out over rolling hills as Sunderland put another bunch of League One jobbers to the sword on their way to creamy promotion glory.
Wycombe clearly wanted the best of both worlds when they opened Adams Park, with the two-tiered Frank Adams Stand including executive boxes and towers over the rest of the stadium. Maybe big Frank wished to look down on the proletariat as The Greene King Stand, occupied by Wycombe’s more fervent supporters, is an old school terrace.
The lads and lasses from Sunderland are housed in the Dreams Stand and it even has a roof which is a welcome change from previous outings.
How Do I Get There?
Why are all these grounds so bloody far away? After the long old slog to Bristol on Tuesday evening, strap in for another five-hour journey to a sexy League One setting. If you have the privilege of driving to Wycombe then set that alarm for 5am and let’s get going.
Take the A19 out of Sunderland and down to junction 49 before joining the A1(M) heading south. Exit at junction 35 near Doncaster for the M1 and follow this until junction 15A where you take the A43 to junction 10 and join the M40 following the signs towards High Wycombe. Leave the motorway at junction 4 and take the A4010 towards Aylesbury. Take the fourth exit at the roundabout for Lane End Road and the ground is at the bottom of this street.
Car parking is available around the ground for £5 per car while there is match day parking in the surrounding industrial units. Should you get lost then plop HP12 4HJ into your sat nav.
For those big dawgs taking the train, High Wycombe railway station is around three miles away from the ground so is relatively walkable. However, there are Football Special buses (number 32) which leave the station at 1.55pm while you can also get the 16 and 48 from the town’s bus station which drop off near the ground.
A Love Supreme buses leave the Stadium of Light at 7am with return fares priced at £45. Book your place here.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
Given its diminutive size, High Wycombe is awash with pubs to quench your thirst after long journey from the north east. The closest pub to Adams Park is The Hour Glass on Chapel Lane where home and away supporters can mingle together while Scores Bar at the ground itself, also allows red and white revellers in.
High Wycombe town centre offers a range of hostelries to suit all tastes. Step off the train station and straight in The Bootlegger on Amersham Hill for a light ale or you can take advantage of the happy hour at The Antelope on Church Square which goes on until eight at night.
For the craft beer connoisseurs among you, head over to Mad Squirrel Tap & Bottle Shop on Church Street for a pizza and a pint of “unhinged beer” served up by Mad Squirrel brewery. The Snug Bar on Crown Lane is one of High Wycombe’s hidden gems while if you’re planning on walking to the ground then stop off at The White Horse on Wycombe Road.
Alternatively, you could line the pockets of Captain Brexit Tim Martin by stopping by High Wycombe’s Wetherspoons outlet of The Falcon on Cornmarket.
I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?
What you want to do after a successful bodying of Wycombe Wanderers is to have a bloody good laugh. Head down to Wycombe Swan Theatre and see Strictly Come Dancing star, comedian and what The Sun would describe as a “love rat”, Seann Walsh bring the lols for your Saturday evening.
If you fancy spending your Sunday having a good old pet of a goat then Odds Farm Park is the place to be. This award-winning farm has it all from bottle feeding baby goats (kids?), milking a cow and collecting a load of eggs. You can also impress all your mates back home by telling them the rich history of Wycombe you learnt at Wycombe Museum.