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to Wycombe Wanderers Football Club
rev 9.0 October 2004 © Chairboys on the Net 2004 URL:http://www.chairboys.co.uk/

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WHO ARE THE CHAIRBOYS?

'The Chairboys' is the nickname of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. Formed circ 1887, Wycombe spent over 100 years as a non-League Club, gaining numerous honours before winning promotion to the Football League in 1993 under the guidance of former Northern Ireland International, Martin O'Neill. Further promotion came in the first season in the Football League culminating in a play-off victory against Preston North End at Wembley. This was the Wanderers third win in as many visits to Wembley Stadium in just four seasons - victories in the FA Trophy in 1991 and 1993 creating a song and a dance for Wanderers fans. Having just missed out on a third successive promotion in season 1994/95 Martin O'Neill left for bigger things at Norwich City in the summer of 1995 - he subsequently moved on to Leicester City, leading them to promotion to the Premier League and League Cup victory before achieving even greater success with Celtic.
Ex-Crystal Palace boss Alan Smith replaced O'Neill in the Summer of 1995 but had an uninspiring first season in charge where Wycombe finished mid table and were knocked out in the early stages of all the cup competitions. A poor start to the 96/97 campaign with Wycombe failing to win any of their opening 9 League games - culminating in a 6-3 reverse at Peterborough - saw Smith dismissed. Wycombe immediately gained their first League victory under caretaker Manager Neil Smillie before ex-England, QPR and Derby player John Gregory took the reigns after stepping down from a coaching role at Aston Villa. Gregory won much respect for his will to play attractive passing football. The struggle to avoid the drop to Division Three was a long and hard one but this was finally achieved in the closing weeks of the season. Season 1997/98 began with high expectations and after six games Wycombe were in third place. However a depressing run of eight League games without a win and exit from the FA Cup at the hands of non-League Basingstoke brought the Wycombe fans back to reality. By January 1998 Wycombe had fallen to 19th place in the table and in February the Club were rocked by another Managerial bombshell when John Gregory was poached by Aston Villa. Again Neil Smillie took charge on a temporary basis and promptly led the Wanderers to a four match unbeaten run. Smillie was given the job to the end of the season as reward for his efforts and Division Two safety was achieved again with a final league placing of 14th. More reward came for Smillie when he was given a three year contract in the Manager's position. Season 1998/99 started with the highly rated Gary Micklewhite appointed as assistant but with a small budget and a squad that is a mixture of players at the end of their career's and youngsters with little Football League experience, Wycombe will do well to compete with the 'big' names currently in Division Two. After 11 League games Wycombe were still without a win and had just three points and were rooted to the bottom of the table. A good run up to Christmas gave Wycombe fans hope but three straight defeats into the New Year saw Neil Smillie given the bullet by the Board and it was nearly four weeks before Lawrie Sanchez was announced as his replacement. His task to keep Wycombe in Division Two looked like mission impossible, coupled with trying to re-build the squad for next season on a shoestring budget but the miracle happened on the last day of the 1998/99 season. The 1999/2000 season saw varied form for The Wanderers with a middle table position maintained almost from the start. There were exciting Worthington Cup games against Wolves and West Brom before a farcical FA Cup encounter with Oxford City earned national headlines.
Season 2000/2001 was hindered by a horrendous catalogue of injuries but despite this an incredible FA Cup run saw The Wanderers reach the semi-final before edged out by Liverpool at Villa Park. Not surprisingly League form took a tumble but a spirited run towards the end of the season saw a very respectable finishing position of 13th and hopes were high for the following season.
With money in the bank from the FA Cup run and crowds on the up the prospects for the 2001/2002 season looked very promising but a disappointing run in the second half the season saw Wanderers finally end up in 11th place - the best finish for several years but still behind the expectations set by the club.
The 2002/2003 season was extremely disappointing for the Wanderers faithful as they saw the team slip uncomfortably towards the bottom of the table. A run of eight games without a win in the run in to the season saw Wanderers finish 18th.
The 2003/4 campaign started with an opening day win for the first time in nine years and this was followed by a League Cup victory over the South London mob who moved to Milton Keynes. However, from there on in it was all down hill culminating in the sacking of Lawrie Sanchez on Tuesday 30th September 2003. Within a couple of days John Gorman had been appointed as Caretaker Manager and after another four weeks of searching Arsenal legend Tony Adams was announced as the man to lead the Wanderers into a new era. Sadly for Wanderers there was little change in form and by the end of the 2003/4 season the Club found itself relegated for only the second time its history. Back in the basement division for the first time since 1993/4, Adams is now looking to continue his rebuilding process as Wanderers look for a swift return up the Football League.

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WHERE THE HELL IS WYCOMBE?

High Wycombe is situated approx 30 miles west of London. The Wanderers play at Adams Park which is about two miles from the Town Centre, situated in Hillbottom Road, Sands Industrial Estate. Click here for local area map
Directions:
Car:
Leave the M40 Motorway at junction 4 and take the A4010 signposted Aylesbury and then follow the signs for Wycombe Wanderers F C. Go across three roundabouts (John Hall Way) and travel down the hill (New Road). At the bottom is the first of two mini-roundabouts. Take a sharp first exit at the first one into Lane End Road and at the next roundabout travel straight across into Hillbottom Road (Sands Industrial Estate). There are close to 800 car parking spaces close to ground on a fine day. The majority of these are on the hill side over looking Adams Park, however, be warned that from the start of the 2002/2003 season there is now a charge of 5 per car, reducing by a 1 for every passenger down to a minimun charge of 2. This car park is to the right as you pass through the entrance gates of the club - stewards will direct you. There are also numerous industrial units that allow parking for a charge of between now up to around 3. Please note that the car-parks are not all patrolled during the game - DO NOT TEMPT THIEVES BY LEAVING VALUABLES ON SHOW. Be prepared for a long queue after the game if you park too near the ground!
Train: Nearest Railway Station to the ground is High Wycombe on the Network South East line. This line connects to London Marylebone to the east or Birmingham Snow Hill, Banbury, Bicester or Aylesbury to the North-West. The station is in the Town Centre and therefore over two miles from the ground. Two buses depart from the station on match days (see below) or take a Taxi (cost about £5 one way). Allow about 45 minutes to walk to the ground from the Railway Station.
Buses: A number of special buses run on most matchdays. In addition there are some service routes that run within a 15 minute walk of the entrance to the ground. Click here for the latest matchday travel details for the 2003/4 season.


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LOCAL PUBS AND GRUB

The nearest pub to the ground is The Hour Glass (144 Chapel Lane, Sands), about 1 mile from Adams Park. Away fans are accepted at the doorman's discretion. Food is usually served, there are three pool tables, video screens and a Juke Box. Real Ale is Benskins and possibly Martson's Pedigree. There is a Chip Shop about 300 metres from the Hour Glass on the corner of Mill End Road and Dashwood Avenue. (opposite direction to the ground). There are a few mobile food outlets on the final approach to the ground and most recently one on the immediate left on entry through the Adams Park gates.
A little further afield for the more adventurous, there are:-

  • The Half Moon - 103 Dashwood Avenue - Free House - Small Beer Garden, no food - approx 1.2 miles from Adams Park
  • Friend in Hand - West Wycombe Road - NOW CLOSED
  • White Horse - 95 West Wycombe Road - Free House - No Food - minimal Real Ale - 'Erotic' dancers Saturday 12.30pm to 4pm approx 1.5 miles from Adams Park
  • Bird in Hand - 81 West Wycombe Road - Free House - Real Ale and good food - approx 1.5 miles from Adams Park

Nearer the Town Centre, pubs include:-

  • The Hobgoblin - High Street - Hobgoblin Brewery - Excellent jukebox, Beer Garden, Snacks - late license
  • The Falcon - High Street - JD Wetherspoons - Real Ale, Food, no Jukebox
  • O'Neill's - Paul's Row - Re-opened in the summer of 2001 as an Irish theme bar.
  • The Flint Cottage - Amersham Hill (opp Railway Station) - Pool Table, Jukebox, beer garden - late license - under new management 2002
  • The Rose & Crown - Desborough Road - Real Ale, Food, Jukebox
  • Hogshead - Oxford Road -  refurbished December 1999 Real Ale, Food, no Jukebox.
  • Fin McCouls - Crendon Street (formerly The White Lion), Real Ale, Jukebox, Food - late license
  • The Antelope - Off High Street (near church) - Real Ale, Jukebox, Food, late license

Please note that the High Street is a Pedestrian only area between 9.00am and 6.00pm - this is part of a Town Centre enhancement scheme which was completed in May 1998. The Town Centre has the usual selection of 'Fast Food' outlets if you're desperate. Chairboys on the Net recommends The Spicy Cuisine in Frogmore for a more unusual selection of fast take-aways. There are also three Indian, one Chinese and three Pizza/Italian Restaurants in the Town Centre. There is also the usual array of Kebab vans in the High Street and outlying roads to catch the punters at 'chucking out' time.
If you're travelling by road from the north, exit the M40 at junction 5 and try the Fleur De Lys (Real Ale and Food) in Stokenchurch (5 miles from Adams Park). The pub lies to the right of the main through road and is directly opposite the Kings Arm Hotel (re-opened in 1996). Alternatively, follow the signs to Lane End (3 miles from Stokenchurch) for the Clayton Arms and The Osborne Arms - both in the centre of the village and both serving Real Ale and food. From Lane End take The Row, then Park Lane to join the Lane End Road for an scenic back route into Hillbottom Road. Another option is to leave the M40 at junction 4 and when heading as planned towards the ground, after the third roundabout look out for the Hungry Horse pub on the right hand side at Cressex. This is a large 'chain' pub that usually welcomes football supporters - it specialises in food and has a large car park.
For more information about High Wycombe contact the local Tourist Information Office at 6 Corn Market, High Wycombe , Bucks, HP11 2BW. Tel 01494-421892.
Wycombe District Council also launched a website in December 1996 at http://www.wycombe.gov.uk/ with general tourist information and news for the area.


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ALL ABOUT ADAMS PARK

Adams Park is a relatively new ground opened in 1990 and now with a capacity just short of 10,000 (all covered). Planning permission was granted in October 1995 for a new 5,000 seater stand. Construction work commenced in March 1996 and was completed shortly after the start of the 96/97 season. More information on the new stand is available via our Stadium Tour Page which contains graphics and pictures from the construction work of the new stand. The remainder of the ground consists of the existing Main Stand (1200 seats), plus the home end (far end of ground in above image) which has standing room for about 2,100. The opposite end was converted to an all seater (1100 capacity) stand for season 1996/97 and extended again in the summer of 2001 to a 2,000 seater stand. <<Read More about the Away End improvements>>
Also for the first time in season 1996/97, Wycombe introduced a new matchday entrance system. All seated home supporters will require a ticket before they are allowed entry through the turnstiles. Tickets can be purchased on matchdays from dedicated booths near the relevant entrances or they can be purchased in advance from the usual outlets. As from the 1997/98 tickets bought at least one day before each match get a £1 discount. Away fans should contact their Club for more information. This system has been developed by 'Synchro', the company responsible for the ticket distribution for Euro96. Home fans wishing to stand, can still pay on the gate for non-all ticket games.
There are toilets and tea-bars in every section of the ground and as from season 1996/97 members of The Woodlands Club in the new stand will have their own dedicated bar and refreshment area - cost for the 2001/2002 season is £25 per season. Alternatively, Wycombe fans can also join the Vere Suite at £15 per season. This is a large supporters bar that also offers snacks. Away fans were admitted on a reciprocal basis with the appropriate Supporters Club card (Day membership is 1) but this was stopped during the early part of the 2001/2 season following complaints from some home fans that were unable to gain entry due to the capacity being reached. The Centre Spot is another bar within the existing main stand that acts as a hospitality area before games and for about one hour after. Vere Suite members are admitted outside of these times and it is also open during normal licensing hours on non-match days. There is a telephone in the foyer of each bar with details of local Taxi companies.
All entrance and season ticket prices are available at our Ticket Information page.
Address of ground:
Adams Park, Hillbottom Road, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP12 4HJ
Telephone 01494 472100 Fax 01494 527633
Official Website - www.wycombewanderers.co.uk 
Go to our Club Information page for more contact points at the Football Club


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WHO PLAYS FOR WYCOMBE WANDERERS?

Go to our PLAYER PROFILE page for the latest information on the current squad and links to the x-player files.

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FACILITIES FOR AWAY FANS

Away supporters are allocated The Hillbottom Road end at the near end of Adams Park, plus a small area in the Main Stand. Season 1996/97 saw away fans forced to sit for the first time since the ground was opened in 1990. 1100 seats replaced the existing 2,100 terrace places bit in the summer of 2001 the stand was enlarged and the seating capacity is now close to 2,000. Entrance is by cash at the turnstiles, except for high demand games where it's likely that it will be ALL-TICKET for away fans only. Please note that tickets bought at least one day in advance will receive a £2 discount - contact your Club for more info. Visit our ticket information page for the latest prices
Like most Football League clubs, Wycombe make use of stewards instead of a heavy Police presence. The quality of stewarding is extremely variable. Most of the Stewards have little experience other than at Wycombe and as a result discretion is not always applied but they're getting better. Use of unauthorised cameras within the ground is a prime example. If you're going to take pictures make sure you use your discretion to avoid any conflicts.
On the plus side, there are no fences and the view from behind the goal is not unlike the image above. The Matchday programme costs 2.50 available outside and sometimes inside the ground. Toilet and teabar facilities are not too bad. Expect to pay around 1 for a cup of coffee and £1.60 for a burger and £1.10 for a cone of chips.
Please note that the Football Club are no longer admitting away fans to the supporters' bars on a reciprocal basis on production of the appropriate Supporters Club card - This was stopped during the early part of the 2001/2 season.

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A TYPICAL MATCH DAY

Wycombe have made many attempts at pre-match and half-time entertainment. The usual half-time activities of kids penalty shoot outs were suspended during the 2002/3 season due to the installation of a 'desso' pitch and the excuse that it would invalidate the guarantee if these heavy weights dared to set foot on the sacred turf. Of course it was perfectly OK for the players to warm up at half time. The penalty shoot outs were brought back later in the season and for the 2003/4 campaign there is now an American style shoot out.
Hello I'm Bluey the Swan - load this image if you dare Hello Bodger - I look more like Paul Read than Bodger For many the most distressing addition in recent seasons has been the dreaded matchday mascot. Up until the end of the 1997/98 season 'Bluey The Swan' was the official Club Mascot. Basically this enormous creature waddled around the pitch before the game and sometimes at half-time, showing off its beer-gut and generally frightening the kids and causing extreme embarrassment for the home fans. 'Bluey' has now been 'put-down' and replaced with 'Bodger' a more practical but nowhere near as amusing straight-forward 'bloke with a big-head' thingey. The biggest success to date has been the half-time soccer for kids while the overwhelming disaster was a half-time parachute jump that ended with one of the skydivers ending in the nearby woods while the remainder of the crew spent so long in descending they delayed the start of the second half of the Football League fixture - Martin O'Neill was not amused.
As from 1997/98 Club Press Officer, Alan Hutchinson, stepped in to take control of the matchday compare. MC Alan uses a cordless microphone to try and whip up an atmosphere from pitch level before kick-off - unfortunately most of what he says is inaudible - perhaps that should be fortunately? In the 1996/97 season Alan also arranged for a group of musical enthusiasts to play during 'select' games - they were known as Adams Apple and consisted of trumpet, trombone and drum players - these were politely told to 'stay at home' by John Gregory - spoil sport.
The biggest criticism from away fans usually stems from the taped drumming that is played over the PA system when ever Wycombe get a corner. This was instigated by Lawrie Sanchez in season 1999/2000 and is as annoying to home fans as to those in the away end. This appears to be dropped again for the time being, although anything is possible from the current matchday 'DJ'.
There are a few fanzines covering Wycombe Wanderers, some regular, some not. The Wanderer is produced by Wycombe Wanderers Independent Supporters Club and is published every 4 to 6 weeks. New for season 1999/2000 was When Skies Are Blue, which had its debut issue in November 1999 but this ceased production at the end of the 2000/2001 season. Also gone into hibernation is The Adams Family 'the final issue' came out at the end of the 1997/98 season after more than five years of slaving. Not so regular is One-One - another enthusiastic effort from more terrace ranters. Also occasionally seen is Tales of a Chairboy - first issue released August 1998 but only two issues in 1999/2000 (no staying power these youngsters!). These web pages also have a fanzine section known as Chairboys Gas, produced by the same team as the now defunct fanzine of the same name. Chairboys Gas was originally produced between 1986 and 1990.

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CHAIRBOYS TRIVIA

  • Wycombe are called the Chairboys because of the tradition of chair-making in the town of High Wycombe. The nickname was used in the early days of the Club but was only resurrected after the 1980's fanzine Chairboys Gas dug out the name from the history books.
  • Wycombe's most famous player was Tony Horseman, he played over 700 times and scored over 400 times between 1963 and 1978.
  • Wycombe are the first and so far only Football League club from Buckinghamshire.
  • Wycombe's first team kit has the almost unique colour scheme of light and dark blue quarters. The Club changed the design for season 1996/97 and many supporters boycotted sales. The quarters returned within one season. Power to the fans.
  • Wycombe won the Evening Standard Five a Side tournament at Wembley in 1994 and 1995. The tournament was then scrapped.
  • Wycombe have an unusual constitution. There are no shareholders and no one person has control of the Club. You can become a Member if you have been a Season Ticket Holder for three consecutive years or more although this may change in the future. The current Board are currently trying to bring in outside investment to help fund their future plans.
  • Wycombe's previous ground was called Loakes Park and had an 11 foot slope from touchline to touchline.

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This Rough Guide is © Chairboys on the Net 2003
URL:http://www.chairboys.co.uk/
Corrections, additions, suggestions, updates, etc
mail to: cotn@chairboys.co.uk

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