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League One 2010-11

Herbie’s Reports

I have been subscribing to Saintslist for several years and for one reason only - to read Herbie Taylor’s match reports from St.Mary’s.

When I read other reports I often wonder if the writer has been at the same game as me. I have never felt that with Herbie’s reports. They are something of an institution on Saintslist and should he fail to file a report the listees get withdrawal symptoms. All perfectly understandable.

Herbie was 80 years of age when writing these reports and began supporting Southampton aged just ten years old, way back in 1940. He has hardly missed a game in the sixty nine years since, with his longest absence from watching them being during his RAF service 1950/52. Even then he would hitchhike home from wherever he was posted in the UK to see Saints play and hitchhike back to his base after the game. Only when he was posted to what was then Southern Rhodesia did he have to miss games.

In his retirement he has been able to serve the club he so lovingly supports by being a volunteer Stadium Tour Guide at the St Mary's Stadium, and never misses an opportunity to show off the stadium and enthrall all who come on his tours with his knowledge of the stadium and the club's proud history. He loves his job and is well known in Southampton - to the extent he was last year voted as the best subject to be painted by a local artist as a true representative of Saints fans.

Saints fan Herbie received recognition for years supporting the Saints by winning the EA SPORTS Fan of the Year award at the 2010 Football League Awards in March 2010.

Herbie received the award at a gala dinner at Grosvenor House, Park Lane in front of 900 attendees from clubs, sponsors and the football industry which incorporated FourFourTwo's Top 50 Football League Players.

The Football League Awards judging panel commented that "Herbie has demonstrated a lifetime of dedication with humility; no journey has been too great for Herbie. From hitchhiking back from far off places while serving his country to support his beloved club and being the driving force behind charitable work. Since retirement, his true passion of supporting Southampton for nearly 70 years has been passed on to other fans making their pilgrimage back to St. Mary's. Herbie - a real fan and true Saint through and through."

Towards the end of the season, when it started to become clear that we might get promoted, I wondered what I could do to mark the season. I could think of nothing better than to put together Herbie’s reports for the 2010-2011 season. Reading them reminds me of matches of utter despair early on, followed by a roller coaster ride, culminating in that final run of fifteen matches which contained only one loss and one draw.

When I put this idea to Herbie he very graciously agreed.

So here they are, with minimal editing from me. They are in date order on the right (the bottom if you are using a smartphone), from top to bottom.


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