Mile End takes its name from a milestone signifying the point one mile east of the boundary of the City of London at Aldgate. Although historically the stone's position was near Stepney Green tube station, in the modern era Mile End is used to describe the area about half a mile east of this point, around Mile End tube station. The Mile End Stadium is home to Sporting Bengal United FC.
Formed in 1996 to encourage Asian football in London, Sporting Bengal United initially played in the London Intermediate League until they gained senior status in 2003. At this time they joined the Kent League (Kent? - Ed).
The Sporting Bengal set-up is unusual in that it is operated by the Bangladesh Football Association (UK) and players are selected from (and retain their affiliation with) the Sunday league clubs which are affiliated to that organisation.
At long last the Pieman has made it to a new venue! Regular visitors will have noticed a distinct lack of activity recently. The badge on the previous post had started to niggle but every time a trip was planned it was subsequently scuppered! Reasons include toothache for the Pieman, a raging temperature for Hotspur, some extremely poor weather and Eastwood Town "not fancying it" causing a very late postponement at Shepshed Dynamo. Anyway that is all in the past and that badge has been pushed down the site and not before time.
Accompanied by my daughter, I was able to make the relatively short journey to Mile End (District Line - Central Line closed for engineering works) via London Liverpool Street. From the station the stadium is little more than 5 minutes walk. Limehouse (c2c and Docklands Light Railway) is of similar distance to the stadium.
The match featured bottom of the table Sporting Bengal United up against table toppers, Whitstable Town. Therefore we expected to see a few goals and in the end that was the way it turned out with the visitors scoring 5 goals. However, it was the home side that struck first in the 2nd minute and with a little more fortune on the day ought to have added to their tally. In truth though, Whitstable always had something in reserve and could also have scored more. Daughter enjoyed the match and the sand in the long jump pit!
A typical Athletics venue, the stadium only has one spectator area, this being the covered stand featured above. The visiting Whitstable fans were in fine voice supporting their team. They in turn were supported by a large case of Fosters Lager that they brought with them. Refreshment facilities are extremely limited at this venue although vending machines are present in the admin area for the stadium.
People wanna know, people wanna know
Who the eck we are, who we are
Shall we tell em who we are?, shall we tell em where we're from?
We are the Oyster Boys, famous famous oyster boys
We're in your ground, we're in your stand
We've got beer, where are your fans?"
A vast improvement on the usual tripe we have to put with at Spurs - "stand up if you hate ......." - Good stuff that Fosters- Ed
Although unable to partake, a decent looking Shepherd Neame pub was spied in a side road behind Mile End station.
Admission: £5 (concessions free)
Programme: £1 (very limited)
Daughter's Banana (Tesco): 11p