My name is Martin Armitage, I am 28 years old and welcome to my football blog.
Since I can remember, I have always been a football fan and like millions of people all over the world, a love for football is something that one usually inherits from a family member or, on the rare occasion, an influencial friend.
My footballing story began in my hometown of Rochdale, Lancashire, England where my father and brothers were Manchester United fans. It was the early 90's and Manchester United had started to find their feet under Sir Alex Ferguson (or Alex Ferguson as he was known then). Like 99% of Manchester United fans, I watched their matches weekly on television, however on the rare occasion I was able to attend a match, this was the start of my love affair for watching live football and it has remained with me ever since.
At the age of 17, I unfortunately lost my mother and needing a hobbie and something to do, I wanted to start attending live football on a regular basis. It was 2005 and by this time, getting hold of a season ticket to Manchester United was impossible and extaustionate. I did however have a local Football League team just several miles from my house in the form of Rochdale AFC. On many occasions throughout my childhood I attended games there, and by 2004 I was already looking out for their results weekly, as my 'second team'. However following their results wasn't enough, I wanted to witness their results and in the summer of 2005 I bought a season ticket.
Since the 2005/6 season I have witnessed over 200 games at Spotland Stadium and experienced many highs and lows, Rochdale are no longer my 'second team', in fact I have more invested interest in them than Manchester United now. It would be correct to say that these 10 years have probably been the best years in the club's history with 2 promotions and a play-off final, all of which I have experienced. However, my desire and love for Rochdale grew to a point where I wanted to see them play away, not just at home.
By 2010 I was travelling to local(ish) away games to witness Rochdale play away and not long after, I had developed a determination and passion, that many others have, for the art of 'groundhopping'. The term used for football fans who travel to as many football stadiums as possible, all of which are currently represented in the Premier League and Football League.
This blog is to share my experiences and journey of and 'trying' to complete the 92 (Premier and Football League) grounds, however I play by my own rules and will also attend non-league football matches too. In addition to following Rochdale AFC away I also will be aiming to complete this challenge by attending non-Rochdale AFC football matches too.
All that is left to say then is this....
Sometimes it's not about the destination as it is about the journey itself.