We've travelled the length and breadth of Scotland to manage this, all in just under nine months. We've watched football in the impressive surroundings of Celtic Park, from the prehistoric stand at Cliftonhill and in an almost empty Hampden Park watching Queen's Park play Albion Rovers - only 529 spectators in a ground that holds 52,103.
You might have read our individual highlights from each of the four leagues to visit all the grounds and I thought I should get round to our opinions of the high and lows of the 42.
Top five grounds - Dad
- Celtic Park - Celtic
- Hampden Park - Queen's Park
- Excelsior Stadium - Airdrie United
- Palmerston Park - Queen of the South
- Stair Park - Stranraer
Top five grounds - Me
- Celtic Park - Celtic
- Ibrox Park - Rangers (You've no idea how difficult it was to put Castle Greyskull down)
- Tynecastle Park - Heart of Midlothian
- Borough Briggs - Elgin City
- Bayview Stadium - East Fife
Dad - Cliftonhill, home to Albion Rovers - the ground that time time forgot.
Three sides of this ground have been abandoned which leaves one ancient stand with seats bought from Third Lanark went they went bust and I think that might have been the last improvements they made. The seats are so close together that my dad could only find comfort right at the back of the ground, which meant that we had to view one of the goals through the glass like it was on the television.
Me - Cowdenbeath's Central Park.
I was close to putting down Cliftonhill as my choice for this award but I enjoyed watching Sunnybank put Albion out of the Cup there and the pies were brilliant so I went for Central Park, home of Cowdenbeath .
Sure the seats were more comfortable but that was all it had going for it. Three sides of the grounds are open to the elements and the main stand is really two odd shaped blocks stuck together. The pitch is miles away as a stock car racing track runs around it and there are a fences and tyre barriers that spoil the view. By far the worst thing about Central Park on the night we visited however was the fact they didnae sell any pies!
Goal of the Season - we couldn't decide on an overall top 5 so we picked our own favourites.
- Leigh Griffiths - Dundee vs Partick Thistle - A brilliant left foot screamer from 35 yards.
- Iain Russell - Livingston v Brechin City. - A first time effort from 30 yards that curled into the top corner.
- Kris Commons - Celtic vs Hamilton - A sweet half volley from the edge of the area.
- Robert Harris - Queen of the South vs East Fife - Brilliant free kick, curled in to top corner
- Paul Emslie - Peterhead vs Montrose - Lobbed the keeper from fully 45 yards.
- Jamie Stevenson - Elgin v East Stirlingshire - Cracking 35 yard free kick, straight in to top corner.
- Paul Emslie - Peterhead vs Montrose - As above.
- Leigh Griffiths - Dundee vs Partick Thistle - As above.
- Chris Macguire - Alloa Athletic vs Aberdeen - Volley from the edge of area that lobs keeper.
- Kris Commons - Celtic vs Hamilton Academicals - As above.
The much coveted 'Best Pie' in Scotland Award
Although I had some involvement in the eating of a scotch pie or two over the course of the trek, the final points scoring decision was made by my father. Only on one occasion did I feel compelled to intervene - check out the Kilmarnock home game for more info.
In the end my dad rated the scotch pies at three grounds equal first. Those at Aberdeen, Albion Rovers and Raith Rovers all scored 8 out of 10. Each scored highly on it's meaty content, crunchy pastry and value for money.
When I pushed him for his outright favourite he plumped for Albion Rovers and to be honest he got no complaints from me.
We were back at Albion Rovers Cliftonhill ground last month for their play off game versus Annan Athletic. Once we were through the turnstiles my dad made a beeline for the cafe and bought himself two for his pre match supper. Looking back we should have bought a trophy and presented it to them, maybe we'll still get round to it.
Best Game Atmosphere
It was a close run thing with the 'Red Card' game at Dens Park and the Champions League game at Castle Greyskull when Manchester United came calling both coming close. In the end though it was the Heart of Midlothian vs Hibernian in the New Years Day Derby that won it.
Huge came the derby, even more so at New Year, you don't want to start the new year getting beaten by your fiercest rivals.
All festive cheer was forgotten about after 6 minutes when Ian Murray, the Hibs captain, elbowed Ian Black in the neck as both players go for a header. The home fans screamed at the referee to send Murray off, the away fans sang his name and Ian Black lay unconscious on the pitch.
Hearts controlled the game, Hibs came for a draw and almost got it but in the 87th minute Kevin Kyle sent one half of the city home happy and the other have miserable.
Now when we started talking about doing this trek around the grounds I was convinced that we'd take the opportunity to watch our respective sides, Kilmarnock & Aberdeen, as often as possible. It was not to be however as we watched both Hibernian & Greenock Morton five times each.
Greenock at least provided some entertainment and against Stranraer they scored a barrow load of goals. Hibernian on the other hand were poor against NK Maribor in the Europa League qualifier, played a brilliant second half to come back and beat Motherwell, were truly awful against St.Mirren, unlucky against Hearts and spanked by Dundee United.
Most Entertaining Comment
No need for a top five here as I'll watch football for a long time before I hear another gem like the Dorothy comment at Dumbarton. A Greenock Morton defender had on red boots and a young punk from the Dumbarton end shouted - "You're not in Kansas now Dorothy, this if fu*king Dumbarton!".
Most Entertaining Division
Division 3 - We had the most fun on our visits to the bottom division, where the football wasn't always the greatest but the passion the fans of these so called wee teams have for their teams was heartwarming. My dad found his Player of the Season watching Stranraer a few times, Armand One (pronounced On-ay).
Least Entertaining Division
Division 1 - At the start of this season it looked like this would provide the most entertainment as there were four sides in with a decent shot at the title and passage to the SPL. In the end the fact Dundee's 25 point deduction, Steven 'Elvis' Pressley's poor Falkirk side and Raith fell away meant that it was Dunfermline that got promoted. When we saw them at home it was the only scoreless draw of the forty two games and it wasn't even an entertaining draw. That summed up the league for us, dull.
Scottish Cup Merit Badge
Dad - Beith Juniors, who were robbed of a fourth round slot by Airdrie's Paul Lovering who rolled around in apparent agony after a 50-50 ball and got the Beith player sent off. He then jumped to his feet ran free of pain in to the Beith penalty box and headed the resultant free kick in to the net.
Me - Sunnybank, for their defeat of Albion Rovers and the fact they had more fans at the game than the home team and they sang from start to finish.
Biggest Rip Off's
- Inverness Caledonian Thistle for their ticket prices £25 for me and £20 concession, phantom toilets and the time it takes to get out the car park.
- Livingston also get a mention here for their minging £2.00 scotch pie, charging £5 to park at the ground and for letting vuvuzela blowing idiots in to the ground.
Most Disappointing Performances
My dad went for the most of referees & assistant referees around Scotland. I, unfortunately, went for Aberdeen's dreadful season.
Supporters of the Season
Dad went for the East Stirlingshire supporters who we witnessed at Elgin and Annan following their side. Did you know they have a loyal band of Norwegian fans who travel to games?
I went for the four coach loads of Greenock Morton fans for their fancy dress outfits at Stranraer, where at half time they dodged the one Policeman on duty and had a game of headers and volleys with an imaginary football at half time.
Most Surprising Moments
The way a quick email to the Edinburgh Evening News snowballed into us appearing in the national press and to my dad being interviewd for local radio in Kilmarnock, more on that next time, and finding out at the end of all of this that my dad has written a book on the forty two.
Hopefully we'll find a way to combine my blog and his stories, find a publisher, make a bit of money, get sponsored to do this next season around Europe, write another book, it gets noticed by noticed and the movies out before you know it. Watch this space, ha ha.
That about sums it up from the forty two and what can I say, we'll I'd recommend you all get out there and take a look. Next time your team have a week off, jump in the car and head to the nearest game as you never know what awaits you. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to vist a few of these grounds with my old man next season.