Like many of my visits, Queen Of The South is a name that evokes a certain element of romance in football fans. If anything, I dread the day when all I have left are the Wigans and the Hulls.
I’m no expert in the history of QOTS, in fact, I dare say there’s not much. Certainly not that would trouble your average football fan, but its name is something quite majestic and Palmerston Park is a fitting home.
Based in the Scottish town of Dumfries, I visited Palmerston on a hot summer day ahead of the new season starting to a scene of carnage. There was rubble everywhere, bulldozers, yet the ground appeared to have all four stands still remaining. Oh and one of the weirdest bits of PC gone mad for disabled supporters.
A little bit of research afterwards revealed that the pitch is in the middle of being dug up and replaced with an artificial playing surface, which saddens me greatly. Much like referees and the argument over video technology, muddy unplayable pitches are one of the backbones of the game. I don’t want something flawless deciding the outcome – I want luck and chance to even things out.
The ground itself is pleasant though. A bizarre mural is painted outside one of the terraces, with various club icons appearing as puffs as smoke coming from a train. As someone who loves railways as much as soccer, this was the sort of nonsense I lapped up.
Also on the mural was the weird sight of a seagull nicking someone’s pint and an aeroplane that I’m almost certain played no part in the club’s history. Nevertheless, it’s a lovely piece of artwork that makes it stand out as somewhere that’s loved by a lot of people. Oh, they also have one of the scariest looking ticket offices ever.
But stand wise, it’s awesome. All relatively old school, all look like they could be intimidating monsters on a cold wet night when full, but absolutely beautiful when bathed in summer sunshine.
After my recent exploits I’m sure I might have been able to pop in for a walkabout, but with so many bulldozers and the place looking like a building site, I didn’t fancy taking my chances.
Oh and yes, I did call it soccer a couple of paragraphs ago. Get over it.