A rough guide to... Dover Athletic

Cod Almighty | Article

by Rich Mills

30 September 2021

All is not well at the far end of the Garden of England. Rich Mills uncovers the bones on our weekend opponents. (Send a postal order for 25p and a SAE if you want to see a copy of the first draft which was a lot of swearing about Nigel Farage)

How are you?

As with the Terras of Weymouth, Dover are due a new nickname. The Whites is just lazy and unimaginative, especially when there are other options available: the Veras, the Cliffs … the Linnets maybe if they weren't currently in the same league as mighty Kings Lynn Town who have bagsied that one.

Did you know?

Dover has had a team since 1901? No, me neither. They've gone bust and reformed occasionally but still, that's a bit of history innit? In that time they've won a few lower league titles but not yet made it to the League. But with a Conference full of the likes of League stalwarts Town, Wrexham, Halifax, Chesterfield, Notts County and Torquay, and upstarts such as Fleetwood and Forest Green successfully passing themselves off as proper professional outfits then never say never!

Long time, no see

It's been 6 years since Town last played the Veras in the Conference and that was also the first time the sides had met. Dover slipped up in the play-offs after finishing level on points with Town that season and never quite got that close again. Still, there's nothing wrong with the Conference is there? It's just like being in the League really but with the added spice of winning games.

Alan Pouton played there for a couple of seasons later in his career and former Town strikers James Alabi, Ira Jackson Junior and Stefan Payne also turned out in the famous (cough) white shirt, but I don't believe that the Cliffs have ever nicked a player from us, nor have Town poached a striker from the Crabble. And so once again in this division, this is more a case of pretending we know each other than greeting long lost friends.

How are you feeling?

Not very happy by the sounds of it. Last season, the club's chairman Jim Parmenter, a man but one letter away from a rough guide full of cheffy potato jokes, was well miffed about the lack of money available during the lockdown to keep the club afloat. When the free moolah dried up after a shocking display of ineptitude by both the league and the government, Jim took his ball back and refused to play as he was sick of funding the club for so long. I'm guessing then that Peterborough stiffed them for a bag of footballs, a pre-season friendly and a sack of monkey nuts rather than handing some decent wedge when they signed Ricky Miller.

The league weren't at all happy with Dover's early retirement, as the season had started with only 23 clubs anyway due to relegated Macclesfield giving up the ghost before the season had even kicked off. A team dropping out mid-season fucked everything up big time, with results and goals being scrubbed from the record. Rather than expelling them however the league allowed Dover to start the new season in the same tier, albeit with a 12-point deduction.

Where are you from?

Bluebirds, white cliffs, customs snarl-ups. Ah, the Garden of England – let's take a while to sit and breathe in those diesel fumes while we admire the glow of the massive lorry parks which the good people of Kent voted for.

Putting aside the misery which that continues to cause, there's plenty to do if you make a weekend of your visit. While there's no cliff railway, there's a castle, loads of lighthouses, beaches and nature-type stuff around the coast which is well worth a look.

There's also a WW2 artillery battery and tunnels dug into the cliffs at Fan Bay and nearby a couple of WW1 sound mirrors. Well worth a look.

National treasure Miriam Margolyes is from Dover, don't you know? She did some of the voices on Monkey when it was dubbed for UK audiences, as well as some other stuff such as Harry Potter, whatever that is, and is always dead funny when appearing on the telly. We can't guarantee she'll be at the game of course but if you do see her then please take some selfies.

You must be so sick of being reminded of that bloody song

Well, do something else then!

What's that? You’re sick of Nigel Farage turning up and spluttering about immigrants too? I'm afraid it's your own fault, guys. You voted Brexit and you have a beach where the mustard-trousered twat can drop his pants at drowning kids and so you're just going to have to put up with it, or up your game until he finds somewhere else to haunt.

Pre-match factfile


Not the best if we're being honest. We all know it's a long season but if Dover want to finish the season on at least positive points then they might have to win a game or two.


Dover's current squad includes one Ricky Miller who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Ricky Miller who couldn't stop scoring in 2015-2017. Well, he couldn't stop scoring until he was lured away by the Posh (it's always them, isn't it?) and the goals dried up.

Ex-Town threat factor

Relegation came a year too late for us or we would be looking forward to meeting up with Mariners #legend Akheem Rose, but he's moved on to Weymouth now and sadly there are no Town alumni at the Crabble this season. In fact there's hardly anyone who might be considered a threat, unless a chairman prone to chucking in the towel is considered a threat.

Rivalometer: 0.3

As with pretty much everyone in the Conference, there's no rivalry at all between the sides. Why would there be? Bloody miles away and barely have our paths crossed in the 120 years that Dover have had a side.