Author Topic: Football matches that we've been to...  (Read 8717 times)

gordon taylor

Football matches that we've been to...
« on: 26 October, 2011, 10:53:25 pm »
I'm just back from the Stoke City v Liverpool Carling Cup match. Stoke lost, 2-1.

Football is pretty naff, IMHO, but football crowds are funny, IMHO.
Watching a game in a stadium is a million miles removed from a Match of the Day recording.

It would be easy to be patronising... a Stoke City home crowd is probably, stereotypically, exactly as you would expect. The chants were ribald and the interaction with the players extremely personal. Suarez was sensational, despite several thousand people around me telling him he was a "fuck-ing grea-sy bas-tard" repeatedly. But I did see Kenny Dalglish again - the last time was probably at Hampden Park a long, long, long time ago.

I spent some of the boring moments wondering how thirty-five photographers with thousands of pounds worth of kit can make a living from a football game. There was a Press Association photo (of Suarez) on the BBC website before I got home - taken by someone in a pink bib just a few feet away from where I was sitting. All the photographers spent as much time tapping their laptops as they did looking through their lenses.

That was a good night out.  :thumbsup:

I'll probably go and see Stafford Rangers on Saturday - I'm not even sure how low they've sunk in the leagues these days.  :-\

Does anyone else watch football live?


Wowbagger

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Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #1 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:18:37 pm »
The last match I went to was Southend v Sunderland, the ticket bought for me as a treat by my old college room-mate, for whom we supplied tea afterwards. This was August, in the Championship, about 5 years ago I think. Southend won 3-1. I was singularly impressed that young men from a depressed area, many of whom presumably had little income, were prepared to make a 600-mile round trip to watch dross. Towards the end of the game they were chanting "You're not fit to wear the shirt!" and "We're shite and we know we are!"

At the end of the season Sunderland won the championship and Southend were relegated.

Many years ago (1978?) I was part of Southend's record crowd (>31000) when they drew 0-0 with Liverpool in the FA Cup. It snowed heavily and at times the orange ball was getting bigger as snow stuck to it. There was a famous piece of footage of John Motson on top of the Southend stand with no shelter but some blankets. He earned his money that night.

Southend were pretty close to winning: Ray Clements pulled off a brilliant save in the dying minutes from a screamer of a shot. I can't remember many of the other players. Ray Kennedy was in the Liverpool team, and I think Steve Heighway and Kevin Keegan might have been.

I went to Old Trafford in the 1970s. It was the year that Man U were relegated and I went with the same room-mate, Terry. He sometimes lurks on this forum just to see what I'm up to. He sent me some texts last week when he read that we were off to Alnwick, so hello Terry! In the match in question, against Newcastle, Man U's centre half, Jim Holton, was sent off for head-butting Malcolm McDonald. I'm pretty sure that this was the first professional football match I'd ever been to and I was quite frightened by the antics of the crowd, firstly by their behaviour when Man U scored (they were leaping all over the place like mad things) and secondly when we were packed so tightly that the crowd took on a kind of brownian motion: whole sections of humanity would flow up and down the terraces, held in place only by the crush barriers.
Bach without a doubt.

Hot Flatus

  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #2 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:21:57 pm »
I've only ever been to one match. Man U vs I can't remember who, at Old Trafford. It's not my bag at all and I only went because I thought I ought to.

Was very boring.

gordon taylor

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #3 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:23:27 pm »

, Man U's centre half, Jim Holton,


He was Scottish? Yes?  There a chant about BIG JIM HOLTON at the back of my brain that won;t pop out ATM.


Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #4 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:25:43 pm »
Six foot two
Eyes of blue
Big Jim Holton's after you...

He was that class of old-fashioned centre-half whom Terry would describe as a "fookin' animal". And yes, I think he was Scottish.
Bach without a doubt.

gordon taylor

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #5 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:28:17 pm »
oNE OF TEH FNNIEST ASPETD OF TRONIGHTES GAN EWAS LISTENING TO TEH PHONE IN ON bbc rADIO sYTOKE"""""


Majorbloodnok

  • its no good, we'll have to drink our way out of it
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #6 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:29:39 pm »
I've only ever been to one match. Man U vs I can't remember who, at Old Trafford. It's not my bag at all and I only went because I thought I ought to.

Was very boring.

+1
I went with my dad to watch Norwich a few times but spent more time crowd watching than match watching (it was all standing then I think which added to the atmoshere).  Not at all interested in the game though, never have been....much to my dad's disappointment no doubt.


Wowbagger

  • Sylph
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Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #7 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:30:27 pm »
Jim Holton, obituary

Well well. I didn't know he was dead.
Bach without a doubt.

gordon taylor

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #8 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:31:50 pm »
Jim Holton, obituary

Well well. I didn't know he was dead.

Damn. Neither  did I.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #9 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:35:07 pm »
I saw the USSR vs DDR (let's keep it all initials) in Kiev in 1989. It was some kind of friendly, we got in for free. This was when Dinamo Kiiv were at their zenith and they provided about half the Soviet squad. The Motherland smashed the Fatherland and everyone was very happy. The crowd were very well behaved, though that's by no means typical of Russian (term loosely applied) sports crowds, especially for intra-SovBloc matches. Sitting on concrete terraces, it was a hot, dry day. Happy days in Kiów.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
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Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #10 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:35:51 pm »
Memorable matches?

The FA Cup Final, 1984
FGR vs Derby 2009
Man City vs Watford 1986 FA Cup. Snow stopped the travelling fans so it was just us expats there. 200 Watford fans outsung 19,000 City fans. Well, we did win.
Man United vs Watford 1986ish. When I saw first hand the cynicism of expectation of the fans of an ever achieving side. Vowed to hate Man United even more after that.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

LindaG

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #11 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:39:04 pm »
Littlewoods Cup Final, 1989.

I saw Derek Hatton at the City Ground once.  Can't remember who played that day.


gordon taylor

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #12 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:41:19 pm »
Vowed to hate Man United even more after that.

I know how you feel. I became a token Motherwell supporter after being taken to a Rangers v Motherwell game in the 70s by my Dad. I was so appalled by the Rangers supporters around us that I started shouting for the underdog.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
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Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #13 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:44:45 pm »
I agree about watching the crowd. Quite fascinating. I really enjoyed "Fever Pitch" when I read it. I could remember the matches Nick Hornby described from when I saw them on Match of the Day. I recall the Charlie George goal, I think against Derby away, when he went to the home supporters' end and gave grandiloquent V-signs to the crowd.

I also recall that, shortly after Watford were elected to the league, they used to play Southend a lot and were well matched. In the 1970s they had a black player called Luther Blissett but racism in football was rife. Every time Blissett got the ball the Southend crowd made ape noises. At half time, the Southend official in charge o the PA made the appeal to the home crowd to give the Watford number 10 a "fair crack of the whip".

One of my teaching colleagues, Bob Werrett, who was Head of Maths, was a Special Constable and used to police a lot of the Southend matches. These were often played on a Friday evening so that supporters could go and watch West Ham or one of the other London clubs on the Saturday if they so wished. The Southend North Bank, consisting largely of pupils from the school we taught at, had a special chant they would bring out on the occasions that Mr. Werrett was officiating: "Werrett is a cunt! Werrett is a cunt! E-I-addio! Werrett is a cunt!"
Bach without a doubt.

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #14 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:48:48 pm »
I had never been to a football match until I got to uni. My new uni chums (who were all grubby northern types) were astonished that I'd never been to a football match before. I'd been to cricket and rubgy matches but not football.

So that day in the pub, it was decided that we should go to the next match possible. That happened to be the next day (a Wednesday) when England were entertaining Turkey at Wembley in a WC qualifying game! We got the tickets and bunked the train down to London. Engerland won 4-2 I think. Gazza definitely scored.

After that I used to go and watch Coventry City play quite often and also the Birmingham clubs too. I suppose I enjoyed it. I must have liked standing around in the pissing rain surrounded by a bunch of drunk, uncouth gobshites....
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #15 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:49:56 pm »

I saw Derek Hatton at the City Ground once.  Can't remember who played that day.

Bet it wasn't Derek Hatton!

My most memorable match wasn't a league or cup one but a testimonial for the great Jackie Milburn, Wor Jackie of Newcassel United and England, cousin of the Charlton brothers who were nearly as good.  It was in the late 60s and Jackie played in a home side of players who had won the FA Cup three times in the 50s.  Their opponents were from all over and included Bobby Charlton and Ferenc Puskas in the same forward line.  Puskas, who had retired from playing for Real Madrid and by then had a sustantial paunch, was demonstrating his techniques before the game.  He could still pass a ball into a bucket from 40 yards.  Absolutely amazing.  I think the final score was about 12-all.  Paradise at St James's!

gordon taylor

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #16 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:54:29 pm »
The chants are amazing.
There was funny one tonight about "Where the fuck's my car stereo gone" directed to the Liverpool supporters. and I recall one from a game years ago between Wolves and QPR... the OPR fans started shouting "Going Down, Going Down" at the Wolves supporters.. who immediately replied "So are We!, So are We!"

Whilst racist chants are now out of football, there are lots of others that would make sensitive souls implode.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
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Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #17 on: 26 October, 2011, 11:57:36 pm »
When I was in my teens I used to watch the local village side play - Ramsden Heath - in the Mid-Essex league or some-such.

For an amateur team they were very good. They had a small group of players who travelled from Manor Park or Goodmayes to play, and one of these chaps was such a dirty player that I saw him get sent off several times. I think in the end he was handed a life ban from playing football - it didn't occur to me at the time but I wonder now why he gained so much pleasure from fouling and kicking his opponents, particularly when he was so good, at least, at the level he was playing.

Some of these games were hugely entertaining and to my untutored eye they were every bit as good as the professionals who were on the television. The games were played in the recreation ground immediately across the road from our house and my father, my brother and I would watch pretty well every home game. The "crowd" was probably outnumbered by the players on the pitch.
Bach without a doubt.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #18 on: 27 October, 2011, 12:05:47 am »
I grew up following Maidstone United in the early 80s, when they were a decent non-league side. I went to nearly all home games and quite a few away games for a few seasons running, including the big cup ties away to Darlington one year and away to Plymouth the following year (ten-hour round trips to watch Maidstone get pasted both times).  Best game ever was, iirc, last day of the 1983-4 season at home to Telford. Maidstone only needed to get an equal or better result than Enfield to secure the title. Enfield drew while Maidstone won 6-0. It was magnificent.

A few weeks ago, I went to Arsenal vs Liverpool as a guest of Indesit - full prawn sandwich treatment, corporate box, the works. It was a good game featuring some quality players - Gordy, you're right about Suarez, he's something else. Absolutely terrified the Arsenal defence. Pure class. (Mind you, it doesn't take much to terrorise the Arsenal defence these days.) Thing is, the Emirates is a beautiful modern stadium, comfortable and spacious… and entirely devoid of atmosphere. Despite the quality on display, and the liberal quantities of free booze, the experience wasn't nearly as exciting as that Maidstone vs Telford match of all those years ago.

I've seen a few premier league games (mostly not from the comfort of a corporate box) and it's quite often been the case that there's something lacking in the atmosphere. Watching on telly, you just don't see most of the game - you don't see all the movement off the ball, or get anything like the bigger picture of what's happening on the pitch. At that level of the game, tactics play such a huge part that in some ways it's more like chess than the gung-ho battles of lower league football. And consequently, not always a lot to cheer about. [edit: actually, come to think of it, "gung-ho battles" is probably a suitable description of the way I play chess.]

On the other hand, I also saw Chelsea vs Liverpool in the Champions League QF at Stamford Bridge a couple of years ago - the one when Frank Lampard scored then went down on his knees to salute his recently deceased mother. That was a game and a half, real hammer and tongs stuff, and the stadium was rocking with the noise of the fans. There was also a blinder of a goal from Fernando Torres that was worth the hugely inflated admission price by itself.

Mostly, though, I can't be bothered with football any more. I rarely watch Match Of The Day. Footballers are a disgraceful breed, all the pundits and commentators are without exception dullards and most of the fans are idiots or worse. I'd rather watch rugby these days, though even that seems gradually to be becoming infected by the greed and corruption that has ruined football.

d.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #19 on: 27 October, 2011, 12:09:01 am »
Chants. One of my favourites was at Vicarage Road. V Arsenal. We were three nil down at half time and were rather quiet.

"Shall we sing a song for you" piped up the Arsenal support.  ;D

Still we got two back and gave them a fright.

Nowadays it is "Where's your burger van" to Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep  at FGR. excellent.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #20 on: 27 October, 2011, 12:13:21 am »
The first game I watched was a schoolboy's game, England v Scotland at Maine Road (It could have
been any time between 1968 and about 1972). Our primary school, Princess Road Junior school,
was about 1/4 mile from Maine Road, received free tickets, along with a couple of the other local schools.
The only thing I remember about the game was that the Scottish goalie had ginger hair.

The first match I actually paid to watch was in about 1972, United were at home to Chelsea and lost
1-0. United had a goal disallowed (Law, I think). The last United match I saw, was a 3-0 home win
against Everton. Gary Birtles made his home debut that day.  The last match I saw was when
I was in the RAF, based at Cosford. I went to see Birmingham v Leeds, 1985. Leeds fans were quite violent.

By default, our family should have been Man City supporters, as we were brought up in Moss Side,
less than 1/4 mile from City's ground. However, during the very late 60s and early 70s, City and other
teams used to beat United very heavily, and I felt sorry for them. It was about this time that United
still had George Best and Willie Morgan in their team. Women used to go crazy about them, including
my eldest sister and her friends. So, I suppose we all followed her choice.

I don't get too upset about United losing


















(except against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Leeds). :demon:

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #21 on: 27 October, 2011, 12:14:16 am »

 most of the fans are idiots or worse.

d.

And the Andy Gray Trophy For Sweeping Generalisations goes to..........

 ;)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #22 on: 27 October, 2011, 12:16:25 am »
Generalisation it may be, but I stand by it. Football does seem to attract rather more than its fair share of idiots. It's not uncommon at a game to find yourself surrounded by people whose company you wouldn't choose to tolerate in any other circumstances.

d.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #23 on: 27 October, 2011, 12:17:57 am »
I'll digress if I may and include a cricket match I watched: the Benson & Hedges Final 1979, Essex v Surrey. It was the first time I'd visited Lords and had obtained 4 tickets at £4.50 each. I asked my dad to go along, and also my pal Mel and his wife Kaye. It was a tremendous atmosphere in which Essex supporters, whose county had never won anything in their 102 year history, outnumbered the Surrey lot about 4 to 1 I reckon. It was a great game of cricket, the highest-scoring 1-day final up to that time.

There was a lot of really funny banter in the crowd. Sitting just behind us was a chap from Witham, where in those days "Estuary" hadn't been invented and people from that part of the world still had proper Essex accents. He had evidently placed a bet on Ken McEwen being the Essex top scorer and didn't stop shouting all of Ken's innings of 72 (he lost his bet because Graham Gooch scored 120). He gave a running commentary of the game in a very loud voice with all sorts of witty asides and he was almost as entertaining as the cricket. At one point, during a brief lull, Mel turned to him and said "You don't sell aspirin as well do you?" which had lots of people all around us in stitches.

Essex scored 290, which was a record for the competition at the time, and there were some young Surrey lads who had a banner which read "Butcher cuts Lever's balls". As the match slid inexorably Essex's way, the Witham chap kept on shouting at these lads "Come on sunshine, give the ol' banner a wave!" and the poor kids looked very miserable. When Surrey batted, Butcher, who also opened for England for a while, was dismissed quite cheaply by Lever and our Witham friend shouted "Oi, sonny! Your Butcher's got the chop!"

I thought the poor kids were going to burst into tears.
Bach without a doubt.

Re: Football matches that we've been to...
« Reply #24 on: 27 October, 2011, 12:22:40 am »
Generalisation it may be, but I stand by it. Football does seem to attract rather more than its fair share of idiots. It's not uncommon at a game to find yourself surrounded by people whose company you wouldn't choose to tolerate in any other circumstances.

d.

'Twas but a jest, d.  But I still think that, while I, too, am uneasy in such company, they are in fact a minority in any crowd.  They make it their job to seem like the majority and we let them get on with it because it's safer.