Gangs Of Young Football Fans

Discussion in 'General football forum' started by cyberblue, 11 Mar 2018.

  1. ChicagoBlue

    ChicagoBlue

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    Well stated.

    Today, with super slo mo, 25 camera angles, instant lines across the pitch on offsides, etc, etc, etc...watching at home on a big 4K screen for pennies on the dollar is life changing. We used to live the entire week for the whole Saturday theatre of getting up, watching some Noel Edmunds on telly, while having some cereal, and then setting off on the bus to my Gran’s who lived on Horton Road, one street and a ginnel from the ground. There, she’d have some free Hovis butties ready, usually potted meat, and shed let us put salt and vinegar crisps on them. Grandad was the sweet merchant, so he would provide the wine gums (Lions, of course, none of that gummy shit!) and some Beech Nut chewing gum. We’d grab a piece of fruit from the sideboard, my Gran would always complain that my Mum (her daughter) had let us out of the house without enough warm clothes on, and a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the bum and we were on our way, across Thornton Road (who the fuck puts Thornton Road right next to Horton Road?!) and down the dogshit filled ginnel that ran beside the old ice cream warehouse that was the back wall of the Maine Road fancy car park.

    Ah, the good old days!! Some times, the lady down the street who ran some of the concessions in the Main Stand would stop by and ask us if we wanted to go early. She would walk us in (FOR FREE!! It felt like stealing and being special back then!) and we would have to do a few little odd jobs for her to “earn our keep” before she let us go over to the Platt Lane End, where we would take up our positions behind the goal (on the nice days) or up under the cover of the stand on the invariably cold wet days. Would spend the 30 minutes before the game being shunted from seat to seat as punters with tickets came by and told us we were in their seats. On big games, it was often standing at the back looking for the odd spare, hopefully on the end (ish) of a row.

    Then, when we thought we were big enough to be able to see, we “graduated” to the Kippax. First it was by the uncovered tunnel next to the Platt Lane End, then after the teenaged growth spurt, it was in the heart of the stand. We used to try to walk up and down the field depending on which way City were kicking, which wasn’t usually too bad as long as you were willing to stand nearer the front. Then, the new North Stand, which was brilliant for th short time it was standing, but then became all seater. Nine rows up from Helen and her bell, Block N, Row 10, seats 1 and 2. We had arrived!!! Hooligan problems were a bit bad at the time and we were right at the age to be involved, so my parents pushed the boat waaaay out for season tickets to keep us safe and happy. Saw some ridiculous football up close and I can still see Dave Watson’s header (yes, that one!) when I close my eyes!

    Yes, those were the days when a young kid BECAME a lifelong City fan, because it was in his blood, it was what he lived for, it was his main release after a long week of school and going to school in the dark and going home in the dark! Just the escape of the bus into town, seeing the grandparents and knowing they always had a treat for you (yes, fruit and sweets and crisp butties WERE treats!), the anticipation of seeing those heroes you never got to see in City TV videos or Instagram or Twitter every day, and the whole 38,000 people all coming together for 90 minutes...emphasis on together.

    Maybe I was young, naive and stupid, but those are some of the best memories I will ever have, and I’d venture the best memories many lads my age will ever have. It actually MEANT something to see a game, to EXPERIENCE a game. Today, it seems like the rare occasion that rises anywhere close to that. It is too bad the youth of today will never experience football the way many of us grew up experienced it. The loss is most definitively theirs.
     
  2. JOGAMIGMOG

    JOGAMIGMOG

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    Wow! Fabulous post. I'm 50 and echo every word of that.
     
  3. Platt Lane veteran

    Platt Lane veteran

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    Best thing I’ve read on Bluemoon for a long time. Identify with every word, hats off to you, ChicagoBlue.
     
  4. ray21

    ray21

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    Great post, you missed the guy walking around the perimeter of the pitch with his tea trolley,and the little blue disabled people cars on the corners,what great days.
     
  5. cyan

    cyan

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    I don't know how football expects to pick up new life-long fans. Like others commenting here my young days were the late 70's/early 80's - you could go to a match on a whim, hop on a train, pay on the gate - I went watching City that way, but also went as a neutral to plenty of other grounds. I went to Loughborough as a student - that meant we had the pick of getting to Nottingham, Leicester, Derby - a crowd of us would just head off to whatever ground we fancied - if City were playing locally those I was friendly with would come with me, but others were Southampton, Bristol and Notts County fans so we went together to watch our teams or just picked a game that interested us. We supported our own teams but enjoyed live football. My brother went to university in Manchester and so took others along to City - using that ability to pay on the gate and gather on the Kippax to help friends fall in love in City - some of that group are now long-term City season ticket holders. Is that still possible for students and others arriving in Manchester?

    It really was a good time to be a football fan - particular memories would be a game at Wolves trying our best to support the overpriced Steve Daley whilst he had a mare, (I think he ended up scoring an own goal!) everyone sitting down on the terrace at Derby much to the bemusement of the local constabulary. A thrashing at Forest where we didn't even pause in switching 3-0 3-0 to 4-0 4-0 as Forest scored another - my Notts County supporting mate was more upset than we were! Getting crushed and then chased out of Elland Road after losing in the cup (the crushing was such that after Hillsborough I realised how close we might have come to something similar that day). It was all good and still I would rather be at a live match than watch it on the tele.
     
  6. purplenose

    purplenose

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    I recall the Peterborough tickets had no stub on so were being wrapped round a stone and lobbed back over the wall for those without tickets, I do recall it being very cosy in the away end that day. The Semi final needs little saying all who went will know what that day was like.

    As for that replay, I was very fortunate that someone sorted a ticket out for that and my grandad and dad sorted the coach and tickets cost and a bit of spends as I had just left school and had spent the meagre earnings of various odd jobs on the Saturday trip and was thus skint and gutted that I thought I would,nt get to see that cup run through.

    Sadly that proved to be my only and last opportunity to see us win something as we were shite all the time I went. I am delighted that there are those from that era who have been rewarded for their loyalty and have gone back to Wembley and excorcised the ghosts of bloody Ricky Villa...and I can assure you that on those occasions even just once It would have been wonderful to be there, and whilst I applaud your loyalty and have no problem at all with you having now a long awaited and richly deserved time of plenty, you might well consider that not everyone is as fortunate to have been able to do it. So maybe a little less of a superior attitude than suggested in your first response might be appropriate

    Interesting you mention Huddersfield for atmosphere, given their pricing they have virtually assured themselves of keeping the support they had "when they were shit" and getting the local working class fans in the place. There used to always be a good atmophere to be had in Yorkshire games, I recall Barnsley with 40k in the place was an experience when they beat us 1-0 and of course a trip to Leeds was almost always atmospheric and usually quite exciting in a scary kind of way. So you dont surprise me at all. Infact given that you clearly have followed City for donkeys years home and away I am surprised you had nothing more to offer in the discussion than simply dismissing my opinions ending with a sarcastic well done.....I am sure had the roles been reversed you would have told me to piss off.

    Oh and for clarity I was,nt at York away but was at the Shay and Gay Meadow, all a very long time ago so perhaps in your opinion I should no longer have the audacity to have an opinion on all things Manchester City. Anyway no hard feelings and should you require any assistance getting off that horse I have a good mate who has a set of those stairs they used to use for disembarking from Jumbo jets, and it will save you troubling the fire brigade.
     
  7. paulchapo

    paulchapo

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    Brilliant mate I wouldn't have swapped those memories for anything. Looking back now even though I was brought up in Hulme then Benchill, both tough areas my parents were very protective. I still can't believe they let me go to the match with my mates and no adult st eleven lol!
     
    Last edited: 11 Mar 2018
  8. IanBishopsHaircut

    IanBishopsHaircut

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    Was talking about this to my mates the other day

    £50 for an individual ticket to a game..that’s like going to a top music gig

    I remember paying £50 to a tout outside Maine Rd for the derby in 89 and that was a lot of money to me at the time

    Plus like previously stated..you can’t just rock up and pay on the door these days
     
  9. ChicagoBlue

    ChicagoBlue

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    And, what about the mascot coming out and running a few laps of the track to let you know the players were almost ready to come out?! :-)
     
  10. ChicagoBlue

    ChicagoBlue

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    Cheers, mate! Sometimes, the name makes people think I haven’t lived the Manc nipper life, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Didn’t have tuppence ha’penny, but never knew (or thought or felt) I was missing out on anything. Loving parents, heat in in the winter, always a pillow full of Christmas pressies hanging off my bed on Christmas morning. What else was there?!

    Good times...
     

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