Oxford Mail 

From football messageboards – stories of our times.


“I found out my now-wife was at the game, as a Bankies fan, with her dad and sister (he obviously wanted sons). She excitedly burst out ‘I was at that game too!’ She thought I might say ‘how romantic’ or ‘funny old world’, but I just said ‘4-3: get it up you!’ “

“Annual trip to Blackpool as a kid, mid 70s. Dad took me to see Blackpool v Chelsea and we ended up in the middle of a pitched battle. He had to explain his busted nose and black eye to my ragingly pissed off Mum.”


“The coach toilet didn’t have a light and I was mid-slash when the driver decided to cut down a slip road on to a roundabout and back up on to the motorway. I was thrown all over the place, and came back out through the door backwards with a damp patch down one leg.”

“They took the remote controls away from our Dixons as it was always full of blokes just going on teletext to look at the scores.”

“Went to Bloomfield Road once. Second half there was a sea of discarded meat pies on the front steps behind the goal, all with one bite taken out of them.”

“I had a ticket for the ’89 title decider at Liverpool. Gaffer said I couldn’t have the day off. I quit soon after and moved to Australia, that showed him.”

“While I was a punk I had two leather jackets, one of which had Chelsea painted on the back – the punk band – which I only wore to gigs or on the streets. One night I went to see Arsenal and put it on by mistake.”

“I was with my cousin standing on the North Bank at Highbury. He kept shouting ‘Werewolf!’ as loud as he could and then ducking down behind me as Withe stared into the crowd searching for him with his beady eyes.”

“My friend’s Dad would drive through Melton Mowbray on the way to games in Nottingham. We used to wind the windows down and shout “Do you make pies?” at passers by.”

Aston Villa

“Got dropped off late by the coach, and when I asked a copper where the coaches would be after the game he simply turned his lapel over to show a West Ham badge and said “Do you think I’m going to f*****g tell you?”

“I remember a lad called Barstool Al. Wherever we went away he always tried to nick a stool from a pub to take to the match. He never got it in but the beer must have made him optimistic.”

“Loads were cutting up the grass to keep as a memento. And some were flinging it at the Arsenal fans.”

“My old man hated Trevor Hockey because he had long hair and a beard and admitted to owning a pink piano.”

“I asked for a cheeseburger in the away end and the woman said ‘Only home fans get cheese on their burger here, love’.“

“The marching band found out they had lost a load of spurs from their boots, and the players had to search the pitch for them.”

“We had the same team every week for a couple of seasons. Remember being heartbroken in December 1980 when we had to play David Geddis against the Blues. Mum dragged me Christmas shopping in Rackhams, bought the Argus to find he’d scored twice.”

“Alan Brazil told me to get stuffed live on air when he invited listeners to ring in and nominate their favourite striker and I said ‘Bosco Jankovic’.”

“I drove a Hillman Imp at the time and the cylinder head gasket blew as we got in to Leicester. The thing to do was to keep the engine going and get to help as soon as possible. So obviously we parked up and went to the game.”

“We went to Banik Ostrava and Central News came on the bus. When the cameras rolled I turned round and there was only about 20 people left. All the rest were under the seats and tables because they were on the sick from work.”


“The station was pretty tense, with us trying to look like we’re just on our way home from work or something. Even when we got on the train and breathed a sigh of relief, a Brummie stuck his head in the window and shouted ‘fat bastard’ at my mate.”

“Millwall fans right next to us, fortunately behind railings. Wearing surgical masks. Stared at us all game – and hissed. Spooky.”

“We were in the away end at the Baseball Ground and some old bloke had been giving us stick from the tier above. That was until his glasses fell off and someone jumped all over them.”

“Leicester away, my mate was walking round a pool table chalking his cue and they’d left the cellar trap open.”

“A WPC close by shouted ‘Don’t worry boys, they can’t possibly hit us from….’ and before she finished the sentence a lump of rock clattered into the metal sign above her head.”

“Few cans, Albert Hirst pies, snap, cards, paper – sorted.”

“’You’re gonna get what Bradford City got’ was the chant for a couple of seasons afterwards. Always thought that was an odd chant because all they got was a draw.”

“’Enfield Are Camel Fodder’ flew proudly in the Ponty. Bit miffed to see the Enfield fans with an ‘Enfield Fodder Poisons Camels’ banner at the replay.”

“A Millwall fan got on our bus and said ‘We having a fackin’ do, then?’ and some loon from Thurnscoe replied ‘Aye mate, dus tha want mi to fetch some pooierk pies and sausage rolls?’”

Birmingham City

“When Platt scored that goal against Belgium someone in the Garrison smashed the telly up because he was a Villa player.”

“I went to watch Halesowen Town with my father-in-law. He took a roast potato and mushy peas sandwich with him, leftovers from his tea about an hour before.”

Blackburn Rovers

“I remember being in the bogs behind the terrace at Huddersfield with a few other Rovers fans, trying to warm our hands around the solitary lightbulb.”

“Girls were handing out mini Boost bars outside the ground. Most ended up in the Blackburn End goalmouth completely surrounding David James.”

“As our coach drove through Burnley even people coming out of church were giving us v-signs.”

“My history teacher gained kudos for being one of 12 Blackpool fans who went to an away game at the Den.”


“I got chucked in the back of a police van at Gigg Lane for what I can only think was being a ‘Pool fan and having a mullet.”

“Mansfield’s uncovered away end in a blizzard has a special place in Hades.”

“Got chased in Leicester back in the day, I ran into a carpet shop and hid between the rolls of carpet and my two mates jumped a wall and got arrested for trespassing on the railway.”

“Remember going to Barcelona for an England game. Pouring down with rain, police giving everyone grief and we ended up in a sex shop that served beer at the bottom of Las Ramblas. One Euro a pint, place was packed and some very interesting reading material.”

“We got a reduced price for a group booking on a BA flight to Finland for an England game by writing to them saying we were a brass band. At check in we said the instruments had gone by road separately.”

“When we were nippers Stanley Matthews would have a kickabout with us on our local park. I wish he’d used a ball instead.”

Bolton Wanderers

I was in the stand at the Den. The guy next to me had to be over 80 years old. Millwall had Man City’s old centre forward Alf Wood who almost broke the net with a cracking goal. Me: ‘That was some goal’. Old boy: ‘What’s it got to do with you, you norvern cant?’

“Never saw any ‘home fans only’ signs on the pubs down Manny Road on match days. Didn’t need them.”

“At Millwall there would be owd grannies frisbeeing steel bin lids at us from tenement balconies.”

“I was stood next to a copper on the away end at Southampton. It pissed down the whole 90 minutes, we were drenched. When our equaliser went in the copper jumped up punching the air. Turned out he was a Pompey fan.”

“I went on the League Liner to Bournemouth, it had a disco carriage at the back. Boiling hot when we got there and I remember walking through a park to the ground where we saw men playing a strange game with sticks. Later found out it was hockey.”

“Colchester had giant milk bottles who used to fight each other at half time. It was either that or the drugs.”

“My first away game with mates was Port Vale in 1983. I had no idea where it was and assumed it was some quaint fishing village.”

“Burnley had a mesh net that separated the home and away fans. It would split a red hot meat and potato pie into a multitude of burning projectiles.”

“My late sister in law once told me that in her teens she met John Byrom in a night club in Bolton. She said his chat up included telling her that people called him ‘Springbok Byrom’ because he moved like an antelope.”

“When the goal went in we all ended up elsewhere. The levitating fat bloke to the side of me took off at around 35 degrees, an anti-aircraft human if you like. Not sure where he came down.”

“Mate of mine got pulled at Tranmere with six toilet rolls under his coat. The plod asked him if he had a cold. He said (weakly) ‘Yes…’ So the bobby stood next to him for the entire match and he had to pretend to blow his nose every two minutes.”

“A St John’s ambulanceman hit a Chelsea fan with the half way line flagpole and then treated his head wound.”

“Carlisle away in the late Sixties, someone had left a gate open and the neighbourhood cows were all over the pitch. If you helped chase them off you got into the game for free.”

“I went to a pub on an estate near Walsall’s old ground and there was an Alsatian in the bar chewing a full sized tyre.”

“There was a burger seller outside Burnden Park in the 80s who permanently had a dew drop hanging off the end of his nose. Periodically it would achieve critical mass, drop onto the hot plate and cause an audible sizzle.”

“I have this vision in my memory of Jimmy Armfield in the early 70s at the Manor Ground, passively smoking a pipe on the touchline while sat in what appeared to be a dining chair.”

“I played truant, went to Derby and asked my mum to write me a letter for school next day. I got detention because it read ‘Dear Miss Williams, Michael decided that a day out at a football match was much more important than his education’.”

“I remember Bobby Kerr’s pub in Sunderland, but neither its name nor why I was in there.”

“Me and my mate had bought some family size pork pies to take home after a session in the Market Porter pub, but the Millwall police told us pies were offensive weapons so we had to share them out at the turnstiles.”


“On one trip up North the game got cancelled last minute. Miss Mancini pottered off to see a distant relative and the coach stayed on till she wandered back at would have been the end of the game.”

“We ended up being chased around the prison walls with watching inmates cheering loudly.”

“I was at Dean Court the night we were relegated for the first time in our history. Freddie Cox was manager and the fans staged a ‘Trousers down, Cox out’ protest in the centre circle.”

Bradford City

“I went to see Kindergarten Cop at the cinema with Bobby Ham’s daughter.”

“Easter Monday, won 1-0 at Sunderland. Car broke down near Teesside. Stuck on lay-by on A19 for 3 hours. Threatened by a farmer for having a piss in his field. Recovery truck appeared including driver’s dog, which sat on my lap all the way back to Bradford.”

“I camped overnight outside Valley Parade to get tickets for the 1988 Boro-City play-off semi-final at Ayresome Park. Expected others to do the same but me and my mate were the only ones there.”

“We sent up Face in the Crowd for City Gent fanzine. ‘Is this you? If so get a shave, you scruffy sod’. It was an off duty policeman and his mates photocopied it and plastered it all over the police station.”

Brechin City

“The terrace end bogs at Glebe Park used to be just a wall. Now they’re a wall with a shiny urinal nailed onto it that diverts the pish into a trough full of beech leaves.”


“Anyone used the loaf of bread tactic walking to or from an away ground? Carry a small loaf of bread with you all all times. If approached by some local no-gooders just say “What game? I’ve just been asked to pop out and get a loaf of bread, we’re visiting my Nan.”

“I went to Roots Hall in about 1978 with my friend. We were 14. This boy about 2 years older than us came over and started hassling us and tried to take my mate’s scarf. There was a really pathetic struggle and then he said ‘sorry’, let go and walked off.”

“I never wore slip-ons again after the Liverpool game.”

“We were in a Millwall pub trying to blend in and my mate walked into a stockroom cupboard thinking it was the toilet.”

Brighton & Hove Albion

“We were at a petrol station and some Ipswich fans started singing ‘Going down’. Angered by this I – resplendent in my nun’s habits – stormed across the forecourt to issue a volley of abuse through the driver’s window. I often wonder what anyone watching made of it.”

“I have a surreal memory of a Spurs fan wearing a Donald Duck mask. Or maybe even an entire Donald Duck head.”

“I went to Ayresome Park with my girlfriend and she couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her talk on the way back to the car.”

“At the end of the game we were kept in for ages while they lit a bonfire in the stand to our left and burned policemen’s helmets.”

“At Cambridge in the 80s we were told we couldn’t have any onions on our burgers because the local residents complained about the smell.”

“I went to a grim 0-5 at Cleethorpes where the highlight was taking our fish and chips into a dry boozer. Wouldn’t have minded except we beat Charlton 7-0 the week before and that led to me spending 1/3 of my student grant getting there.”

“The Gents’ were in someone’s back garden and we got chased back to the station after a shite 0-0 draw by 50 Burberry clad dickheads. All in all a great day out.”

“Several Stoke fans got cracked around the head with a leg of lamb. You don’t see that in Football Factory.”

“I remember making about 40 Cardiff fans run through Hove Park as fast as they could. They never caught me though.”

“I went with ankle DMs and came away after the game with a pair of high ones.”

“My dad got cross with Ron Pavey outside the club shop because he refused to refund him the price of a warped copy of The Goldstone Rap.”

“October 1978, loads of West Ham skinheads turned up. Some were in the North Stand before the game with nothing on their feet.”

“I’d never seen police on horseback wearing showjumping helmets before and I was almost wetting myself pointing and laughing. They arrested me for breach of the peace.”

“Being stuck in a phone box between the Cliftonville and Hove station as West Ham fans poured off the train wasn’t a nice moment. Still, at least it would have been easy to dial 999.”

“Got circled by some Cambridge yobs and my mate told them we were at the University. They asked which college and he said St Trinian’s.”

“The Seagulls Special charter train used to do a hot meal on the return journey. Bought sausage and mash once, the lights went out and when they came back on my sausages had been pinched.”

“We went to Southampton the night before the game and four of us camped out in a two man tent. When we woke up we realised we were in someone’s garden.”

“Ugly scenes ensued, but the Arsenal lads decided to leg it when three transvestites appeared in full drag and started laying into them.”

“The police at Oldham were counting our fans as they got on the coach. Everyone jumped out the back window and went round again.”

“My mate once hit a Saints fan around the head with a carrier bag full of pork pies and Scotch eggs. Despite the contents it was an unsavoury incident.”

Bristol City

“The police at Millwall were brilliant but scary – ‘All Bristol supporters stay in the light, don’t stray from the path’ – it was like a cross between An American Werewolf In London and Jurassic Park.”

“September 1986 away to Chester City at Sealand Road. We won 3-0 and David Harle scored a 30 yarder. I remember some City fans climbing up to the back of the terrace and picking raspberries to take back with them on the journey home.”

“I got into an argument with the young man selling the food and drinks at Port Vale so he left the onions off my hot dog and put them in my Bovril.”

“A Sunderland fan in my office never spoke to me again, which was fine by me because I never understood a word he said.”

“Griffin Park sometime in the late 80s. We were stuffed and there was a huge demo. Can’t remember whether it was ‘Sack the board’ or ‘Sack the manager’, but everyone got proper angry.”

“Coventry from Bristol, four of us in a Daf 33 with no reverse gear. 100 miles up the M5 at 45 mph. During the match it snowed and on returning to the car the rear side window had fallen out. We got frostbite during the journey home.”

“There was a copper with a megaphone saying ‘Put the toilet cistern down, you are a disgrace to your city’.”

“After we lost at Barnet this bloke on the Tube started showing me what he’d bought that day. I’m pretty sure he’d been shopping in Soho. When he asked me back to his house for a Tarot reading I legged it at Finsbury Park.”

“At Cambridge you had to walk across a field in the dark and the rain. I tripped over an abandoned shopping trolley and skinned my shin.”

“We lost one of our mates in Preston. Spent hours trying to find him in police stations and hospitals. Got back to the local at 10.45 and there he was, drunk. He couldn’t find our motor so just jumped in a minibus and went home.”

“It started raining at 4 and didn’t stop till Monday morning. My mate ran out of dry clothes, bought a cardigan from Blackpool market and still pulled.”

“Was it Bobby the Wolf who got his geography massively wrong by referring to Bristol Rovers as ‘northern ponces’ or am I confusing my men/animals?”

“As the keeper took position he was engulfed in a blizzard of pastry and cured pork from the East End. It was like a Cup Final at Melton Mowbray.”

“We watched one game at Preston through the window of a Portaloo.”

Bristol Rovers

“Never really understood the point in beating up other fellow working class lads just because they follow a different football team. I’d fight to overthrow the monarchy or government or something, but not someone who is basically the same as me over nothing.”

“I felt a warm glow as I stood on the Tote End as a 12 year old without my Dad for the first time, only to realise it came from the bladdered skinhead behind me who’d been pissing down my back for the previous minute.”

“One snowy February day we were throwing snowballs at the brass band that walked around at half time, trying to get them into the tuba.”

“I remember a mobile X-ray unit turning up at Shrewsbury away with a load of blokes getting out.”

“I once worked on a shutdown in Francis Lee’s toilet roll factory in Bolton. Middle of July and he came in to see how things were progressing dressed in a sheepskin winter jacket. They say it’s cold up north but that was taking it a bit far.”

“I’ll never forget Twerton Park’s bogs. My mate had a sprained ankle with bandages all round it. Pissing on one leg with a crutch proved impossible. Cue ‘squelch step, squelch step’ along the terrace and a trail of piss-soaked bandage footprints marking his route.”


“I asked a copper at Millwall what the safest way was back to my car, to which he replied ‘There isn’t one’”.

“I always remember walking up to the Longside and trying not to breathe in going past the bogs on the left hand side.”

“Remember playing at Wigan in winter, it had snowed and gone all slushy. We were freezing and it was shitty and my mate got charged £1.70 for a cheeseburger. The lass simply chucked on a Kraft slice and it wasn’t melted or owt, 20p extra.”

“I remember our coach posing as a male voice choir to blag entry to a service station.”

Burton Albion

“A youth asked if I wanted tea and a pie. Naively I said yes and he proceeded to tip the tea all over me, push the pie in my face and headbutt me.”

Cambridge United

“I won a penalty competition against Phil Parkes at Pontins Prestatyn in 1978, aged 7. He was very gracious about it but I always wondered whether he later paid that lad from Stockton Brook to push me in the boating lake.”

Cardiff City

“I recall sitting on the terraces at Springfield Park, surrounded by weeds and falling asleep as I’d had too much beer and the match was a dull 0-0.”

“We were marched around and around Eastville by the police before a new years fixture with Bristol Rovers in 1978, as the special was so early.”

“I got battered at Millwall and chased out of the ground. Caught a bus to Marble Arch, tube to Paddington, train to Hereford via Birmingham, train to Abergavenny, thumbed a lift to Brynmawr with 2 Pakistani doctors in a Ford Capri, walked home to Rhymney and all with about £2 in my pocket.”

“We got separated from the rest of the Wales fans in Nuremberg and a large mob came towards us – scarves on wrists, leather jackets, the lot. When we got up close we realised they’d all been to a David Hasselhoff concert.”

“The lads were playing football on the pitch opposite Ninian Park, and Robin Friday came over with a velvet jacket on complete with flares and platforms and a four pack and a can in his hand and watched them play. I think he had just finished training.”

“The Craddock was a great pub and the Barry boys used to drink there back in the Seventies. I remember coming out before a game to see Robin Friday walking towards the ground with a pair of boots hung over his shoulder by the laces.”

“Rather than get involved in the bother we felt it would be more appropriate to protect a few young mothers. So we ran into Mothercare and double bolted the door.”

“I remember seeing about 20 City fans walking up a road in New Cross. Most were trying very hard to blend in, but it was hard because one had a Welsh flag draped around him.”

“I bought a tennis racquet with my birthday money and took it to Ton Pentre v SC Herenveen in the Intertoto Cup.”

Carlisle United

“Very first league game l went to was Barnet away. Didn’t know where l was going, so I followed a bloke in a Barnet shirt-to the cash machine.”

“The police moved the Newcastle fans away so we could get out. I dropped 10 Regal king size, we lost 5-1 and the train was bricked on the way back.”


“Standing at the pie stall and using 2 circular foil pie holders to make a ‘speccy bastard’ gesture at a fella in the Rangers end. He was (un)surprisingly raging at this.”

“We were behind the Mount Florida goal, which was not such a good idea as that end was split half and half with a fence down the middle and we were showered with bottles and cans by the Aberdeen fans. My dad had a tin leg which made it hard for him to dodge missiles.”

“If my old dear insisted on taking me into town on a Saturday I always tried to engineer things so we would be near a TV shop around about full time. There was always a crowd of men at the window desperate for the scores to come up.”

“Uncovered end at Cappielow and there was a wind that had obviously rushed over from Greenland in order to see the game. By the time I got back on the train I was frozen like Han Solo at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.”

“I invested in an almost cremated sausage roll to use as a hand warmer.”

“I was at an Arbroath game where fish were being blown from the North Sea and deposited on the terracing.”

“My old supporters’ bus once followed the Hoops to Nuremburg on a pre-season tour. The game was being played in Switzerland and they ended up at the Deaf & Dumb Olympics instead.”

Charlton Athletic

“Me and a mate sat next to two elderly gentleman, which saved us from a kicking when some Millwall entered our carriage. They made a comment that they would leave us alone as we were with our granddads.”

“The maniac hanging on to the emergency exit whilst yelling about his dislike for people from London was a bit of an experience, especially when he fell off, got back up and chased the bus down the road.”

“During the second half a copper was nattering to us. I mentioned that the natives seemed a tad hostile, he assured me that it was the 3000 outside without tickets that were the problem.”

“We were chucked out of the Antigallican and saw two dogs mating. My mate pushed them through the front door of the pub, still locked end to end. We looked in the door to see a screaming landlady spraying the two dogs with a fire extinguisher.”

“One of the Welling girls was called Carol. She had a record played for me at half time once called ‘Sweet Talking Guy’, which sounds good until you hear the words ‘Stay away from him, he will make you cry’. Then she rubbed my name off her jeans.”

“There was a bloke called Barry in the Covered End. He turned to my mate who had just bought a mug and said ‘Can I borrow that?’ My mate said ‘Yeah’, and Barry promptly ran down the front and smacked a Preston fan over the head with it.”

“Got talking to a guy who had what looked like a load of mini scaffolding sticking out the side of his head. He’d had a row with his brother and the pins were holding his face together. Didn’t take too kindly to my mate asking him if he could get Sky on it.”

“An ex girlfriend of mine used to work in the furniture shop on the Goldstone estate. She had an American come into her shop and insist on taking photos around a sofa on the spot where David Beckham scored his first ever free kick.”

“I remember being at a party once where Atilla the Stockbroker continually told me how shite Carl Leaburn was.”

“My father-in-law once asked for a hot dog at Welling, ‘with nothing on it, just onions’. He got a roll with just onions in it. I was picking myself off the floor as he explained he actually wanted a sausage as well.”

“The boiled burgers were a crime against humanity. The mother of one of the people I went to games with in the 70s used to be on duty for the St Johns Ambulance, and she reckoned they saw far more people with food poisoning than injuries from scuffles.”


“Walking round the allotments in ’87, Watford jumping out trying to look scary and someone from the Chelsea lot – heavily outnumbered – just laughing and saying loudly ‘Is that it then?’ and the Watford looking at each other, shrugging and walking off dejected.”

“We passed Jimmy Hill on the way up the motorway, he was commentating that night. Pulled up alongside him in our boozed up Escort estate and all stroked our chins at him along with various hand signs.”

“I always hated the walk to White Hart Lane from Seven Sisters. More ambushes there than in Sherwood Forest.”

“When I went to Stockport I got it confused with Southport and went to look for the beach.”

“I arrived early for a Millwall game and Terry Hurlock was in the car park rooting around in the boot of his car. Rightly or wrongly I just assumed he was hiding a gun.”

“My brother knew his cover had been blown when the police asked him to name Oxford’s goalkeeper.”

“I listened to the semi-final against Luton on the radio. When we scored the first goal I jumped in the air and forgot I was on a ladder. I landed on top of the works van.”

“Saw Frank Sidebottom at International II. For some reason loads of Burnley supporters turned up chanting ‘Little Frank, Little Frank, Little Frank’.”

“I remember some Bristol lovelies going round the pitch in a car, throwing pork pies out to the crowd and getting a fair few thrown back at them.”

“I got every Esso collection without my parents having a car. Just used to bother the garage attendants in New Kings Road mercilessly until they’d give us handfuls of everything.”

“The van we used was owned by a plasterer and full of dust. We slept in it overnight on long trips. Had to evacuate quick in Rhyl one night after Shrewsbury away and we looked like ghosts.”

“Six of us piled in to a mate’s Reliant Robin hoping to get to London from Peterborough. Gust of wind a mile down the road had us sideways onto the verge of the A1.”

“Leighton James chastised me for swearing at him. He said ‘I know your Granddad’.”


“The Tranmere team stopped off at the Greyhound for a quick one on the way home and my Dad went over and dutifully collected all the autographs of the bastards who had just knocked us out of the Cup.”

“We went to an away game in fancy dress. I had a full American football kit on and got stuck in the doorway of the bus.”


“I went on the special train to Glasgow. It pulled into Carlisle station and stopped, and one bright spark jumped off and ran into the bar to get some cans, emerging with his arms full just as the train pulled out. He chased the train down the platform but missed it.”

“I remember going to school speech day on a Friday night, getting to the gates and thinking ‘I’ve not missed a match for 3 years, fuck it’ and legging it to Saltergate for a 0-0 with Southend.”

“When our keeper came to retrieve a wayward shot my Nan screamed at him ‘You’re fat and useless’. When I remonstrated with her that he was one of ours, she responded with ‘No he’s not, we play in blue and he’s in green’.”

“My dad lifted me over the turnstiles in the 70s when I was about 7 or 8 to sit in the stand. I didn’t like football at the time so have no recollection of the match, but I just remember a real big bloke with a massive beard swearing his ruddy head off all the way through.”

“I went in the Chesterfield Arms after the last game at Saltergate, and some blokes had rolls of turf on the table in front of them that they’d just dug up.”

“Aswad played Saltergate on the day of the 1990 FA Cup final. It pissed down, and there were only 500 there. Hope they brought their own PA system.”


“The pub had a licence from 8am as long as you bought food. Ended up absolutely gubbed by midday and a huge pile of uneaten bacon rolls in the corner. The boy who was driving had to jump out every 10 minutes to make sure the minibus hadn’t been nicked.”

Coventry City

“I remember being at the Old Den and seeing Ronnie Farmer miss a penalty. I’m still convinced he did it on purpose to save our fans a battering.”

“I saw a car with a skeleton tied to its bumper going down the M1 to Wembley with a sign around its neck saying ‘103 years I’ve been waiting’.”

“Norwich away, some of them came into our section looking for trouble but the City fans were dancing to ‘Oh What A Night’ by Frankie Valli and ignored them, so they left looking confused.”

“We never ever once used our actual seats as my Dad always sat us in the press seats in the main stand so we had a table for the fish and chips he had smuggled in.”

“Came out of Man City and a group of about 30 decided to start following us. The car had broken down a mile away so we had to try and find it again. Never been so glad to see some coppers, although the bastards weren’t very happy to see us.”

“Travelled to Barnsley the night before the match and some local let us all crash at his house. When we ran out of beer he went and broke into the off licence.”

“It made me laugh seeing a bloke at the back of the coach place his sandwich between his head and the window as an extra buffer (should that be buffet?) against the incoming debris.”

“Team came in at half time. A small portly man in a suit was sitting there. It was Renato from Renee and Renato. He sang Nessun Dorma. Nothing else was said. Team went out for the second half.”

Crewe Alexandra

“Tranmere, Friday night, walking back to the station on my own, followed by twelve year-olds on bikes going ‘Youse are crap, you are’ and trying to kick my arse, and having that thing where you’re a grown man and can’t hit kids but four of them might well take you down.”

Crystal Palace

“Walking past a church in Stoke and their boys were hiding behind the gravestones. It was like being set upon by the dead. Even the congregation steamed in.”

“As we sat at the station we were bombarded by coins thrown by Watford fans on the other platform. My mate cottoned onto the fact they were throwing 10s and 50s at us, so we took it in turns to shout abuse and then duck as another shower of cash flew our way.”

“I have fond memories of standing at the back of the terracing at the Goldstone (where we were habitually awful) and being entertained by the running battles going on in the park behind the ground. It was better than the football.”

“We went to Portsmouth in 1967 when the Beatles had just released ‘I am the Walrus’. We had a whip round in the pub and bought loads of eggs, then went into the Portsmouth end and sang ‘We are the egg men’, and chucked all the eggs at them.”

“What stood out most to me was the Leicester fans to our left chanting ‘the watar in Majorcar don’t taste like what it ortar’ in their best cockney accents.”

“Malcolm Allison showed up for training one morning with porn actress Fiona Richmond in tow. Despite having no top she trained with the players and then joined them afterwards in the team bath tub.”

“I can’t remember anything about the game apart from stopping at Colchester Zoo in the afternoon and feeding polos to the brown bear, which was the only animal brave enough to come out in those temperatures.”

“I was the only one that stood my ground but that was due to the fact I was on crutches.”

“I had my girlfriend with me and walked right though the middle of them with an ‘Allison’s Eagles’ flag around my shoulders. They parted like the Red Sea and one said to his mate ‘spot the loony’.”

“I remember one year at the Den when seven or eight of us decided to go in with the home fans as it had never been much fun in the away end. There’s a time and a place to win 3-0 away and that wasn’t it.”

“I knew a bloke who won Spot the Ball, bought a Sierra Cosworth, smashed into a field and had to give the farmer £3k for the damage.”

“I once upset Pablo Counago in the players’ lounge after mistaking him for a Ladbrokes employee.”

“I took a Sooner Snacks van to a game at Southend once, with 10 blokes in the back sharing four jars of pickled onions.”

“Had a load of conker trees on my route to Selhurst Park. As a young, naive 12 year old I stuffed this treasure into every pocket of my parka from Millets only to have them confiscated at the turnstiles.”

“The driver found our stash of brown ale under the back seat and made us drink it before the coach started off. Bad move because he then had to make three toilet stops before we even got onto the A23.”

“I gave a blank VHS tape to a little old lady who lived opposite the ground, asked her to record the game and said she could keep it if we lost. She even paused out the adverts.”

“Tried to sneak a quarter bottle of whisky into Turf Moor on my birthday. Fair play to the steward who said I could bring it in providing it was inside my belly. Challenge accepted – can’t remember the score, though.”

“I queued up to get Bobby Moore’s autograph and he falsely accused me of going round twice. I felt justice was done when he got wrongly arrested for bracelet theft in Bogota.”


“I threw a coke bottle at some York fans, which missed them and broke someone’s front window. I got arrested and gave a false name, but my parents’ telephone number. Their confusion turned into a lot of angry words and me not being allowed out to bathe in the notoriety.”

Derby County

“I once had a sausage roll at Goodison that said ‘This product is at least 20% pork’ on the wrapper.”

“A runaway hot dog cart ran in to the back of my mates Ford Sierra coming away from a game at Burnden Park.”

“Chelsea away, opening day of the 90/91 season and one of our lot turns up in a Derby shirt. Made him buy a coat to cover it up, he stood out like a sore thumb walking down Fulham Road with it zipped to the top in 30 plus degrees.”

“Green bomber jackets, flying celery, wooden seats, coppers on horses. It was like Doctor Who had kicked off with Planet of the Apes on a Saturday afternoon.”

“I used to go to games in a white coat with a big ram on the back and all the players’ names on. Never went looking for trouble but for some reason it always found me.”

Doncaster Rovers

“Inside Vicarage Road we found ourselves being chased by various fans of other teams whose games had been called off, as well as Watford. I vaguely remember us forming an uneasy alliance with another bunch of fans (possibly Luton) to try and get out of there unscathed.”

Dundee United

“The copper wifie was chatting to fans. Of course I said ‘What are you doing after the game?’ only to be told ‘Getting Tayside police to raid your buses on the way home.’ “


“I’ve worked as a steward at Man United on numerous occasions. The time I got crowd surfed by a load of Leeds fans lives long in the memory.”

“My late dad, rest his soul, had a few ales up West before our game at West Ham. He gets on the train and nods off shortly after leaving Charing Cross. Wakes up at the station surrounded by fellas getting off the train wearing blue scarves. This must be the place. He follows them to…The Den.”

“Got chased at Loftus Road and some big black dude on the door of a club shouted us and said ‘They won’t come in here.’ We ended up playing dominoes with a load of elderly West Indian blokes.”

“In the late 80s a pools syndicate I was in nearly won £1/4m. We debated what we’d have done with the big win and decided we’d buy Alan Harper and have him as the office “runner” to check the fax, sort the mail and do the Friday bacon butty run.”

“I went to the pub in Hartlepool and saw a bloke with ‘pint’ tattooed on one set of knuckles and ‘beer’ on the other. Remember being disappointed he didn’t have “of” on his thumbs.”

“I worked with a fella who claimed to have seen a Manweb van driving through the middle of Rome in May 77.”

“Mate of mine went to a fancy dress as the Incredible Hulk and dyed his skin green with food colouring. Only problem was he put it on neat so it took days to wear off. Queueing outside the Street End with a lad sporting a bright green head got quite a reaction.”

“Went to Rangers in 1981. Took in a trip to Joe McBride’s boozer by Clyde’s ground. Enjoying a quiet pint when a local waved a collection box under our nose. We dropped in some money then watched as he went the bar, removed the money and bought his ale.”

“I looked up, and there was John Parrott in the front row of the upper tier.”

“Used to be 2 dalmatians in the garden of one of the posh row of houses by the park where I used to play football. Always at it. No wonder there were 101 of the fuckers.”

“The Boys’ Pen was like Lord of the Flies. My Dad used to threaten to put me in there if I`d been misbehaving during the week.”

“Midway through an awful second half the PA went ‘Execute Operation Goodison, Execute Operation Goodison’. There was complete silence in the crowd as this had never been heard before. Then someone piped up ‘Execute Terry Darracott’!”

“Every season v Man City we used to sing ‘We’d walk a million miles to the end of your nose, Mike Summerbee’. Eventually one year he ran out wearing a huge false nose.”

“We kidnapped a vicar once on the way to Notts County.”

“Our headmaster used to always be making fun of Everton supporters at Monday morning assembly and claiming to be a big Liverpool fan. He then turned up in an Everton programme as the Lucky Face.”

“Mate of ours used to knock on train toilets pretending to be the inspector. ‘Slide your ticket under the door’, he’d say, and then waltz off with it.”

“Our neighbour’s dog Glen followed me from Orrell Park to the Gwladys Street turnstiles when we played Stoke City in the 1977 FA Cup 3rd round. He was back home when I returned later that afternoon.”

“Stamford Bridge, 1985. Two Soviet diplomats misunderstood a sign saying ‘visiting supporters’ and found themselves in with 3000 scallies.”

Exeter City

“Millwall 1980. We scored, I kept quiet, we won and I left the ground in an orderly fashion. Got onto the tube and made my way back to Finchley where I lived at the time. Left the train, left the station, checked behind me and then shouted; GOOOOAAAAAAAALL!”

“Once bought a pie in the dungeon under the away end at Everton. The jelly sprayed out of the pastry and injured me and those around me like a kind of pork flavoured napalm.”

“At Somerton Park home and away fans were separated by a toilet block. What really kept them apart was the fact that it frequently overflowed down the terrace in front.”


“Fulham fans were never into violence. We had enough on our hands at just getting through 90 minutes without killing ourselves, let alone anybody else.”

“I took a full suitcase to a game at Griffin Park in the ’80s. A bit awkward on the terrace but things were quite tense between us at the time, and my luggage had the benefit of throwing Brentford’s hooligans off the scent on my way to and from the ground.”

“Once went to see Fulham play at Stockport. We were so crap that watching planes coming in to land at Manchester Airport was more interesting than the game.”

“I went to Hillsborough with my mate who was carrying a Tupperware box full of crickets for his pet lizard.”


“Bloke buying a bottle of Panda Pop from a drink seller at the old Rainham End. When asked what flavour he wanted, he replied ‘Don’t care’ before proceeding to fuzz the bottle at the referee.”

“Went to Halifax on a Friday night and we won 2-1 with Crown scoring both, but I missed them as two kids up a tree by the away end were lobbing conkers at us.”

“Spotted a very young 70s version of myself sitting on the Rainham End wall by the corner flag in the Charlton game. Impossibly huge collars on my shirt, surprised I didn’t take flight in a stiff breeze.”

“I got the worst takeaway ever at Dagenham. The chicken was so undercooked I think it still had a pulse.”

“Does anyone remember the Exeter game in 1972 or did everyone else die of exposure and I’m the sole survivor?”

“There was a demonstration by the world boomerang champion. He threw 3 boomerangs which all landed on the Main Stand roof, shortest half time entertainment ever. We went to watch Live and Let Die at the ABC Chatham with my Mum after the game.”

Grimsby Town

“On my last trip to Highfield Road they welcomed us with a low level firework display, free pint glasses and a selection of pool table accessories.”

“We found an old style brown pay packet in the open corner and blew £25 on an Atari game, 5 flavour concentrates and a spare gas bottle for the Sodastream on the way home, mixed them up in a River Phoenix style frenzy and overgassed the soda. We were sick as fuck.”

“My mate was smacked straight in the face by a 25 yard screamer that knocked him off the barrier behind the ad boards and four feet onto the concrete. Then he left early, missed a last minute winner and got hit by a Wigan fan outside the ground.”

“There were huge queues of traffic en route and in Newark the coaches were nose to tail and not moving. Dozens of folk jumped off into a nearby pub, grabbed a pint and walked about another 10 yards to pick the bus up again.”

“I got tied to the open corner seats against West Brom a week before getting married. Luckily the stewards unchained me at half time as it was raining.”

“I was bringing a mate for his first game. The bus driver got a call on his radio and pulled over. ‘Sorry, we’ve to wait here for a bit, there are lions near the terminus’. I had to assure him that this hardly ever happened.”

“It was a planned attack. When ‘Come On Eileen’ played over the tannoy that was the signal to start.”

“I went to Leeds United v Sheffield United in 1974 wearing a suit and tie and was pushed to the ground by a policeman. He refused to say why.”

“Went to Spotland in torrential rain once. When all the pies were sold the woman phoned across to the main stand. Ten seconds later it was announced that the match had been abandoned.”

“I borrowed the boss’s Transit to move a settee and fourteen of us went to Plymouth.”

Halifax Town

“I like the idea of football hooligans having a reading circle. I think A Clockwork Orange described what was already there rather than causing a new phenomenon. If it had any influence they’d have probably been wearing mascara and saying ‘yarbles’ instead of ‘bollocks’.”

“I was asked by a few colleagues to buy some Harrods jam, marmalade and tea for them on my trip South. When I got to the turnstiles the bag was confiscated in case I threw the jars on the pitch.”

“Got my divorce then on to the Shay for the win against Man City then the Acapulco at night and I still don’t know how I woke up in Mixenden.”

“Mick Kennedy did his washing in the launderette in West Vale every Friday. My Mum used to help him, I suppose as a very young lad back then he wouldn’t have had much clue how to use the machines.”

Heart of Midlothian

“I heard a story from a referee that a certain linesman emptied out his kit for washing after doing a game at Cliftonhill and a rat jumped out of the bag.”

“At a Blue Brazil-Stirling game, I was in the roofless and pitch-dark bog trying not to pish on any unseen fellow pishers when a low flying plane went over with lights flashing. A voice from the dark shouts “Don’t worry lads, its just a Red Cross parachute drop”.

“I remember as a boy being enthralled that Clydebank had an all seater stadium. It sounded impressive to me at the time. Then we got there and the seats were like wooden planks laid down on a muddy hill.”

“Mid 70’s at Stirling Albion, time of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, about 150 Hearts fans riding down the road on invisible horses singing Brave, Brave Sir Robin. At one house the guy came out waving a shotgun because some of them were pissing in his garden.”

“I got my face circled to win £25 from the pink paper. Bought myself the black and blue inter style Hearts top with the winnings. Miss the pink paper.”

“We used to get Wagon Wheels the size of plates at half-time.”

“My uncle was a proper gentleman, I’d never heard him say a bad word in my short life until that whistle blew to start the game. I stood there staring up at him with my mouth wide open, thinking who is this man, while he shouted one swear word after another.”

“The first game my dad took me to was a 6-0 win against Moscow Torpedo. Thought it was always going to be like that and pestered him to take me back. He did, for a game against Kilmarnock which we lost 3-2 with Gordon Marshall staggering around with concussion.”

“My dad took me to a game when I was aged 7 and we sat in the main stand. Can’t remember a thing about the game but never forgot the pie at half time as we just didn’t get many treats like that in the 1950s.”

“I swear the Ladies’ in the corner of the School End next to the pie hut had their own ecosystem. There were species of spider in there that would give David Attenborough a field day.”

“We played Dundee United and the guy next to me was giving Bannon some real abuse. He missed a great chance to score and midway through this guy’s rant his teeth came flying out and landed in the hood of a lass in front.”

“I got my specs knocked off and crushed under somebody’s foot. Watched the rest of the game holding the one undamaged lens, without the frame, against my eye. Switched to contacts the next week.”

“Easter Road, 1984. Sir Derek of O’Connor melted in a winner in the last minute and Alan Rough almost got hit by a tin of soup.”

“The toilet at Links Park was a door shaped hole in the wall at the back of the terracing. You walked through it and pissed in a field behind the ground.”

“An old 5p was the same size as a Deutschmark. We took a bag of them on the coach to Bayern in 1989 and emptied the fag machines at every service station on the Autobahn.”

“I saw Hearts win the Soccer Sixes at Ingliston in 1985. Highlight of the tournament was my mate calling Alex Ferguson a fanny.”


“Once, many years ago, my mate Eddie Whoriskey and I left our scarves on the bus and went to the main stand at Ibrox ‘where all the old men go’ to avoid trouble. Aye, auld men with razor scars and bits of ear missing. Never felt hatred in the air like it.”

“The Bohemians friendly at Easter Road was one of the worst games I’ve ever witnessed. I would’ve wanted a refund if it wasn’t free to get in.”

“I got in the Boys’ Gate at Motherwell one Wednesday night aged 27.”

“I couldn’t feel my hands or feet and the guy along and down a row had a yellow Parka thing on. He pulled a cord and puff..this Parka inflated into some sort of triangular mini tent. I was so jealous of it I felt like crying.”

“An away game at Airdrie in the 90’s in a blizzard. My brother stepped in a puddle and went in up to his calves in new Timberlands.”

“One pair of gloves between five of us, you got three minutes and then you had to pass them on.”

Huddersfield Town

“Somerton Park was never anything but a hell-hole. They only had 3,000 or so fans but they were nearly all nutters.”

“At Millwall the mounted police looked like vagrants, with long, scruffy capes. Their horses looked ill as well.”

“Peter Lorimer thought he had scored a late equaliser but it was disallowed because the ball went in off a policeman’s foot.”

“Four Workington fans tried invading the pitch. Three got on but one fell over the wall, couldn’t be arsed getting up and just lay there.”

Hull City

“I remember being mugged on Bunker’s by some wedge haired Lyle and Scott wearing ‘trendy’ during the friendly against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Probably around 84 I would guess, that’s obviously the year and not the age of the arsehole who turned me over.”

“Last time I saw Frank Worthington was probably in Birmingham city centre in late 1998. I was about to enter the Crown Courts to renew my alcohol licence and Frank was leaving the pub opposite, raising his collar against the wind and attempting to light a fag.”

“The corporate area at Boothferry Park was a marquee outside the ground where you had to walk on pallets to get to the bar in winter.”

“Mike Scott had his foot poised to tap the ball forward at kick-off but the referee delayed blowing his whistle and kept checking everybody was ready, so Mike started to lose balance. He kept swinging wildly at the ball as he slowly fell over.”

Inverness Thistle

“Inverness Cup Final match at Grant Street Park. Thistle getting presented the trophy on the pitch and some gudgie goes onto the centre circle and proceeds to have a slash behind the presentation.”

Ipswich Town

“I remember getting the bus into town and there was a coach-load of Hare Krishnas in the Suffolk Punch on Norwich Road. They ran amok on top of the executive boxes towards the end of the game.”

“Elland Road, 1993. I went alone, had no idea where to go and walked straight into a group of Leeds casuals. Luckily they quite liked Ipswich and we had a laugh about it.”

“Anfield mid 90s, somebody tried to sell us a set of kitchen knives. When we pointed out we might have a problem getting them in the ground he said we could leave them behind the bar.”

Kidderminster Harriers

“I saw Malcolm Allison going into Home Park in 1978 while I was guarding a load of scaffolding poles for the Royal Ballet.”

Leeds United

“They put that LS9 flag behind the stage at the Duchess for the first Farm gig in Leeds. First thing Hooton did when he came on was tear it off and throw it into the crowd. Electric atmosphere that night. The management turned off the power and they just kept on playing,”

“There was that time at Plymouth when we all went back to Torquay, and by the time the police had shut down all the pubs a motley crew had set themselves adrift on someone else’s yacht and they had to get rescued by the lifeboat people.”

“Left the pub in the middle of Wolverhampton carnival, so thought it a good idea to jump on the back of a float giving it a loud rendition of ‘We are Leeds’. Locals took great offence and caught us in BHS where we took a bit of a beating.”

“A copper got on the coach and told us they had a problem with football hooliganism and were losing it. Then he disappeared and left us to our own devices.”

“We got legged into a sheet music shop in Bolton in 1982 and had to pretend we were thinking of buying a Bontempi organ.”

“McCluskey scored and the fences were full of cheering nuns, the Hulk, the Hofmeister Bear, Captain Caveman, the lad in a cop uniform and pig mask who had been on the back of the horse chasing a lad with a ball and chain round his ankle and a convict suit on.”

“I went to Barnsley in the winter. The doctors were marvellous and saved most of my toes.”

“Press accounts of the riot at Birmingham in 1985 always mention a kettle landing in the goalmouth. I knew the kid who threw it. I believe it was from a looted snack-bar as I never saw him carry a kettle at the game before or after that day.”

“Strange day. On the way back a bloke was jogging naked on the hard shoulder of the M6. We stopped in Huddersfield for a few hours and saw a house where some nutter had a hearse on his roof, slept in a coffin and had married his dog.”

“The seafood man got loads of abuse. He got his own back though when half our local ended up in Pontefract General Infirmary with botulism.”

“There were two British Transport Police at Sheffield station we nicknamed Smiler and Rugby Ball Head. They were a great double act. Smiler would stand on your foot, drop litter and tell you to pick it up, and as you bent down Rugby Ball Head would boot you up the arse.”

“Remember seeing a well known lad at Sheffield United one year in denim dungarees, red Kickers and a bright orange jumper. Looked like a presenter off Rainbow. I thought ‘This has gone too far now’.”

“26 in a Bedford van to Grimsby was our record. All stood up in the back dodging fireworks thrown by the lads in front.”

“Boxing Day, Sheffield United away, so many crammed into a Luton that it was like a sauna and we burnt the clutch out. Couldn’t get away from some lights so dozens jumped out to push, leaving a trail of empty bottles and cans cascading out the back.”

“I met Terry Yorath in a chippy after the 1973 Cup semi final. He bought a bag of chips and asked for ‘plenty of vinegar’, but then couldn’t find any money in his brown check three piece suit to pay for them. Step up my Uncle Jack. He still owes him.”

“Richard Madeley was spotted at Elland Road. Half the crowd sang ‘Richard Madeley’, the other half responded ‘Thieving bastard’. Went on most of the first half. “

“My local non league team’s ground ended up being called The Devil Made Me Do It Stadium after a local tattoo shop won the naming rights in a raffle.”

“My dad used to take a flask of soup to Elland Road. One day the bloke next to him accidentally folded his seat onto it and he ended up with a sheepskin pocket full of oxtail.”

“We went all over the country in a red van in the 80s and 90s. We only got it damaged a few times.”

  Leicester City

“Peterborough away a few years ago, I lost my shoe down a manhole. Looked a right twat.”

“I won a bet with the local off licence that we’d win the World Cup, and my prize was his life size World Cup Willie cardboard cut out which I think was used to advertise Watneys’ Party Sevens.”

“I was suffering on the way up to Sunderland. Too much Tiger Milk in the French Revolution the night before.”

“Couldn’t find my car after a game in Stoke, and in an effort to show I wasn’t from out of town wandered around refusing to look lost for over an hour.”

“I once took my wife for a short break to Scotland, but only managed to squeeze in one game. She was thrilled that we ticked off 13 grounds though.”

“Chris Garland was staying at a Post House Hotel. Me and a few mates used to hang around there hoping for a sighting.”

“We went to Cambridge and there was a bull loose behind the away end.”

“Football specials often went on little-used lines. I remember passing through the ghostly Sheffield Victoria station that had been closed for years, but was still sitting there like some magnificent crumbling monument.”

Lincoln City

“My mate had to neck four cans of McEwans Export in 5 minutes at the entrance to Lincoln Central station before he was allowed on the special to a League Cup match at West Ham.”


“Elland Road in the Shankly days. Picking me way back to the station, no colours, got stoned by Leeds fans, got out of that then immediately afterwards stoned by Liverpool fans. It was like a scene out of the bible. Or a Monty Python sketch.”

“The Boys’ Pen at Anfield. Got robbed of everything the first time I was there. Those fellas had beards, that’s how old they were.”

“My mate and I hid in a ladies’ clothes shop in the Bull Ring after being legged by Villa fans. They made us a cup of tea.”

“My mate won the pools on the last day of the Kop vs Norwich. His missus came in the Cabbage Hall to tell him and he thought someone had died.”

“My mate had a lucky parka he wore to every game on Liverpool’s run to the title in 1982 after being 12th at Christmas. He wore it on the packed Kop when we won the title on a warm spring day. Nearly drowned in his own sweat.”

“A Leicester sex shop got raided by our fans. Some interesting weapons were used that day.”

Luton Town

“My mate’s girlfriend got searched by the police. She had a massive knife in her bag to slice a cake she’d baked.”

Manchester City

“Typical West Midlands police, stopped the fun by deflating Frankenstein.”

“The old Kippax bogs had a shallow end and a deep end.”

“I ended up in the players lounge after the game and Keith Curle kept mithering me for cigs. I bumped into him at Wilmslow station about 15 years later and asked him if he had the packet of B & H he owed me. Just gave me a strange look and rapidly did one.”

“We were so excited we got to the game at about 1pm and hung around eating chips. That was until a mob of about a hundred Scousers turned up and proceeded to batter anyone in sight. Never ran so fast in my life but remember not dropping any chips.”

“As a kid, falling backwards from the white wall onto the running track and landing on my head after Bobby McDonald made it 3-1 in the ‘81 FA Cup quarter-final replay against Everton. A big fat rozzer of the old school picked me up, gave me a shake and shouted ‘We’re going to Wembley this year, lad’ before casually plonking me back on the wall like a fisherman chucking one back in because it was too small.”

“A mad Scottish fan we stood with used to say things like ‘I’ve been stabbed and slashed for this club’ and ‘I remember when Maine Road was a fortress, a bastion of invincibility’.”

“Remember about a hundred West Ham coming into the Kippax when there was no segregation, brave bastards. The funny thing was one of the West Ham fans was the English teacher from our school.”

“At Coventry in the 70s we went on a flyover over home fans going to the game, gave them a load of shit then watched in horror as the coach driver took a wrong turn and went back over them again. We turned up at the ground looking like we’d been hit by a wrecking ball.”

“A mate of mine was on a coach in the 60s that took a 6 foot butty cabinet from a service station. They got 5 miles down the motorway before a police car stopped them and told them to take it back.”

“You wouldn’t believe how much practising of Cockney/Scouse/Brum accents some of us did on the way to the more dangerous grounds.”

“Ipswich and Norwich had a weird population, three girls to each lad. Most of their crews were girls, you could get a shag at half time.”

“Asa Hartford scored a late winner for us and I got back to the coaches just as about 40 of them came out of an entry armed with sticks and bricks and stormed our bus. Helen belted one of them on the head with her bell.”

“I chased the bloke towards the Main Stand. I couldn’t believe he ran after starting the confrontation. Mind you I was wearing winkle pickers, we were all going to see Sisters of Mercy after the match.”

“After the game I met my cousin near the Whitworth and we walked back into town and then went to see the Thompson Twins at the Apollo. So a bad day got worse.”

“The battle spilled onto the Parkway and a load of lads jumped the fence into William Hulme’s Grammar where a game of cricket was going on, and caused a rapid abandonment. It would be interesting to have seen the reason given on the scorecard.”

“My uncle, a respectable grey haired man in his car coat, always used to wait at the end of the game for everyone to clear off and he would take his time leaving. He was encouraged to leave by a police dog that day.”

“Went to Cardiff and they only had cold drinks and cold pies. We watched him open up and carry the pop in, so the pies must have been from the week before.”

“I dumped my girlfriend because she laughed at me for being in a bad mood after we lost 3-1 to Stoke on Boxing Day.”

“I was an apprentice during the 3 day week. The Scouse shop steward called a strike every time there was a daytime match on in Manchester or Liverpool.”

“It was so hot at Brighton that my banana burst.”

“When Bishop scored the third I turned round and hugged the guy standing next to me. He was the most evil looking fucker I’ve ever seen in my life. He just grinned and ruffled my hair.”

“It was like It’s A Knockout on the hill at Wigan. The biggest moth I’ve ever seen crawled out of the coat collar of the guy in front. It stared at me the entire first half.”

“Came out of The Den and the police were going “Coaches this way, train that way, if your transport’s been smashed up wait here.”

“I lost one of my orange espadrilles on the Kop.”

“I remember my Granddad telling me that in the 1920s it was ‘Mind your horse, mister?’”

“I had on purple cords, red suede Nikes and a salmon and mint green Pringle. I looked like I’d collided with a Dulux delivery lorry.”

“We lost some lads and Helen tried to find them by ringing her bell. Bobbies appeared from all directions.”

“I sold Ray Ranson a Mars Bar in my Gran’s shop.”

“Four of us got attacked in a chippy near Springfield Park. We asked for chip muffins instead of chip barms.”

“You had to have eyes everywhere walking through Macclesfield town centre. At any moment some yob might launch a choux pastry at you. I remember being in a boozer, trying to blend in and wishing I’d borrowed my Dad’s tweeds.”

“We bought a lampstand in the Arndale and my wife wouldn’t leave it in the car because she thought it might get stolen. She and it stood with me on the Kippax as we lost 3-1 to Everton.”

“I went to the bog and saw big Joe Corrigan arguing with a short, fat cockney. I stupidly shook his hand and then went through five minutes of agony as every time Joe prodded the twat on his chest he squeezed my hand with his fucking shovel.”

“Brother bought one of them pale burgers once from that guy with the cart in Albert Square and it had the bottom half of a mouse in it, tail and all.”

“I remember Boro turning up at Maine Road in full Sergio Tachini tracksuits and sovereigns. They looked like Billy and Johnny off Hale and Pace.”

“League Cup 84/85. Seven of us went in my mates mini. After the game we ended up in a mod disco for some scooter club, where mayhem ensued until Blackpool’s finest turned up and nicked anyone not wearing a parka.”

“My grandad was a bus conductor and never missed a match. Even when he wasn’t on football special duty him and the driver would change the number on their bus, drive to Maine Road, watch the match then change the number back so no one got on.”

“One of my uncles used to get luncheon vouchers from work and gave me a load for my trip to the 1981 Cup Final. I ended up getting a massive KFC bucket.”

“The Stuarts coach was going up a winding hill and a low loader with a steam train on the back overtook us.”

“I saw a guy have an oven ready chicken confiscated at Millmoor.”

Manchester United

“There was a crowd of Stretty girls that sang Bay City Rollers songs. Always well made up with Ben Sherman shirts, jeans and monkey boots. The one I fancied had a fur-lined denim jacket, still remember her stomping to Dave & Ansell Collins’ ‘I am the Magnificent.’”

“Imagine being on the Kippax in the 70s wearing a half-and-half. You’d get your head kicked in by both sides.”

“Never understood the coppers at Forest lining us up in columns of 3 when only 2 would fit on the pavement, then smashing us with their truncheons or ramming us with their horses when we stepped on the road.”

“My Dad was at Wembley for the 79 Cup Final. He used the mortgage money to buy his ticket and returned to my Mum literally in tears. We lost, brutally, and somebody snapped his flag. Mum didn’t talk to him for days and I was bought up to hate Arsenal.”

“I missed the Hibs of Malta game because I was painting my Mam’s kitchen ceiling. I only remembered when I heard the crowd roar halfway through. I was mortified.”

“A Leeds fan stuck his head through a line of coppers and got a earth’s core-hot chicken and mushroom full on. His face was etched with the horror of Picasso’s Guernica.”

“Spurs away, 75/76 season. Had a red jumper on and none of my mates would walk with me.”

“Remember going to Chelsea in the mid 70s with a few mates. No colours as we expected it to be dodgy. One of the older blokes said he’d organise the transport. He turned up in a rental van with Salford Van Hire in huge letters down the side.”

“An older work mate told me women took their knickers off and put them on the ceiling. I was only 16 and giddy with excitement. Needless to say the only excitement I got was the Mayne’s bus driver going mental when I was sick on the way back to Clayton.”

“Someone I knew went sick from work to go to St Etienne in 77. Ended up getting sacked after he was seen on News at Ten being escorted out by the French riot police.”

“1977 cup final. A transit van, two park benches borrowed the night before with a crate of Ruddles County in the middle.”

“Me and my Dad went to Lou Macari’s fish and chip shop and they were out of fish and chips.”

“I worked with a Stockport County fan who missed his sister’s wedding to go to a pre-season away game behind closed doors. He got there at half time and could only see half the pitch through a hole in the gate which he had to share with his mate.”

“A lass who worked at my Dad’s shop refused to serve Terry Gibson with cigs. He must have been in his mid 20s.”

“There was a Grimsby fan that drank in our pub. He used to bring his haddock with him on a night out.”

“Visited a chippy on Seven Sisters after the game. My mate asked for gravy and everything went like the Slaughtered Lamb in American Werewolf.”

“I saw Viv Anderson dancing on his own in the Hacienda after a Bow Wow Wow gig.”


“Saw a scuffle in Albert Park where a Spurs fan thought he was hard and took his shirt off for a scrap. Some young Boro fan lifted it and the bloke had to sit through the game without a top on, bit cold that in November.”

“West Ham, 1975, hundreds of East End urchins to greet us and not a copper in sight. One of our trusty crew screams ‘We’re all gonna die’, then sees an old dear stood in her front garden, runs past her into the house and slams the door behind him.”

“I was in the Holgate once as a child, I remember it reeking of Bovril, urine and fags. A bit like my Nana’s house really.”

“When we got to the top I was suddenly struck by the view – the green of the pitch and the red and blue of the players’ shirts. It was in colour! I’d only ever seen football in black and white and it never occurred to me that in real life it would be in colour.”

“My mate’s Dad was a real gentle fella. He was nice enough to drive us to Carlisle away where his car got bricked. He didn’t take us to any more games after that.”

“The only entertaining thing about the match was when Jasper Carrot came on at half time and proceeded to tackle 11 lifesize cardboard cut out footballers.”

“Remember going through Chesterfield on the special train in 1988 on the way to Derby. As we passed the famous crooked spire, a lad said ‘Ow, look at that church, its not plumb’.”

“Best graffiti ever was ‘BORO RIOT SQADE’ sprayed on Southampton’s ground circa 1980.”

“We broke down in Luton on the way to Stamford Bridge and Midge Ure gave me, my uncle and my cousin a lift.”

“Tam Vans from the Longlands, no windows and first on got the wheel arch.”

“The players were all having soft drinks except Archie Stephens. He downed four pints of lager and then someone shouted that the coach was leaving in five minutes. They all left except Archie who promptly ordered another pint and downed it in one.”

“Took 5 mates in a white Simca van down to Derby. We set off on the Friday and went to see Rush at Bingley Hall. I got wrecked on Marstons ale, we lost 1-0 and I remember seeing a load of Boro trying to push a lamp post over.”

“I think our record for a Transit was 19 to Chesterfield.”

“There was a very small crowd against Hartlepool and almost half our team were called Gary.”

“The van often left the Starlight after a Friday night session. A few times an unfortunate soul who had no intention of going to the game was dragged in pissed and woke up on the outskirts of Portsmouth or somewhere.”

“I once met this gadgie called Jelly in Billy Paul’s in Boro. Someone’s cousin from Easterside. He had a Saturday job making the pies for Ayresome Park. He told me all about it. I never bought a pie at Ayresome Park ever again.”

“Steve Spriggs of Cambridge played a couple of games for Boro on loan and it’s a good job the grass at Ayresome was nice and short or we’d have lost him.”

“I’d have booed at the final whistle but I had a mouthful of Polos.”

“I queued overnight for a ZDS Final voucher. Bloke in the next sleeping bag never shut up all night. Got to my seat at Wembley and the gobshite was sat behind me.”

“I policed Middlesbrough for most of my 30 years service. We had an Inspector in charge of Mounted Section who always parked his own car directly outside the away fans entrance. At least he did until a horse sat on the bonnet.”

“My mate booked a trip for all the lads to watch Hull KR play a friendly in Barcelona, but the match was actually at home so they went to Spain anyway and watched it in the pub.”

“I went in a boozer near the BBC before we played QPR. Juliette Morris and Matthew Amroliwala were drinking quietly by the bar when a load of Boro fans started singing the Animal Magic theme and swooping round the pub like planes. They both looked totally baffled.”

“Never remembered much about Blackburn away games because of the Fernhurst. I always seemed to get right smashed there.”

“Fell under a police horse in the crush. Massive horse cock slapped me in the face. Copper telling people to move because his horse didn’t appreciate a 19 year old grabbing its appendage. Good 3-4 minutes I was under there, just glad it didn’t need a piss.”

“Back in the early seventies I was taken to see a charity game between a Showbiz XI and a George Best XI. Needless to say there was no George, the most famous person there was local Leeds comedian Duggie Clark and he only did the kick off. It poured down too.”


“I was taking a pee in the toilet in the Ilderton Rd end in the early Eighties when Millwall scored a goal, and the bloke standing near me at the urinal went running back to the stand with his old Hampton still in his hand and was nicked by a waiting copper for indecent exposure.”

“Pat Nevin once tried to push in front of me in the pie queue at Elland Road. By using my elbows in the style of Gerry Taggart at a corner, I ensured he was unsuccessful.”

“When we went to The Den in the 1960s, we always wore a suit because replica shirts were 20 years in the future.”

“I stayed in the same hotel as The Clash after an away game at Chester and Joe Strummer tried to set my mate’s shirt on fire.”

Newcastle United

“The first football memory I have is the Mackems being on the telly and my dad wanting the opposition to win. I said to him ‘You’d support them if they were playing in Europe though, wouldn’t you?’ to which he replied “You’ll never have to worry about that, son.’ “

“I was at the Celtic friendly in the 60s, After the game I went to the Miners’ Welfare in Wallsend and a bus from a Fife branch of the Celtic supporters club was there. I ended up on the bus and was fed bottles of Broon in return for singing the Blaydon Races.”

“There was a miserable old bat barmaid in the Haymarket Hotel who would poke you with a window pole if you made ower much noise.”

“You could always tell when a home game was coming up as my school used to end up empty of bog rolls on the Friday before.”

“We played Chelsea in the early 80s and someone climbed up onto the scoreboard and removed the letters C & H from Chelsea and the Gallowgate started singing “Elsie, Elsie’.”

“I was in the Gallowgate when a border collie ran on the pitch just as Terry Hibbitt was about to take a free kick. Peter Withe made a diving tackle to get the dog but he missed.”

“I remember my Dad going to Wembley in 1976 for the League Cup Final. I had no idea if they had won or lost, he was that pissed when he came home.”

“The old gadgie who used to walk round the pitch in his black and white suit brought his Manchester United oppo with him. Silly sod stood in front of the Leazes and was met with a hail of peanuts and pies. Had to swiftly put up his umbrella and leg it.”

“Turned up early at Barnsley in the 89-90 season to see someone wheeling a rusty wheelbarrow full of pies, in half tin foil, (no other wrapping), towards a hut in one of the corners.”

“If the train rolled into York or Darlo and there were chaps in anoraks and notebooks on the end of the platform he’d lose his mind – off the train, straight after them, they’d scatter onto the tracks.“

“Graham Kelly was stuck behind our coach coming out of West Ham in heavy traffic. As the seconds turned to minutes he slunk further and further down his seat as we regaled him with cheery songs and greetings.”

“Gary Megson used to walk his Alsatian near my Dad’s allotment.”

“Tommy Gibb was the barman in my brother-in-law’s local in West Lothian. I used to spook him out by asking about obscure games he’d played in and probably completely forgotten.”

“I met Jack Charlton when I was a young ‘un. He asked what position I played. I said ‘Goalie, Mr Charlton’. He took one look at me as he signed an autograph and said ‘Yer should be a centre back kidda, yer’ve got a laaang neck like mine for headin’ the baaall’.”

“I was queuing to get in and felt something tugging at my coat. It was a police horse eating my programme.”

“I said hello to Billy Whitehurst in an Isle of Man pub. He was supposedly playing in the 1986 tournament. Very friendly and quite pissed, he patted me on the back and almost broke my 16 year old spine.”

“I went to London for the football and asked for a pint of Scotch. The barman nearly fell over.”

“I bumped into John Lukic outside the Co-op in Bakewell. Very nice chap. He was away for a walk like. Didn’t ask what he’d been in the Co-op for – I presume tabs though, as he didn’t have a bag or nowt.”

“I once bought a dozen eggs off Alan Shoulder. Got home, opened the box and it only had 11 in.”

“I put the theme tune to Butterflies on the jukebox in The Strawberry one Thursday night and all the blokes suddenly looked at the telly.”

“We stopped off in Newark coming home from Cambridge. The minibus driver scored with a lass and went back to her place. Ten of us slept on market stalls – traders set up at 4am, twat came back with the van keys six hours later.”

“A copper opened the van’s back doors and was told he couldn’t get in until he paid his £4.”

“Swindon away I will never forget. Our daft driver took us pissed knackas to Reading by mistake. No one including us had any idea why 16 Geordies were in the Rotherham end.”

“I bumped into Barry Venison in the Cooper’s Forge. He was wearing a distressed brown leather waistcoat (no shirt), tight black and white striped leggings, and cowboy boots. His hair was proper sexy, like.”

“My economics teacher got teargassed at the England v Belgium game in Turin.”

“We bumped into Geoffrey Hughes playing crazy golf on Whitley Bay links in 1993. We were well hung over but he had a lovely swing.”

“I took my girlfriend to Stranraer expecting there to be about 50 fans there. Turned out they were playing Kilmarnock, it all kicked off and she got hit by a flying can of Tennent’s.”

“We went to Bristol City in 1983 and one of the lads met a bird there. He never came back and is still married to her with numerous kids and grandkids.”

Northampton Town

“I told George Reilly he was a useless twat when I was about 12, and then shit myself every time he came close to take a throw in.”

“Buster Bloodvessel ‘performed’ Lip Up Fatty on the pitch and we drew 2-2.”

“I was disappointed to see Steve Ogrizovic enjoying a cigarette in the players entrance after the Coventry FA Cup game, as there’d been a ‘Footballers don’t smoke’ campaign at my school the week before.”

“Double Decker Jimmy’s bus broke down in the middle lane at a set of traffic lights in Islington on the way home from Millwall, and the police asked us all to push it to the side of the road.”

“I felt a strange warm wetness down the back of my jeans whilst standing in a packed Hotel End and turned around to see some grebo relieving himself behind me. I then had to explain to my mum why the Cortina smelt of piss.”

“John Farrington was about to take a free kick. My mate shouted ‘Swerve it into the top corner with the outside of your right boot’ and he replied ‘Wish I f***ing could’.”

Norwich City

“Handlebars was a nasty so and so. Nearly 7′ tall with a wonderful handlebar moustache, so he stood out when he was sorting out hooligans. He was still only a PC when he retired because of the unconventional violent ways he used to deal with persons committing offences.”

“I can”t remember too much about the football other than Tony Currie swearing at me because I was slow giving him the ball back.”

I remember two old women in the Barclay who were bloody abusive. I couldn’t believe it when one of them started shouting, ‘Biggins, you’re a c**’t.’ Now I wasn’t Wayne Biggins’ biggest fan, but blimey.”

“By the time we were out and making our way to the station, Gillingham fans had inexplicably circled the stadium and surrounding houses and were coming the other way like zombies from a Romero film.”

Nottingham Forest

“Swansea at home, an announcement over the PA ‘Mr Smith, your wife has given birth to a baby boy’, and the man behind me says ‘Poor bloke, he’s had to sit through this rubbish and now he’s got to get his own tea.’ “

“I made the “Mucking Fagic” banner for the League Cup final v Liverpool. I got the idea from a T shirt I won at Goose Fair. It was a picture of Selwyn Froggitt with thumbs up saying ‘Mucking Fagic our Maurice’.”

“Against Liverpool Brian Moore was conducting an interview from a makeshift studio built on scaffolding at the back of the Bridgford End. Some scally climbed up, and you could see and hear him shouting ‘Hey Brian Moooure, can you hear me, you twat?’ “

“I recall a pub near Maine Road where the bouncers had a bucket with ‘disabled kids’ fund’ scrawled across it.”

“Crossing the road outside The Hawthorns many years ago after a tense match with the Albion, Gary Newbon drove his car across my foot. The git didn’t even realize and just kept on going.”

“I once decided to go in the Trent End carrying two carrier bags full of shopping – Sainsbury’s, enough for tea, that sort of thing. After Forest scored their second there wasn’t much left.”

“I once took a girl pre-match to the Bentinck, Metz, the Crown, Poets Corner & the Riverway. Never saw her again. She clearly lacked class.”

“The toilets were wallpapered with Razzle mags and the pool team had a guy in it with a pet hawk. It used to sit on the edge of the table intimidating other pubs’ players.”

“Barca brought 12 fans. All were Frank Cannon lookalikes, smoking Cuban cigars.”

“The bloke behind me was complaining he couldn’t see the game because of my girlfriend’s rockabilly quiff. Then Leeds fans started throwing coins and she came out a couple of quid to the good.”

“Rediffusion came to repossess our telly on the morning of the FA Cup Final.”

“One bus driver took a coachload of fans to Gillingham. It was only on the outskirts of Blandford Forum that they realised he was heading for the wrong one.”

Notts County

“A group of us were taken to Stratford by the English Department in ‘96. Just so happened to be Scotland’s Euro 96 training base. Closest I got to understanding Macbeth was watching Colin Hendry kicking people in training matches.”

“I went in the Boleyn Arms with my old man and trotted off to the ladies. When l mentioned how surprisingly clean they were on my return, he pointed out that I was the only woman in the pub.”

“There used to be a Norwich City shop in the local shopping centre. I was stalked by a creepy 6 foot canary.”

“End of season game during the Eighties at the Manor Ground. On the way back to the coach a voice behind us shouted ‘Get the fat bastard!’ All five of us turned round.”

“When I was 15 I had a penfriend from Brighton. Our sides were drawn together in the 4th round of the Cup and we arranged to meet. We walked in near silence to the Goldstone and once through the turnstiles she ran away and hid. I never heard from her again.”

“A car pulled up and Ted Croker wound down the window and asked for directions to the City Ground. A wise move as he was heading in the complete opposite direction towards Mansfield. There was no sign of Sir Bert Millichip.”

“I bought a ticket from a tout only to find myself sat among the Junior Red Devils. I was 27.”

“I remember travelling to Aldershot as a youth and seeing a man eating gravy granules out the jar in the town centre.”

“Timmy Mallett was a guest at Meadow Lane when Notts played Wigan Athletic in Division 3 around 1989. He walked round the pitch at half time, hitting people on the head with his mallet as the County Road chanted ‘Timmy Mallett, what a wanker, what a wanker’.”

“My cousin got married in London when Notts were playing at The Den. My Dad and I skipped the reception, missed the first 10 minutes then stood in the away end in our suits watching a 6-0 defeat. Got back for the evening do but half the family weren’t speaking to us.”

“I was walking towards the Market Square when I saw Tommy Johnson up ahead of me. I shouted out his name and he turned around, stumbled and nearly fell in front of a bus.”

“I have two strong memories of the Meadow Lane stand. Firstly, the overwhelming aroma of cigars and pipe tobacco. Secondly, the bloke sat next to me getting knocked out stone cold by a misdirected Les Bradd pile-driver.”

“I remember Notts scoring a late winner at Millmoor years ago, and Dean Yates running into the crowd to celebrate. I’m surprised they didn’t charge him a tenner to get in.”

“I was invited round a friend’s house to watch the 1973 Cup Final on their new colour TV. The pictures were so dayglo Billy Bremner looked like he was on fire.”

“Some bloke charged us to watch from a garden and then got arrested half an hour later as it wasn’t even his house.”

“My mate took a huge bag full of ripped up newspaper to Barnsley. When the teams came out he threw it all up in the air, but rather than separating and blowing everywhere in the wind it came down in one massive clump on the people stood in front.”

“Brett Angell hit a hat trick on his debut. We managed to miss two-thirds of it as we stayed in the pub till ten past three.”

Oldham Athletic

“I distinctly remember losing 5-0 at Bournemouth early 1971. We travelled down on the Football League Liner train with the disco carriage on the back end playing Northern Soul.”

“There was a reporter on Piccadilly Radio in the 70s called Vince Miller who covered Latics games. I wondered why Queen’s new single included the line ‘Vince Miller, no – we will not let you go’.”

Oxford United

“I got a copy of The Soccer Tribe for my birthday. No idea why my parents thought it was good reading for a seven year old.”

Partick Thistle

“We found a stash of scuddy books in the ball-boys’ room and a huge argument took place about whether we should divvy them up equally, in preference of age, or leave them be – in case they belonged to someone important and we got sacked, or someone scary and we got a doin’.”

“Remember beating Dundee 3-0 1979 approx, and singing Rupert the Bear at a Dundee fan in tartan trousers as the Dundee fans headed off.”

“Someone threw a pie onto the pitch and a seagull swooped down and grabbed it up in one movement and the Shed sang ‘SEAGULL, SEAGULL.’ “

“I met John Workman in town after a midweek victory in the dark days and he asked me and my mate if we wanted to go up the dancin’ with him and a couple of burds.”

“The pub had a massive mirror behind the bar with Andy Goram engraved on it. I’m sure I saw the banjo player from Deliverance having a quiet pint of turps in the corner.”

Plymouth Argyle

“Wally Arnold coaches used to leave Bretonside at midnight and we’d arrive at about 8.30am with nothing to do until the pubs opened. I remember stopping at Gordano and watching all the sandwiches and snacks disappear as if a plague of locusts had just arrived.”

“Lost my Grandad at the Everton game in 1975. My Dad and I found him standing on a bank of grass, watching the scrapping going on in Central Park.”

“On the way to Charlton a pheasant smashed through the coach window and landed on a screaming girl’s lap. Evening match and we had to travel the rest of the way in freezing conditions. We lost as well.”

“We hitched to Hereford and it took 24 hours to get there. Two of us had to sleep upright in a telephone box in the middle of the Forest of Dean.”

“He ran into a locals’ pub in Exeter brandishing an old car crank handle and shouted ‘Anyone want to start anything?’ “

“My friend and I got a lift to Stamford Bridge in an open top Alfa Romeo and were treated to two free meals on the way by the driver, who was a Good Food Guide critic.”

“At Gordano services it cost 30p for a banger, 20p for an egg, 10p for fried bread etc. I paid 45p for an egg and beans having eaten most of a full English in the queue.”

“We hitched to Oxford one year, that took a while. Mind you I don’t think i would have stopped to pick up two skinheads stood on the side of the road either.”

“I went to Peterborough on a coach from work and had to endure Max Bygraves tapes all the way there and all the way back.”

“I don’t know how but 12 Argyle fans walked in to the London Palladium without paying and sat down to watch Yul Brynner in The King and I.”

“Eight of us in the back of a knackered transit van with no windows and no seats. Absolutely bladdered. Michael Foot stood in the away end and sang along with the rest of us. Then we had a good run through the streets of Pompey aggravating their fans.”

“When Scotland scored their equaliser I looked up and it was raining whisky.”

“The locals in Slovakia were watching the TVs situated around the bar. Whatever they were watching had a lot of them in stitches. I then realised it was a dubbed version of Last Of The Summer Wine.”

“Despite looking the very model of respectability, I was frisked by a copper who confiscated a dangerous-looking Mars bar that I had taken along with me.”


“I met Tony Gubba many, many years ago while trainspotting on Reading station (us not him).”

“In 1983-84 I only missed three games home and away. Hereford away in the Milk Cup, Palace at home due to appendicitis and Villa at home in the Milk Cup due to a Gary Numan concert.”

“Sunderland away at Roker Park in 1993. We lost 4-1, gave away two penalties, had Paul Walsh and Guy Butters sent off and broke down in a Lada Samara north of Nottingham on the way home.”

“I was at a cricket club function in Hereford when someone threw a bread roll which hit Colin Addison in the eye.”

Preston North End

“I went on a fancy dress away trip to Shrewsbury and had to rescue a guy dressed as Pinocchio being chased by some nuns”.

Queens Park Rangers

“I’d dragged three non-QPR mates who weren’t even that in to football along to Saltergate with me. They hated me for taking them to stand in the rain with a couple of hundred other miserable men.”

“When it was all going a bit mental outside and the Vale fans had locked themselves in their bar, a teenage QPR fan got bitten by a police dog. Brian Rowe came over to stop the lad getting arrested, and one of the horses bit his ear.”

“Brunton Park must have been the only ground in the country where you could stare out at scenery complete with cows and haystacks while watching your team play at the highest level in English football.”

“Sometimes you were ankle deep in peanut shells. The bloke with the white coat who walked round the ground selling them was a miserable bastard. Some say he sold his soul to the devil and his eyes glowed red at night games.”

“I’m running a book on why QPR fans hate Fulham. 2/1 – Fight over a girl at the Palais. 3/1 – Fulham fan stealing Triumph motorbike from Rangers fan on the Peabody. 6/1 – Tommy Trinder referring to QPR as ‘Quarter Pound of Rubbish’ during Live At The Palladium.”

“My nightmares are filled with mid-70s monsters in steel toe cap boots and donkey jackets with ICI and National Coal Board emblazoned on the backs, charging down South Africa Road like a horde of Orcs.”

“I once travelled with Cork City to a game in Limerick where the home fans invaded the pitch on ponyback. Quite a sight – a rare mixture of beauty, delinquency and horse manure.”

“Micky Quinn had good banter with the Loft during every corner. Mainly it involved him grabbing his crotch.”

“There was some old biddy – obviously the worse for drink – lurching along after Millwall were royally tanked, ranting “Come on you ‘ores, yeah they’re a bunch ‘a ‘ores, har har”….and her tiny husband with a pepper and salt moustache and glasses going “Doris, don’t. Please don’t”.

“FA Cup, Clive Wilson penalty, fiver on him at 25-1 so left the ground delighted. Got to my motor – window smashed and stereo nicked. Another guy arrived to find his top of the range 4×4 in a similar state, and I realised it was Alan Wilder from Depeche Mode.”

“Me, my younger brother and cousin were put in charge of looking after my ten year-old sister. So obviously we took her to Chelsea away.”

“I gave Bob Hazell a 3D porno mag with glasses during the pitch invasion after we won promotion from Division 2 in 1983.  Can’t remember exactly why I had brought a 3D porno mag to the match, but he put the glasses on anyway.”


“Albertz taking shots in at the Copland. One sails just over the bar, heading for a boy coming down the stairs on crutches. Swings crutch at ball, misses, gets hit full in the face and falls backward into a boy carrying wee towers of pies and bovril. Carnage.”

“Took about 6 hours to get to Chesterfield on the train, to be marched up to the ground by police with dogs on one side and horses on the other. Coming back two older bears drunk and growling at me to shut the fucking windae, which is really hard to do when there’s no glass in it.”

“We didn’t get back into Queen Street until 3am. At first people were just pulling the cord because they were pissed off at the defeat, but then as we got closer to Glasgow they started pulling it when the train was nearest to where they lived.”

“The toilet at Brockville was an ex pie stall under the stand. They never filled in the hatch.”

“I went to a midweek game at Arbroath in the 70s which Ernest Shackleton wouldn’t have survived.”

“The river burst its banks in Kilmarnock and people ended up swimming across Morrisons’ car park to get their bus.”

“I was at Forfar for Stewart Kennedy’s testimonial in the mid 1980s. The half-time prize draw was for a 56lb bag of potatoes.”

“I got to Hampden early to see if any tickets were on the go. I saw a few guys who looked like stewards and got talking. They gave me a spare bib and took me into the ground and told me to just look like I was checking things until the gates opened.”

“Back in the late 1950s we used to get free tickets for Hampden, they shut our school (Mount Florida Primary) early as some international games were played afternoons in mid-week. I remember Ian St John being an incredible spitter.”

“On the way to Tannadice in the late 70s I saw a fire extinguisher narrowly missing some livestock that were standing in a field minding their own business.”

“Remember going by train to Edinburgh and this guy moaning there was no toilet rolls, and me and my mates laughing as we had them.”

“Last football special I went on was for Jock Wallace’s managerial return at Pittodrie. Weeds were growing out of the window frames.”

“We lost 2-1, Jardine gave us the lead from a penalty in the first half. I remember gatecrashing an Emerson Lake and Palmer concert after the game.”

“I had a bottle of pomagne tucked in my waistband. All the jumping about after we scored popped its cork, which hit me under my chin and knocked me out.”


“I remember some guy getting turfed out in the early ’80’s, being carried past the South Bank by two coppers with another one behind them carrying the bloke’s false leg.”

“In the early Seventies we played Hartlepool on a wet Saturday afternoon. They had just two fans and one of them got thrown out by the police for threatening the Reading fans on the South Bank.”

“Stalactites formed in the bogs behind the Tilehurst End. Took great interest in their downward progress over the decades.”

“After the game we went back to the pub near Putney Bridge tube and there was an incident with a prostitute.”

“There was palpable violence in the air after the Cardiff game. We were bracing ourselves for the inevitable street clash when they broke in to a hearty rendition of Men Of Harlech.”


“I remember taking my first girlfriend on a date to one of those supporters’ club nights and dancing to Chansons d’Amour. I didn’t see her again after that, she ended up marrying Geoff Thomas the footballer.”

“We all dived into a furniture removal van and went to the Racecourse Ground. When we stopped for a beer on the way home a fully cooked suckling pig magically appeared in the back of the van.”

“I used to strip to my Y fronts and wade in the River Roch (9th hole) looking for lost golf balls, there was always a few in there. The aim was to make enough money to get up to Spotland for the game and cover the entrance fee.”

St Johnstone

“I once got Alex Caldwell to autograph my homework book. Teacher wasn’t best pleased though.”

“I went to a game at Hamilton and bought a pie on the way in. Sat down, took a bite, still frozen. Went back to complain, got a new pie, got back to my seat and I’d missed two goals and a red card.”

St Mirren

“First away game I can really remember was the Motherwell cup match in ’77 with about 20 people in the back of Alan McCaw’s transit van that he delivered the rolls in from the bakery.”

Sheffield United

“In the 1980 match at Cleethorpes there was a lot of bother. A pub was smashed up and I remember skirmishes on the road to Blundell Park. I also remember watching two old ladies sitting on a bus in packamacs, pointing at the fighting and laughing at it all.”

“Trenton Wiggan could run like a whippet. Occasionally he did it with the ball too.”

“Doncaster away 20 odd years ago in the Cup. In a cage, no roof, coppers being twats and a bomb site of a car park covered in puddles awaited after getting out of the one open gate.”

“The Cambridge away end was terrible. One unique feature was the midges swarming over from the marshland behind.”

“I was in the crowd for When Saturday Comes when Sean Bean kept hitting the post when filming taking a penalty at the Shoreham Street end of Bramall Lane. He scored eventually.”

“In 1963 when I was 6 years old we went with my Uncle Ike to St Andrew’s (he was a big Blues fan). My Dad covered my ears when a police horse stood on my uncle’s foot so I didn’t hear the bad language.”

“My sister took a big lampshade into Loftus Road. They seemed confused but waved her through.”

“We were on the away end at the Manor Ground and Big Jim had his coat pockets full of pork chops.”

“Had tickets in the executive suite thanks to my Dad’s work. Dad said ‘Don’t get pissed and embarrass me’, and then proceeded to run after Paul Peschisolido, jump on him and get a piggyback around the car park.”

Sheffield Wednesday

“Losing 3-0 to Leeds and stupidly going for a drink in the Waggon and Horses, followed by being chased up the hard shoulder of the M621. We ended up heading towards Hull on foot and Rodney ran into a branch.”

“British Rail actually had a disco carriage that was used on a rota basis by different football special trains. It came with a dance floor area and lights etc. I don’t think we ever got it. Probably for the best.”

“I remember trying to speak Scouse buying a bag of chips opposite Anfield in the 80s. About as mad as it got for me. I was only a short arse.”

“Susan Tully from Eastenders was sat in front of me. Being a right drunk knob I got me soaps mixed up and kept asking her how Curly was.”

“Who was sat there but big Ron Atkinson! I was in awe, first proper celebrity I’d ever met except Bobby Knutt and that bin man who stayed at Hilda Ogden’s.”

“The Fulham away end had square crush barriers you could put a pint on. Once did that and when I came to take a drink the beer had frozen.”

“Following a game at Portsmouth we were invited by a Pompey couple to go back to theirs for some fun. We didn’t oblige.”

“Coventry away ages ago as a nipper, our entire support were all skinheads or so it seemed. Couldn’t wait to get my head shaved for the following week.”

“Arrived home from Coventry at 9pm and told my Ma the film was that good I stayed in the flicks and watched it three times.”

“The graffiti at Newcastle station said ‘Welcome to Death City’. Even the grannies out shopping would stop and glare.”

“Some of us stayed on to go to Wigan Casino later that night. I’ve never seen so many black eyes and bumps and bruises on a dancefloor.”

“I spent the whole trip back from Exeter in the bar/buffet with the London Owls…and also, strangely, the referee. He had the signed match ball with him and he got totally bloody slaughtered.”

“Middlesbrough away early 80s was complete mayhem. Somebody lobbed a toilet at us.”

“When you think about it, the guys who replaced coach windows in the 70s and 80s must have made a fortune.”

“We got chased back to our transit van after the game. Man United fans swarming down the road towards us and we couldn’t get the doors open. Wrong van.”

“The Boro mob charged from out of a graveyard. It was like they had just risen from the dead.”

“Lost at Walsall to two injury time goals and they celebrated right in front of me with their number 4 goading us. Was itching to throw something at him but all I had in my pocket was a mini pork pie and I wasn’t going to waste that.”

“I vented my frustration by leaping up and hurling abuse. By the time I stopped it had all gone a bit quiet. At some point during my rant I’d managed to elbow my dear wife square on the nose. Blood everywhere. We’re still happily married, but she’s not been since.”

“When I first started going to football at Hillsborough in 1961 there was a special turnstile marked ‘Boys 1/-‘. Even at the time I wondered what would happen to the girls who wanted to watch a game.”

“We were in the basement bar of the Sussex pub in Piccadilly. Streaking was popular at the time. Jimmy stripped off, went streaking upstairs and got attacked by Chelsea fans.”

“Seventies football was brutal. I remember as a kid standing just behind the perimeter wall at Hillsborough when David Cross of Norwich came over to collect the ball for a corner, and one of my schoolmates told him to get lost.”

“My feet barely touched the ground on the way out. I remember getting carried along with the crowd to some steps leading down to the exit and street. There was a railing down the middle of those steps, and my balls were at just the wrong height.”

“My Mom’s only ever game was the 1966 West Germany v Uruguay World Cup quarter-final. She left her flask behind, and when I went to Hillsborough in 1983 she asked if I could see whether they still had it.”

“One of my early memories is hundreds of cushions being lobbed onto the pitch at the end of the Villa v Everton League Cup final replay. They put a deposit of a quid on each one not long after, before eventually withdrawing them and supplying Anusol instead.”

Shrewsbury Town

“A load of us bunked off to go to Aldershot after convincing our parents to write sick notes, then posed with our flags and scarves for the Shrewsbury Chronicle as we boarded the coaches. About 30 copped detentions for a week and were branded ‘The Aldershot Squad.’ “


“Violent intimidation from female Brummie skinheads could be many a man’s fantasy. Not mine.”

“The celery chap was mad as a box of frogs. He wore a leather jacket, white polo jumper and red and white bar scarf. He would arrive seconds before kick off to rapturous applause and cheering like the arrival of a king, produce his bunch of celery and hold it aloft.”

“Whilst hiding from Millwall fans in Debenhams we saw a right dodgy group of geezers walking in. It was only after they went by that we realised it was a group of burly minders and The Jam, who were playing in town later that night.”

“The whole Portsmouth end emptied. I asked my old man where they were going. ‘Round here, I expect’ was his reply.”

“I once saw a Man U fan at the mercy of a group of Saints casuals outside The Dell. He was on the floor, being hit with Burberry umbrellas by three or four chaps all wearing deerstalker hats. It looked like a Poirot fan had strayed into a Sherlock Holmes convention and called Basil Rathbone a c**t.”

“These little old ladies sat near the dugout at The Dell when Lawrie McMenemy was manager. The sort who wouldn’t allow butter to melt in their mouths. They weren’t so angelic when a group of Arsenal fans walked past after being removed from the home end.”

“I was a BT engineer in the 80s. I turned up at Charlie George’s place early one day and his wife told me to fuck off from their bedroom window.”

“Everyone was calling the ref a bastard, wanker, c**t etc. My father in law – who is very strait-laced – blew his top and shouted ‘Referee, I think you need spectacles’. He was shaking as he shouted it.”

“I was surrounded by Man U fans who beat me over the head with their flagsticks and said they wouldn’t stop until I sang ‘I’d rather be a Devil than a Saint’.”

Southend United

“It was our first visit to Vicarage Road. A bit lost on the outskirts, we asked a milkman wearing a Watford scarf for directions. He kindly outlined a route for us which promptly took us out of Watford in the opposite direction.”


“I went to Feyenoord once. My son was on crutches but came along anyway. A Dutch policeman at the stadium looked at him and said ‘They normally leave like that.’”

Stoke City

“The St. John’s went into the crowd with a stretcher, and a couple of minutes later folks were clapping and laughing at this huge Wolves skinhead sitting upright on the stretcher wearing a St. John’s hat at a jaunty angle. He was paraded about until the Old Bill got him.”

“It was one of those pubs where you could buy anything. I actually saw a bloke run through the front door and straight out the back with half a pig lifted from the butchers’ round the corner. They cut it up with a hacksaw and were selling very thickly cut bacon an hour or so later.”

“The Metropolitan Police stopped and searched the van. They were a bit shouty and finger pointy and only left after confiscating what was left of the pies, oatcakes and beer.”

“I burned my pink panther after we lost to Leicester.”

“At Grimsby there were no pubs open near the ground so the only place to keep warm was the sex shop.”

“Some meatheads started going round the crowd asking Vale trivia. Luckily I got my question right.”

“Rotherham away on Easter Monday a long time ago. Hot dog seller got over-run. My abiding memory is of him covered in mustard and ketchup, shovelling sausages off the floor back into his cart.”

“One of our fans was overheard saying ‘What kind of idiot builds a football ground next door to a Normid hypermarket?’”

“I was playing football in the gym and George Berry came walking through in a mint and lime green cheesecloth suit with cream shoes.”

“I once travelled to Grimsby in my uncle’s boot. He miscalculated the number of seats in his Mazda.”

“Alan Hansen rang directory enquiries. I said ‘You sound just like Alan Hansen.’ He said ‘I am Alan Hansen.’ It was Christmas Eve and he was after a turkey farm on the Wirral.”

“George Berry lived just round the corner from me. I had to keep stopping my dog from pissing on his hubcaps.”

“Our sponsors went from Fradley Homes to Ansells. The new shirts were delayed but some fans sewed beer towels onto their old ones.”

“Grimsby fans were throwing missiles. I got hit by a packet of blackcurrant Chewitts.”


Chesterfield beat Nottingham Forest in the Cup and Mark Crossley was sent off. The BBC camera picked out Kenneth Clarke in the stand just as the crowd were chanting “You fat bastard”.


“We used to hire removal vans ‘cos they were cheaper than a minibus. The lads in the back would set up a card table, lights and music. They’d urinate by pulling up the roller-door and hanging to the top with one hand.”

“At Barnsley coming out of the ground the locals tried the old what’s the time routine, only to have my then wife give them a mouthful in Welsh which confused the shit out of them.”

“We were kept behind for an hour and then everyone was escorted to the train station, and I mean everyone. Even those whose cars were parked beside the ground and those who’d made the journey by coach.“

“You’d eat as much as you could in the motorway service station food queue before you reached the checkout. Duffel coat hoods were filled with sausages. I’ve seen fried eggs and baked beans in duffel coat hoods before now.”

“They made me answer three questions on Middlesbrough history to prove I was a Boro fan. Luckily I got away with it.”

“My Dad swore blind that one time at West Ham the home fans threw a swan into the away section. I always doubted that one.”

“There always seemed to be one of those terraced houses next to Ayresome getting some work done with a skip full of rubble outside.”

“I remember walking down to the bogs on the Special, seeing the boot boys smoking like chimneys, playing cards, reading porny mags and necking back cans of Norseman, Double Maxim and Camerons, and thinking how great it was.”

“We got ambushed just outside Seaham. Skinheads in a field were lobbing turnips at the train.”

“I used to love the Bovril mist that hung above Roker Park on a night match. It was like trying to drink the surface of the sun.”

“The crowd was pacified by the arrival on stage of a stripper in a Sunderland top.”

“Half time entertainment was a falconry display. Absolutely awesome, especially when one saw a seagull on the floodlights.”

“Oxford, early 90s. Remember a pub with a pig in a Chubby Brown style flying hat. Or was it Cambridge?”

“I’ve never seen so many Pringle jumpers in one place. It was like a Ronnie Corbett appreciation society gathering.”

“Went to Chelsea one year and there was a group of lads from Ferryhill who decided not to take their colours so they could blend in. It was lost on them that they all had NCB donkey jackets.”

“My Uncle always insisted on wearing his ‘lucky’ scarf to every match until he came in the car with us to an away derby.”

“I watched the highlights on Shoot! with my Mum and Dad. When it showed the corner kick before the goal I said ‘That’s my toilet roll on the pitch.’ They weren’t impressed as it had left them short back at home.”

“I once got followed outside Maine Road and was just waiting to get battered when a Mackem accent exclaimed ‘He’s wearing Geordie Jeans man, he must be one of us.’”

“Don Goodman’s early goal meant I sprayed a family with molten mince.”

“A fella beside me was hit on the head by something. He thought it was a brick and he was bleeding. Turned out to be a plastic ketchup bottle from the hot dog stand.”

“Butlin’s Scarborough, 1986. Tortured Paul Reaney about the 73 Cup Final, so he took me on at table tennis and annihilated me in front of the bairns. Same night I got told to f**k off by Rodger de Courcey (minus the bear).”

“I escaped some Forest fans by hiring a rowing boat, but had to stay on the water for a couple of hours until they went home.”

“My brand new Levis got ruined in Seaham when bright red grease from a chilli burger dripped all ower them. I lost the heel to one of my Pierre Cardin loafers too.”

“I was one of the younger ones on a bus full of proper head cases. Took a hot water bottle to piss in (as you do) and the bastards made me piss monitor. Spent all trip emptying it out of the skylight.”

“At one time there was a dented metal bin in the Colliery Tavern, spoken about only in hushed tones and known as the Chelsea Bin.”

Sutton United

“I went to Woking with two guitars and wearing my stage clothes. Stewards told me to fuck off and accused me of being a drug addict.”

Swindon Town

“100 skins came running at us near the old bus station shouting …. I thought we were dead, but they were shouting at us to help them turn a minibus over on its side. It went over and we carried on to the station unscathed.”

“Coming out of Carlisle’s ground my brother fell down a grass bank into a big puddle, and then my best mate walked into a lamp post as we were being herded back to the station.”

“At Roker Park in the early 90s I asked the girl serving what was in the meat pies. She looked confused, shrugged and said ‘It’s just meat’.”

Swansea City

“Trip to Blackpool after losing at Deepdale in 86 was a memorable day. Arrived home with a 6 foot tall cuddly elephant called Ivor, won on the pleasure beach, which I had to carry in front on me on my Yamaha YB100 as I drove home at 5 o clock in the morning.”

Torquay United

“At the 1979 pre-season friendly against Oxford United, the Oxford fans took the Torquay end simply by turning up early and chasing the dozen Torquay fans out of it. The Oxford hoolies were wearing t-shirts with ‘London border’ written on them.”

“We went to Wimbledon banger racing after the game and got accosted by some Arsenal fans thinking we were Wimbledon supporters with our yellow and blue colours on. When they realised we were Torquay fans they seemed to lose the will.”

“A crowd of Pompey bovver-boys stood in front of me and demanded my scarf. Just as I was about to meekly hand it over my girlfriend stepped in front of me, pointed her finger at them and stated that she’d knitted that scarf for my birthday present and if anyone touched it she’d deal with them.”

Tottenham Hotspur

“It kicked off with Arsenal fans and I ran into the nearest toilets for cover. Never forget being wedged inside a cubicle with (among other randoms) the burger guy. He had the foresight to park his burger trolley in the cubicle next door.”

“The Spurs Supporters’ Club brought in a four cans each rule for away trips, so we showed up with four Party Sevens each at Kings Cross for the next game. Even the police were laughing (they did in those days).”

“They were selling raffle tickets for Johnny Pratt’s testimonial and our carriage won. It was a bottle of Johnnie Walker’s that had the label up the wrong way. We emptied the contents between Euston and Burnley and staggered off into town drunk as skunks.”

“Went to Ayresome Park once. Police met us at the station and said “Right lads, the Boro lot will probably have a go as we walk through town but we’re all Sunderland and we’ll look after you’.”

“I once travelled from Wood Green to Luton for a game in the boot of a 1965 Humber Sceptre – spare tyre, starting handle, tow rope and all.”

“9-0 on Colin Lee’s debut. My Dad offered to take me to the game but I went roller skating with my mates at Tottenham Sports Centre instead.”

“I had what I thought was a small rock thrown at me in the away end at Middlesbrough back in the late 80s. Turned out it was a frozen roast potato.”

“On the way home from Maine Road there was a group of Spurs supporters travelling back in a converted ambulance. We stuck our heads out of the window and sang ‘You’re going home in a London ambulance’.”

“I ended up in with Liverpool fans at Anfield when we lost 7-0. It was quite a challenge to stay silent and look happy about it.”

“Brighton in 1978 was like Quadrophenia but with Spurs fans.”

“I saw Keith Burkenshaw coming out of a fruit shop on the High Road the day after we won the UEFA cup, caught his eye and began clapping him. He looked at me as he got mobbed by about 100 people and mouthed ‘Thanks very much, mate’.”

“Phil Parkes stood there extolling the virtues of Cossack with a huge hawk on his arm.”

“I was in the Bricklayers when Platt hooked in that goal against Belgium. One kid took all his gear off and streaked out the front doors. Gaffer kept his clothes for weeks but he never came back.”

“My Nan worked as a cleaner at Esso. All the grandchildren completed their coin collections.”

Tranmere Rovers

“I went to watch Rovers at Spotland in ’84 with a carrier bag of fruit from Rochdale market. I was jumped after the match, dropped the bag and was pelted with the fruit as I legged it.”

“Bury away. Game called off, had a shotgun pulled on us and then a massive snowball fight with the police at Lime St on the way back.”

“40 in a box van to Halifax so we had to lose weight to get up the hill. Like a Zeppelin peppered with tracer bullets we lost ballast by chucking the roller shutter down the hard shoulder. Arrived 15 minutes before full time in three police vans.”

“Got chucked out of Saltergate when I was about 12 for throwing a British Rail bog roll on when Rovers came out.”

“I was chucked out for a one man pitch invasion when the second goal went in, dressed in a knee length electric blue mac that I later sold to the fella from Half Man, Half Biscuit.”

“This pub in Halifax had a great pile of 2 pence pieces on the bar with a poster ‘Saturday night: charity appearance by Billy Bremner to knock down the 2ps.”  I came out of the bogs, stumbled and did Billy’s job for him.”

“Mate of mine went over an outbuilding roof to get away from the Old Bill. Fell through it on to a load of tombstones.”

“We had crowds of 1100 but took 2000 shoplifting pyromaniacs to Chester.”

“My friend had his golfing brolly confiscated at Brentford due to him poking it through the fencing and ‘using it as a weapon’.”

“I remember wearing legwarmers to Rochdale away in 82/83. The comments were enough for me not to bother again.”

“I once interviewed a woman who turned up with a broken finger. She wasn’t the strongest candidate, but the way she described how she’d been bitten by a police horse outside a Birmingham v Celtic friendly had me in stitches so I offered her the job.”

“A friend was in an off licence in Birkenhead and a Tranmere player walked in wearing slippers and asked for ten No.6 king size.”

“The van’s front seat wasn’t bolted to the floor, the fuel gauge didn’t work and we had to empty it of firewood. Then it wouldn’t start and when I popped the bonnet the engine was missing. ‘Bastard kids’, said the fella at the hire place.”

“I lost the sole off my vintage Italian hiking boots at Scunthorpe, and had to get the train home in a pair of slippers from some charity shop.”

“Went to watch England v Serbia & Montenegro at Leicester. Good God it was awful. About to be beaten up by Coventry’s hooligans when some sleazebag wandered into the pub and told an outrageous story about his sexual exploits. They were so appalled they let us be.”

“i was in the Cowsheds when we played Wrexham. Their ‘keeper came down to the goal and every leek on the Wirral rained down on him.” 

“Our train pulled in at Crewe and there was a load of train spotters on the platform. Next thing a can of McEwans gets launched at them out the window and someone shouts ‘Ever seen the Flying Scotsman?’”


“Four of us went, but with only three tickets. Had to deal with a spiv outside the marble halls, Private Walker’s double…trilby, ‘tache, the lot. He was shit scared of the plod, and spoke in one word sentences whilst walking past us to and fro like an apparition.”

“Our coach driver made a point of telling us that he and some of the other drivers spent the afternoon in a café across the road from where the coaches were parked up, and Arthur Mullard had come in for his regular fry up.”

“Last time I went to a game at Hartlepool I didn’t thaw out until Chesterfield. One day they’ll find a fully-preserved, deep-frozen woolly mammoth and I’ll know it was there the same day as me.”

“We were at Spotland and someone asked for his pie and peas without gravy. The catering ladies are probably still talking about it.”

“My dad took our under 10s football team to Fellows Park. At half time the bloke in front turned round and said ‘Your boys are all well behaved. Which orphanage are they from?’”


“I was a policeman on duty next to our fans at White Hart Lane when we won 5-1, and I went mad as the game progressed. So much so that I was discreetly escorted out on the orders of my Chief Superintendent and locked in a police van for the last 10 minutes.”

“We quickly learnt that skint, unshaven, badly dressed, elderly men clutching the Sporting Life were the worst tipsters…which was why they were skint, unshaven, badly dressed, elderly men.”

“You can see one end of the pitch from a window in the maternity unit. My first kid was born as Tommy Mooney scored the third goal against Bristol City.”

“Some of the players were playing cards for smarties. When I suggested to Dennis Bond that they should play for wine gums he told me to fuck off.”

West Bromwich Albion

“I remember going to Derby on a football special and my mate getting bit by a police dog. Poor sod missed the game (my mate not the dog).”

“All the pubs were shut. I banged on the door of one where there was obviously something going on inside. Guy opened it, said ‘No football fans.’ I said ‘ We’re on holiday’. He let us in and it was full of Albion fans in beachwear.”

“I remember going in the Cock the day after Leeds smashed it up and asking the gaffer why he even let them in. He said the cost of a few new glasses and the odd chair was peanuts compared to the amount of money he took over the bar.”

“I shouted foul abuse and flicked the Vs at Trevor Hockey outside St Andrews when I was a youngster. He got out of his car and chased us into a toilet.”

“I went to Newcastle, late 80’s, and through the fence a 6′ tall skinheaded Newcastle fan shouts at me ‘Where you from?’ I say ‘Wednesbury’ and he replies ‘Do you know Patrick’s nightclub?’”

“The DJ put Smells Like Teen Spirit on and the dancefloor got a bit lively. He turned it off and said ‘if you can’t dance like human beings then I’m not playing it any more.’ Two songs later he played Angel Of Death by Slayer and the place went batshit mental.”

“I won a gallon bottle of Bell’s in a raffle at the Throstle Club in Hamstead. It was drawn in the interval of ‘A Night With Denis Law and George Best’. Our Dad’s eyes came out on stalks when I staggered through the front door with it.”

“I had a bloke in his sixties stand in front of me quite often. That all changed when I once punched his glasses off his face by accident when we scored.”

“I heard my girlfriend arrive back, jumped down the stairs naked except for my away shirt and landed at the bottom only to realise she’d brought a friend home with her.”

“I saw a Jack Russell set up David Cross to score against Everton.”

“I went to my Uncle’s to watch the Cup Final. He had a coin operated television, it cut out at a crucial point in the match and my cousins ran around like madmen trying to find 50p.”

“At half time during a reserve game in the early 70s, this bloke produced (and brandished, so that people might see the quality) a new set of extremely sharp kitchen knives he’d bought in town.”

West Ham United

“I had a lump of cheese confiscated going into the ground at Bradford around 1990 (it could be an offensive weapon apparently). The police told me I could pick it up afterwards from the station. When I went round there they just laughed.”

“I worked with a bloke from Kilbirnie, Ayrshire. He told me Gordon McQueen once turned up at his party and pissed in the back garden.”

“Me and my brother snowballed Steve Archibald’s front window. Graham Roberts lived near us too but we left him alone.”

Wigan Athletic

“The coppers confiscated our Doc Martens before the Stafford Rangers game, and then gave us a raffle ticket number so we could collect them after the final whistle.”

“Coming off Springfield Park at full time, one of these little blue carriages was navigating its way through the crowd when four lads held onto the back and stopped it in its tracks. Th’owd codger was revving like fuck and getting nowhere.”

“I left the replay on a stretcher. After we got the penalty we were all jumping up and down and I accidentally landed on some fellas foot. He yelled, pushed me away and I landed at the bottom of the Town End and tore my ankle ligaments. Didn’t even see the goal.”


“Standing next to an octogenarian morris dancer at a urinal prior to the match was unnerving. His bells were constantly jangling.”

“I got incensed by a bloke in the pub who claimed to support Wimbledon because his mother once met Dario Gradi in a baker’s shop.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers

“Before the match I saw a Chelsea fan attempt to insert a hot dog into a police horse’s anus.”

“Went to Bolton on a Special. We hadn’t left the station before our table collapsed, the interconnecting door came off its hinges and when someone used the toilet it flooded and ran all along the carriage floor.”

“My mate got ejected from the ground. After the game he was standing in just a pair of socks, because Mancunian youths had nicked his Sergio Taccini top, Lacoste shirt and even his trendy briefs. But they laughed at his Hi-Tec socks and left him with them on.”

“The shirt was thrown out from the directors’ box, I don’t even know which player it was. I jumped up with another fan and we caught it at the same time as each other. We “argued” over the ownership and then decided to share it. I ended up with the front.”

“Hartlepool at home, last game of the season, Bully scored a hat trick. One of the lads trying to get on the pitch from the South Bank via the moat lost his false leg. I think he still managed to get on.”

“The Exeter fans gave me a stuffed beaver. Don’t ask me why.”

“I got back to Falkland Street at about midnight and a lady of the night looked after me for 30 minutes until my Mum came to get me.”

“My brother was sorting a Transit from his work to go to Blackpool with about 10 mates. He rang and said there had been a problem with transport but it was sorted. He turned up in a 7 tonne truck which they all played football in on the way up the M6.”

“Freight Rover preliminary round at Exeter, we were walking up to the ground singing ‘We are Wolves’ when some bloke had the good grace to tell us it was the rugby ground.”

“A police officer on horseback decided to squeeze through the crowd. ‘No wonder they never gave you a car, mate’ was heard from the back.”

“I never had a mascot, but my mum dyed a large pillowcase orange and sewed ‘SUPER WOLVES’ on it for me. Took it to Molineux for years.”

“When the 3 day week was on I skived off to Leeds for an afternoon kick off. Someone told my boss I’d gone for a job interview and I got a pay rise because he didn’t want me to leave.”

“My biggest fashion faux pas was being escorted off the pitch at Shrewsbury wearing purple Lois cords and blue leg warmers.”

“Burnley. 80s. Big Tone walking over cars, falling through a sun roof of one and the woman getting out leathering him. A totally naked Wolves fan in the pub. Me thinking we were playing Blackburn.”

“I went to Charlton during the 1960s and stood on that immense uncovered side terrace dressed in red corduroy from head to toe.”

“We went to watch Salisbury City and Phil Harding was stood behind the goal, dressed like he’d just finished filming.”


“Feb 16 1974, Southampton 0 Wrexham 1. I met up with some friends from home at the ground. One thing led to another and come midnight I was knocking on my parents door in Mold with a wife in London thinking I’d been abducted by aliens. When I got back I wished I had.”

“Portsmouth arrived in town so early they robbed a milk float on its round.”

Wycombe Wanderers

” I can still remember the Goole crew, stood behind us singing ‘we will, we will stab you’ to the tune of Queen’s ‘We will Rock You’ (which, at the time, was little more than an obscure B side).”

York City

“I attended a reserves match with less than 50 people there. One bloke spent the entire 90 minutes shouting at the away goalkeeper ‘Oi keeper, I’ve had your gran! And she loved it! She loved my love length!’”