Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Waxing lyrical about the football of the good old days and lamenting the middle-class appropriation of football on radio this morning: two middle class romantic gentlemen, Jason Cowley and Colin Shindler, according to whom the rot set in in the eighties.

This really is Guardian home territory. Let me join my voice to theirs. I well remember the golden days of the seventies, the homely fights, the charming pitch invasions, the pastoral delights of the Shed at Chelsea, the tuneful serenading of black players along with the generous offer of bananas, the bonhomie of the general hatred of foreign players, all cumulating in the Festival of Britain at the Heysel stadium.

Where has that idyll vanished, eh? I blame:

a) Corporate greed
b) George W. Bush
c) Duran Duran
d) Sven Goran Eriksson
e) Unenlightened dietary habits

... Actually I feel sure the list is incomplete. Feel free to add.


Poet in Residence said...

...dark as a Slovenian cavern, with a stench like an Italian fish market in June; yes the nostalgic football ground urinal of yesteryear. The new stainless steel is clinical, hygenic and welcoming. But is it football?

Stephen F said...

I took the young lady to Stamford Bridge in the mid-'eighties; she went to the loos at half-time & took a very long while to return. 'Was there a long queue?' I asked. 'Not exactly,' she replied, 'A policeman gave me an escort there and back saying that "it wasn't safe for a young girl like me to be walking about unaccompanied in this envirnonment as such."'

This was in the main stand. It seemed safe enough to me, but then I'm from S-o-T etc...

George S said...

The urinals! The very word is like a bell to conjure up the whole experience. It was a man's game in those days, with proper mens urine. I trust you are talking from experience of Blackburn, PiR.

I trust she did not mean queue, as in the French, SF.

Poet in Residence said...

Darwen End nooks in "man's game" days. Visitors welcome!
George, I asked a Liverpool fan: What if you were standing in the middle of the Kop and wanted to go, had to go? Well, he said, it'd be impossible to move. You'd just have to manage somehow.
And, it seems, they did.

The Plump said...

Urinal talk: A comment overheard at the new City of Manchester Stadium, not to watch Shity but to see GB v Australia Rugby League international, about the merits of stadia - this long before the rebuilt Wembley was open.

Standing in the pristine gents this bloke said, "This place is not a patch on Wembley, you can piss anywhere you like at Wembley".