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Games You Remember but Not for the Football

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Go on then, what are your stand-out memories from Saints games where the football may have been unremarkable but something else happened which sticks in your mind. Maybe you were at Brighton on 9/11, or proposed to your GF after a home defeat by Watford. Maybe you were lucky enough to get noshed off in the bogs during a cup tie at Port Vale. I'll get the ball rolling with a couple.

 

0-0 draws with Bournemouth and Hull under Puel - I took my then GF to both in the hope of getting her hooked on the beautiful game. It didn't work.

Leeds away in 2009. It was quite astonishingly cold.

Palace away in January. I picked up what I think was Norovirus in France and spent that game being most violently sick, whilst the scores came in on my phone. Didn't give two sh*ts whether we won at the time.

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Brighton away on 9/11 always sticks out for me as does the whole day at work then later in the evening

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15th April 1989. West Ham away.

 

Got there as the game kicked off and missed Rod Wallace scoring in the first minute. The game was crap and I put my radio on to hear how the Cup semi-finals were going. There was no commentary, but instead had to listen to the death toll at Hillsborough mounting up.

 

Saints won 2-1 which would keep us up and relegate W Ham, but there wasn't much celebrating.

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Sheffield United at home in the championship. Frozen ground, snowmen along the sides, bloody cold, awful game and we lost.

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15th April 1989. West Ham away.

 

Got there as the game kicked off and missed Rod Wallace scoring in the first minute. The game was crap and I put my radio on to hear how the Cup semi-finals were going. There was no commentary, but instead had to listen to the death toll at Hillsborough mounting up.

 

Saints won 2-1 which would keep us up and relegate W Ham, but there wasn't much celebrating.

 

Exactly the same. An awful day but memorable for one of those "where were you when" moments.

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April 29th 1978, my 15th birthday.

Saints V Tottenham on the last game of the season and Saints were promoted back to the First Division. It was a very boring 0-0 draw and as long as Tottenham didn't lose by a cricket score they were also promoted.

The thing about that game wasn't the fact we were promoted but walking down Archers Road to The Dell I was set on by few Tottenham fans and got stabbed in my shoulder. After getting away from them and getting into the ground I showed a steward my shoulder. He took me around the pitch to the St John's people who cleaned me up a bit and offered to take me to the hospital which, I refused as it wasn't a deep cut and I didn't want to miss the game.

When leaving the first aid room which was under the stairs from were the players came onto the pitch the players were just coming down them.

It was the loudest I ever heard The Dell.

For some reason I've always hated Tottenham since then!

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3 December 2011 Doncaster Away. My first away day. I remember sitting on the coach home thinking I'd just spent an 8 hour round trip to watch us lose 1-0 in the cold. I had no regrets though because I was still buzzing from the whole experience.

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Millwall away 2005

 

For the racist chav/Vicky Pollard types giving it the big one in the home section

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Posted (edited)
Leeds away in 2009. It was quite astonishingly cold.

 

Christ was it, had a pint of lager in the very large concrete concourse to warm up. Birmingham away in 2012 in the same vein.

 

Tried the girlfriend trick with Saints v West Brom in April 2013. Thankfully it was ineffective.

 

Also a non-league game around 2002. Folkestone Invicta v Margate. Had the worst burger i've ever eaten, just slime in a stale bun, how I didn't get some awful pathogen I don't know.

 

Did attend a game on the day of 9/11. Woking v Margate, evening kick off. Just eerie.

 

Burnley away in 2006. Didn't see the one goal we scored as I had the pleasure of seeing the game from the exec lounge due to a business connection of Dad's. Benedictine and Burnley, that night I learned the story and enjoyed the hospitality of Burnley Miner's Club. Also, everyone wondering 'Who the f**k is Kevin Miller?'

Edited by Colinjb

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Five games:

My 21st birthday game, can't remember much about it except I watched two games for the price of one (Sept 1968)

An abysmal home defeat by Leicester about the same time, I've never got so wet at a football match, even my underwear was soaked.(on Milton Rd end)

Cup final 1976 had just moved in to a new house and had been shopping for paint in Shirley and just got home in time.

League Cup Final 1979 was working in Stoke and was the supplier of dressings to Stoke City. Friendly with physio, got free tickets to every home match and also tickets for Wembley.

Went with my late father, only second time he'd watched Saints, had great lunch in steakhouse in Harrow beforehand, Despite defeat a truly memorable day.

Cup final in Cardiff. Got tickets from Cambridge United club doctor, went with my son, I got my only speeding ticket of 65 years, (92mph) was late due to multiple roadworks.

(Good job it was at a busy piece of dual carriageway- I would have been disqualified on another stretch!

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Millwall away 2005

 

For the racist chav/Vicky Pollard types giving it the big one in the home section

 

Is that the last Saints game you went to ?

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The "ice bowl" at Highbury on Boxing day, 1970. The pitch was covered with snow and the terraces were covered with ice. It was so cold that a group of us Saints fans went on the North Bank, which was covered and more crowded, as the open terracing at the Clock End was just too exposed to the elements. The game itself against that season's double-winning Arsenal team was also remarkable for being the most one-sided 0-0 draw I've ever seen.

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Brighton away in 1979.

Absolutely hideous crush in one part of our corner terrace. Terrifying, and it seemed to be like that for ages. Anybody remember that one ? i think the game was a goalless draw.

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Brighton away in 1979.

Absolutely hideous crush in one part of our corner terrace. Terrifying, and it seemed to be like that for ages. Anybody remember that one ? i think the game was a goalless draw.

 

Yes, I was at that one. Wasn't that crush because Saints fans were trying to get as near as possible to the Brighton fans? The Shed end for the '76 semi-final and the Trent End for the '77 4th round game were even more packed as I recall. You could hardly breathe the whole game.

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I was there - only my second away game. Dad's car broke down twice on the way. Got in ground just as they kicked off. It was the only game on in London so they were forced to show it on the Big Match the next day.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XarZj2eehc

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Another memory from that Forest game in '77 was a handful of Forest fans after the game, standing by the River Trent with huge wooden oars they'd taken from boats to use as weapons. They seemed to have difficulty just holding them up, let alone hitting anyone with them.

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I was there - only my second away game. Dad's car broke down twice on the way. Got in ground just as they kicked off. It was the only game on in London so they were forced to show it on the Big Match the next day.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XarZj2eehc

 

I've watched that game on youtube a few times can't imagine the game being played in those conditions now.

 

Shame its in black and white. I've not seen any colour footage of Saints in their amber and black away kit from the 60's/early 70's.

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25/12/15 on holiday in Mexico - had the worst bout of food poisoning I have ever experienced, the effects of which stretched comfortably in to 26/12/15 when we happened to batter Arsenal 4-0. I managed to drag myself to the bar for the game, nursed about 2ml of a half of Dos Equis during the game and was completely incapable of raising even a smile let alone a cheer despite the score.

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I've watched that game on youtube a few times can't imagine the game being played in those conditions now.

 

Shame its in black and white. I've not seen any colour footage of Saints in their amber and black away kit from the 60's/early 70's.

 

I haven't seen any colour footage from that era either. Think the earliest is about 71, by which time we would be in yellow and blue. Maybe there is some old newsreel footage but even the film of the 63 semi-final is only black and white.

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Saints in their amber and black away kit from the 60's/early 70's.

 

Now i'm learning something. We had an Amber and Black away kit?

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Wasn't there a game with a half-time kestrel display that all went a bit pear-shaped in the nineties?...or am i just imagining it? Someone help me out with this.

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I haven't seen any colour footage from that era either. Think the earliest is about 71, by which time we would be in yellow and blue. Maybe there is some old newsreel footage but even the film of the 63 semi-final is only black and white.

 

Yellow and blue started in the 72/73 season.

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Wigan away in the cup a couple of years ago during the beast from the east.

 

Meant to be get the train from Southampton but it as cancelled, so we drove to Basingstoke to connect into Birmingham from there. In our rush and haste, we were stood on the wrong bloody platform and missed the thing. So we jumped in a cab and got across to Reading station and then finally onto Wigan. I’ve never been so cold in my life, let alone at a football game.

 

The ‘drive’ home from Basingstoke in the early hours of the Monday morning was interesting to say the least.

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Mine are travel based disasters. I was at Brighton for 9/11 too which was plain weird.

 

The Birmingham away game mentioned above. Drove up, parked by a pub. Went in to meet some friends. Started snowing quite heavily. Went to the game, never been so cold. Got back to car which was under a hefty amount of snow. Managed to clear it all and set off home.

 

By now roads were very dicey. Slid around a bit before trying to head down one road which looked like it went to the motorway. As I did a big 4x4 came past and stopped saying that if I went down the hill I'd get stuck. Turned around, somehow found the motorway.

 

Managed to get behind a lorry and drive at no more than 30mph in its tracks all the way until the A34. Plenty of cars had just stopped or been abandoned. Somehow made it home but it wasn't until about Newbury that I had any confidence that if make it. Was properly scary at times.

 

MK Dons away in the cup when we won 6-0 there was a massive diversion because the A34 was shut. Headed off down a road that looked like it cut off loads of the diversion but it ended running out abruptly and turning into a field where the car got wedged on some tractor tracks. Took me about half an hour to dig out some of the ground under the car and get going again. By this time it was about 2am and I had to follow the diversion. Got home about 4am and then had to get up at 6am and go to work. FFS.

 

West Brom away under Adkins. Got to the M5 turn off about 45 minutes before the game but then just got stuck. Nothing moved. My mate jumped out and walked to the ground. I eventually managed to park and got to the ground at half time. Turnstiles obviously shut. Found a steward who let me in the home end and then I had to be escorted around the side of the pitch to the Saints end. We lost, it was rubbish.

 

QPR when Mane scored at the end. Fell down from the back of the stand over a load of seats. Smashed my ribs up and ripped the crotch out of my jeans. Walked around London for the rest of the night with my pants hanging out. Got to Victoria, missed the train to Swanwick by a minute. Bought more beer for the hour wait and sat outside the station with some homeless guys talking about football and sharing my beer.

 

Got in the train looking a right mess, by now I was properly hammerd. Found a seat, only one left in the carriage. A family of 6 or so all sat around me were Pompey fans who took great delight in laughing at me although to be fair they then looked after me and made sure I got off at the right stop.

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Wigan away in the cup a couple of years ago during the beast from the east.

 

Meant to be get the train from Southampton but it as cancelled, so we drove to Basingstoke to connect into Birmingham from there. In our rush and haste, we were stood on the wrong bloody platform and missed the thing. So we jumped in a cab and got across to Reading station and then finally onto Wigan. I’ve never been so cold in my life, let alone at a football game.

 

The ‘drive’ home from Basingstoke in the early hours of the Monday morning was interesting to say the least.

 

I went to Huddersfield the day before with a Palace mate to watch their game. Got trashed in the Magic Rock brewery before staying in Huddersfield overnight. We were pretty sure we'd end up there for the rest of the weekend because of the weather, but luckily the locals were pretty on it and had cleared the roads and we made it to Wigan. That's probably the second coldest I'd been after Birmingham.

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Southampton 2 - Charlton 3. End of championship season before league 1 the take over. Peter Crouch and Lawrie McMenemy begging the crowd to dig deep before the game. Bradly wright Philips and McGoldrick on the score sheet saints lost of course. It was my son's first ever game I was worried Saints might go tits up, and I might never get to take him to a saints game again, so I took him. He loved it and is a lifelong saints fan now. Terrible game at a terrible time but a special game for me.

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Posted (edited)
Now i'm learning something. We had an Amber and Black away kit?

 

Was the traditional away kit through the 1960's. It may have even started in the 1950's. Nothing spectacular, amber shirts (same colour collars and cuffs), black shorts. Yellow and blue was a fashion 'must have' strip worn by just about everyone from about 72/73.

 

I first saw us wear that early 73 at a pre-season friendly at Reading. So if there's a reason to remember that match it's the first sight of our fashionable away kit. That and watching a full scale punch up on an open terrace before kick off. Remember my Dad laughing with some Reading fans next to us saying "Christ, this is a friendly..."

 

Another thing from that meaningless fixture was watching the Saints team arrive off the coach outside Elm Park. Saw this massive bloke get off, no idea who he was at the time. Later realised it was Ted Bates heir, bloke called Lawrie something or other.

 

Oh and Saints lost 2-0.

Edited by Badger

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The last league match at the Dell vs Arsenal.

 

It wasn't the best match, Saints were fairly fortunate to be drawing and then boom, Matt Le Tiss.

 

That is the one game that stands out for me - amazing, never heard anything like that when it went in.

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I was there - only my second away game. Dad's car broke down twice on the way. Got in ground just as they kicked off. It was the only game on in London so they were forced to show it on the Big Match the next day.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XarZj2eehc

 

Bloomin' eck. Just watched that. John McGrath definitely looked like Desperate Dan!

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My first away game at Plough Lane - having a p*ss & still watching the game out the bog window & wondering if all away grounds were like this?

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I was there - only my second away game. Dad's car broke down twice on the way. Got in ground just as they kicked off. It was the only game on in London so they were forced to show it on the Big Match the next day.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XarZj2eehc

 

Yes, that will always be one of the most memorable away games. I'm glad we took the wise decision to get under cover on the North Bank. Most of the Saints fans were stood out in the blizzard at the Clock End.

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Watford away last season for their cringeworthy rocket man flag that covered their entire home end.

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QPR away, 89, the week after beating Liverpool 4-1 at home I think.

Passed my driving test that morning, after three failed attempts!

Got absolutely hammered on the train up

Saw a great win at Loftus road (great ground)

More drinking on the way home, in the pub, out of it completely.

Came around in a bush in Eastleigh, all but a broken nose.

Found out some time later it was a mate that did it as I was being a complete nob and pretty much asked for it.

Great day.

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The 2 promotion games at Orient. At the first one, in 1966, there were 15,000 Saints fans there out of a crowd of 19,000 and it is one of the few occasions when I've seen away fans fill three sides of a ground. At the second one, in 1978, there were only about 12,000 of us there and we were mostly packed into the big stand along one side. When the final whistle blew, there was a great surge forward to get at a group of about 200 Spurs fans, behind the goal to our left, who'd come to support Orient against their promotion rivals. The wall collapsed just in front of me as Saints fans raced across the pitch towards the Spurs end, which emptied rapidly as their fans fled.

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Forest away in a cup replay, maybe 91

Lost the game (Nicholl tried to resign, and i found out how to sell a story to the newspapers!)

Walked over the Trent Bridge

Jumped by a load of theirs

Police didnt want to know

We found them, in a house, big bay window.

Then we found a crate of milk bottles

Peugeot 405 , sunroof open, two out the top, one out the front passenger window, me driving

A load of bottles through their front window, classic!

Quick getaway.

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Running across the pitch at games, which as long as it was before kick-off, the police used to turn a blind eye to back in the 60s and early 70s.

 

I remember going with my uncle to a game at West Ham in 1966, and as he was older, he decided we'd stand at the side by the halfway line. I looked enviously at the thousands of Saints fans packed behind the goal to our right and about a minute before the players emerged, I could take it no longer so I jumped over the wall and ran across the pitch to join them. Then something similar was done to me. Ex-Saints goalkeeper, John Hollowbread, asked me to take his niece, who was down from London to watch Chelsea, to the Dell and look after her. We were both teenagers. Anyway. I took her to my usual spot behind the goal at the Milton Road End but just before kick-off, she jumped over the wall and ran the length of the pitch to join the Chelsea fans at the other end.

 

I remember once arriving at Elland Road after they'd locked the gates and somehow persuading a couple of groundsmen to let me in. I wasn't wearing a scarf and I told them I was a Leeds fan who'd come up from London. They asked me for some proof of that, so I showed them a students' union card, which showed that I was indeed a student living in London. So, they took me past the dressing rooms and I emerged from the players' tunnel. It was quite something to run out, with the game under way, with thousands of fans looking at me before I ran down the touchline and hopped over the wall.

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Meeting the Clockwork Orange Gang after Leicester away in 1973.

 

When I was a student in the 70s, I used to hitch-hike to and from games. One of the most memorable and surreal lifts I got was from the Winchester Clockwork Orange Gang. They were a group of Saints' fans who all dressed in white, wore braces and bowler hats etc to look like the gang from the 1972 film, Clockwork Orange. Anyway, as we pulled away from Filbert Street, every time we saw Leicester fans, one of them grabbed the driver, told him to stop the coach and they all piled off. This happened several times before we reached the motorway by which time I was glad to get off the coach and look for another lift. I never saw them at the Dell and I think they only dressed like that for away trips in 1973.

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The lone bloodied fan.

 

At Hull away in 1976 Saints fans were at the side and the Hull end was to our left. Anyway, just before kick-off, one of our fans disappeared. He didn't tell us where he was going. Then we saw a big scuffle behind the goal to our left. A few minutes after that the lone fan returned, covered in blood and looking quite pleased with himself.

 

I heard a lone Saints fan did something similar in the Fratton End and one of their league games last season. But, it sounds like he fared better than the lone fan at Hull, as Pompey fans just chanted 'scummer' at him before the police dragged him away.

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The fan who scored a goal.

 

Many of you will have been there for this one and some of you would have been among the 10,000 fans who were locked outside. Towards the end of the Mick Channon Testimonial, the ground was so overcrowded that fans were standing in front of the walls around the pitch. Anyway, as Saints were about to take the lead, one of our fans ran onto the pitch and kicked the ball into the QPR goal so the referee abandoned the game as a draw. I remember being a bit disappointed as I always wanted us to tin, even if it was just a testimonial.

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I went to Huddersfield the day before with a Palace mate to watch their game. Got trashed in the Magic Rock brewery before staying in Huddersfield overnight. We were pretty sure we'd end up there for the rest of the weekend because of the weather, but luckily the locals were pretty on it and had cleared the roads and we made it to Wigan. That's probably the second coldest I'd been after Birmingham.

 

I’d forgotten about Birmingham! We were stood next to Chaplow in the away end. Remember not getting home until about 5am Sunday morning due to the roads. I don’t remember it being as cold as Wigan, but I was younger and more stupid then!

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Miss World on the pitch

 

When George Best was sent off, playing for Fulham at the Dell, his then girlfriend, Mary Stavin, the 1977 Miss World, was there as his photographer, and she walked along the touchline and followed him down the tunnel, much to the delight of the crowd in the Lower West Stand. We didn't often get that sort of glamour at the Dell whereas at Chelsea in those days, it would have been quite commonplace.

 

Best often told the story of a bellboy who entered his hotel room with breakfast in the late 1970s. Seeing Best in bed with Mary Stavin, the current Miss World, a bottle of champagne and several thousand pounds of cash won from a night's gambling, the youth exclaimed, "George, where did it all go wrong?"

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The goalkeeper who dived through a plate glass window

 

Back in the 70s. after away games we often used to end up standing on the same station platform as the manager and players. After one 2-0 defeat at Burnley in 1976, where we'd been forced to play Colin Boulton, a loanee from Derby, it was obvious that we needed a better goalkeeper. At the time, a Reading goalkeeper, called Steve Death was playing brilliantly and keeping a string of clean sheets. In fact, he held the all-time record of 1,074 minutes without conceding a goal in English league football, so I asked McMenemy, " Why don't you take a look at Steve Death?" Quick as a flash, he replied "Why? Is he off the booze yet." Shortly after that, Death made the headlines for getting blind drunk and diving through a pub window. Eventually, six years later, McMenemy got the goalkeeper he'd always wanted, Peter Shilton.

 

We also used to see the players on the trains back from away games. After a 1-0 defeat at Blackpool at the end of the 76/77 season, when our promotion campaign had disappointingly fizzled out, Alan Ball walked the length of the train and said to every group of Saints' fans he saw, "I promise you we'll get promoted next season." And he was right.

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Miss World on the pitch

 

When George Best was sent off, playing for Fulham at the Dell, his then girlfriend, Mary Stavin, the 1977 Miss World, was there as his photographer, and she walked along the touchline and followed him down the tunnel, much to the delight of the crowd in the Lower West Stand. We didn't often get that sort of glamour at the Dell whereas at Chelsea in those days, it would have been quite commonplace.

 

Best often told the story of a bellboy who entered his hotel room with breakfast in the late 1970s. Seeing Best in bed with Mary Stavin, the current Miss World, a bottle of champagne and several thousand pounds of cash won from a night's gambling, the youth exclaimed, "George, where did it all go wrong?"

 

Think you've got this wrong.

 

The game in question was October 1976 (recently shown on BT in a "Big Match Revisited") and she was Miss World in 77. Google says they dated in 83. I'm pretty sure it was Angie, before they got married, wearing the very tight leather trousers on the pitch.

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Think you've got this wrong.

 

The game in question was October 1976 (recently shown on BT in a "Big Match Revisited") and she was Miss World in 77. Google says they dated in 83. I'm pretty sure it was Angie, before they got married, wearing the very tight leather trousers on the pitch.

 

You're right! I remember she was a glamorous blonde, and had read reports since that she was Miss World but she wasn't. Poor George Best really took some stick from the crowd that day. It really derailed his comeback.

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You're right! I remember she was a glamorous blonde, and had read reports since that she was Miss World but she wasn't. Poor George Best really took some stick from the crowd that day. It really derailed his comeback.

 

That saturday was the first time that red cards were used. I always believed that Best was the first player in England to be shown one. But a Blacburn player got one a bit earlier. On the Big Match coverage I don't think you can actually see the card being shown.

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Meeting the Clockwork Orange Gang after Leicester away in 1973.

 

When I was a student in the 70s, I used to hitch-hike to and from games. One of the most memorable and surreal lifts I got was from the Winchester Clockwork Orange Gang. They were a group of Saints' fans who all dressed in white, wore braces and bowler hats etc to look like the gang from the 1972 film, Clockwork Orange. Anyway, as we pulled away from Filbert Street, every time we saw Leicester fans, one of them grabbed the driver, told him to stop the coach and they all piled off. This happened several times before we reached the motorway by which time I was glad to get off the coach and look for another lift. I never saw them at the Dell and I think they only dressed like that for away trips in 1973.

 

They sound like a really impressive bunch. No doubt their activities ended when they got royally kicked in.

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Few random memories, but not for the game:

 

Wigan away in the cup (for the weather going up there)

 

1987 - Leicester at home, won 4-0, but second half played in a blizzard, which I then had to drive home in (living near Newbury at the time).

 

 

1977 Burnley at home, won 2-0, but during play in the second half they announced Red Rum had won the Grand National so crowd under East Stand burst into song singing his name.

 

1978 October/November Norwich at home- RAF Dog Display Team. Policeman watching the spectacle of someone running across the pitch started marching towards the "intruder" to be called off by the stadium announcer "Will the Policeman please leave the pitch, this is an RAF dog display..".

 

Other memorable games have been alcohol infused especially in the 1980's. Sheff Weds away in the Quarter Final, and the following season going to Orient were good.

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Few random memories, but not for the game:

 

Wigan away in the cup (for the weather going up there)

 

1987 - Leicester at home, won 4-0, but second half played in a blizzard, which I then had to drive home in (living near Newbury at the time).

 

 

1977 Burnley at home, won 2-0, but during play in the second half they announced Red Rum had won the Grand National so crowd under East Stand burst into song singing his name.

 

1978 October/November Norwich at home- RAF Dog Display Team. Policeman watching the spectacle of someone running across the pitch started marching towards the "intruder" to be called off by the stadium announcer "Will the Policeman please leave the pitch, this is an RAF dog display..".

 

Other memorable games have been alcohol infused especially in the 1980's. Sheff Weds away in the Quarter Final, and the following season going to Orient were good.

 

What they don't show in the highlights of that Leicester game is Hobson rounding the keeper to put the ball in the net and it sticking on the line.

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I have vague recollections of Roy Kinnear on the pitch in the late 70's & Jim from Eastenders at some point??? Did i just make this up??

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I have vague recollections of Roy Kinnear on the pitch in the late 70's & Jim from Eastenders at some point??? Did i just make this up??

 

I remember Peter Adamson (from Coronation St) coming on the pitch at half time v Wrexham c1974. FA Cup tie we lost 1-0.

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