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That`s where i stood on that corner bit on the right, next to the isle.

In my teen Shed days me and my lot would always try to get the top corner of the Whitewall nearest to the middle and sit up on the wooden barrier, 10 number 6 and the day was sorted.

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Back in the day when we were sh*t and noone was watching us. Judging by the crowd I reckon that was the Shrewsbury game.

Naa that was the time when the entire Shed - make that the entire ground, Old Bill and all, were chased all over the shop by the massed hordes of Hereford fans, with backing from the infamous and deadly Leominster mob.

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Article from the  Forest v Bristol Rovers Programme - 4/12/76 - following the previous home game against Chelsea which brought serious crowd disorder - (Article by Club Secretary Ken Smales)

 

One of the problems confronting the writer of a regular column such as this is that subjects are limited and therefore articles can tend to become repetitive. Despite this occupational hazard, and at the risk of boring you, I am again going to raise the subject that is causing a great deal of concern to everyone, and that is hooliganism.

With the recent happenings in the vicinity of the City Ground on match days this problem is no doubt uppermost in the thoughts of every decent football follower.

I do not in any way wish to infer that the thugs who wear Forest colours and attend our ground regularly are whiter than white, because they are an extremely nasty bunch who need no provoking. They come prepared for, and look to seek out, trouble.

But it is apparent and is surely more than coincidence that "aggro" is more prevalent when visiting supporters arrive in any considerable number. Fighting was evident inside the ground during both the Wolves & Sheff Utd matches, and the violence outside the ground for the Chelsea match reached a new peak.

Before we condemn the visiting hooligans, and we all know that every club has this element, we must remember, as one senior police official reminded me, that it takes two to make a fight. And how right he is.

The scum of the country has attached itself to football like a leech sucking the life blood out of the game, and it is therefore of some consolation to hear that stronger punishment can now be meted out by the courts.

Last season the visit of Blackpool attracted our lowest "gate" of the season of just 8,582. Not because of who they were but because they, unfortunately were the next visitors to the CG after the violent scenes on the Bridgford End terrace at the preceding Chelsea match. people fear for their safety.

We have received numerous phone calls and letters since our last home game which revealed just how frightened genuine supporters have become. Obviously both the police and the club were aware of the possibility that last seasons viloence could be repeated and discussions took place in an effort to counteract it.

One unnecessary problem arose, and that was the early arrival of the Chelsea supporters trains. The first was scheduled to arrive at 1pm despite repeated appeals by the Minister for Sport that supporters should not be permitted to arrive at the town of their destination well before the kick off.

The police obviously did not want a 1,000 or so visitors roaming round the streets of Nottingham killing time as it were. So it was arranged for some turnstiles to be opened much earlier than usual. It was also agreed that the Chelsea fans of the trains would be escorted into the Trent End so as to avoid a repeat of last season's unsavoury episode.

So far so good, but an overflow of fans onto the running track was not contained and they were allowed to wander at leisure round the perimeter until they arrived at the scoreboard corner where they spread onto the pitch.

The referee, quite rightly, had no option but to suspend play until everyone was back over the wall. During his subsequent discussion with the Chairman and myself he revealed that he was prepared to have the ground cleared and to continue the match in an empty stadium.

The most horrific part of the afternoons action was, however, to take place outside the ground with stabbings and general mayhem.

The awful consequences of this was brought very clearly into the focus when a Tuesday phone call from a very distraught father at Skegness revealed that his son, who is a close friend of our John Middleton, was one of the victims in the stabbing incidents.

Football is clearly being dragged down by animals. We cannot control their behaviour in the streets, so what can we do within the confines of the ground to ensure a degree of safety.

We have all given the problem considerable thought and one suggestion proposed by Brian Clough is that as we cannot guarantee the good behaviour of all those who attend the matches we might at least be able to provide an area of safety for those who wish to use it.

His idea is to section off an area in front of the Main Stand and only permit entry to Ground season ticket holders and so preclude any visiting supporters from this sanctuary. This would not force season ticket holders into an area where they do not wish to stand, but merely offer them a reserved place in an area occupied only by Forest fans.

One of my ideas is for half of the Trent End to be sealed off for the use of visiting supporters. This would mean the installing of extra toilets and refreshment bars in that section at considerable cost, but this would be particularly useful if we gained promotion.

But neither of these ideas solves the problem of the "Forest mob".

Many of you have written, and several have suggested, that the erection of dividing fences has not helped solve the problem. I would like to remind them that it was not so long ago that the gangs were swarming from one end of the terrace to the other, knocking down anyone unfortunate enough to be standing in their path. So, if nothing else, we have eliminated this particular problem.

Mr James, in a letter published in the Chelsea issue of the "Review", expressed irritation at the apparent cool attitudes of football administrators towards the suggestion of the identity card system.  I do not doubt his sincerity in believing that such a scheme is practicable but I do not share his views, and in any event cannot see how it can possibly be implemented. It would take an army of civil servants to administer and there is no more guarantee of good behaviour as a result of its introduction.

After all, the present threat of custodial sentences do not seem to deter the many ruffians from perpetrating acts of hooliganism in much the same way that hidden cameras in shops do nor prevent pilfering.

But I will examine his theory more closely, and use the examples that he cited in a Chelsea v Forest game being only watched by holders of cards issued by the two clubs.

Surely these supporters are the very two chemicals necessary for an explosion. it is not the presence of neutral supporters of other clubs or casual visitors who cause the trouble.

Our average home attendance prior to the Chelsea game was just over 14,000 but 27,000 plus turned up for this match. Would the 13,000 or so extra spectators have had to obtain a pass (or two passes according to Mr James) during the week preceding. If so, how many persons would have to be employed to cope with the work? Have you ever been to renew your car licence and seen the waiting queues and the time taken to serve them all. I am afraid that I must reject this idea as impractical.

Our old friend Harry Durose has written saying how afraid he has become to stand in his favourite position, and will be seriously considering supporting us from his armchair in the future. His is only one of the many cries from the heart that we have received. An answer must be found or football will die!

 

Article by Ken Smales

 

ForestvChelsea1976.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Found a reference to midget car racing at Stamford Bridge in a recent edition of Motor Sport Magazine. Knew that Speedway races had taken place at the Bridge but didn't know about midget car racing. Impressive crowds.

 

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/midget-car-racing-stamford-bridge

 

 

A guy I know was at the Bridge in 1945 when we played Moscow Dynamo. He bunked off school for the day - he lived in North End Road - and got in for nothing. Must have been some game to have been at.

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Found a reference to midget car racing at Stamford Bridge in a recent edition of Motor Sport Magazine. Knew that Speedway races had taken place at the Bridge but didn't know about midget car racing. Impressive crowds.

 

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/midget-car-racing-stamford-bridge

 

 

A guy I know was at the Bridge in 1945 when we played Moscow Dynamo. He bunked off school for the day - he lived in North End Road - and got in for nothing. Must have been some game to have been at.

 

My uncle was there.  Probably the one who smashed the gates down.

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