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Grounds where you've had to get on your toes


Soulboy

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I've been thinking about this one- how many times have you decided against standing your ground and getting splattered, and instead taken the Alan Wells option? This would normally happen when you were away from the mob- when with the firm you might have got scattered, but in my experience rarely did the oppo- normally smelly Northerners, take a vendetta against you personally and sprint after you for a friendly chat. I'm talking getting sussed out, typically after the game, on the way back to the station/your motor.

For me this happened at Leeds- had to peg it across that dual carriageway; no green cross code that afternoon

Man U- that was a dual carriageway as well- thank f..ck we bumped into a minicab otherwise they'd still be picking up our teeth now.

Leicester end of season- a beast of a chap with a ponytail chased me for bleeding ages- I did a terrific road runner impression- me mate reckons he gonna have to put down some seed to get me to stop.

The funny thing is, I might look like one, and I knew/know a fair few of the chaps, but I wasn't really ever a proper hooligan. I guess I've only got meself to blame- if I was wearing Clarkes pasties and a beige zip up cardigan none of this would have happened. Ps the geyser at Leicester made Ray Winstone look like June Whitfield

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Ha ha great stories I think weve all been there at some point or another. Funnily enough although Ive been to mny Chelsea away games I didnt really ever have to leg it. The closest was Villa away in the early 90s ( the one where we legged Villa off the pitch many dressed in beachwear) where for some reason we were on the spcial and were waiting at Witton for the train to arrive watching a large mob get closer and closer whilst realising it wasnt our lot. Luckily the train arrived just in the nick of time.

 

Nearly every other time Chelsea had swamped whichever town or city it was or I was inthe mddle of a loose mob of our lot. Funnily enough Ive only had to leg it at football twice and both times it was watching Palace with my mates who support them. Once down at Brighton where we got caught out getting of the train by a larger mob of them with bricks and lumps of wood and stupidly I had a lime greem sweatshirt on which was bloody asking for it!! the second time they had Pompey who would have been promoted if they won and Palace scored to make it 1-0 with a minute to go and suddenly the wind up banter from the gobby Palace lot got a reaction from the 6,57 who climbed over the top of the seats and went through like a knife through butter. I think me and a few others broke the 100 metre record across the pitch that day. dont mind getting a whack watching Chelsea but im fcuked if I'll get a kicking watching another club.

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Only once with Chelsea but a few hundred of us against a few thousand Pompey at Wimbledon was asking for it, I've posted the story elsewhere.  The other time was with Fulham at home to Charlton on Putney Bridge.

 

I had to get into my house a bit quick when a dozen Sunderland came down my road in '76 f**k knows what they were doing near Putney Bridge when they were playing us, one of those keyswon'tgointothelockfastenoughmoments.

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Millwall '77 would be the obvious one. I know I've written about this before, but here goes anyway.

 

I was with the mob that met up at Fulham Broadway. Fair sized mob it was too. To this day I'm convinced that our mistake was getting there too early. Getting off at Surry Docks, the streets were eerily quiet, too quiet for comfort. Nothing went off on the way to the Den though, so we all piled into an almost deserted CBL. Not that the peace lasted long. Before we knew it, there were Millwall everywhere - not only Millwall either, because I recognised a good few faces from Tottenham in particular, who truly were only there for the Chelsea. But anyway, the Old Bill stood back and let it all happen, and happen it did. It was going off left right and centre, pure carnage, the likes of which has seldom if ever been seen on the terraces. I was turfed off before kickoff, and from what I subsequently heard, I may well have been one of the lucky ones.

Not that it was exactly peaceful outside. A few of us joined up and tried to find our way to the Ilderton Road End (suicidal or what?) Got there in the end, miraculously unscathed. Coming out of a side-road was this horse and cart, word went round that they were carrying shotguns. f**k that, I legged it. Eventually I reached the Ildterton Road End, not that i actually got in. I'm not sure if the gates were locked by that time. i was leaning against a police van getting my breath back, when this Millwall bloke came up to me. "f**king lot of Millwall here today," he said. I just nodded. What the f**k was I supposed to say? "There'll be f**king twice as many when we go to your place", said the Millwall bloke, reaching for this shine little blade in the top pocket of his jean jacket. This is it I thought, do I just stand here and let the c**t stab me? Do I try and fight back. Instead I called his bluff, unbuttoning the flap on my jean jacket, looking him in the eye and hoping he fell for it. Which he did. "Chelsea c**t", he hissed, and spat at the ground, turning and walking away. Heaving a sigh of relief, I spotted a couple of Chelsea fans I knew, or they spotted me, i forget. Not that it matters. There told me that it was the worse they'd ever seen in the Ilderton, Millwall fans literally carrying hatchets, hammers, and dockers hooks.

 

At that point it was all quiet outside. The general concensus was along the lines of, f**kit, let's get out of here while we still can. So we walked slowly and cautiously back to the tube station, feeling just a little subdued, to put it mildly.

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Bleeding hell Big Figure. Bet you needed counselling after that one- bit like the old Vietnam vets- mentally shot to pieces- even after all these years anyone who was out that afternoon ought to be able to get free therapy on the NHS- post traumatic stress disorder. That's South East London for you- I'm definately not inviting any of those loons to my wine and cheese evening next week!

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Wasn't the friendliest of afternoons it has to be said. But just in case I managed to give the wrong impression, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

 

Put it another way, we were the first mob to even think of going in the CBL. Tottenham, so I was told, went to the Old Den mob-handed, giving it large all the way to the Ilderton, courtesty of a rather large police escort. Not us. We got to the ground unescorted, no colours, keeping it quiet until we got into the ground. We stood our ground in the CBL.. Even Milwall were impressed. Someone wrote elsewhere on this site that it was that day that made us as a mob, it certainly didn't do our rep any harm, or our self-belief... even those of us who were turfed out and got run from one end to the other.

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Getting away from original thread but around that time got pulled by a local millwall bully- he was a couple of years older than me, me being thirteen- for spraying millwall muppets on a wall. Someone grassed me up and he let me off a hiding providing i went back and sprayed over it. Back I went- changed it to Gordon Jagos muppets! Tosser!

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I have often wondered what would have happened if DH's original plan to meet up with us and B's lot in the Swan at Lewisham

When we turned up just before kick off we got into there end without them knowing it most of them were still up the Ilderton Road End mopping up the first wave we managed to hold our own for most of the match if DH and is lot hadn't gone in early and we would have gone in together late it may have been a different story still a scarey day though

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I have often wondered what would have happened if DH's original plan to meet up with us and B's lot in the Swan at Lewisham

When we turned up just before kick off we got into there end without them knowing it most of them were still up the Ilderton Road End mopping up the first wave we managed to hold our own for most of the match if DH and is lot hadn't gone in early and we would have gone in together late it may have been a different story still a scarey day though

The problem that day was that Millwall could get to wherever Chelsea were by getting over the fences into the CBL.  The early Chelsea mob in the CBL just got surrounded and outnumbered and had to high tail it across the pitch into the Ilderton, ten minutes later that end was full of Millwall too!

 

I got in the ground through the Ilderton and watched the game from the halfway line without having to climb over anything.  I wasn't aware another Chelsea mob had got into the CBL before kick off, all we could see and hear were looked like the remainder of the early mob who hadn't gone over the pitch in a little D shaped mob right at the back. In that case a big Chelsea mob getting in may have done OK and stayed in there the whole match, that would have been something to brag about.  Saying that though, if there were no Chelsea in the ground until just before kick off f**k knows where Millwall would have been!

 

It didn't happen though but we came away with a good kicking and a lot of respect.  I went to the Millwall - Ipswich semi a year or so later and talking to a few of them on the Ilderton that day they said they had respect for us after what we'd done that day, no-one else had ever done, they were used to Cardiff and Pompey bringing a few each year but that was that, no-one had gone into the CBL before.  Spurs had given it the big one the next season, to be fair they took a lot more there than we did but got an escort all the way down Old Kent Road.

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Indeed they poured over the fence into the CBL and I got isolated and trapped in the top corner with some Millwall bloke blowing a metal horn summoning up support , there were plenty of other Chelsea left in the CBL isolated in ones and twos for the rest of the afternoon.

 

As I have described elsewhere I have never seen a brawl on the terraces like it before or to this day., Older Millwall fans had never experienced anything like that at the old Den.

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 Spurs had given it the big one the next season, to be fair they took a lot more there than we did but got an escort all the way down Old Kent Road.

 

If memory serves me right, that game was on Boxing Day. A Spurs mate who went told me that they met up at an underground station, and the Old Bill kept them back, and they did'nt arrive till after kick off. 

I was at the London College of Printing at Elephant & Castle at that time, and a fair few 'apprentice's' were Millwall fans. When we returned in the New year, they reckoned they had the upper hand outside after the game, whereas my Spurs mate reckoned they did!. Who knows?. 

Totally different scenario going there on Boxing Day, with less people on the streets and transport running as Sunday service, compared to our visit on a normal Saturday the year before.

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If memory serves me right, that game was on Boxing Day. A Spurs mate who went told me that they met up at an underground station, and the Old Bill kept them back, and they did'nt arrive till after kick off. 

I was at the London College of Printing at Elephant & Castle at that time, and a fair few 'apprentice's' were Millwall fans. When we returned in the New year, they reckoned they had the upper hand outside after the game, whereas my Spurs mate reckoned they did!. Who knows?. 

Totally different scenario going there on Boxing Day, with less people on the streets and transport running as Sunday service, compared to our visit on a normal Saturday the year before.

The 'wall fellas I spoke with at the Ipswich match told me they battered Spurs outside.

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The problem that day was that Millwall could get to wherever Chelsea were by getting over the fences into the CBL.  The early Chelsea mob in the CBL just got surrounded and outnumbered and had to high tail it across the pitch into the Ilderton, ten minutes later that end was full of Millwall too!

 

I got in the ground through the Ilderton and watched the game from the halfway line without having to climb over anything.  I wasn't aware another Chelsea mob had got into the CBL before kick off, all we could see and hear were looked like the remainder of the early mob who hadn't gone over the pitch in a little D shaped mob right at the back. In that case a big Chelsea mob getting in may have done OK and stayed in there the whole match, that would have been something to brag about.  Saying that though, if there were no Chelsea in the ground until just before kick off f**k knows where Millwall would have been!

 

It didn't happen though but we came away with a good kicking and a lot of respect.  I went to the Millwall - Ipswich semi a year or so later and talking to a few of them on the Ilderton that day they said they had respect for us after what we'd done that day, no-one else had ever done, they were used to Cardiff and Pompey bringing a few each year but that was that, no-one had gone into the CBL before.  Spurs had given it the big one the next season, to be fair they took a lot more there than we did but got an escort all the way down Old Kent Road.

The D shaped mob you describe must have been us we went up the stairs chucked a right where the bar was and decided to hold that but with most of us being local and of course 'B' standing out it wasn't  long before they realized what was happening and started gathering below us we charged forward and they backed off a few old bill made a line between us and not a lot happened for most of the game but the shear weight of numbers in their favour mean't we left in small amounts meeting back up in Lewisham later and waited in the Swan for retaliation which never happened

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Wasn't the friendliest of afternoons it has to be said. But just in case I managed to give the wrong impression, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

 

Put it another way, we were the first mob to even think of going in the CBL. Tottenham, so I was told, went to the Old Den mob-handed, giving it large all the way to the Ilderton, courtesty of a rather large police escort. Not us. We got to the ground unescorted, no colours, keeping it quiet until we got into the ground. We stood our ground in the CBL.. Even Milwall were impressed. Someone wrote elsewhere on this site that it was that day that made us as a mob, it certainly didn't do our rep any harm, or our self-belief... even those of us who were turfed out and got run from one end to the other.

Good story, you miss the old days much? I've always heard or read that ICF and Bushwhackers were always up there. Is it true that the Gooners have never had a decent firm?

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Not true about Arsenal. The skinhead era was before my time but many have told me they were a force to be reckoned with back then. Was around for their renaissance in the 80s- they were better at home than away - a lot of their black support from Finsbury Park/Hackney etc didn't travel much for some reason.

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Not true about Arsenal. The skinhead era was before my time but many have told me they were a force to be reckoned with back then. Was around for their renaissance in the 80s- they were better at home than away - a lot of their black support from Finsbury Park/Hackney etc didn't travel much for some reason.

I also heard arsenal had a nasty firm at home I think they went under the name the herd

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Talking of which, has anyone got any theories as to how Arsenal became the club of choice for the majority of black lads in London? I've only ever lived South of the river, and have got many black mates,; reckon more of them support Arsenal than Chelsea, Palace, Charlton, Millwall combined. - bit like the modern phenomena of Indians wearing Liverpool shirts, but that's another story.

Back to Arsenal, one Boxing Day in about 85 I went to Norwich to watch em- dont know where we were playing that day but took up an offer to from a mate to get a lift up there with a carload of his Gooner mates I'd never met. Cut a long story me guts weren't too clever- previous days brussel sprouts, turkey, tons of beer etc....anyway, I passed wind it that Granada all the way up there, on the packed terrace, then all the way back home again. It was a case of open the windows and freeze to death or chew on it. Strangely enough they never invited me on any more of their trips, not that I'd have gone anyway. That teached em to bring a Chelsea fan along!

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Good story, you miss the old days much? I've always heard or read that ICF and Bushwhackers were always up there. Is it true that the Gooners have never had a decent firm?

Easy as it is to look at the past through rose blue tinted specs, I reckon most of us miss those days. We were that much younger then, healthier, fitter,having the time of our lives.

 

As others have said, Arsenal had some right nasty bar stewards, but not much of a rep as an away firm.

 

Getting back on topic (kindof), does anyone remember Plymouth away one year? We didn't actually leg it from the Plymouth so much as lead them into a trap. I think it was the year I managed to miss the special, so got the Inter City down from Paddington, then a taxi to the ground (well flush that week) to get me there by half time. Walking past a loaf of Plymouth wearing a red white and green scarf (don't ask me why I wore it, damned if I know), they weren't sure who I was, so I yelled "CHELSEA", and sauntered off to our end.

 

After the match, the old bill kept us locked in, but some bright spark had the idea of forcing the corrugated iron at the back of the stand. So off we went, through a largeish park with a series of hillocks and dales. Most of the Chelsea went on ahead, leaving a few of us stragglers loitering with purpose. When the Plymouth mob spotted us, they thought their luck was in, so came steaming towards us, baying for blood in Devonian accents. We took off, but not too fast, allowing them to get pretty close but not quite catching up with us. Then suddenly, the massed ranks of the rest of the Chelsea (the massed advance guard) came charging up and over a hillock from where they'd been laying in wait.

 

The looks on those Plymouth fans faces was priceless... double quick change from: "We're gonna kill you, ya baastards" to "ooo f**k". Needless to say they got on their toes and were off and out of it in no time. I don't remember any actual fighting that day,but it was a hell of a crack.

And when all is said and done, that's what it was all about.

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Talking of which, has anyone got any theories as to how Arsenal became the club of choice for the majority of black lads in London? I've only ever lived South of the river, and have got many black mates,; reckon more of them support Arsenal than Chelsea, Palace, Charlton, Millwall combined. - bit like the modern phenomena of Indians wearing Liverpool shirts, but that's another story.

Back to Arsenal, one Boxing Day in about 85 I went to Norwich to watch em- dont know where we were playing that day but took up an offer to from a mate to get a lift up there with a carload of his Gooner mates I'd never met. Cut a long story me guts weren't too clever- previous days brussel sprouts, turkey, tons of beer etc....anyway, I passed wind it that Granada all the way up there, on the packed terrace, then all the way back home again. It was a case of open the windows and freeze to death or chew on it. Strangely enough they never invited me on any more of their trips, not that I'd have gone anyway. That teached em to bring a Chelsea fan along!t I

I went to Everton with Arsenal one year in the FA Cup. Can't remember what round it was, but I know we were playing Southampton away. I was well sknt that weekend, and when an Arsenal mate offered me a lift, I thought sod it why not.

 

Arsenal had a fair sized mob, but there was no trouble that I know of. As it turns out, they were back up to Goodison the following week in the league, but from what I was told, they had a very fair turn out.

 

Naturally I was recognised, but some Arsenal bloke I didn't know asked me what the f**k I was doing there. I just shrugged and told him I'd come for a day out with my mates. Fair enough, he said, and that was it. Strangest thing happened. Just after that, some other Arsenal bloke came up to me, saying: "You smoke rollups don't you?" When I told him I did, he handed me an opened 2oz packet of Golden Virginia. Don't ask me! I thanked the bloke, and he was off, back to his mates or wherever.

 

As it turns out Liverpool and Everton were both playing at home that day. After the match there were hundreds, maybe thousands ofthe f**kers, lining the pavement on the other side of the road, generally making horrible whiny scouse type noises.

 

And before I forget.. my mate Henry, who's motor it was, managed to leave me and the rest of the carload stranded in f**king Liverpool. Fortunately, we managed to bunk back on the Arsenal special. They were alright as it happens. A couple of right hard looking bar stewards made mild noises about Chelsea, but the feeling I had was that they were jjust letting me know I was there rather than that they were going to have a go at me.

 

As for the number of black Arsenal fans, I'm really not sure. Going back a bit, I think there was a time that a lot of coloured blokes identified with Ian Wright. Or maybe it was something that started with more local black Arsenal fans (around Islington etc)  that spread.throughout the wider black community over the years.

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Your theory makes sense BF- looking back they had a lot of black players- Gus Ceasor, Paul Davis, Rocastle, Wrighty. ps an Arsenal face once told me that Denton used to get over the Spurs before he was a Gooner- don't know what had gone on between them but he used to refer to him as that f...ing y.d. Anyone know?

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Can't help you with that one, I'm afraid.

 

However, to go back to what you were saying earlier about black Arsenal fans, I was talking to a black West Ham fan (no not Cass) that a big part of the appeal for him was the multi-racial thing they had going back then. This one West Ham fan was telling me about one of their main boys, who was and I quote: "a bit of a Paki." Asians at football were extremely rare in those days. I've written elswhere about this Asian bloke who  went along to the Black Bull with me, and was scared sh*tless of the reaction to his presence by a couple of the regulars, and no amount of "you'll be ok", type reassurances from me could persuade the bloke to stay.

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In the 70's, i thought Spurs had more black fans than Arsenal, from the games i went to when we played those two. I recall one game walking to WHL from Seven Sisters around this era, and even then, every shop from there to Bruce Grove appeared to be run by blacks, as they used to stand outside talking to each other.

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Yeah I suppose it does sound a bit strange. No alarm bells though, I just thought either this bloke knew me from somewhere or one or more of his mates did. If anything, it was more likely a peace offering:  "We know you're Chelsea, but don't worry about it."

 

Oh and before you ask, this bloke wasn't wearing an Apache Headdress either!

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