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Long & Happy away days!!

Long & Happy away days!!



We`ve all been there, stuck in a club at 2.30 am on Friday night/ Saturday morning, swaying on the spot with a bottle of newky brown by your side. Maybe the venue, Isadora`s or The Brick house, with a crumpled up match ticket in your pocket with a face value of £9.00 & a mostonian Coach ticket somewhere at home & your off to the capital next day…. Get the picture!!
You`ve got to get home for a wee bit of welcome shut-eye & you haven`t even had your Pizza yet!!
Remember those 3pm kick offs? Full schedules & 22 teams in Division 1? When you strived to do the full 42 games? Ever manage it?
You stumble out of your cab & low & behold, 4 hours later you stumble back in!!
"Chorlton Street mate" This time, your eye is not only on the meter, but on the clock too!!
You always get there though & on time where you wait patiently with 20 other die hards hardly dressed appropriately for the biting cold. But with your bag full of provisions & a copy of the Sun under your arm, you are ready willing & able to complete the arduous & emotional yet generally fruitless day ahead!! You feel a sense of pride & unswerving loyalty safe in the fact that you support the best club in the land. You felt appreciated by the club. Your support & attendance mattered.
What else would you want to do on a Saturday & why doesn`t everyone else feel the addiction?
Don`t know about you, but Away Days in the 80`s & 90`s were something else!
You could do the day on £70 as apposed to today when that price wont buy you 2 tickets at st Andrews!!
You would stand up behind the goal, crammed in yet half the terrace would be left empty with a sprinkling of police in the empty terrace. Eventually the terrace would reach bursting point when her majesty`s police force would begrudgingly open the next paddock!
The stands were crumbling, The toilets would overflow with urine, the pies would be stone cold & you couldn`t get a pint for love nor money!!
Yet, all things considered, if you were there, you wouldn't change it for the world….
You can have your brand new plastic all seater-stadia & there is no question that the facilities have dragged the beautiful game from the seat of it`s arse and into the 21st century & created the best spectacle in Europe cosmetically, but oh for those long & happy away days.




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The journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 16 2007

Time: 8:30PM

Your Comments

Good riddance to those days and the hooligans on and off the pitch
alphieblues
aye stale, sterile atmosphere to accompany the football is where it's at.
31 years
Aye and an ambush at the station say 2-300 strong - running the gauntlet all the way to the ground. If and when the local bods could be arsed to put on an escort it was usually ineffective and breached for fun. Being forced to stand against the stadium wall at Spurs in a turkey shoot -really miss all that. What about the away end being opened at the same time as the home supporters and no cops at all- you can't beat just walking into it. Feckin bozo
Craig Cain
If you have to resort to insults so be it but what exactly is wrong with safe standing in football stadiums? All seater have potential to be a bag of crap as well (Spurs and rags in europe speak volumes .... as does City at Blackburn) and I think you'll find your answer in your retort. Sh1t policing at football, treating everyone like hooligans instead of seeking an answer (that's why there is so much crap in Europe despite all seater stadia). Also your last comment about away ends being opened at the same time? Back in the 80's they were rarely opened ..... you were kept in and immediately identified on exit because all the home fans had *****ed off. Only City really separate these days at the whistle which allows all our knobs to congregate where the away fans exit and kick it off when they choose. That's despite all seater stadia.
31 years
Bottom line is, I and many others do not want to see a return to the football culture that prevailed in this country in the seventies and eighties. Seems that many of those campaigning for standing allude via some form of corrupted nostalgia or ignorance to that culture as 'returning the game to its roots'.
Craig Cain
so no answers as to why safe standing is not a viable option? Thought not. You are as guilty as those you speak of of sticking your head in the sand. All seater stadia do not stop violence as events last week proved. Good policing does. What I yearn for .... and what was perceived from my reading of the article ..... is a return to the days when football was affordable, the clubs valued their fans (rather than customers) and teams played football to win. Safe standing is a recognition that all seater stadia were complicit in the ruining of the game as a live experience. The average age of the football fan is now 40 plus ..... where are the next generation coming from now that they are priced out of the game. The nostalgia trip is part and parcel of a much more enjoyable football experience when taken as a whole. The evidence suggests the majority want it back ..... but when do majoritys count for anything in modern British society.
31 years
How can I possibly comment on the theoretical notion referred to as "safe standing", what does this mean? - until it is defined and trialled in a british football context .
Craig Cain
Look at the model in Germany, a country that has had its fair share of hooligan problems, it is successful. In response to your question 'what is safe standing?' I would argue that it is any form of standing that does not lead to harm, injury or ultimately death. The Taylor report itself stated that there was no reason why safe standing areas should not exist, the clubs used spin and repackaged Taylor to make money off you and me in the form of all seater stadia. Standing wasn't the reason 96 died at Hillsborough ...... poor policing (again notice a trend?) and bad design were. I would argue that if the police behaved as they did in this country in the 80's, and still do in Europe, at a pop concert where people stand then the results would be similar.
31 years
Germany is inadmissible - completely different culture and football crowd dynamic. It needs to be defined, constructed and trialled in a British context. As for pop concerts!?
Craig Cain
the pop concert analogy is one of policing a crowd that is standing. Treat them like **** they will respond likewise. The german example is a fair one and works well although I will assume your knowledge of german football culture qualifies you to make such comment above the expert opinion and research available in the public domain. That you continue to stick your head in the sand and ignore the policing issues and continued violence in seated areas shows your opposition to safe standing is based on biases that you will never see beyond. Fortunately you are in the minority.
31 years
For the third and final time: I simply state that "SAFE STANDING" NEEDS TO BE DEFINED CONSTRUCTED and TRIALLED IN A BRITISH FOOTBALL CONTEXT
Craig Cain
BTW 31 years: My comments were directed at the author of "Long and Happy Away Days" (anything but frankly)
Craig Cain
Most modern stadiums are not designed for standing of any discription, all seater stands are usually steeper than the "Old Ends" we used to stand on.....
col8
Good point Col8
Craig Cain
Great article. More reminiscing PLEASE! I miss lots of aspects from footie in the 80's. Not the raw violence thing but more the standing / community feel in the ground. Players who did not earn the kind of money that makes you feel a bit of a mug for watching. Still a regular footie atendee but it just doesnt feel the same anymore. Bring back SAFE standing and we may get the atmosphere back.
cropped
 

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