(GROUND NUMBER 102)
Date of First Visit: 1st JANUARY 1992
ROOTS HALL, SOUTHEND -ON-SEA
SOUTHEND UNITED 4
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
(OLD) DIVISION TWO
ATTENDANCE: 9,458 (500 Toons fans)
"YOU'RE NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE!"
|"grrrrr!--time for din-dins!"|
Of aall the places tih have tih gan tee on New Years day, it had tih be here!?.
A roond trip approachin' 700 miles! AND a bloody '12 bells' kick off iz well!. Ah was drivin' doon so it meant that ah could'nt ' even celebrate' the new year az normal by gettin' 'rat arsed'!.
Ah tried tih get a few hours kip, but it was nee good coz of aall the parties and drunken 'rat arsed' street singers!. (some people have got nee standards!)
Ah tried puttin' the pillow ower mee heed but it was nee good az 'auld lang syne' was ringin' oot from mee neighbours telly.
Az ah dragged mee sleepless sober body oot of bed at 'two thorty a.m. bells', the parties were just aboot dyin' doon but that was nee consolation tih mee az ah was totally 'cream crackered'!.
Ah drove tih Swaallwell tih pick Davy Dowaz up but mee worst fears were conformed when ah arrived and foond that there were nee lights on in his terraced hoose. (he'd obviously been on 'the hoy'!)
Ah brayed on his front door and hoyed 'clemmies' at his bedroom window, but it was nee good az he was 'vino collapso' and ah could'nt wake the drunken pig up!.
"HANG ON A MINUTE!---HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A F*****' DOG!"
Az a last resort, ah went roond tih the back of his hoose and tried tih 'bunk ower' his back yard waall in case he'd faalin' asleep in his livin' room!. (which was at the rear of the hoose)
Encorougingly ◄(sorry aboot the 'spellin' misteak!) there was a light on, so ah made a super human effort and dragged mee sixteen stone frame ower the waall, 'S.A.S style'!, and hammered on his back window!.
In response a very loud barkin' and growlin' noise came from the back kitchen, which was very strange indeed az Davy did'nt have a 'Deputy Dawg'?.
Then it suddenly dawned on iz!-----IT WAS THE WRANG F*****' HOOSE!---AND!---tih mek matters worse, 'mans best friend?' suddenly appeared at the back door which had a frosted glass window, bangin' it's paws to break the glass as it stood on it's hind legs! It was huge and was at least as taall as me! (that's!---SIX FOOT---like!)
Usin' my vast knowledge of canine breeds (absoloootleee non whatsoever!) aa could just make oot through the frosted glass that it was probably? a cross between an Alsatian and an Irish wolf hound and it was snarlin' loudly and barin' it's razor sharp 'Ted Heath' az it 'clocked iz', panic stricken in the back yard!.
It looked very likely tih come through the glass door at any moment!---AND!---tih mek matters EVEN WORSE!, it looked very hungry and didn't look ower happy that a'd woken it from it's 'slumbers'!.
It was time for 'A Sharp Exit' before aa was torn 'limb from limb' and eaten alive!, and aa SWEAR BLIND!, that yiv never (ever!) seen anybody scale a ten foot high waall quicker than ah did that New Years mornin'!.
(The S.A.S included!)
Time was gettin' on and ah could'nt wait there any langer for him to wake up az ah had tih mek 'tracks' tih Fellin' tih pick 'Piper' and Terry 'Biggles' Botcherby up. (So caalled coz he once flew to an away game in London!)
They were at the arranged meetin' point much the worse for wear after the previous neets indulginses!, but still able tih stand up nontheless! ("Er!"-A'm not sayin' they were still 'cattle trucked' but 'Piper' looked like 'death waamed up'!, and 'Biggles' eyes looked like 'pissholes in the snow'!)
Anyway!---it was aboot '3:30 am bells' by the time wih set off for the seaside and not surprizingly the roads were totally deserted and ah remember thinkin', "A wish they were like this aall the time"!
By the time wih arrived in Soothend sometime later (aboot 10:30 bells) ah was completely 'cream crackered' and of course there was nowt open and wih ended up waalkin' aroond the groond like lost sheep with neewhere tih gan!.
However!--- Soothend Supporters Club which was reet next tih the groond did eventually open after several Geordies made their presence felt by nearly kickin' the front door off it's hinges!. It had the 'desired effect' and they let us in for the forst drinks of the year. (Unfortunatally, mine was an 'Andy Pandy' az ah had tih drive back iz well!)
After another 'Andy' it was time tih gan tih the match and wih heeded for the visitors end just roond the corner.
We were in 'dire straits' (the team---NOT us!) az we were near the foot of the aad Second Division and a good result was needed tih lift the fear of relegation.
The groond was a typical lower league venue with an open terrace lined with blue crash barriers for the away followers and a smaall roofed terrace at the far end for the home fans. To wor left was the rickety main stand which stopped at each penalty box and to wor reet there was a stand with a rusted double barrelled tin roof which ran the full length of the pitch.
Anly 500 or so diehards had made the lang jorney sooth and we were 'rewarded' for our loyalty by gannin' a goal behind after ONE MINUTE!. (Great f*****' start!)
By the time Soothend had scored their FOURTH goal, sometime durin' the second half, their fans were havin' a field day!.---"WHAT A WASTED JOURNEY!"---they sang with delight az they pointed towards us!. (TOO BLOODY TRUE MATE!)
But the chant that REALLY hit home to me was far more poignant.---"YOU'RE NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE!"-- "YOU'RE NOT FAMOUS ANY-MORE!"
Sadly---ah had to agree with them!---CHRIST!---had it really come to this!?---the once famous N.U.F.C., ridiculed by fans of a 'tuppence haapny' team whose gates were often less than Hartlepool's and whose groond resembled a 'glorified bus-stop'!.
We were hurtlin' towards the Thord Division and on THIS! performance, relegation looked a CERTAINTY!.
(Ah divvint want tih dwell on wor 'p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e-!' that day, or indeed, who was actually playin' for the Toon!---it's just a 'blur'---thank god!---d-e-f-e-n-a-t-e-l-y-! one tih forget!)
'John the Chap' had hitched it doon on New Years Eve and az wih had a spare seat in the 'jam jar' coz Davy Dowaz had 'slept in', ah offered him a lift yem, if he wanted one. (He did'nt need much persuasion!)
On the retorn jorney tih keep awake ah put the radio on tih listen tih the results. The announcer telt wih that Barnet had won and were definate promotion contenders from the Fourth Division.
Ah thought---F*****' HELL!---ah saw Gatesheed play Barnet in the Conference the previous season at the International Stadium and Newcastle could! be playin' them NEXT! season!.
That's when wor 'plight' really hit home to me!. (you could say we'd gone to the dogs!) (sic!)
By the time wih got yem several hours later aa was nearly faallin' asleep at the wheel and it was certainleee a day that 'Biggles' Botcherby, 'Piper', John the Chap' and meesel will never (ever!) forget!!!
HAPPY BLOODY NEW YEAR!!!???
(Az it torned oot, Barnet missed oot on promotion that season and of course, 'Keegan the Messiah' saved us from even worse trips tih the likes of Torquay, Gillingham and Colchester!)
(Thank F*****' God!)
©Fink ™ (the mad-sad gr☺undh☺pper!)