Tuesday, 26 October 2010

069 palmerston park queen of the south

Date of First Visit: 4th AUGUST 1984


ATTENDANCE 2,000 (500 Toon fans)


Mary-queen of the south? 

"69's THE BEST WAY!"

The Toon's 'Grand Tour of Scotland' in the summer of '84' kicked off at the 'grandly' titled 'Queen of the South' which is situated in the toon of Dumfries a few miles ower the border from Carlisle.
A 'boat load' of us met up at 'the Central' and crammed into the back of a battered tranny van and on the way up we picked 'Grumpy Stumpy' up from his granneez hoose in Throckley.

The van was an 'aad wreck' with nee seats in the back (Er!---apart from a couple of beer crates!) and two of the company who were 'on the hoy' aalready (and who shall remain nameless!) decided that they urgently needed to gan to the 'tool shed' and procceded tih get a 'gypsies kiss' on the side of the van!.

The driver, (Aka: ME!----who did'nt want the van covered in p**s!) drove off suddenly at high speed!, leavin' them in full view of Stumpy's gran's livin' room window, danglin' their d***s! in one hand (whilst still drinkin' their cans of Broon with the otha!)
(ER!---change that tih 'nameless and SHAMEless'!)

'Stumpy', to say the least waz NOT! a 'happy bunny' and he tried to shield his gran from the 'horror show' by usin' his 'flab'uous frame' to stand in front of hor! (NOT! a pretty sight!)----(ER!,the lads gettin' a 'gypsies'!)--- (NOT!-Stumpys' frame!)
He was now dyin' of accute embarrassment! and (very!) quickly said hiz 'goodbyes' to his 'shell-shocked' granny and hoyed himsel into the 'tranny', tellin' iz to 'move it', 'sharp'ish'!
and so 'off we sped'!

The best way to get there was alang the A69 via 'Hadrians Waall' and as coincidence would have it, this was mee 69th groond watchin' 'The Toon' in action.
The toon of Dumfries, (as we soon foond oot!) waz a drinkers paradise!, with scores of drinkin' dens nestlin' on the riverside and beyond. BUT!--- more importantly!--- it was within easy reach of the groond, who's floodlights could be seen in the distance.

Newcastle had just won promotion back to the 'top flight', and expectations were high followin' 'Special 'K's (Kevin Keegan's) premature retirement at the end of the previous season.
Durin' the close season, manager Arthur Cox had sensationally resigned, and 'Big Jack' Charlton had been instaalled as the new manager, and this was his forst game in charge.

A total of ten of us had travelled from Tyneside in the 'aad wreck', which was tih be wor home for the next couple of days!.
The 'interminable ten' (wharrever that meenz?) dived oot the van and into the forst 'waaterin' hole', appropriately named, 'The Hole in the Wall'!, where the forst 'liquids' went doon 'without touchin' the sides'!
If mee memory sorves iz well, the 'ten', were---lang haired Mac, Marty, Santy Sant, Windy Wind, Grumpy Stumpy, Ronny the Hunter, Tex Taylor, Bob 'Patter', meesel and Jimmy the Mask, (so caalled coz he aalways looked like he was wearin' a clowns mask!)

After de'in 'The Grand Tour' of the 'Dives of Dumfries', it waz time tih gan tih the game, so wih trundled across the river and heeded for the floodlights.
Like aa say, expectations were high for the new season---but!, they would soon be dashed by the boys from Dumfries. (Reeed on!)

The groond was'nt as bad as a'd expected with cover on three sides, although the 'side' opposite us (knaan locally az 'The Jimmy Jolly Bullshed'---would you beleeeve!?) waz cordoned off because the roof waz unsafe (apparently)

The Toon had several chances orly on, with the best faallin' to Kenny Wharton, who blasted a shot which rebounded off the woodwork to full back Alan Broon, (Brown!) who, 'skied' the simple chance before him (some six yards oot!) and hit it way ower the bar!

Aa waz sittin' next to an 'old timer' in the main stand, and he telt iz that he'd followed 'Queens' since the club was founded in 1919, and that he had'nt missed a home game in aall that time!, which is quite some record.
He'd started gannin when he was five years aad, and sixty five years later he was still gannin. (Now that's what aa CAALL! a supporter!)

His lifetime of loyalty was rewarded soon after Broon's miss, when a deflected shot came off a Toon player and a grateful Queen's forward (who's name I have nee relection of!) slotted the baall past Kevin 'Carzzy' Carr in the Newcastle goal!
That's the way it stayed till the break and 'Big Jack' waz not pleezed az he stormed off doon the tunnel, tihwards the dressin' rooms!

We! (on the otha hand!) 'stormed' towards the 'tool shed' and on the way back we took a wrang turnin' and ended up in the players hospitality lounge!-----There was loads of scran on a huge table and this was an opportunity not to be missed!---- SO! (az yih de!) we got 'stuck in' to the wares on offer!
'Big Jack' suddenly stuck his heed around the corner and he was 'non too pleeezed' to see us 'scrannin' HIS! half time buffet as he stood there slurpin' a cup of 'John McNamee'! (remember him???)
He just gave us one of those: 'What the F*** are yeez lot de'in in here, nickin aall mee scran'---looks!, as he took a swig from his cup, before disappearin' with a cheese stotty back towards the dressin' rooms in a rage!

Hiz half time 'bollockin' obviously did the trick az within ten minutes of the restart, Peter Beardsley had chipped the Queen of the South keeper to put wih back on level torms.
Things however went doonhill from this point and the game 'petered' oot and finished one's a piece!
(The best 'move of the match' waz actually made az the ref blew for full time, when we made for the nearest booza a few hundred yards from the groond, next tih the river!)
Not a good start for 'Big Jacks' reign!

Queen of the South, incidently, are so caalled because the toon of Dumfries is known as Scotlands 'fair queen of the south', but rumours persist that it was because Mary 'Queen of Scots' used to live in a  medival castle owerlookin' Palmerston Park!. (SO!---nuw yih naa!.) (or divvint naa?--az the case may be???)

After the match wih headed for the toon centre where's there's loads of ale hooses, and decided (en-mass) tih get totally 'rat-arsed', before retirin' tih wih 'luxury'? 'five star' hotel at 'chuckin' oot time'. (aboot one 'o' clock in the mornin'!)
Before we 'retired' some of the company decided tih gan for a 'quick naked dip' in the river!---NOT! a good idea az it waz f***** freeeezzzin'!

'Windy' waz SO! blotto, he took his 'kit' off and dived in with just his socks on! (he forgot to tek them off!) and was the last to get oot.
This was unfortunate for him as the local 'Dibble' were waitin' next to the bridge as he staggered oot the river and they hoyed him in a 'meat wagon' and 'carted' him off to the local nick!
(We were luckier and 'evaded capture' and scarpered!)

We were playin' 'Hibs' at Easter Road the next day, so we staggered back to 'THE 'HOTEL VAN TRANSIT', for a few hours 'beauty sleep'!-------ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz!

(The Grand Tour of Scotland----end of Part One---Part Two to follow!)

©Fink™ (the mad-sad grundhpper!)

Monday, 25 October 2010

070 easter road hibernian

Date of First Visit: 5th AUGUST 1984

NEWCASTLE UNITED 3 (Beardsley, Wharton 2)

ATTENDANCE 6,000 (1,500 Toon fans)



"Welcome to the 'Hi-Bees' supporters club!"

It was day two of 'The Grand Tour of Scotland', and I awoke tih the putrid smell of sweaty socks and U.F.O.s'. ('Unidentified Farting Odours'!)
The smell was so bad that it made mee nostrils twitch, and aa could even taste it on the back of mee throat!.
AAAARRRRGGHH!---it was 'mingin'. BUT!, that's what yih get when yih put ten gadgies in a transit an' ply them wih drink!.

There was a loud knock on the van roof and as aa peared oot the window aa could see 'Ronny the Hunter' in a dishevelled state, standin' half a sleep.
"Where yi been—like?", aa asked him as he grabbed haad of the nearest lamp post ti stop him faalin' ower!
"Aa managed ti find a bed for the neet, just doon that street", he replied pointin' towards a neat terraced hoose a hundred yards away. And then he added!, "The 'bed' a'm on aboot is an aad wifey's 'FLOWER BED' in hor front garden!"

Apparentleee!, 'The Hunter' had lost us after wor late neet swim and could'nt remember where wi'd parked the van, so he 'crashed oot' in the nearest convienient place which just happened to be a garden full of chrysanthithums (hope av spelt that reet!?)
The wifey, it has to be said was 'non too pleezed' to find that a 'rather large chap' had re-arranged hor prized flowers as she opened hor front door. (She now had a bed of 'crushed crysanths' in the shape of 'Big Ron' to gaze upon!)

(Er!---Before we left Dumfries, there was the little matter of pickin' 'Windy' up from the nick where he'd spent the previous neet afta his 'midneet dip'—in a 'propa bed') (aalbeit in a police cell!)

We (eventually!) set off for the Scottish capital, and aboot two hours later arrived ootside the Hibs Supporters Club.
It was dead on openin' time, which was just az well, coz we were gettin' 'the shakes!'. (divvint forget, wih had'nt had a drink for eleven hours!)

We entered the clubhoose and (naturally!) heeded straight for the bar which was engulfed in smoke.
Like a scene from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, the smoke cleared to reveeeel!?--------('Q', very fast Mexican accooostic guitar music!) --------The
barmaid?, who 'greeted' us through 'the mist' and was she a sight tih behold!-----To give yiz an idea of hor 'build', shih waz wearin' a 'bell tent' size top and had half a 'Woodbine' 'dump' stickin' oot the side of hor mooth and shih procceded tih puff on hor tab and cough hor lungs oot az the smoke enveloped the bar everytime shih took a 'draa'!--------(ie:---A REEEL! Scottish lassie!)

Tih complete the effect shih had 'Popeye' style muscles with dodgy tattoos tih match!

Once shi'd finished tekin' the last 'draa' from hor tab, and before shih had time tih light up another one, the smoke cleared and ah could see hor in hor 'entirety' for the forst time!-----

Nuw aa'm not sayin' the barmaid was ugly, but shih had a face like a Hallowe'en turnip!, and bristles on hor chin that 'Desperate Dan' would'iv been proud of!, and aa could'nt help wonderin' if shih kept a blowlamp in her bathroom cabinet at home?.

Ah (wisely!) decided not to ask hor, as ah did'nt fancy spendin' the next three weeks lyin' in the intensive care unit of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with a broken jaw!, suckin' luke waam scotch broth through a plastic straw!

I 'sheepishly!' ordered the 'Arthur Scargills' as shih lit another tab up and sneaked away tih the far corner of the club, thankful that aa was'nt drunk enough tih ask her the 'deadly' question!.
We had a few more 'Arthurs', and before wih got TOO drunk', wih headed for the next 'waaterin' hole' doon the street.

On enterin' the bar everybody torned roond and there was deathly silence!----It was the time of the miners strike and it torned oot that 'the jocks' thought that we were 'flyin pickets' from the Northumberland coalfields and had come to caaaz trouble!
When they realised that we were in fact 'Geordie futbaall fans' they shook wor hands and had a good laugh aboot it as the drink 'flowed freeleee'!

By the time kick off time approached we were 'canny sorved', so wih heeded for the groond, guided by the floodlight pylons.
WRANG DECISION!, coz we ended up at Meadowbank Stadium!, which was then the home of the now defunct Meadowbank Thistle!.

Hibs groond was HALF A MILE AWAY! doon the road, and we could see their floodlights in the distance. It meant a 'mad dash' to mek the kick off, and with a belly full of drink, that's not f*****' easy!. (two steps forward!, one step back!)

We were in luck though and JUST made it! (with seconds tih spare!)!.
The best way tih describe Easter Road in 1984 would be to caall it 'a big crumblin' concrete tip!, it really was. There was nee cover at the visitors end or on the huge side opposite the main stand. (It waz remarkably similar to how St James Park looked--pre 1972)

The main stand itself looked like an 'ancient' pre 'world war one' affair, and the end behind the far goal had bench seats, with a smaall cover for the home fans. The capacity at that time would have been aroond the 30,000 tih 35,000 mark and at least 25,000 had nee cover at aall!.


This match was a testimonial for lang servin' Hibs midfielder Jackie McNamara and aa can remember that 'the late great' George Best was playin' for Hibs in what was the twighlight of his career.

Sadly, in 1984 he was WELL! owerweight and WELL! past his 'sell by date'. He was substituted in the second half and given a great standin' ovation from the crowd. (Not for his performance, I may add!)

Peter Beardsley had opened the scorin' for the Toon when Neil 'spotty dick' McDonald had laid on an inch perfect chipped pass. A grateful 'Beardo' then wrangfooted a Hibs defender before cooly slottin' the baall past Scottish International keeper Alan Rough after anly six minutes play.

The Toon fortha increased their lead five mins before the break when a Chris Waddle free kick waz intercepted by Kenny Wharton who right footed it intih the net, much tih the delight of the thoosand or so travellin' fans who danced on the terraces!.

Wharton put the game beyond doubt midway through the second half when he again latched on to a 'Waddler' cross, this time with a superb divin' heeder, which gave Rough nee chance.
That's the way it stayed til the end, but not before several easy chances went 'a beggin'.
Unlike the day before this waz an easy three-nil victory and 'The Tour' was ower!---

Played 2, Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost NONE!.

After the match a large 'clan' of 'HI-BEES' fans, (who obviously appreciated good futbaall) confronted us ootside the groond and after a few choruses of 'Flower of Scotland!', (and more worryingly!) 'If yih HATE the F***** English!' ,clap yer hands', they started hoyin' bricks, bottles, clemmies and rocks at the ootnumbered Toon fans in a side street next tih the groond!.

It DEFINATELY WAS'NT! the Edinburgh rock that yih buy in the shops, that they were hoyin' at us!, but the kind that 'Fred Flintstone' normally hoys, when he gans ten pin bowlin' in Bedrock!.
(It's at times like this that yih need the likes of the barmaid in the Hibs Supporters Club on your side!)

However!, shih waz neewhere tih be seen!, so wih decided that the best idea waz tih mek a quick retreat tih Princess Street in the centre of Edinburgh for a few more 'gargels' before headin' yem back ower the border in wor battered 'tranny'!.

'The Grand Tour' was ower!. (for another year at least!)

©Fink™ (the mad-sad groundhopper!)