Friday 1 November 2019

009 upton park west ham

Date of First Visit: 1st MARCH 1969




ATTENDANCE 26,366 (1,000 Toon fans)


West Ham!. (or West 'Aem' as the 'Cockney Boys' caall 'em!) Aa could honestly write a whole book alone on mee trips tih Upton Park.
So!---here gans! with mee very forst visit to 'eeest Landan'

This game was played in the same week as the notorious east end gangsters the Kray twins were facin' life imprisonment for the gangland killings of rivals George Cornell and 'Jack The Hat' McVitie and there was a sense of foreboding in the air as we approached the tornstiles.

We were in the 'South Bank End' that day and ah remember that a Toon fan caalled 'Kit Kat' was leadin' the 'Geordie Choir', to a rendition of 'Wyn is the King'.

Another Toon fan caalled 'Doddsy', who waz a reet radgie (and still iz!---even though he's in his late '50's nuw!) used tih wear a white butchers coat with 'LEAZES END BOOT BOYS' on the back, which was written very crudely in biro and felt tipped pen.

Underneath there was a drawin' of the F.A. Cup alang side a very large 'Doctor Martin Boot', and he was tryin' tih goad the mainly black West Ham fans in wor end to a 'punch up'.
They aall had their prince of wales suits on and carried rolled up brollies as part of their 'kit' and were knaan as 'The Brolly ***s' and they had a fearsome reputation at the time. (NO!---it's NOT! 'The Brolly Boys', by the way!)

The South Bank had a low pitched roof and shallow terracin' which made it hard to see the goaline from the back as the perimeter fence was practically on the pitch, the groond was that compact. (It was so close infact, that the goal nettin' was tied to the fences handrail!)
The white West Ham fans used to congregate in the opposite 'mirror image' North Bank end which had an even worse reputation, not unlike 'The Krays', so it was a 'no win' situation as far as we were concerned as there was still ne segregation of away fans in them days.
Yi simply paid 'your bit' at the tornsiles and 'took your chances'

To wor left was the double decker main stand which was by far the tallest structure in the groond and to wor reet was the newly built 'Chicken Run' stand, which, as it's Cockney slang name suggests, was aboot the same size as a 'hen coop'! and was aboot a qwaata of the main stands size

Before lang it 'kicked off' (not the match by the way---but the goadin'!) when the Leazes mob moved towards the 'Brolly Boys?' led by 'yee naa who'
"COME AND HAVE A GO AT THE GEORDIE AGGRO!", they yelled as they beckoned the Brolly Boys? to a pagger, but for some reason they declined the offer and before lang the 'Dibble riot squad' moved in tih quell any potential trouble by formin' a line doon the middle of the gangway.

As this was mee thord visit to 'the smoke' to watch 'The Toon' aa was hopin' for a 'thord time lucky win'----BUT!----aa just new that it was'nt gannih be wor day when

'The Hammers' scored in the second minute when 'Clever Trevor' (Brooking) had a shot which was cruely deflected past the stranded Iam McFaul in the Toon goal as he dived the wrang way! (he was aalways a 'jammy B*****D!')

Worse was to follow and after aboot quaata of an hour, West Ham went 2-0 up from a Martin Peters volley, and aall hell broke loose as the home fans goaded the Geordie hordes with chants of "Two nil—Two nil!".

The Boot Boys could'nt 'take it' and 'had a go' at The Brolly Boys' but were beaten back by the 'Dibble', who hit oot with their lang 'stick like' truncheons, which they used to carry back then.

The Toon eventually got on the score sheet with a fluke goal from Wyn Davies.

He centred the baall which went straight into the net past the desparin' Hammers keeper five minutes from time.

But!--- it was aall too late, and the final 'Hammer blow' came just before the full time whistle, when 'World Cup Hero' Geoff Hurst hit their thord tih tek the two points.

(Aye!---anly two points for a win, back then)

After the match wih had tih run a 'gauntlet of hate' as wih made wor way back tih the tube station past the various 'jellied eel' and 'pie and mash' shops and market staalls which lined the road. (jellied eels are a favourite Cockney 'delicacy' but personally aa would'nt recommend it meesel unless yi want to be ill with 'dodgy guts' that is!)

When wih got tih Kings Cross, me and mee mate Billy had tih tek refuge in the stations cafe, when a load of Spurs fans spotted us and threatened tih 'cave wor heeds in'.

The fans were much older (and bigger!) than us, and one kidda in his orly twenties, (aa was still anly fourteen!) had a huge stupid grin on his face and he kept punchin' the palm of his left hand with his right, as though, that's what he was gannin tih dee!, tih wor 'dials' when he got a haad of us!.

---We were terrified!, and were stuck there for quite a while, but!---as luck would have it, and just in the nick of time, 'the cavalry' arrived, when 'Kit Kat' and 'Doddsy' plus their motley crew suddenly appeared and they chased the Spurs fans oot the station, tih 'save wor bacon'!. (their 'stupid grins' had disappeared by this time!)

Then!----we heeded for the 'midneet bells' paper train which was a six hour (plus!) jorney back to the Toon through aall the back of beyond places imaginable, eventually arrivin' at 'The Central' at 'six thorty bells'.
We then had a lang waalk yem after that, as the busses had'nt started runnin' and we did'nt have enough money between us for a taxi.--------Happy days!???

Footnote: three days after this game was played The Kray Twins were sentenced to life imprisonment------ little did 'little me' realise at the time, but aa of course had aalready sorved five years of mee aan 'Newcastle United F.C.' 'life sentence'!
which had started in September1964 against Coventry at home!

©Fink (the mad-sad grundhpper!)

No comments:

Post a Comment