(GROUND NUMBER 22)
Date of First Visit: APRIL FOOLS DAY! 1972
BRAMALL LANE, SHEFFIELD
SHEFFIELD UNITED 1
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
(OLD) DIVISION ONE
ATTENDANCE: 28,103 (4,000 Toon fans)
"APRIL FOOL!---THE JUDGE IS A GEORDIE!"
The forst thing that springs to mind aboot this place, is!---- 'The Crystal Rooms', which was (and probably still is) a 'One Armed Bandit' arcade in the centre of Sheffield, as this is where the Toon and the Sheff. 'U' radgies had massive fights in 1972, before and after the match!
Hundreds had travelled doon on the train and many of the 'Leazes End Boot Boys' had simply 'come for a fight', dressed in their 'Prince of Wales' suits, slack braces and the obligatory 'Doc Marten Boots' ---and they were'nt to be disappointed!
As soon as they got off the train they made for the main drinkin' area and marched doon the middle of the road shoutin', "Your' gonna get your' f*****' heads kicked in!" as they made for where they knew the Sheffield 'crew' would be.---and sure enough, they were!---and ready for a 'go' as well!
Before lang runnin' battles doon the streets between the rival fans ensued with innocent shoppers gettin' caught up in the middle as bottles, bricks and plant pots nicked from a gardenin' shop were hurled (still with the plants inside!) as fans fought each other.
'The Sheffield Dibble' torned up with several 'meat wagons' and 'The Flyin' Squad' collered anybody who looked remotely like a skinheed. (not me, aa hasten to add!—as mee hair was doon mee back at that time!---'Led Zeppelin style'!)
Dustbins and litter bins were hoyed through the plate glass windows by the Newcastle 'nutters', and there were runnin' battles through the streets!
This sent the fans of both sides scatterin' and after a few 'Arthur Scargills' in a sleazy dive we foond, it was time to gan to Bramall Lane. The Toon fans had infiltrated the 'Shoreham End', which was the Sheffield skinheed's 'hard end' at the time, and sporadic fightin' broke oot between the rival fans.
Some of the more sensible Toon fans (alas---not me!) who'd went in the opposite end, were gettin' slagged off by the 'Shoreham Invaders' for 'chickenin' oot' of the 'pagger'.
Aa of course, went with the 'radgie gadgies', (like a lamb to the slaughter!) (bravado---or what?) and stood at the back of the stand with mee black 'n' white scarf on, thinkin' that aat any minute aa would get mee 'heed caved in' as it soon became obvious that we were ootnumbered by wor Sheffield counterparts by aboot fower tih one!
And before lang it 'kicked off'---NOT! the match you understand!, but the fightin' as the 'brave' ootnumbered 'Leazes Enders' charged into the middle of the Shoreham End! (they did have their 'reputations' to think aboot!) led by 'one' 'Doddsy' in his 'trademark' white 'butchers coat' complete with a huge Doc Marten boot crudely drawn in felt tip pen on the back, with: 'LEAZES END BOOT BOYS', written above it! (he has been mentioned before!)
Loads of Toon and 'Blades' fans got 'lifted' by the Yorkshire 'Dibbles', so aa kept mee heed doon, as ah did'nt fancy bed 'n' breakfast in the 'Dibble Savoy'! (or worse still!—'The Sheffield Royal Infirmary'!)
As the 'propa' match kicked off, there was still 'beadlem' in front of iz, and it was hard to concentrate on the action on the field, instead of the 'action' on the terraces!.
Bramall Lane was a three sided groond back then, with a cricket pitch on the far side, and this totally killed the atmosphere. (Just how the fans on that side could see, withoot a pair of binoculars---is beyond me!)
The Toon were by far the better team that day, with John Tudor and 'Supermac' gannin close on several occasions.
Tony Green and Tommy Gibb had blinders,---BUT!,---it was tih nee avail, and Sheffield took the points with just fower minutes tih gan, when Ford (who'd just came on as a late sub) beat Toon keeper Willie McFaul, with his forst touch off the baall! (which was aalso 'The Blades' forst shot of the game!)
Newcastle manager, 'Smokin' Joe Harvey, (who could'nt believe that wi'd lost!) summed it up after the match, when he said:
"IT'S NOT APRIL FOOLS DAY?---IS IT"???"WELL!----ACTUALLY!!-----JOE!!!"
Part Two:-----(A few weeks later!)
♫OH!-MEE LADS-YIH SHOULD'IV SEEN US GANNIN!♫
|scene from The Blaydon Races 1862|
One Toon fan who'd been arrested after the match at 'The Crystal Rooms', was a lad caalled 'Daft Tommy', who's, name implies—IS!----as 'Daft as a Brush'!, but tih be honest would'nt (and could'nt) harm a fly or punch hiz way oot of a paper bag!.
Tommy had been caught up in 'The battle of Sheffield' after the match and was nicked and charged with bein' 'drunk and dizzy', which is an offence that yih can plead guilty tee, by letter.
Quite a few had been charged with more serious offences like GBH and affray and HAD to appear personally in court. So!---on the day of the court cases a few weeks after the match, the train was 'chocker' with fans travellin' doon tih Sheffield on charges of affray and 'god naa's what'!.
Then---aall of a sudden, 'Daft Tommy' appeared and jumped on the train. The other Toon fans just stared at him, coz they could'nt work oot what he was deein there!?.
"A THOUGHT YIH WERE PLEADIN' GUILTY BY LETTER, TOMMY?", one fan asked him, with a puzzled look on his face!.
"I AM!", said Tommy, "A'V GOT THE LETTER IN MEE POCKET!!!", he said az he pulled the 'said' letter from hiz 'nanny goat'!
("There's nee answer tih that one!??-------
On their arrival in Sheffield, they heeded straight for the court hoose, where one joker said:
"THE JUDGE IS A GEORDIE, TOMMY!---IF YIH SING THE 'BLAYDON RACES' TO HIM WHEN YIH GAN IN THE DOCK, HE'LL LET YIH OFF!".
SO!---'Daft Tommy' gave the judge a rendition of the 'Geordie National Anthem'-----------
AND GOT FINED 300 quid! FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT!!! (A considerable sum in 1972!)
(There's DEFINITELY! nee answer tih THAT ONE!?????)
Tommy's 'claim tih fame', is that he used tih stand on one of the concrete crash barriers in the middle of the aad 'Gallowgate End', and give the crowd a rendition of the early 'sixties classic', 'LITTLE WHITE BULL!'
Geordie Glossary of Terms & Phrases (for the benefit of 'non Geordie' readers)
(as the words appear)
Toon fans=Newcastle supporters
one armed bandit=gambling fruit machine
Leazes End Boot Boys=Newcastle hooligans
the Sheffield dibble=the Sheffield police force
meat wagon=prison van
the flyin' squad=Sheffield police 'snatch squad'
sleavy dive=run down pub
hard end=hooligans terrace
radgie gadgies=hooligan fans
heed caved in=head butted/punched
Yorkshire dibbles=Yorkshire police force
dibble savoy=police cells
drunk and dizzy=drunk and disorderly
GBH=grevious bodily harm
court hoose=magestates court