Monday 29 July 2019

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', after wor previous days visit to Queen of the South in Dumfries 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!)

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