|"GRANMAR!--IZ THAT MEE GREAT GREAT GRANDAAA |
HAADIN HIZ LEG?"
(SOMEWHERE ON GALLOWGATE---GOOD FRIDAY 1901!)
Much haz been written aboot wor forthcomin' derby against the mackems this Sunday with yet again a very heavy presence from the local 'dibble' to try and stop any trouble!
But did yi naa that a major riot exactly 114 YEARS AGO on Good Friday 1901 @ St James' Park, prevented THAT derby match gannin ahead aaltogether!?
Extracts below are from: 'The Football Grounds of Great Britain'
"Some 35,000 squeezed into St James' Park with as many more outside, desperate to gain entry. Fences were trampled down and before long the pitch became a battleground between rival fans!"
'Athletic News' reported that: "The club flag was torn from it's staff and riven into shreds, the goal nets at one end shard like a fate!" It added: "We are delighted to hear that the cross-bar in falling fetched one or two of the rioters a reverberating 'sock' on the headache department!"
The match never started , and it took until 5 o' clock for the police to clear the ground!
Nine people were sent to hospital, including one Newcastle fan, who was SO drunk he fell out of the grandstand which nearly collapsed!!!---and in the aftermath, a sund'land supporter who was beaten up by half crazed rival fans, sued Newcastle for his money back!
He lost the case and had to pay expenses of £70! (a considerable sum in 1901!) It wasn't until a riot occurred at Goodison Park a few years later that clubs began posting up signs warning that 'in NO circumstances' would money be refunded!
"AAH!---THE GOOD OLD DAYS!"