(GROUND NUMBER 13)
Date of First Visit: 28th MARCH 1970
CITY GROUND, NOTTINGHAM
NOTTINGHAM FOREST 2
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 (Dyson, ‘Pop’ Robson)
(OLD) DIVISION ONE
"THIS IS 'NOTT!' THE REET GROOND!"
Wi'd left the Toon from the ‘Spit and Vomit’ opposite the ‘Central’ at 'seven a.m. bells' and the bus waz well 'stocked' with broon ale, ex, lager and cider, most of which waz piled behind the seats at the back and waz in full view of the window! (in them days there waz nee 'law' tih say that drink was'nt allowed on busses, so there waz nee need tih hide it!) and some three and a half hours later, az we were approachin' the centre of Nottingham, a gang of Forest skinheeds 'clocked' wih and started chasin' the bus doon the road az it slowly made it's way roond the one way system!.
Like the 'Pied Piper of Hamlin', more and more skinheeds 'joined in' and before lang aboot a hundred or so were racin' afta the bus, hopin' we would get 'stuck in' a traffic jam so they could get 'STUCK IN'! tih US!
One kidda in particular, who looked like their leader,was built like 'a brick s***hoose'!
Hiz ‘Dr Martins’ were aboot size twelve! and he was runnin' frantically behind the bus wavin' his 'shovel size' fists menacingly!
He had black sunken eyes and aboot twenty different club scarfs tied roond his belt and wrists! (az waz the ‘custom’ in them days!)
The scarfs were his 'souviners' that he'd more than likely 'half inched' from unsuspectin' terrified away fans az they were ambushed gannin tih the groond!
(Rather like a red indian tekin' some pale faces’ss scalps!)
Ominously!---ah could’nt see if he had a Toon scarf----BUT!---------AH DID!
Ah guessed that he had'nt come tih greet us with a friendly hand-shake! (more like a ‘deathly’ 'neck-shake'!) and he very nearly caught up with us---BUT!---in the nick of time, the traffic eased off and the bus excellerated away!-----PHEW!----CLOSE CAALL!
He pointed hiz finger and shook hiz fist, gesturin’ that he would ‘get us later’! , which in torn brought a large “G-U-L-P-!” tih mee ‘John o Groat’!
He would'nt iv gettin' MY scarf anyway, coz, bein' a 'ten stone hard-case' ah would'iv 'filled the B******! in' if he HAD tried! (ER!---CAN pigs fly!?)
(Pleeze note: ah waz anly fifteen back then---ah nuw weigh in at a 'magnificent'? seventeen stone!)
Anyway!---wi'd lost them for good and wor driver dropped wih off aboot a hundred yards from the groond. Wih heeded towards the floodlights and when we arrived we were greeted by a sign on the main stand:
'N O T T S C O U N T Y F. C. - F o u n d e d 1 8 6 2' the sign proclaimed!
"NOTTS COONTY!"----(aye!---yiv guessed it!) we were at Meadow Lane (aka:) the WRANG groond!
(It's a fatal mistake tih heed for the nearest floodlight pylons in Nottingham!)
Az the two groonds are anly a couple of hundred yards apart, seperated anly by the river Trent, yih did'nt have tih be 'Eienstein' tih work oot that the other set of floodlights across the waata, were in fact---'Forests'!
So!---wih ‘gingerly’ headed across the Trent tih the reet venue (and intih ‘Forests’ territory!)
This waz dangerous territory indeed az in the past it was’nt unbeknown for away fans tih be unceremoniously thrown off the Trent Bridge intih the river below!
(On one occasion a ‘Dibble’ had tih dive in and save a drownin’ fan who had been hoyed ower the top!) (minus hiz scarf!---no doubt!?)
So it waz with ‘trepedation’ that we crossed the ‘said’ river, but there waz nee sign of any ‘radgies’ waitin’ for wih, which waz just az well, az it waz the OTHER! ‘wet stuff’ that WE! were lookin’ for!. And az luck would have it, we managed tih 'con' wor way into the 'Robin Hood Bar' which was next tih the groond ('con' is the reet word as AH was still three years under age!) (followin' the Toon, ages yih VERY! quickly!)
After aboot fower pints of 'Strongbow' (very appropriate in a bar named after 'Nottingham's finest'!) wih headed (or should that be 'staggered'?) tih the local 'chippy' opposite the Trent Bridge cricket groond for some 'Friar Tuck' (WHAT ELSE!?)
After wi'd finished wor 'nose bags', wih heeded for the paddock of the main stand, where the Toon fans were congregated.
The Forest 'skins' in the 'Trent End', who'd chased us orlier, decided they wanted a 'pagger', so they came roond tih the paddock fence and started hoyin' 'clemmies' at wih!.
Amongst them was 'Twenty Scarfs', who ah guess would rather be knaan az 'Twenty ONE! Scarfs' and he was in the thick of it, tryin' tih add tih his 'collection'!
Things were startin' tih 'liven up' by nuw!, and there were a few punches thrown and 'Doc Martin' boots swung!, az the two sets of fans 'squared up' tih each other at an open gate in the middle of the segregation fence!, before the 'Dibble' moved in, trunchions drawn, an' chased them back into their 'end'!.
From warra can remember of the match??, (divvint forget, ah was still 'under the influence'!) it was 'end tih end' stuff durin' the forst half, with Keith Dyson and 'Pop' Robson scorin' for the Toon, but!---(unfortunately for us!) 'Forest' aalso scored twice, and wih went in level at the break.
There was nee further score in the second half, (at least ah divvint think there was?) and tih be honest, ah was happy with the point gained, as it kept wih in the 'top six', an' a place in Europe looked on the cards for the thord season in a row.
After the match wih somehow managed tih get across the river tih Notts Coonty’s groond in one piece!, (where wor bus was parked) and heeded for home!----with nee sign of ‘yee naa who’! AND with mee Black 'n' White scarf STILL! intact! aroond mee ‘still intact’ ‘Gregory Peck’!
©Fink☺ (The Mad-Sad Gr☺undh☻pper!)
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