April 1st


Site Admin
Staff member
Nov 23, 2019
Where did you go?.... but don't believe anything you may read on this thread posted before midday :)


Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Saturday, April 1st 1978. Football League Division One.
QPR v Middlesbrough 1-0 (0-0). Att: 12925.

Another dismal, unimaginative showing from Middlesbrough, of the type that they have so often served up over the years. Stringing five across the back and playing one up front, and hoping to hang on for a point, seemed to be the height of their ambition, even when playing a side in the bottom three. And of course, as was so often to be the case, the plan didn't work. A poor QPR did just enough, and got the goal they needed, and ended up escaping relegation in May by a single point.

The Division was won comfortably by Nottingham Forest, under a chap from Middlesbrough who would have been ashamed to send out a side with such a lack of ambition, a certain B. Clough.

Also worth a mention:
Saturday, April 1st 2017. Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.
Cockfosters v St Margaretsbury 1-2 (1-0). Att: 79.

Cockfosters, unaccustomed to the dizzy heights of third place in the Spartan Prem, but with five games left, and therefore mathematically still able to catch the two teams ahead of them, London Colney and Hertford Town. St Margaretsbury, comfortably mid-table and with nothing to play for --- so what could possibly go wrong ? 'Fosters took the lead just before the interval, and looked set fair for victory, but somehow in the second half just lost their way. St Margaretsbury gradually got on top, and two goals in three minutes in the final quarter of an hour put an end to 'Fosters slim title hopes.

London Colney won the title, but refused to take promotion, (the last time such a refusal would be permitted), and Hertford Town went up in their place. Cockfosters finished third, the highest place finish in their history, which was duly celebrated by all of the players walking out, en masse, for pastures new.

In the modern game, at this level, this is what passes for 'commitment'.

Stoodley Pike

Youth Team Star
Dec 9, 2019
Saturday 1st April 1975
Halifax Town 1 Blackburn Rovers 1
(HT 1-0)
Football League, Division Three (3.0)
Attendance 8,689
Programme 10p (16pp)

Ah, the days when Halifax played at a decent level and, thanks chiefly to the number of visiting fans, had a few reasonable crowds. This ‘war of the Roses’ pulled in 8,689. Plenty of them travelled from east Lancashire, to cheer on title-chasing Blackburn. It was The Shay’s largest gathering since July 1971, when 19,765 watched a 2-1 Watney Cup group stage victory over Manchester United (George Best and all).

The attendance would have pleased Town manager Jimmy Quinn, who used his programme notes to spotlight Shay gates. “I’m beginning to think that however successful Halifax Town become the club will not enjoy the support it deserves. I have always refrained from criticising the public of Halifax for their indifference to us and in fact I am grateful to the faithful 2,000 who turn up at each home game. But that does not stop me being disappointed, not only for the club which desperately needs extra revenue, but for the lads who continually give of their best in a near-empty ground. A soul-destroying task. After nearly every home game people come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed the football. Yet the crowd numbered only 1,872 for our last home game against Watford. What is the answer? For the sake of the club and the players I would dearly love to know.”

The Shay’s new 160 Stand was opened officially this day and the bumper crowd enjoyed two fine goals. Ray McHale, signed earlier in the season from Chesterfield, gave Halifax a 35th-minute lead, netting from 20 yards with a trademark direct free-kick. The midfielder was a real menace at dead ball situations. Ten minutes into the second half, Tony Parkes headed Rovers’ equaliser from a cross by future Halifax player Bobby Hoy. After hanging up his boots, Sheffield-born Parkes managed Blackburn and Blackpool.

Halifax’s line-up included two Alex Smiths (goalkeeper and right-back). The former, Town’s sole ever-present in the 1974-75 season, was on Accrington’s books when impoverished Stanley quit the Football League in March 1962. Smith was a mid-season signing from Colchester United. David Ford also featured. The midfielder scored Sheffield Wednesday’s second goal in the 2-3 1966 FA Cup Final defeat by Everton. Ford represented Sheffield United before moving to Halifax. How many have played for both Sheffield clubs? Rovers fielded ex-Halifax skipper Andy Burgin (in his first Ewood season), Mick Heaton, Derek Fazackerley (recently assistant then caretaker manager at Oxford United) and Ken Beamish, a Bebington lad who launched his playing career with six years at Tranmere Rovers.

This was a great season for Town fans: Halifax beat local rivals Huddersfield Town home and away (2-1, on both occasions, saw both); the Terriers went down in bottom place; we finished 17th, five points above the drop zone, and also did the double over AFC Bournemouth, now in the Premier League. Blackburn were promoted as champions, together with Plymouth Argyle (a point behind) and Charlton Athletic.

George Mulhall, who is remembered fondly on Wearside for his playing exploits with Sunderland (55 goals in 253 games between 1962 and 1969), managed Halifax at the start of the 1974-75 season. He quit after seven games. Quinn, a former Town (and Sheffield Wednesday) player, took over. Falkirk-born Mulhall was to return to The Shay to mastermind Halifax’s 1997-98 Football Conference title triumph. Sadly, he died in April 2018.

A few others worth a mention:

Garforth Town 1 Selby Town 1 (1995, Northern Counties East League, Division One). Played at Garforth’s old ground, Brierlands Lane, its site now housing. Sixty spectators watched Darren Abrams (78) rescue a point for the hosts after Chris Collier (66) had opened the scoring. Remember chatting, pre-match, to an enthusiastic cub reporter from the Selby Times. I wonder if he’s still working on newspapers?

Evenwood Town 0 Esh Winning 0 (1994, Northern League, Division Two). The one ‘groundhop’ in which I’ve participated, then only in part. Owing to work, and the fact the Northern League was on my doorstep, I restricted my viewing to this fixture and the matches at Seaham (2/4), Horden (3/4) and Darlington Cleveland Social (3/4). Ian and Terry, Workington-supporting mates, drove over from Cumbria to take in the whole shebang, and I joined them when I wasn’t required in the office. The pair camped on our Great Ayton living room floor for the duration.

As I recall, we were mystified and amused by the behaviour of the groundhoppers (a number of them foreigners), a species none of us had encountered previously. Particularly at Seaham, where grown men could be heard enquiring about the floodlights’ lux value then recording the figure for posterity in notebooks, and at Darlington Cleveland Social, where shortage of programmes (“it’s not even a proper programme”) prompted a tidal wave of anxiety. Did we see one guy at Seaham touch each corner flag?

This evening kick-off (6.30), watched by 382 spectators, was memorable only for the wintry showers that struck the Welfare Ground. Luckily, chilled to the marrow, we managed to secure a terrace spot in the jam-packed stand, a tiny structure in a corner of the ground. Easter in the North East, eh?

Partick Thistle 0 Dunfermline Athletic 0 (1989, Scottish League, Division One). Memorable ground, forgettable game. The Jags’ blank brings to mind Glasgow comedian Billy Connolly’s ‘Partick Thistle Nil’ joke. I smile whenever I hear, on the 5 Live football results, Thistle have been ‘nilled’. I remember Billy Abercromby, who was disinclined to go looking for the ball, with the result the game passed him by, attracting the bile of frustrated Thistle fans. As he trotted towards the far side stand (set back from the pitch), from which I was watching, to retrieve a ball for a throw-in, a wag yelled: “Abercromby, you’re a bloody spectator, why don’t you pay your two-fifty like the rest of us?” 5,103 at Firhill Park.

Other sports:

Clock Face Miners 16 Gateshead Storm 18 (2017, rugby league, National Conference League, Division Three). Storm recorded a shock win as Clock Face’s NCL debut fell flat. The hosts almost snatched victory when, in the last minute of normal time, they crossed the try line but Storm's defence prevented them grounding the ball. The home players felt a 36th-minute Storm conversion, flagged as good by the touch judges, had not passed between the posts. Three tries apiece for a 185 crowd.

Maesteg 27 Newport 8 (2006, rugby union, Konica Minolta Cup, Quarter-Final). A blend of youth and experience saw Maesteg, lacking eight regulars, into the semis for only the second time. Newport led 8-0 early on. Ex-Great Britain, Wales and Widnes rugby league player John Devereux scored one of Old Parish's three tries. I’ve no record of the attendance. Smashing ground for a village club.

Bradford Dukes 53 Eastbourne Eagles 43 (1995, speedway, Premier League). Joe Screen scored a five-ride maximum and 1992 individual world champion Gary Havelock 12 points as Dukes condemned Eastbourne to their season’s first defeat. Eagles stalwarts Dean Barker (11) and Martin Dugard (10) spearheaded the opposition challenge. Dukes had swapped The Shay, Halifax, for Odsal Stadium, Bradford, in 1986. Speedway at Odsal was never as well supported as at Halifax, a fact only too apparent across its sparsely populated expanses of seats and exposed terracing. Dukes, who’d been around, on and off, since 1949, called it a day 1997, signing off as Elite League champions.

Runcorn Highfield 4 Whitehaven 8 (1987, rugby league, Division Two). At Canal Street, a ground on which I’ve watched rugby league and football. Houses now cover the site of what was a pleasant enclosure on the Mersey’s banks. The pitch had an end-to-end slope. Just 287 in attendance on a midweek evening. Whitehaven, drawing 4-4, got out of jail against perennial strugglers with a 70th-minute unconverted try by Mark Beckwith, who was set up by a Rob Ackerman break and pass.


Last edited:

Kirby Knitters

Reserve Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
The Knitters.
Division 2.
Leicester City b1 Oxford United 0. (8,187)
Adm, £6 in Members Wing.

Leics Senior League.
YMCA 1 Whetstone 1. (20)

1. FC Koln 3 Bayern Munich 1(55,000)
Adm. DM 15.
Prog DM 2.

Conference North.
Hyde United 3 Hinckley United 0. (403)


Youth Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
nine on this day, including Aggie's good summing up of:

Saturday, April 1st 1978. Football League Division One.
QPR v Middlesbrough 1-0 (0-0). Att: 12925.

also on this day:
1977: Hillingdon B. 1 Chelmsford C. 1, my only visit to the Leas, remember being impressed with the stadium - Bobby Kellard and Ken Foggo playing for the visitors,

1983: LD3 - Brentford 1 Portsmouth 1, Pompey won the league that year, I remember their fans throwing loads of golf balls at our keeper. Bees finished 9th, heady days compared to a few years before.

1988: Conf - Fisher Athletic 1 Lincoln City 1, valuable point for the Imps who pipped Barnet to get back in the FL at the first attempt. Think this was at Easter. Only visit to Surrey Docks Stadium.

2013: SL1SW: Sholing 1 Poole T. 1 - the visitors continued their climb back up the leagues by finishing top and drawing a tough encounter here in difficult playing conditions (see old WDYG). Sholing finished 7th but dropped back to the Wessex for financial reasons.
I noted that admission was £9 - this season, in the same league, it was £8.

2009 - only visit to Four Marks (0-2 v Hedge End) and 2017 - only visit to Lavant (2-0 v Newtown Villa)
Last edited:


Youth Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
Fife clubs
Tuesday April 1st 1980
Scottish League Division One
Hearts v Ayr United, 0-1, H.T. 0-1, Att 5178
At Tynecastle Park

There’s a line in the dirge-like Hearts song that says “We sometimes go doon but we aye come back up . . . .” When the Tynecastle side were relegated for the first time ever in 1977 they bounced back at the first time of asking. However, in 1978/9 they were relegated again so in 1979/80 they were looking to repeat the feat of promotion at the first time of asking.

At the start of April the Edinburgh side and Airdrie were some distance clear at the top of the table with Ayr United their closest challengers. Consequently this home defeat at the hands of the Somerset Park side was not well received by the Gorgie faithful.

Tynecastle was a magnificent old ground in those days. The Main Stand remained until a couple of years ago but otherwise the ground has been ripped asunder. The Gorgie Road end was a huge bank of terracing with two vomitories leading through it from the turnstiles. The Wheatfield Road side had terracing along two-thirds of its length which continued round the corner to the School End. The loudest and most belligerent Hearts fans gathered in front of the tv gantry in the Wheatfield and at the corner where it met the School End. By this time segregation had been introduced and away fans for bigger games had the vast Gorgie Road End to themselves. However, for this game the away fans were in one side of the paddock in front of the Main Stand.

For some reason I recall this game quite vividly. I was at the School End and it was a lovely sunny evening at kick off time. Pre-match pints would have been consumed in Ryries at Haymarket probably after an afternoon at the Go-Gos in the Burke & Hare and Western Bars at Tollcross.

Hearts lined up with: John Brough, Bobby Robinson (ex Scotland international), Jim Denny (Dead slow stop defender, ex Rangers), Colin More, Frankie Liddell, Jim Jefferies (Later Hearts Manager), Willie Gibson (runs the wee shop in Coaltown of Balgonie these days), Cammy Fraser, Archie White, Graham Shaw and Malky Robertson (enigmatic, brilliant one week, gash the next). Subs Walter Kidd and Jim Docherty.

Ayr’s selection was: Stuart Rennie, Mark Shanks, Stevie Nicol (later Liverpool and Scotland), Jim McSherry, Ian McAllister, Jim Fleeting (ex Norwich youth), Derek Frye, David Armour (ex Ibrox reserve), Eric Morris (another ex Ibrox reserve), Ally Love and Robert Connor (class act, later of Dundee and Aberdeen). Subs Gerry Christie and Billy Hendry.

Ayr took the lead inside the first ten minutes when Ally Love shot home from 18 yards. Instead of sitting on their lead Ayr went out to try and kill the game and Hearts goalie John Brough was man of the match with some outstanding saves. However, the best player on the field by a mile was a youngster called Stevie Nicol who belied his youth with a great defensive display, nullifying everything that Hearts could conjure up. Admittedly that wasn’t a lot – their forward line being led by a bloke called Archie White, signed from oxford United, and reckoned to this day by many Hearts fans to be the worst player ever witnessed in a maroon jersey.

By the end of the season Hearts and Airdrie secured promotion but once again for Hearts it would be followed immediately by relegation, for the third time.



Junior Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Dessel Sport, Oxford Utd and all North Devon Clubs
Easter always used to bring good opportunities for doubles and trebles and 1st April often fell during the holiday period. My offerings for today are:

1989 Sheffield v Parkgate 1-1 NCEL

1991 saw a treble:
ON Chenecks v British Timken Duston 2-2 UCL D1
Harrowby Utd v Cottingham 2-1 UCL D1
Quorn v Anstey Tn 1-2 Leicester Senior

1993 Half Moon v High Green WMC 2-1 Anglo Scandia League (Half Moon played on the 2nd pitch at the Phoenix Sports Ground)

1994 saw another treble:
Jarrow Roofing v Herrington 0-2 Shipowners Cup Final
Wolviston v Sliksworth 1-2 Vaux Wearside
Evenwood Tn v Esh Winning 0-0 Northern Lge, D2

A double in 1995
Boldon CA v Hartlepool BWOB 3-0 Vaux Wearside
Washington v Darlington Cleveland Social 7-0 Northern Lge, D2

1998 Lingfield v Hurstpierpoint 1-2 Sussex Co. D3

2009 Dronfield Tn v Eastwood Tn II 1-1 Midland Regional Alliance

2012 Pack Horse Inn v Mosborough 'A' 3-1 Meadowhall Sunday League. Pack Horse played at Thorncliffe Park, High Green

2013 Bideford v Frome 0-0 Southern Lge, Prem.

2017 University of Exeter v Appledore 9-1 SWPL (Travelled on the train with the Appledore team, it was very quiet on the way back !!)

2018 Fremington II v Stratton Utd 10-0 N.Devon Senior


Reserve Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Crewe Alexandra.
Just the one again , now the early night football has begun it's too time wasting to write up 60 odd games. Bit boring , but concentrating on one brings back memories and of course I go off on tangents,

A certain poster posed a question yesterday to me as to when I first went to Turkey , well it was 1979.

A Sunday game at the Ataturk Stadium in Izmir.
İzmir'de Atatürk Stadı tartışması

European Championship 1980 Qualifier. (G 7).
Turkey 0 v 0 West Germany
Varying attendances on line but 68,000 is common.
There was a single page sheet given away with an advert and the team squads.

The qualifying to get 8 teams through to Italy '80' went like this , 7 groups top team would qualify to join the 8th team the hosts Italy.
Group 7 consisted of 4 teams , Malta , Turkey , Wales & West Germany. West Germany were everybody's favourites to qualify. But they started with a lucky 0-0 at the Empire Stadium in Gzira (What a dump).
Turkey also had had a bad start with a 1-0 loss in Wrexham followed by a 2-1 win in Izmir against Malta.
So the game in question was in everybody's eyes the crunch game of the group, with everyone including me ignoring Wales.

Group 7 . (Courtesy of RSSSF).
Wales 7-0 Malta.
Wales 1-0 Turkey.
Malta 0-0 West Germany,
Turkey 2-1 Malta.
Turkey 0-0 West Germany
Wales 0-2 West Germany
Malta 0-2 Wales
West Ger ' 5-1 Wales
Malta 1-2 Turkey
Turkey 1-0 Wales
West Ger ' 2-0 Turkey
West Ger ' 8-0 Malta.

1.West Germany ------- 6 4 2 0 17- 1 10.
2.Turkey ---------------- 6 3 1 2 5- 5 7.
3 Wales ------------------6 3 0 3 11- 8 6.
4 .Malta-------------------6 0 1 5 2-21 1.

Went with an Alex mate JohnB and although a lot hazy I think we flew direct from Heathrow spending a couple of nights in Izmir. Can't remember prices but I was working and highly paid in those far off days.

What I can remember of the game was it was a volatile atmosphere and we were questioned angrily by locals who wanted to know what we were doing there. When explained that we disliked the Germans and were supporting Turkey we were befriended and given food / drink for the next 3 hours.
We were advised by our hotel to get there 2 hours before kick off as they had a habit of shutting the turnstiles 90 mins before kick off no matter how many were in. We did this and it was chockablock.
Not press yet :unsure: or else may have gone later..
As mentioned we were befriended by locals and as it was a very warm day their drinks were needed , we of course bought a round for about a dozen as the beer / pop / snack sellers seemed pretty adept at climbing over spectators. If any were out of whatever you needed they would shout to his nearest mate stationed by the exit saying what he was short of and that would soon arrive. This went on all game.

The game was a cagey affair with both teams having a couple of chances so a draw was fair. I think the Germans were the happier.

Can remember on the flight home having 10 mins with the Welsh manager , the Englishman Mike Smith who had been having a look at Wales next opponents West Germany. He didn't last much longer in the job , leaving after the final game in this competition v Turkey in November 79. He took the Hull City job in December.
He had another short spell in charge 94 - 95.

Turkey. Senol Gunes , Cem Pamiroglu , Cemil Turan , Engin Verel , Erhan Onal , Fatih Terim , Mustafa Denizli , Ozcaglayan Necati , Necdet Ergun , Sedt Ozen , Turgay Semercioglu.
Manager - Sabri Kiraz.

Germany. Dieter Burdenski , Bernhard Cullmann , Bernard Dietz , Manfred Kaltz , Ulrich Stielike , Herbert Zimmermann , Rainer Bonhof , Hansi Muller , Karl Heinz Rummenigge , Ronald Borchers , Klaus Toppmoller.
Manager - Jupp Derwall.

Yes I had to look - Ronald Borchers / Eintracht Frankfurt / 6 caps.

3 of the Turkish line up went on to manage Turkey , Fatih Terim 1 game in 1990 / 33 games in 1993-96 / 58 games in 2005 - 09 & 44 games in 2013 - 17. Mustafa Denizli 6 games in 1987 / 31 games in 1996 - 2000 / Senol Gunes 50 games 2000 - 2004 & 11 games and counting 2019 - present.
Basaksehir FK of the Super League's new ground (2014) is named after Fatih Terim.
Trabzonspor of the Super League's new ground (2016) is named after Senol Gunes.
Oddly enough Trabzonsppor are top at the moment and Basaksehir 2nd after 26 rounds of a 34 match season. PPG anyone ?

West Germany went on to win the European Championship 1980 in Rome on the 22nd of June beating Belgium 2 - 1 in the Final.
Attendances for the competition were poor and England blew it in their games in Turin v Belgium 1-1 ( 15,156) and against Italy we lost 1-0 (59,649) that game forever to be known as 'The battle of Turin' , nothing to do with the 90 mins
I saw both them and the win in Naples v Spain 2-1 ( 14,440). then home.

Fortunately German & Swiss Play/offs were going on and visited 6 games in Switzerland plus one in Germany and an Italian Serie B league game at Sampdoria v Bari 3 days before the Euro's opening game. A few off here that don't comment much were also commuting to and from Switzerland with the aid of a 'SwissRail' & an 'Italy Tourist Card'
Last edited:


Junior Team Starter
Dec 25, 2019
Monday 1st April 1991
QPR 1 Derby County 1
Div 1
Attn ?? Admit £6 programme £1

I took the future Mrs Ciderjon to this one, her only Football League outing. Whilst she is still a staunch rugby union supporter we tried a few other sporting treats. Non League football (sat on terracing and did her knitting), Amateur Rugby League ( went to sit in van after ten minutes, well it was freezing fog). She did stay the course at Loftus Road though, but the experiment was never repeated.

One of her major complaints concerned the lack of direct play in the penalty area, 'too much nebbishing about'. I explained they were seeking to thread the ball through to a better placed team mate, to be told 'well they're not are they'. No reply to that really, as two toothless attacks proved her point.

What baffles me though, is why we chose that game! I have no idea why we were even in London nor any recollection of what we did before or after the game. It was a second revisit (73/81) so not a new ground. I'd even seen this fixture before and previously seen games on grass, then plastic and now grass again. Not even a required change of surface revisit. A mystery.


Junior Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
Sheffield United, Sheffield Eagles & Kendal Town
1975 Blades 1 Leeds United 1 L1
1978 Blades 0 Blackpool 0 L2
1989 Kettering Town 2 Welling United 1 Alliance Premier
1991 Forest 2 Blades 0 L1
1992 Wath Saracens Athletic 2 Wath St James 1 County Senior Premier
1995 Killamarsh Juniors Athletic 2 Holbrook MW 2 CML Premier
1998 Athersley Rec. 2 Ecclesfield Red Rose 0 County Senior Cup Final @ Bracken Moor
2000 Mickleover Sports 0 Winterton Rangers 3 NCE 1
2001 Piggies 1 Blades 2 L1 sat quietly in the North Stand, don't know how I managed it
2002 Blades 0 Wimbledon 1 L1
2006 Forest Town 1 Newark Town 1 CML Premier Att 17
2009 Club AZ 4 Styal 0 Cheshire 1 Att 42
2013 Blades 0 Carlisle 0 L1
2014 Blades 0 Brentford 0 L1
2015 Horden CW 1 Cleater Moor Celtic 3 Wearside
2017 Cote Heath 3 Buxton Town 0 HV A' Att 22

Rugby League

1988 Hull KR 14 Hull 21 the only old RL ground Eagles never played on
1990 Widnes 52 Eagles 20


Forum Admin
Staff member
Dec 7, 2019
Cheltenham Town
No fooling here, my record at Whaddon Road on April 1st is good. Six visits, and all Cheltenham wins. The game against Cardiff in 2001 featured a Neil Grayson hat-trick as Cheltenham came back from 1-0 down (5139). That game was midday on a Sunday! A year earlier we had beaten Torquay 2-0 (5189), and a year later Hull City were to lose at Whaddon Road (5546). All fourth tier games, with Cheltenham winning promotion in the 2002 play-offs.

More recently, Cheltenham have beaten Northampton Town 1-0 in 2013 (4042), Grimsby Town in 2016 (4003) and Morecambe in 2017 (2751). The Grimsby match was in the National League. Together, they incorporate six of the seven highest attendances I have been at on April 1st, with the odd one out being my last ever visit to Shrewsbury's old Gay Meadow in 2006 (3724), with I am sorry to report, Cheltenham losing.

The 2002 game, which was Easter Monday was preceeded by the Nailsea derby, with United overcoming town 2-1 at the Grove Sports Field. A crowd of 108 was recorded.

With the Easter holidays often including the 1st April, there are a number of double headers on this date in my list. The first of these was way back in 1983 in the Eastern Counties League, when I was first at Old Road to see Clacton Town beaten by Stowmarket, (1-2 ~50) and then went on to Tiptree United where Saffron Walden Town were the visitors (3-1, ~120).

I am fairly sure it was the second game (and therefore kicking off after midday) of the Western League pairing in 1988 that the programme declared that experimental cameras had been installed into the goalposts to see when the ball crossed the line, predating goal line technology by 24 years. They are ahead of the times down in Ilfracombe! I can categorically state that I was not the groundhopper who wandered onto the pitch before kick off the examine said goal posts. [If I could remember who that was, I would still redact the name here, to save embarrasment]. Ilfracombe beat Wellington 3-1 (160) while earlier in the day, I had seen Ottery St Mary beat Heavitree United 1-0 (30)

In 1991, the double was Blandford United 2-1 Bournemouth Sports in the Dorset Combination (85), followed by Long Sutton 4-1 Weston St. Johns in Somerset (45), while three years later it was Portsmouth Civil Service 0-1 Pirelli General in Hampshire-1 (65) followed by Esso (Fawley) v Ludgershall Sports 1-2 in Hampshire-3 (30). When I worked in Portsmouth, the civil service were not at a level I was watching, but I did referee there in the Sunday league. One morning, I was slightly embarassed as I did not have a coin in my pocket. I therefore asked for my match expenses to be paid before kick off. At 8p a mile, it worked out at 2p.

At Esso, I recall a long distance between the dressing rooms and the pitch in 1991, and being told they tended to play closer to the clubhouse, so when back in Hampshire, I returned for a floodlit game in 2015 - but the now enclosed pitch was in fact at the far side of the ground - almost certainly where I saw them play the first time. No second tick there!

1995 sees the lowest recorded crowd on the date, just 12 for Lindfield Rangers v Hurstpeirpoint in Sussex Division 3, the game was won 1-0 by the home team. Several matches tie at next worst with 30 people shown as there, including the second game in 1995 for a West Sussex Malcolm Simmonds Cup Semi Final. Lancing United v South Bersted. This finished 0-0 after extra time

I have already mentioned the 2002 Nailsea/Cheltenham pairing, so the last double was in Belgium, 2012 - and is featured with twitter pictures. A day of red cards and penalties.

First up was Everbeur Sport Averbode in the fourth division, who would beat KFC Sint-Linaarts 3-1 despite the visitors taking the lead in the first minute. Sint-Linaaarts had their goalkeeper sent off after 23 minutes with Shabi scoring from the resulting penalty. At least the ten man visitors had a goalkeeper on the bench, but he was not needed for the second home penalty, which Shabi put wide on 61 minutes. As a result, when a third penalty was awarded, with ten minutes to play, Van Aerschot took it. It was not an airshot (see what I did there), and Everbeur were 2-1 up and added a third just before the end.

The 6 p.m. kick off was at Denderzonen Pamel, in the second provincial league of Brabant. The visitors, US Rebecquoise went ahead with a third minute penalty and then raced into a 3-0 lead. Pamel hit back with two goals just before the break, the second of which was also a penalty - my fifth of the day. Early in the second half, the vistors had a player sent off for foul and abusive language, but this advantage was not enough to allow the home side to draw level, and with five minutes to play one of their players received his second yellow card so as the match finished with both teams down to 10.

One final match to mention, from 2014, when I went to Milnthorpe Corinthians and saw then defeat Ladybridge by 8-0. Corinthians were 1-0 up when they were awarded a penalty, and Ladybridge a red card after 20 minutes. Richie Sandham, who had scored the first goal, converted the penalty and completed his hat-trick in the second half, Ryan Close also got a hat-trick.


Junior Team Star
Dec 8, 2019
Monday 1st April 1991
QPR 1 Derby County 1
Div 1
Attn ?? Admit £6 programme £1

I took the future Mrs Ciderjon to this one, her only Football League outing. Whilst she is still a staunch rugby union supporter we tried a few other sporting treats. Non League football (sat on terracing and did her knitting), Amateur Rugby League ( went to sit in van after ten minutes, well it was freezing fog). She did stay the course at Loftus Road though, but the experiment was never repeated.

One of her major complaints concerned the lack of direct play in the penalty area, 'too much nebbishing about'. I explained they were seeking to thread the ball through to a better placed team mate, to be told 'well they're not are they'. No reply to that really, as two toothless attacks proved her point.

What baffles me though, is why we chose that game! I have no idea why we were even in London nor any recollection of what we did before or after the game. It was a second revisit (73/81) so not a new ground. I'd even seen this fixture before and previously seen games on grass, then plastic and now grass again. Not even a required change of surface revisit. A mystery.
Attendance 12036


Junior Team Starter
Feb 20, 2020
football in Norfolk
Saturday 1st April 2006
Arthur Dunn Cup Final
Match at Imperial College Sports Ground Udney Park Rd Teddington
Old Carthusians v Old Westminsters Kick off 1500
Admission £2 which included programme
Score 2-0 ht 1-0 Attendance 250 to 300

A good match in which Carthusians deserved to win.
The opening goal was similiar to the Geoff Hurst goal in
the 1966 world cup final with the linesman indicating the ball
had crossed the line. The second goal was rather lucky as
the ball bounced around in the penalty area from a corner and may
have touched a defender on its way in

Tuesday 1st April 2008
Football League Division 1
Gillingham v Luton @ Priestfield Kick off 1945
Admission £5 special deal Programme £3
Score 2-1 ht 0-1 Attendance 6142

Both teams were desperate for points as they were
struggling near the bottom of the league. A headed goal
by Parkin put Luton ahead but two goals from Simeon Jackson in the 75th
and 87th minutes (both headed) won the match for Gills.
However it made no difference for Gills as they failed to win
another game that season and were duly relegated.
Luton finished bottom on 33 points having had 10 points deducted.

Monday 1st April 2013
Isthmian League South
Faversham v Sittingbourne @ Salters Lane ko 1500
Score 3-0 ht 3-0 Attendance 206
Admission £8 programme £2

A local derby of importance to both sides. Faversham were well
placed for a play off place whilst Sittingbourne still had a slim
chance of one. The match was all over by half time as two
Luke Harvey goals and one from Botterrill put the match
beyond Sittingbourne whose play off hopes disappeared.
Faversham finished 3rd in the league but lost in the play off
final to 2nd placed Maidstone

Tuesday 1st April 2014.
Isthmian League South
Sittingbourne v Merstham @ Woodstock Sports and Social ko 1945
Score 1-0 ht 0-0 Attendance 104
Admission £8 programme £2

Merstham were on a run of 14 games without defeat and were
chasing a play off place. However in a match of few chances
Sittingbourne won thanks to a 54th minute header from
Tom Loynes. Merstham finished 7th at the end of the season
missing a play off place by 3 points.


Junior Team Star
Dec 10, 2019
Bristol City
St Albans City
Verulam Cycling Club
Football League Division Two
Bristol City 4-1 Preston North End
Attendance: 12,962
Scorer: Spiring, Tainton, Emanuel, Galley; Tarbuck

This was near the end of my first season of watching City and the biggest win that I had seen. As for the goal scorers that day;
A year later, winger Peter Spiring was sold to Liverpool, made no appearances for them other than sitting on the bench twice and was offloaded to Luton Town within a year. John Galley had been a goal scoring legend for us but I only got to see him a few more times before he went to Forest. Winger Trevor Tainton was converted to a full back and stayed with us for ten more years enjoying the first division days and probably hating the plummet to Division Four! John Emanuel didn't make it Division One. Preston's scorer, of course, went on to become a well-known stand-up comedian.

Football League Division Two
Bristol City 1-1 Bristol Rovers
Attendance: 28,953
Scorer: Sweeney; Collier (og)

This looks like a good attendance for Ashton Gate but just over a year previously we had packed in 37,671 for Liverpool in the FA Cup 6th round.

Can't remember much about this game, all my memories come from away matches at Eastville - both on and off the pitch!

Football League Division One
Bristol City 3-1 Newcastle United
Attendance: 17,334
Scorer: Nulty (og), Tom Ritchie, Norman Hunter; Barraclough

Our third season out of four in the top flight. Norman Hunter joined us in season one and, frankly, kept us up for three seasons. When he left we went down, and down, and down....see tomorrow....

United Counties
Rothwell Town 1-2 Irthingborough Diamonds
I liked the ground.

South Midlands League
North Greenford United 4-2 AFC Wallingford
Didn't like the ground, can't remember why!

Beds County League
Cranfield United 2-0 Great Barford
I'd missed Cranfield play at a higher level and after waiting ages for a midweek fixture this game ended up feeling like i was just doing it for the sake of it. I liked the ground, though.


Youth Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Sunderland AFC,
Keighley Cougars RLFC
Division 4
Darlington 1-2 Tranmere Rovers
Att: 2,492

Endsleigh League Division 1
Sunderland 1-0 Sheffield United
Att: 17,259

Mick Buxton had been sacked after a run of six defeats in 7 games, including the last four in a row, had left Sunderland in 20th place. Peter Reid took charge, with 7 games remaining, only one of which was lost. 13 months later, Sunderland would win promotion as Champions. This was Reid's first game in charge, a largely dull game, won by a Craig Russell strike on 89 minutes. The keeper made a block, but the ball looped up into the net.

FA Carling Premiership
Southampton 1-2 Sunderland
Att: 15,245

My last visit to The Dell. Niall Quinn gave Sunderland an early lead against Saints, for whom goalkeeper Paul Jones went off injured at half time, Neil Moss coming on as his replacement.
Kevin Phillips scored an 86th minute penalty to put Sunderland 2 up, before another penalty, on 89 minutes allowed Le Tissier to pull one back.

Rugby League
Hunslet Hawks 18-22 Keighley Cougars

Stand in captain Danny Jones had a fine game for Cougars, scoring the first try, setting up the second and adding 6 points with the boot. Cougars let 4-22 with 12 minutes to go, but a hat-trick of tries by Tommy Haughey got Hawks back into the game.


Junior Team Regular
Dec 9, 2019
Plymouth Argyle, any non league team in Devon & Cornwall
2006 - Plymouth Argyle 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers - Championship
2013 - Worcester City 3-2 Oxford City - Conference North
2016 - Saltash United 3-1 Ivybridge Town - SWPL Premier Division
2017 - AFC Rushden & Diamonds 6-1 Northwich Victoria


Youth Team Sub
Dec 9, 2019
Melksham Town, Bath Rugby, Lancashire CCC, Wigan Warriors
Just the one

2017 Melksham T 1 Buckland Ath 0 Les Phillips Cup QF Att: 302
Don't remember much about the game other than it was a hot day and Higdon scored our winner. Always tight games against this team,


Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Back in the early 80s I did the '92 Football League grounds and on Good Friday 1st April 1983 I ventured to Lancashire for this match.
Blackpool 0 Stockport County 0
Football League.Division Four

I remember catching the train for this match and on a cold overcast day everything seemed grey and miserable.I've never been that keen on Blackpool and this day didn't make me change my mind!
I think I sat down in the main stand mainly due to quite a few Stockport fans trying to cause trouble and I vaguely remember a fight somewhere in the ground which was a diversion from the poor game being played out on the pitch.
An attendance of 3,126 which was a sign of the times back in the 80s.Bloomfield Road was a decent ground back then although the large kop end had lost its roof by then.
Some decent players playing that day.For Blackpool a young Paul Stewart who went on to greater things whilst Peter Noble was also playing for them.Amongst the County players,two stand out.Dean Emerson who later joined Coventry and Micky Quinn was also playing that day.


Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Step 4 - 6 local football
2002 - Barnet 0-1 Nuneaton Borough (Game No. 104)
2006 - Rushall Olympic 2-1 Leighton Town (Game No. 285)
2008 - Leighton Town 1-4 Chesham United (Game No. 404)
2009 - Woodford United 2-2 Leighton Town (Game No. 461)
2010 - Romulus 4-0 Leighton Town (Game No. 537)
*2013 - Leighton Town 0-2 Barton Rovers (Game No. 805)
*2014 - Marlow 1-2 Chertsey Town (Game No. 906)
*2017 - Leighton Town 0-1 Sun Sports (Game No. 1172)

*Full reports in the appropriate WDYG thread.

Latest posts

AdBlock Detected

Polite request!

NLM relies on advertising to pay the bills to stay online . Could I ask that you disable your AdBlocker for this site. Alternatively if you are a registered user you can remove all ads and get other benefits for as little as £1.50 a month. Just go to your Profile and click on Account Upgrades. Most visitors will see this message only once per visit...... Thanks

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks