|In For Nowt.....part two||Submitted on 20/07/2004 by ?|
Near the Leazes - beside the old West stand was a rubbish area where you could get over the wall with a two handed lift off a mate. There you'd be in amongst the rubbish bags - but still on the wrong side of the 10ft high fence. There was no way into the Leazes terrace - only the option to climb into the West Stand Paddock. Once decent footholds were found the metal railings weren't too hard to get over, but the fat policeman and the jobs-worth stewards were often on the other side. The stewards weren't as corrupt as the ones at the Gallowgate End so the jump over had to be timed just as they were searching a soft looking $hite coming in through the turnstile. (They never searched the hard looking cnuts, unless there were about six of them.) It didn't matter if the fat copper saw you - he couldn't catch you anyhow!
Once you got in to the 'F' stand paddock, what was the point of standing when there was a big wooden West Stand right behind you to sit in? Even those who were daft enough to pay (Beat, Winter, Kirky and others) followed my fine example and dodged past the stewards on the stairs. You just followed someone with a ticket and then as soon as the stewards were distracted by the fools who paid and showed their tickets you made your way to the top corner, where sitting down, nice and dry - you were In For Nowt!
One addition to the game of bluff with the stewards was, of course, to make sure that you got stopped when you did manage to get a complimentary ticket or a company season ticket. By the end of the season they must have though we all had tickets as they wished us all the best and cheery ‘See you next season'.
Of course, as an opportunistic type of lad, some easy chances were far too good to miss. Pre-match entertainment by Sacriston Colliery Band saw them march off the pitch to the car-park - only to be directed straight into the West Stand paddock - but with two extra members marching behind the big bass drum - me and Kirky - In for Nowt!
One time when Match of the Day were covering a game - parked up near the fenced rubbish area - the pair of ladders beside the vans were too good to missed. One of us at each end and straight through into the Leazes as part of the TV crew.
Another time was more of con when I got in with an empty box of crisps to restock the pitch side peddlers (after the peanut men had packed in).
Opportunity should never be missed. Driving up the Motorway to the game (not me driving – just getting another free lift) we saw a car on fire on the hard shoulder near Washington Services.
“That looks like Chopper” exclaimed Kirky
Thinking not of my own safety, I suggested we stop immediately. When I got to the smoking write-off it seemed that everyone was safe – but there was no way they could make it to the match.
“What a shame – knackered car and missing the match” I said.
“Can you use our tickets so they don’t go to waste?” Chopper replied.
But because of the Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade, smoke and screaming by-standers, he must have been too stressed to ask for a percentage of the ticket price. Oh well at least we got In for Nowt!
I’m sure other Carrville Mags can provide similar tales – like the one at Derby when Smike pulled me up into the seats right behind the copper’s back. Was it at Stoke when a superman dive got through the turnstiles and In for Nowt!
|In For Nowt.....part one||Submitted on 19/07/2004 by ?|
Nowadays with modern all-seater grounds, full height turnstiles and more efficient security and policing, it seems rather difficult to get "In for Nowt". Of course it could be because that now I'm getting older I can't spot the weaknesses in the security systems anymore - I even had to ask Greeny how to work the automatic barriers at Tescos the other day.
I know for a fact that some Carrville mags have ended up in the press box at Boro; got in through the changing rooms at West Brom; and even walked in through the board room at Birmingham. The details of these adventures need to come from the perpetrators themselves, and who "nose" who could have starred in those capers.
My first recollection of sneaking in was a rather simple affair of going to Durham on the bus ("10p keep the ticket mate") and wriggling into Feren's Park through the hedges at the top end of the ground. That was the start - the seed was sown to get "In For Nowt" at as many grounds as possible.
Getting in at Newcastle started with a cautious approach of slipping the steward a small percentage of the admission price down by the big orange gates at the Gallowgate end, and then waiting for the nod to run in when he decided the coast was clear of his superiors. (His superiors were in fact taking slightly larger back-handers at the next gate along.)
Then when this approach was unsuccessful you could crouch down and - up to the age of about 21 - bluff your way in through the half price under 16s turnstile. You needed to impersonate a pantomime dwarf and suck on a polo to hide the smell of two halves of shandy (or was it a gallon of snakebite - I can't remember I must have been pi$$ed).
When the frightful day came when my voice broke and side burns grew (bit of a Teddy-Boy ya knaa - Do the bop… Do the bop) the next cheapest way in was to push right up together and then slip the turnstile operator some cash to let two through on the same click. Away games were slightly different - everyone was pi$$ed - it was always five to three so you just pushed up that bit harder and forced through two on one click - keeping the bribe money in your back pocket.
Alas this was not good enough. Paying even fractions of entry money was a bind as it left with less money to be generous with to all my mates. So it had to "In For Nowt" from then on.
In the week leading up to a match all opportunities to scrounge complimentary tickets at work - or even company season tickets - were explored. I managed to get a few for the crap games, but was too far down the pecking order when the bigger games came around.
One of the best contacts was Kirky's Happy Wanderer mate and former players' agent Alistair Garvie. We met him at the players' entrance (with Peter Beardsley's brother) and were led in past the old offices; down a corridor; waved to Arthur Cox in his office; ended up in the tunnel - followed by sharp left and a jump into the Centre Paddock. There we were…"In for Nowt"
|Hotel Threesome||Submitted on 18/07/2004 by ?|
Meanwhile in Las Vegas three Carrville mags show us how to have a good time in a hotel - by having their photo taken with some bloke who looks a bit like Elvis.
They went on to have a few games of blackjack, a punt on the bandits, an hour on the roulette table and then craps.
He also went for a trip down Mexico way and came back with a pair of crocodile shoes and the craps.
|Needless to say he didn't make his fortune and will continue to entertain us with his 50p doubles - such as Beckham to score the first goal and England to win the Euro championships.|
|No surprises then||Submitted on 17/07/2004 by ?|
|The beer flowed, two Elvis impersonators entertained us, Esh Winning's finest sang and high-kicked to Hi-Lo Silver Lining, a late license left the bar open 'til midnight and all this was followed by an easy walk home. Sounds like the perfect end to high profile home game victory. Was it fcuk.|
|It was Eric's surprise 40th birthday party. The biggest surprise was him being reasonably sober at 7.30pm after a full day on the drink - including Brown dog in the Newcastle Arms. His Hawaiian shirt wasn't a surprise, nor was his Telephone Baby sing-along, his Reet Petite dance-along and his 5 litres of wine drink-along. He's off to Vegas next week to win his fortune and meet up with the real Elvis.|
|FAST SHOW||Submitted on 16/07/2004 by ?|
Eric's recollection stirred the memories of someone else who made the trip to Shepherds' Bush. It wasn't the 5-5 game that saw one of Eric's finest moments in the capital, but the 2-1 win when Stuart Boam scored. Read more from Colin's memory bank below.
More info on the 5-5 draw can be found here at TOONARAMA. The article mentions the highest scoring draw, 6-6 at Tranmere. This game is remember for Fast's finest moment in the Sporties. Just as Mick Quinn stepped up to take his penalty, Martin 'Fast Eddy' Edwards, stood up, stepped forward and switched off the TV.
|Uproar followed - mainly from the hairy bellied drinking buddy along side him in the photo. Chairs were thrown, drinks were spilled and we lost on penalties as usual.|
|Generous Eric - Colin's update||Submitted on 15/07/2004 by ?|
"It was the 2-1 game and we were on Shoot the next day. Stuart Boam scored. It's one of the few games I remember as drink was to soon to become part of my travelling days. Me, Greeny and Smike saw you all arrive in the yellow beetle. I can still see it now.
It wasn't the 5-5 game as we weren't there. On the day of that match I remember bumping into Eric at half-time in Carrville. We were gutted we weren't there to see our best ever away result! Nowt changes much does it.
That might have been the game me and Eric tried to hitchhike to after coming out of Klute - it was definitely QPR we were heading for. We got to Yorkshire at about five in morning, sobered-up, crossed over A1 and came home.
Come to think of it Eric had no money then either - the little ba$tard."
|GENEROUS ERIC||Submitted on 14/07/2004 by ?|
In the late '70’s, and early '80’s many of the Durham Mags (from woolly backs such as Bearpark, Esh Winning, Belmont and Carrville) used to travel away in VW beetles owned by 'Beatle' Bailey and Kirky (The Sculptor’s N..N..N..Nightmare).
On the way to QPR generous Eric offered all the lads copious amounts of sampled ‘out of date’ cider, obtained from his workplace most Friday nights. After being nearly sick with this often warm, sometimes infected beverage the other occupants - Beat, Kirky, Shaker (now London Mags) and Winter (now the Sherburn recluse) told Eric to put the rest in the boot. On getting back into the car, but still armed with the sample cider, the others were shocked as to why it wasn’t in the boot. The reason was obvious: the fcuking Germans had put a spare engine there in case of a breakdown!
On arrival in the smoke the car was parked up - it didn’t matter where as no one would nick it - and the occupants found the nearest pub. Eric was dying for a p*ss so Kirky did the decent thing by getting the first round in. To maintain the ambience of the group, Generous Eric then went to the bar and ordered a round of boiled egg sandwiches for him and his appreciative mates.
The conversation turned from taking the p*ss out of Cockneys to how much it had cost in petrol to get all of the way to London, at which an almighty “bloody hell it’s half past two!“ rang out from Eric - as he quickly changed the subject - and pointed out they didn’t have time to finish the discussion or they would miss the match.
Heading towards Loftus Road through them flats, a group of hoops clad daft tw#ts - who couldn’t even tell the Durham lads to fcuk off without putting an ‘R’ after the ‘0’ - decided to attack. This brief skirmish was rudely interrupted by about 20 pointy headed Metropolitan trainees, two of which were on ponies.
Kirky turned to Eric, thanked him for saving him from the Cockneys, and said “Hey mate, I’m pleased you never got nicked - I might never have got your petrol money.” Generous Eric was shocked by this and replied, “Petrol money my arse, I spent that on boiled egg sandwiches - I’ve just got enough to get in the junior gate.”
The Sculptor’s N..N. .N..Nightmare then totally lost his sense of humour and punched poor little Eric repeatedly, blackening his eye and fattening his lip. Little Eric just managed to get a boney elbow onto Kirky’s nose when the fight was ended by - you’ve guessed it - a round of applause from the QPR lot on the other side of the police line, who stood there open mouthed! The Metropolitan Police training manual had no paragraph to cover travelling fans fighting over petrol money and boiled egg sandwiches.
Beat, Shaker and by now a few others had got in through the turnstile. ‘Bloody hell it’s five past three cried Eric. Kirky rushed up to the turnstile, pulled out the entrance money paid the little foreign bloke - who’s coat was too big for him - and then felt a great big push behind him as he clicked the turnstile round and entered the ground - wait for it - with Eric who had squeezed in behind Kirky for nowt!
As time has now elapsed by close to 20 years it is difficult to recall the exact game - was it 2-1 on the plastic pitch, 5 -5 even -possibly earlier than either of those memorable matches.
On leaving the ground the exact location of the car had been forgotten and the group ended up on a high street full of shops. Generous Eric then had the bright idea for saving his mates from a long walk by - you’ve guessed it - inching a three-piece suite from a second hand shop. A hasty getaway was made with everyone sat comfortably getting pushed along by loads of other Geordies, as the shop keeper chased after them, who had to run so fast he had to keep one hand on his turban to stop it blowing off.
After two red lights and a near miss with a London bus, the transport was dumped on double yellow line to the sound of Nee Naw, Nee Naw, of a transit van luckily stuck behind cars which had actually stopped at the previously mentioned red lights.
The VW beetle was eventually found and the Durham lads headed back north. The suggestion of stopping for a pint was made by Eric to the response of “Fcuk off, we’ve got no money left, what with petrol and entrance money.” Good old Generous Eric then came to the rescue and said “Don’t worry my friends, as I got into the match for nowt I’ll get the round!”
At the pit stop Eric brought the drinks to the table, a pint for everyone, apart from Kirky. “Where’s mine you little runt?” (I think he called me a runt). “Sorry mate you’re driving and I don’t want to get you into trouble.” I replied.
The drink had worn off by Wetherby and tiredness had crept in with only the faint, but regular, boiled egg sponsored methane releases left to drag the remaining dregs of humour out of the weary bunch. But the Mackems had lost at home that day so roll on Sunday dinner time session in the Sportsman’s Arms, where Kirky would again miss out on getting a drink bought for him as he’s barred... he.. .he. .
|WHO'S GOT MARVELLOUS MELONS?||Submitted on 13/07/2004 by ?|
Another Great day out at Wembley with the only low point the 90 minutes on the pitch. The pub before the match left more than just the monkey puzzled as to who let the stink bomb off in the bog. QPR on the domino card led to Red Bulls and vodkas all round and there was an appearance by Fruity, brother of London’s ‘I’ve been to Harrods’ Shake A Leg.
The Toon gave us a little to shout about this time, and so we did. But coming out of the ground, the Durham ‘cuntry’ members - consisting of Kirky, me and James - got detached. We landed at various destinations along the tube line, finishing up ‘alco popped’ at Kings Cross. This led to the highlight of the evening when ‘cards’ were collected from numerous phone boxes in the area.
Then the Turks, already in English football’s bad books, tried to finish off another batch of fans by selling ‘Pink’ kebabs, which remarkably produced bright green turds 24 hours later. (Note: Wheely Bin was totally unaffected by the scraps of the undercooked delicacy that he devoured after they were dropped or rejected by the Durham diners.)
Sid, father of Dave Bailey, and famous for his vicar antics at the Sheff Utd semi, asked, through his mouthful of pizza, ‘Has anyone got a pack of cards?’ Much to Sid’s surprise, out came a collection of calling cards from the previously mentioned Kings Cross phone boxes.
‘Snap’ commenced - just as the ‘Dolly with the Trolley’ went past with teas and coffees promising to return soon - with cans. By the time she got back she was the ‘Tart with the Cart’ and when she took the huff she was the ‘Puss with the Bus’.
The card games got more intense, with me and Kirky fighting over Marvellous Melons, Sid clinging on to Miss Minge and young James delighted to find Little man in a Boat. But as the train pulled into Leeds it was noticed that Marvellous Melons was missing. The Durham ‘country’ members blamed a Yorkshire branch member for the theft.
Gordon, actually a canny smart lad and not a moron as was suggested in the song at various points in the journey, is a key suspect.
Wheely Bin is another suspect but most of the things he stole from the Durham table ended up in his mouth.
Other suspects are the ‘Televised Barcelona Few’ sitting opposite, and the committee - JT, Tom and Dave Bailey - who posed as domino card sellers during the trip.
Reward offered: 4 cans of NBA to the producer of Marvellous Melons at the next meeting in the THT.
|'We want Eric for wor Leader, cos he's big and strong…'||Submitted on 12/07/2004 by ?|
|With Shaker in the Sporties full back shirt that he made his own...he nicked it.||Somewhere in London ...with a hairy Mouse in the background.||On his way to an England match...yet more cheap cider.|
|With Mouse again - going to The Green Man, Wembley||Outside Bainbridge Castle waiting for the film crew from Ready Steady Cook||1987 : Spain 2 England 4|