Friday, November 16, 2007

The Peterborough Effect

Something a bit different. This is an article written by a good friend of mine for a fan written book of anecdotes and reminiscences of Peterborough United's away games. The book is being sold to raise money for the Peterborough United Supporters' Trust "Smile Tickets" appeal, The East Anglian Air Ambulance and The Free Kicks Foundation.

Martyn was a big factor in my return to Fulham after a number of seasons away (chasing girls and watching bands!) and if it wasn't for him and the 1990 World Cup I might not have got back into football. The events Martyn describes are pretty accurate and I still cringe whenever he mentions the bit when I left them in the pub (and he mentions it quite a lot!). I'm yet to see Fulham beat Peterborough which leaves me hoping every year for a home draw against them in the cup (though even then I'm scared we'll just lose again). I still go to Fulham with Gibbo we just don't spend quite so long in the pub. Should you know any Posh fans this could be the ideal Christmas present for them - Over to Martyn ...

Fulham Away 1992

I always find it enjoyable to go to a match with someone who supports the opposition, especially if we’re playing away from home…….and especially if we win. If you work in West London you’re bound to come into contact with the odd Fulham fan…..and believe me, most of them are very odd. I’ve found a few amongst the Ch*ls** and S***s fans at my place of work, a couple of whom are good friends (Dave and Gibbo). When Posh got promoted to the 3rd Division in 1991 I was delighted to see that we’d be playing them home and away in the League, and so were they.

They both travelled up to London Road to witness Posh’s 4-1 win, which was all the more enjoyable for the fact that we sat together in the main stand. After Posh had taken a 3-0 lead, Fulham pulled one back and Gibbo jumped to his feet with a cry of "come on Fulham we can do it", almost immediately Posh put away the 4th and I’ve never let him forget it since. So you can imagine the anticipation for the game at Craven Cottage. Dave and Gibbo desperate for revenge and me quietly confident but not wanting to say too much in case we lose.

The day arrived and we started off at The White Horse in Parson’s Green, which, at the time this was a spit and sawdust pub noted for their ‘big breakfasts’. After a couple of hours and too many pints, it was off to the match. Dave and Gibbo in the Fulham end, me, Richard and Brian (two more friends from work) with the Posh fans.

To be honest, I can’t remember much about the game but it finished 1-0 to Posh. I’ve watched the goal being scored by Tony Adcock many times on the end of season video.
We met up with Dave after the match, Gibbo had gone home in a sulk but he did tell us later that Dave had berated his fellow Fulham fans by shouting "Come on make some noise, this is a Football match, not a bloody library!".

Minus Gibbo and Brian who also disappeared, the three of us headed for the nearest pub. Several beers later and Dave announced that he was going home. At this point I had succumbed to the warm fuzzy feeling that only alcohol can induce and it seemed like a great idea to remind Dave of the score. With arm extended and finger pointing towards Dave, I broke into a chorus of "one, nil…one, nil…one, nil….one, nil", Richard was quick to join in whilst Dave struggled to disentangle himself from his chair.

We hadn’t noticed the group of large chaps sitting a table some 10 feet away. They were immediately on their feet regarding us with some interest, and it wasn’t friendly. One of them asked us if we were Peterborough fans. Dave, quick as a flash, pointed towards me and Richard and uttered what have become immortal words, "I’m not, but they are", and with a laugh he was off!
I suddenly felt quite sober as visions of a broken nose and black eyes flashed before my eyes. A couple of them walked over to us in menacing fashion and it was obvious they hadn’t come to discuss the price of beer.

At this point I have to mention that Richard suffered from a terrible stutter and conversations with him were sometimes slow and difficult. Maybe it was the beer or maybe it was the fact that he’s an extremely intelligent chap, for he was quickly into his stride and invited their leader to sit with us and have a drink. I really can’t remember much of the conversation apart form the Fulham ‘fan’ telling me how they had tried to fight with Posh fans that just weren’t interested, I remember gibbering something about us all being softies. Apart from that, I left it to Richard to smooth talk to the guy round, which he did with great aplomb. The only other thing I can remember is that I was bursting to visit the Gents but was too scared to go.

We eventually walked out of the pub unscathed and the evening ended with a visit to one of Richard’s friend’s houses where I had another beer and spent the rest of the evening yodelling down the big white telephone.

Afternote: Dave and Gibbo are still good friends and I occasionally go to Fulham matches with them, they still long for the day when Posh meet Fulham again.
Nobody’s seen Richard for years, but I heard that he was running a Diamond mining operation in Africa and we all saw a picture of him on the Internet, he was holding hands with the transsexual from Big Brother (Nadia).

Written by Martyn Wilcockson from the book "Posh Away Days"


bq said...

Ah, the things we do when we are young. Nice one Chopper. Made me smile this morning.

Chopper said...

True - though I'm not sure I could claim to have been that young!

Anonymous said...

I think you were 35 at the time :-)