Ninian Park Characters

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Malarkey

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The bloke in the Bob Bank seating who tried to get us all going with his "Super, super, super Kev McHudson" chant:hehe:
 

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The bloke with a tash who sold the matchday programme on Sloper Road. Told my Grampi he liked his jacket every game for 3 season without fail. A black Campri ski jacket it was with illuminous green writing. My Grampi bought a new jacket and put his old one which was still in good nick in a plastic bag which it barely fitted in and took it in to give to him. Bloke wasn't there, must have been ill. My Grampi had to carry this Tesco bag with his jacket in around all night. Fucking fuming. Lol.
:hehe::hehe::hehe::hehe::hehe:
 

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I'm going to go out on a limb here... but are you sure that the bloke we've been calling "big hand man" all this time isn't in fact "small head man"?
Harry Kane Dad?
 

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There was a guy who always sat under the TV stand in the bob bank, always had a fecking horn with him and every minute he would shout 'c'mon citaeh'
1630100226644.png
 

Jimmytaff

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Anyone else know "bothroyd" who used to sit lower Ninian near the Canton. A little puddled but harmless and always running down the aisles and shouting bothroyd
 

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Peggy from Merthyr. Many an away fan was a victim to his crutches.
 

stantys tattoos

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crazy guy who used to open the gates for the players at ninian park with the big bushy side burns a scarey sight for the away team. i'm sure @Boo Hoo has photos of this legend
 

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crazy guy who used to open the gates for the players at ninian park with the big bushy side burns a scarey sight for the away team. i'm sure @Boo Hoo has photos of this legend

There's a pic of him on here somewhere. Someone met him in Canton a couple of years back and took a photo, he still looked the same as he did in 1980! He's mentioned above.
 
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stantys tattoos

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There's a pic of him on here somewhere. Someone met him in Canton a couple of years back and took a photo, he still looked the same as he did in 1980! He's mentioned above.
on his bike if i remember steve
 

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Jimmytaff

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bluethrough™

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Everytime one of these back in time threads comes up it takes me to a post I read by a Man Utd fan years ago. His report on a story I was part of, but his version is much more entertaining than anything I could write.

Written by The Cockney Reds

I remember arriving from Paddington (see we had plenty of Cockney followers in those crap Div.2 days.) I was just a schoolboy and although I'd been to plenty of games at Old Trafford with my old fella I'd only been to a few tame aways at the time.

The Cardiff game was unlike anything I think I have ever seen before or since. We expected an 'interesting' day to say the least but nothing prepared 2 spotty kids for an afternoon of absolute mayhem, the likes of which, (I'm sure anyone who was there will heartily agree) has never been seen since, with perhaps the exception of Luton v Millwall or other such ground-breaking occasions.

United fans were largely untouchable in those days, sheer weight of numbers plus a ferocious bravado that wouldn't allow them to back down from any resistance, even the southern counterparts - Chelsea, West Ham and to some extent Millwall were still lagging behind in both exploits and organisation.

So it was with that air of self confidence we alighted the station. "Manchester la la la" rang out all around as we sauntered and swaggered our way towards Ninian Park, our Summer Holiday homework problems left aside as we strutted our stuff with the big boys, the exhiliration of being surrounded by 100 or so ' grown men' of 18!

There we spotted a group of about 100 lads. A cheer went up, these were more of our own we assumed. To this day I'll never forget the scene. A handful of our 'comrades' from across the road ambled over, a reuniting embrace was no doubt to follow as these old friends joined the throng. Suddenly I noticed the crazed grin on the face of the approaching stranger and even with my limited knowledge of Football away trips, I had a feeling all was not well.

Our mate with the mental mug simply smashed his fist into the face of one of our lads. "Bloody hell, they're Cardiff bastards" came the cry. The lone assailant then began wading in to at least ten of the United group, bodies were going down all around. His 99 or so mates did very little to assist this lone kamikaze mission - either they were terrified of the situation or maybe knew his capabilities. Maybe this was Frank the Legend from the newspaper stories on this board - perhaps Bluebirds on here will enlighten me.

Finally, the two groups snapped out of their frozen apathy and charged into each other with a manic relish. Now when people say 200 fans were fighting 'toe-to-toe' they usually mean half a dozen at most, with the rest milling about looking stupid, but this was as it sounded, with scenes reminiscent of a gargantuan scale WWF tag match.

My friend and I stood there dumbstruck. It was over 25 years ago and I would love to have been able to recall how I joined in the scene of carnage, downing all-comers, but as a young boy I was horror-stricken and frozen with terror. I remember one Policeman ambling by and peering round the corner to see what all the noise was. He took one look at the scene and carried on walking. Classic!

By this time most of our group had been split into small factions and the walk to the ground was quite simply a journey into some apocyliptic nightmare. It was as if my mate and I had just emerged from the Tardis into some post-nuclear wasteland. Yet there was no Jon Pertwee to close those bloody Police-Box doors and I guess most of the Coppers would have been in there hiding if he could have!

On every street corner the sight were the same, people scurrying around in all directions, I saw one outlandish figure - a United fan in a white boiler-suit and black bowler hat giving out instructions looking like an extra from A Clockwork Orange. All around were cries of "here they are" "don't run" "I've got one". A whirl of confusion, a tidal wave of thundering red Doctor Marten boots and tartan scarves.

We arrived outside the ground and met up again with some faces from the train. Some looked dazed and confused, others bloodied but belligerent. "See this", said one half-caste Londoner with a bloody nose. "The next Taff I see, I'm going to give him three of these." We all laughed loudly at the ridiculous statement, though from some of the characters I had seen at the Station encounter, a guy with three noses was highly likely.

With about an hour to go before kick-off we decided to opt for some sustainance to re-fuel our adrenalin loss. A pink, undercooked 'Spamburger' did the trick for 30p. We started queing at the rather oddly named 'Bob-Bank' whatever that was. Suddenly a group of Reds walked past us, full of contempt that we were planning to go into our own end. "Not in here you arseholes, it's all down "The Grange". Intimidated by their ridicule we followed our heroes and paid in at the "Grange".

As we prepared to pay our (70p was it) I noticed some of the lads around us were tying their scarves around their waists out of sight. I now realised that occupying the home end was more of a military operation than a consumer choice.

We gathered "inconspicuosly" at a point close to the fence which had a huge no-man's land separating the rival fans. Insults were traded for half an hour, a few blood curdling screams of bravado followed by a couple of half-hearted charges by either side at the fence. A fat Cardiff fan with a scarf round his wrist, and tomato sauce stains around his chin, shouted something indistinguishable and launced a wooden stake, like a mini telegraph pole into the baying United mob.

A few cheers rang out as it hit an unseen target. Instantly a piece of concrete was hurled into the Cardiff boys to my right and I could see a small group of people huddled round a fallen comrade. The reality that someone really could die here today (possibly even me) hit home, and I wondered how my parent's would react if they knew that I wasn't actually on the 'day trip to Barry Island' that I was supposed to be on with my mate's 'caring Dad'.

As if it wasn't bad enough, things were about to take a turn for the worse. A small group of Bluebirds began to take an unhealthy interest in the dozen or so lads to their left (us). One hideous freak with a severely scarred face wandered over. "Not singing boys? We all sing in here, you're all a bit quiet today. You are all 'Care-diff ' I hope". My heart sank. Rumbled, and we knew they weren't going to go away now their suspicions were aroused.

The scout ambled back to the main group to report his findings. After a brief chin-wag amongst themselves, three or four more came over for an 'interview'. The "Head of Personnel" was none other than the fearsome one-man war machine we had seen in action near the station. I wanted to cry and explain that I had a note from my Mum that said on no account was I to have my head kicked in as I had a cold.

I guess that a rat, when cornered, will strike out and I found that I was surrounded by a few heavy-duty rodents. "You want a song do you?" piped up a ginger-haired Northerner. "Yooooh-niiiiii-ted" he bellowed in a slow ponderous scream like Hitler addressing the Nuremberg Rally.

That was the signal for all out attack. The dozen or so infiltrators charged upwards at the massed ranks of blue-scarved savages in a suicidal attack. Fists flew and a sea parted between the fans as the visitors gained some amazing ground. I cowered behind a mouth-foaming long-haired Red with the most enormous baggy trousers I have ever seen, confidant that they wouldn't see me behind the expanse of bottle green material. The very trousers that must have inspired Suggs' Madness hit some years later.

Suddenly the 'Red Sea' in front of me became just a pond, as the Cardiff boys realised the small numbers involved in the kamikaze charge. Then it dried up like a Midsummer's day in the Serengetti as the United boys were now charging back down the same stairs that they had scaled so heroically a few moments earlier.

I just wanted the concrete to open up and swallow me, yet most of the concrete in Ninian Park was of the airborne variety. It was now clear that we were in serious trouble and we seized the chance to make for a gap in the faltering fencing, weakened by numerous charges. We raced towards the safety of our fellow fans, who, to our horror, on seeing the onrushing mob charged into us, and a number of fists flew before our identity was established.

We were then welcomed like a band of soldiers returning from a daring mission behind enemy lines, which I guess it had been. I was by now feeling almost traumatised, as huge lumps of brick, concrete and wood were flying over from both sides, the Police were desparately trying to contain the two fearsome mobs who charged continually at the horror-stricken thin blue line and at several points it looked as though the fence would give way.

As a veteran of away trips at home and abroad throughout the 70's, 80's and to a lesser extent the 21st Century, I can honestly say I couldn't imagine the carnage that would have taken place had that wilting police line given way on that day.

Mercifully it held, and despite sickening chants of "Munich" and occasionally even "Aberfan" and about enough flying ballast to build a high-rise block, the body count was surprisingly low. People were being carried out from both side on stretchers, many with horrifying head wounds, struggling yobs were being plucked from both ranks by those Policemen plucky enough to try. Others were met with a volley of missiles and feet.

Every so often a small group of United fans would emerge in the home section and the same scenario would be played out - a suicidal charge followed by submersion beneath a frenzy of kicks, stamps and punches.

By now, I had retreated to the safety of a piece of grass next to the stinking cesspit of that passed for the "Gentleman's Toilets". Still numb with the day's events and relieved to know I definitely wasn't dead, I rested against a small wall. A small group of boys made their way past, having just come through the turnstiles. Latecomers, they've missed all the action, I thought. Suddenly I recognised one of the faces. Missed the action? They were the action!

That same horrible mush, that messed-up mug. It was our old friend the Welsh war-machine. He was now amongst us! Totally un-noticed he made his way to the top of the stairs. I wanted to scream, to yell pantomime style "he's behind you!" but to no avail.

Without even a glance to ensure his six mates were in tow, he just proceeded to steam into all and sundry, a whirling, devastating threshing machine that took about a dozen boys to suppress. Even then he seemed to be unscathed, just made his point and then made a sensible but dignified retreat. To this day I wonder who he was and just what kind of legend he was around Grangetown or the like.

The match was played out in a kind of surreal haze, and on the final whistle, both sides burst from the terraces into the street where ingenious Police plans ensured the two armies took separate routes home and were kept apart for all of two minutes.

Just as before, during the game, it had seemed that I had an awful knack of arriving just as major disorder was breaking out, so it was to be the pattern on the journey back to the station.

Sporadic bottles and missiles flew but no major incidents occurred until the station was in sight. Suddenly this was to be the major convergence of both main mobs, and hundreds of Cardiff and Manchester boys tore into each other. There was none of this poofy bouncing about of the modern 'offs' as they became known. No pushing the bloke in front of you into action in order to hide behind him. Just a demented, almost surreal, spontaneous orgy of physical butchery, where everybody seemed to know their role.

I have to say that I have rarely seen violent disorder on that scale in any walk of life since and I when I finally reached the safety of the London-bound train I mused to myself as to whether any mentally stable people did actually attend Football matches in 1974. It then occurred to me that amidst all the carnage, I didn't even know who won - the game had become completely immaterial. 1-0 to United, someone advised us - it seemed that most of those at the Station didn't know either as it transpired.

Manchester United fans continued their status as a fearsome football gang, but whereas so few modern 'hoolie' books ever actually tell the truth where opponent's successes are concerned, they had certainly met their match that day.

The sheer frenzied hatred of the Cardiff City fans as they came head to head with England's largest hooligan gang on that day was something to tell my grandchildren (if I ever have any) about.

In subsequent years the two clubs fortunes varied drastically, Cardiff were destined for a lifetime in the lower leagues, United eventually found domestic and European glory, but they were both top of the league on that August day.

The clubs' fans have had a varied history since. Cardiff evolved (maybe from that
encounter) into one of the most notorious hooligan gangs, a stigma or accolade (depending on your viewpoint) that they hold to this day. United meanwhile have sadly been all but swallowed up by Corporate greed, their fans so often, and highly unfairly pilloried as prawn-munching replica shirt wearers from Singapore, (thanks to the incessant and somewhat successful PR campaign over the last 10 years chiefly from Manchester City's propaganda machine) yet even in those glory-less years, their nationwide support was unrivalled, highlighted on that day by a train full of 500 beer-swilling psychopaths heading back to Paddington.

So when newcomers to the game think that out-of-town Reds are a modern phenomenon created by success, I would laugh in their faces and know at an instant that they themselves are actually the very new-wave fans that they profess to despise. Whereas any clued-up match-going rivals who have been around longer than just the day after "Three Lions" made the charts will know the score.

Post Euro 96 nouveau fans brought up on a diet of Fantasy Football, 606 phone-ins, Helen Chamberlain, Baddiel and Skinner wouldn't recognise the Manchester United of 1974, yet if one wanders around Salford, or the City Centre on matchday, especially when the likes of Leeds, Liverpool or Chelsea are due then anyone expecting to glimpse the stereotypical image of a United fan would be highly mistaken. Similarly United away games are beginning to see a return to the 'active' followings of yesteryear, unrecognisable from the image portrayed by the type of United fan we all know, the office gimp who has 15 replica shirts but has never been to Old Trafford.

Cardiff fans continue to wreak havoc around the country, and unlike United have never had an alternative image to have to shake off. Cardiff still know how to offer visiting fans that unique "welcome in the hillside" but I doubt that anything would ever come close to that day in 1974. I doubt if anything could!

Awful days, etched on my mind with a kind of fondness usually only reserved for cold school showers, or a kiss from an ugly Aunt - yet strangely wonderful times, at the time it was an experience to chill the bones, yet I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

When I finally returned home, unscathed, well at least physically, my Mum asked me if I had had a nice time in Wales. (Imagining her little boy splashing around in the sea or acting the buffoon in the sand.) I said it had been 'an interesting day'. "Did you bring back any rock?" she asked. I thought back to the flying concrete at Ninian Park a few hours earlier. "No, sorry" I replied, "There's was plenty around but nothing I liked the look of." "Never mind" said Mum, "as long as you've enjoyed yourself" she said. I had been chased, spat at, terrified, traumatised, seen men knocked unconscious and kicked senseless - yet she was right... I had!

From that day on, like many Cardiff fans too, I'm sure, I was hooked, and followed United all over from that day on for over a quarter of a century. It's a funny kind of logic, but in a way, although I reviled those 70's days of lawlessness and abject violence and terror, and although it's best that they are consigned to history, I can't tell you how very glad I was that I was there. With fond memories to both Reds and Bluebirds.
 

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Anyone remember that fella copying the Lino one game over the Bob bank think it was a midweek, everyone was just watching him :hehe:
 

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Another, similar article about the time United came down... The last time United played Cardiff away, 39 years ago... — Stretty News - https://strettynews.com/2013/11/24/the-last-time-united-played-cardiff-away-39-years-ago/

The last time United played Cardiff away, 39 years ago…​

HISTORY
Posted 7 years ago by Pete Molyneux
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Cardiff-away-74-5.jpg

Only once in my time following United have I experienced relegation. The final blow is a killer but the season-long build up is worse. It’s death by a thousand cuts. By August 1974 those wounds were healing, Manchester United’s inherent defiance and swagger was returning as Tommy Docherty’s young and talented team shaped up to take the English Second Division by storm. Bolstered by the purchase of striker Stuart Pearson from Hull, Doc’s brave-hearts had an undefeated pre-season then comfortably won the first three games of the new campaign. For the first time in two and a half years Manchester United were regularly winning football matches again.
The team’s fall from grace had not dented the dedication on the terraces. Quite the opposite. United have inspired a fanatical following for over a century but in the mid ‘70s it reached its zenith. Loyal supporters rallied round a struggling team in the tens of thousands. Weekly taunts from City, Leeds and Liverpool fans only made us more determined to stand by the team we loved. Doc’s Red Army grew and so did its reputation. Football hooliganism in the UK came of age in 1974 often with United at the forefront. Manchester derbies in March and April had culminated in riots and nine foot high fences being erected at Old Trafford. Rangers came to wage war in a friendly match and United’s trip to Ostend resulted in dozens of fans being deported. United away days in that Second division season consisted of 6-10,000 Reds following their team. For some games it was nearer 15,000. Our supporters would descend on the rival town or city and take it over. Trains, coaches, cars from all over Britain would arrive throughout matchday. Rival fans were overawed. There would be exceptions, some rival supporters decided to stand in the way of this Red tide. Cardiff City on a bright, sunny August day in 1974 were the first.
Cardiff away 74 9
I’ve still got my £1.50 ticket from the match, I can’t remember terrace tickets being sold for league games in those days only reserved seats. It was first come first served in the standing areas, perhaps Cardiff issued the tickets as you went through the turnstiles. I travelled down with Geoff Milloy and Dave Kirk from Salford on the Football Special. It was officially called the Supporters Travel Club and run by Dave Smith. The return journey was £2.50. Smithy had persuaded the United and British Rail to let his people organise their own fans’ travel following years of persistent trouble on the trains. For a while it worked and the journey to Cardiff was the usual fayre of sleeping-off hangovers, card games, shove ‘alfpenny football and avoiding the ticket inspectors if you hadn’t paid. We didn’t know much about Cardiff’s team or their supporters in those days. We knew it was a tough city but they’d been out of the top flight since 1962 and survived on attendances around 15,000. No match for the Red Army and it seemed as 600 pairs of Doc Martens hit the platform at Cardiff station. The walk to the ground was pretty unremarkable too, United fans announcing their arrival with the customary songs, accompanied by a police escort and a few canine friends to help keep order. Nearer Ninian Park a few skirmishes broke out and Reds we met up with told horrific tales of being chased through housing estates by baying mobs as soon as they got out of their cars or vans. More stories went round that the Cockney Reds coming in from London by train had suffered similar attacks. We went straight in the ground, United had one side along the pitch, right next to it was their ‘End’ The Grange.

If ever they're playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.
If ever they’re playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.
Only a thin wire fence separated the two parts of the ground. The police tried to establish a ‘no man’s land’ between the two sets of supporters. That had varying success throughout the afternoon. In the run up to kick-off the atmosphere was one of war, supporters fought hard with the police to get at their rivals. A few Reds had gone in the Cardiff end, not an unusual practice at United games in the ‘60s and early ‘70s but this time it was badly judged. The Cardiff lads were up for it and after a brief outbreak of fighting the visitors were fortunate to find a way through the fence and the police to the safety of our terraces. In those days the argy bargy on the terraces used to calm down once the match started only to erupt again when a goal was scored or a controversial incident occurred. Not this afternoon. It was one of those strange games where most people in the ground spent half the time watching the warring factions on the terraces. No reflection on the game itself, simply the intensity of the action in that small corner of Ninian Park. Few Reds who went remember details of the play, not because of debilitating old age but because of the distraction around them. There are few archive pictures of the action on the pitch but several of the fans and the police. The attendance was 22,344, swelled by up to 8,000 Reds. Cardiff’s small lunatic fringe had mustered their troops from the suburbs, the hills and the valleys to try and give Doc’s Red Army a bloody nose. Our notorious reputation put the fear of God into many rival gangs but Cardiff weren’t buying that. This was Wales v England, glamour hooligans v frustrated plain Jane thugs. Incessant insults, crude gestures, pieces of bricks, rock and wooden staves were exchanged across no man’s land, no holds were barred. Each side trying to outdo the other. Chants of ‘Munich 58’ we rare from opposing fans and still had a shock factor. Half way through the first half, Cardiff sang it. United supporters came back with chants of ‘Aberfan’, a reference to a disaster in October 1966 where coal slurry engulfed a school killing 116 children and 28 adults. Terrace culture reached a new low that afternoon in Cardiff. The chant turned the already spiteful atmosphere toxic.

Cardiff away 74 7
United lined-up with the bulk of the team that went to the top of the league before August was out and stayed there until May:
Stepney; Forsyth, Holton, Buchan, Houston; Morgan, Greenhoff, Martin, Daly; McIlroy, Pearson.
The hallmark of this fine Docherty team was its strength going forward and his strikers had had two clear goalscoring attempts before Pearson was floored in the 4th minute and Gerry Daly stepped up to convert the penalty. Cardiff’s defence was being run ragged and the game would have been over but for a 20th minute thigh strain picked up by Stuart Pearson. He went off to rapturous applause from travelling Reds, substitute Tony Young took a midfield role whilst Brian Greenhoff moved up front to partner Super Sam. The change disrupted United’s rhythm and lifted the home team’s spirit. It took the Reds until just before half time to re-establish superiority which continued throughout the second half. McIlroy led the line well creating chances for himself and Daly. United’s attacking strength went right through this team, Alex Forsyth and Stewart Houston were always a threat in the opposition’s half. Only a brilliant finger-tip save prevented a powering Houston header doubling our lead. To be fair, Cardiff were a poor side made-up of several players coming to the end of decent careers. They would be bottom of the league by tea-time and relegated to the third tier in the spring. United’s defence soaked up Cardiff’s late pressure with Martin Buchan and Jim Holton providing the perfect centre-back foil of silk and steel. The 1-0 win kept United top with a 100% record, one point ahead of Fulham and Norwich. The chants of ‘United are back’ were sung with increasing conviction as they would be throughout that winter.

Life was good if you were a Red but first we had to get back to the train station. The events of the afternoon meant every Red was on their guard now. Pre-match arrogance had given way to self-preservation. The battle scenes immediately outside the ground, as thousands of fans poured off the terraces full of bile that had built up through the day, were the worst I’ve seen. It was absolute mayhem, a human cocktail of hate with police woefully trying to keep order. It was every man for himself, then suddenly the fighting stopped, a gap appeared in the middle of the pack. I saw a lad laying on the floor, he had been stabbed. Three or four policemen ran in to help. In that second I decided it was best to get out of there and I headed for the station. Behind me the commotion had halted for a few moments, within seconds it had kicked-off again. I made the train and the three hour journey home was filled with tales of the afternoon’s events off the field. That night’s Football Pink carried reports of running battle through Cardiff city centre. The front and back pages of the Sunday papers showed graphic pictures of the carnage. Cardiff 1974 would live long in the memory for its violence rather than United’s great early form in the battle to return to the First Division.
Cardiff away 74 8
 

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Another, similar article about the time United came down... The last time United played Cardiff away, 39 years ago... — Stretty News - https://strettynews.com/2013/11/24/the-last-time-united-played-cardiff-away-39-years-ago/

The last time United played Cardiff away, 39 years ago…​

HISTORY
Posted 7 years ago by Pete Molyneux
Follow @@petemolyneux
FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailMore14
Cardiff-away-74-5.jpg

Only once in my time following United have I experienced relegation. The final blow is a killer but the season-long build up is worse. It’s death by a thousand cuts. By August 1974 those wounds were healing, Manchester United’s inherent defiance and swagger was returning as Tommy Docherty’s young and talented team shaped up to take the English Second Division by storm. Bolstered by the purchase of striker Stuart Pearson from Hull, Doc’s brave-hearts had an undefeated pre-season then comfortably won the first three games of the new campaign. For the first time in two and a half years Manchester United were regularly winning football matches again.
The team’s fall from grace had not dented the dedication on the terraces. Quite the opposite. United have inspired a fanatical following for over a century but in the mid ‘70s it reached its zenith. Loyal supporters rallied round a struggling team in the tens of thousands. Weekly taunts from City, Leeds and Liverpool fans only made us more determined to stand by the team we loved. Doc’s Red Army grew and so did its reputation. Football hooliganism in the UK came of age in 1974 often with United at the forefront. Manchester derbies in March and April had culminated in riots and nine foot high fences being erected at Old Trafford. Rangers came to wage war in a friendly match and United’s trip to Ostend resulted in dozens of fans being deported. United away days in that Second division season consisted of 6-10,000 Reds following their team. For some games it was nearer 15,000. Our supporters would descend on the rival town or city and take it over. Trains, coaches, cars from all over Britain would arrive throughout matchday. Rival fans were overawed. There would be exceptions, some rival supporters decided to stand in the way of this Red tide. Cardiff City on a bright, sunny August day in 1974 were the first.
Cardiff away 74 9
I’ve still got my £1.50 ticket from the match, I can’t remember terrace tickets being sold for league games in those days only reserved seats. It was first come first served in the standing areas, perhaps Cardiff issued the tickets as you went through the turnstiles. I travelled down with Geoff Milloy and Dave Kirk from Salford on the Football Special. It was officially called the Supporters Travel Club and run by Dave Smith. The return journey was £2.50. Smithy had persuaded the United and British Rail to let his people organise their own fans’ travel following years of persistent trouble on the trains. For a while it worked and the journey to Cardiff was the usual fayre of sleeping-off hangovers, card games, shove ‘alfpenny football and avoiding the ticket inspectors if you hadn’t paid. We didn’t know much about Cardiff’s team or their supporters in those days. We knew it was a tough city but they’d been out of the top flight since 1962 and survived on attendances around 15,000. No match for the Red Army and it seemed as 600 pairs of Doc Martens hit the platform at Cardiff station. The walk to the ground was pretty unremarkable too, United fans announcing their arrival with the customary songs, accompanied by a police escort and a few canine friends to help keep order. Nearer Ninian Park a few skirmishes broke out and Reds we met up with told horrific tales of being chased through housing estates by baying mobs as soon as they got out of their cars or vans. More stories went round that the Cockney Reds coming in from London by train had suffered similar attacks. We went straight in the ground, United had one side along the pitch, right next to it was their ‘End’ The Grange.

If ever they're playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.'re playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.
If ever they’re playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.
Only a thin wire fence separated the two parts of the ground. The police tried to establish a ‘no man’s land’ between the two sets of supporters. That had varying success throughout the afternoon. In the run up to kick-off the atmosphere was one of war, supporters fought hard with the police to get at their rivals. A few Reds had gone in the Cardiff end, not an unusual practice at United games in the ‘60s and early ‘70s but this time it was badly judged. The Cardiff lads were up for it and after a brief outbreak of fighting the visitors were fortunate to find a way through the fence and the police to the safety of our terraces. In those days the argy bargy on the terraces used to calm down once the match started only to erupt again when a goal was scored or a controversial incident occurred. Not this afternoon. It was one of those strange games where most people in the ground spent half the time watching the warring factions on the terraces. No reflection on the game itself, simply the intensity of the action in that small corner of Ninian Park. Few Reds who went remember details of the play, not because of debilitating old age but because of the distraction around them. There are few archive pictures of the action on the pitch but several of the fans and the police. The attendance was 22,344, swelled by up to 8,000 Reds. Cardiff’s small lunatic fringe had mustered their troops from the suburbs, the hills and the valleys to try and give Doc’s Red Army a bloody nose. Our notorious reputation put the fear of God into many rival gangs but Cardiff weren’t buying that. This was Wales v England, glamour hooligans v frustrated plain Jane thugs. Incessant insults, crude gestures, pieces of bricks, rock and wooden staves were exchanged across no man’s land, no holds were barred. Each side trying to outdo the other. Chants of ‘Munich 58’ we rare from opposing fans and still had a shock factor. Half way through the first half, Cardiff sang it. United supporters came back with chants of ‘Aberfan’, a reference to a disaster in October 1966 where coal slurry engulfed a school killing 116 children and 28 adults. Terrace culture reached a new low that afternoon in Cardiff. The chant turned the already spiteful atmosphere toxic.

Cardiff away 74 7
United lined-up with the bulk of the team that went to the top of the league before August was out and stayed there until May:
Stepney; Forsyth, Holton, Buchan, Houston; Morgan, Greenhoff, Martin, Daly; McIlroy, Pearson.
The hallmark of this fine Docherty team was its strength going forward and his strikers had had two clear goalscoring attempts before Pearson was floored in the 4th minute and Gerry Daly stepped up to convert the penalty. Cardiff’s defence was being run ragged and the game would have been over but for a 20th minute thigh strain picked up by Stuart Pearson. He went off to rapturous applause from travelling Reds, substitute Tony Young took a midfield role whilst Brian Greenhoff moved up front to partner Super Sam. The change disrupted United’s rhythm and lifted the home team’s spirit. It took the Reds until just before half time to re-establish superiority which continued throughout the second half. McIlroy led the line well creating chances for himself and Daly. United’s attacking strength went right through this team, Alex Forsyth and Stewart Houston were always a threat in the opposition’s half. Only a brilliant finger-tip save prevented a powering Houston header doubling our lead. To be fair, Cardiff were a poor side made-up of several players coming to the end of decent careers. They would be bottom of the league by tea-time and relegated to the third tier in the spring. United’s defence soaked up Cardiff’s late pressure with Martin Buchan and Jim Holton providing the perfect centre-back foil of silk and steel. The 1-0 win kept United top with a 100% record, one point ahead of Fulham and Norwich. The chants of ‘United are back’ were sung with increasing conviction as they would be throughout that winter.

Life was good if you were a Red but first we had to get back to the train station. The events of the afternoon meant every Red was on their guard now. Pre-match arrogance had given way to self-preservation. The battle scenes immediately outside the ground, as thousands of fans poured off the terraces full of bile that had built up through the day, were the worst I’ve seen. It was absolute mayhem, a human cocktail of hate with police woefully trying to keep order. It was every man for himself, then suddenly the fighting stopped, a gap appeared in the middle of the pack. I saw a lad laying on the floor, he had been stabbed. Three or four policemen ran in to help. In that second I decided it was best to get out of there and I headed for the station. Behind me the commotion had halted for a few moments, within seconds it had kicked-off again. I made the train and the three hour journey home was filled with tales of the afternoon’s events off the field. That night’s Football Pink carried reports of running battle through Cardiff city centre. The front and back pages of the Sunday papers showed graphic pictures of the carnage. Cardiff 1974 would live long in the memory for its violence rather than United’s great early form in the battle to return to the First Division.
Cardiff away 74 8
the caerfilfthy mob as they are today
 

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Another, similar article about the time United came down... The last time United played Cardiff away, 39 years ago... — Stretty News - https://strettynews.com/2013/11/24/the-last-time-united-played-cardiff-away-39-years-ago/

The last time United played Cardiff away, 39 years ago…​

HISTORY
Posted 7 years ago by Pete Molyneux
Follow @@petemolyneux
FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailMore14
Cardiff-away-74-5.jpg

Only once in my time following United have I experienced relegation. The final blow is a killer but the season-long build up is worse. It’s death by a thousand cuts. By August 1974 those wounds were healing, Manchester United’s inherent defiance and swagger was returning as Tommy Docherty’s young and talented team shaped up to take the English Second Division by storm. Bolstered by the purchase of striker Stuart Pearson from Hull, Doc’s brave-hearts had an undefeated pre-season then comfortably won the first three games of the new campaign. For the first time in two and a half years Manchester United were regularly winning football matches again.
The team’s fall from grace had not dented the dedication on the terraces. Quite the opposite. United have inspired a fanatical following for over a century but in the mid ‘70s it reached its zenith. Loyal supporters rallied round a struggling team in the tens of thousands. Weekly taunts from City, Leeds and Liverpool fans only made us more determined to stand by the team we loved. Doc’s Red Army grew and so did its reputation. Football hooliganism in the UK came of age in 1974 often with United at the forefront. Manchester derbies in March and April had culminated in riots and nine foot high fences being erected at Old Trafford. Rangers came to wage war in a friendly match and United’s trip to Ostend resulted in dozens of fans being deported. United away days in that Second division season consisted of 6-10,000 Reds following their team. For some games it was nearer 15,000. Our supporters would descend on the rival town or city and take it over. Trains, coaches, cars from all over Britain would arrive throughout matchday. Rival fans were overawed. There would be exceptions, some rival supporters decided to stand in the way of this Red tide. Cardiff City on a bright, sunny August day in 1974 were the first.
Cardiff away 74 9
I’ve still got my £1.50 ticket from the match, I can’t remember terrace tickets being sold for league games in those days only reserved seats. It was first come first served in the standing areas, perhaps Cardiff issued the tickets as you went through the turnstiles. I travelled down with Geoff Milloy and Dave Kirk from Salford on the Football Special. It was officially called the Supporters Travel Club and run by Dave Smith. The return journey was £2.50. Smithy had persuaded the United and British Rail to let his people organise their own fans’ travel following years of persistent trouble on the trains. For a while it worked and the journey to Cardiff was the usual fayre of sleeping-off hangovers, card games, shove ‘alfpenny football and avoiding the ticket inspectors if you hadn’t paid. We didn’t know much about Cardiff’s team or their supporters in those days. We knew it was a tough city but they’d been out of the top flight since 1962 and survived on attendances around 15,000. No match for the Red Army and it seemed as 600 pairs of Doc Martens hit the platform at Cardiff station. The walk to the ground was pretty unremarkable too, United fans announcing their arrival with the customary songs, accompanied by a police escort and a few canine friends to help keep order. Nearer Ninian Park a few skirmishes broke out and Reds we met up with told horrific tales of being chased through housing estates by baying mobs as soon as they got out of their cars or vans. More stories went round that the Cockney Reds coming in from London by train had suffered similar attacks. We went straight in the ground, United had one side along the pitch, right next to it was their ‘End’ The Grange.

If ever they're playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.'re playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.
If ever they’re playing in your town, get yourself to that football ground.
Only a thin wire fence separated the two parts of the ground. The police tried to establish a ‘no man’s land’ between the two sets of supporters. That had varying success throughout the afternoon. In the run up to kick-off the atmosphere was one of war, supporters fought hard with the police to get at their rivals. A few Reds had gone in the Cardiff end, not an unusual practice at United games in the ‘60s and early ‘70s but this time it was badly judged. The Cardiff lads were up for it and after a brief outbreak of fighting the visitors were fortunate to find a way through the fence and the police to the safety of our terraces. In those days the argy bargy on the terraces used to calm down once the match started only to erupt again when a goal was scored or a controversial incident occurred. Not this afternoon. It was one of those strange games where most people in the ground spent half the time watching the warring factions on the terraces. No reflection on the game itself, simply the intensity of the action in that small corner of Ninian Park. Few Reds who went remember details of the play, not because of debilitating old age but because of the distraction around them. There are few archive pictures of the action on the pitch but several of the fans and the police. The attendance was 22,344, swelled by up to 8,000 Reds. Cardiff’s small lunatic fringe had mustered their troops from the suburbs, the hills and the valleys to try and give Doc’s Red Army a bloody nose. Our notorious reputation put the fear of God into many rival gangs but Cardiff weren’t buying that. This was Wales v England, glamour hooligans v frustrated plain Jane thugs. Incessant insults, crude gestures, pieces of bricks, rock and wooden staves were exchanged across no man’s land, no holds were barred. Each side trying to outdo the other. Chants of ‘Munich 58’ we rare from opposing fans and still had a shock factor. Half way through the first half, Cardiff sang it. United supporters came back with chants of ‘Aberfan’, a reference to a disaster in October 1966 where coal slurry engulfed a school killing 116 children and 28 adults. Terrace culture reached a new low that afternoon in Cardiff. The chant turned the already spiteful atmosphere toxic.

Cardiff away 74 7
United lined-up with the bulk of the team that went to the top of the league before August was out and stayed there until May:
Stepney; Forsyth, Holton, Buchan, Houston; Morgan, Greenhoff, Martin, Daly; McIlroy, Pearson.
The hallmark of this fine Docherty team was its strength going forward and his strikers had had two clear goalscoring attempts before Pearson was floored in the 4th minute and Gerry Daly stepped up to convert the penalty. Cardiff’s defence was being run ragged and the game would have been over but for a 20th minute thigh strain picked up by Stuart Pearson. He went off to rapturous applause from travelling Reds, substitute Tony Young took a midfield role whilst Brian Greenhoff moved up front to partner Super Sam. The change disrupted United’s rhythm and lifted the home team’s spirit. It took the Reds until just before half time to re-establish superiority which continued throughout the second half. McIlroy led the line well creating chances for himself and Daly. United’s attacking strength went right through this team, Alex Forsyth and Stewart Houston were always a threat in the opposition’s half. Only a brilliant finger-tip save prevented a powering Houston header doubling our lead. To be fair, Cardiff were a poor side made-up of several players coming to the end of decent careers. They would be bottom of the league by tea-time and relegated to the third tier in the spring. United’s defence soaked up Cardiff’s late pressure with Martin Buchan and Jim Holton providing the perfect centre-back foil of silk and steel. The 1-0 win kept United top with a 100% record, one point ahead of Fulham and Norwich. The chants of ‘United are back’ were sung with increasing conviction as they would be throughout that winter.

Life was good if you were a Red but first we had to get back to the train station. The events of the afternoon meant every Red was on their guard now. Pre-match arrogance had given way to self-preservation. The battle scenes immediately outside the ground, as thousands of fans poured off the terraces full of bile that had built up through the day, were the worst I’ve seen. It was absolute mayhem, a human cocktail of hate with police woefully trying to keep order. It was every man for himself, then suddenly the fighting stopped, a gap appeared in the middle of the pack. I saw a lad laying on the floor, he had been stabbed. Three or four policemen ran in to help. In that second I decided it was best to get out of there and I headed for the station. Behind me the commotion had halted for a few moments, within seconds it had kicked-off again. I made the train and the three hour journey home was filled with tales of the afternoon’s events off the field. That night’s Football Pink carried reports of running battle through Cardiff city centre. The front and back pages of the Sunday papers showed graphic pictures of the carnage. Cardiff 1974 would live long in the memory for its violence rather than United’s great early form in the battle to return to the First Division.
Cardiff away 74 8
good read that @Blue Job :thumbup:
 
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