April 30th


Forum Admin
Staff member
Dec 7, 2019
Cheltenham Town
In 1803, the United States more than doubled in size by making the Louisiana purchase from France for $15 million, which equates to a sixteenth of the price of Neymar.

Even if you have not seen a player worth as much as Louisiana, let us know who you saw here

Stoodley Pike

Youth Team Star
Dec 9, 2019
Saturday 30th April 1995
Middlesbrough 2 Luton Town 1 (HT 1-0)
Football League, Division One (2.55)
Attendance 23,903 (all-ticket)
Programme £3 (60pp)

For five years, 1992-97, Middlesbrough Football Club were part of my daily working life, on Teesside’s newspaper, the Evening Gazette. As first a down table sub with responsibility for sport then, during the last three of those years, chief sports sub, I must have checked, chopped, rewritten and headlined - and designed pages containing - hundreds of Boro stories.

Unlike the town’s speedway team, Middlesbrough Bears, whom I first watched as a paying spectator then reported on for three seasons (1994-96), I never developed any affection for their football counterparts. Looking through my programmes from the period, I’m a little surprised how few games - no more than 10 - I watched at Ayresome Park. I probably paid for half. The Gazette was provided with two press passes for every Boro home game. Very occasionally, one went unclaimed, usually for a midweek evening fixture. If nobody wanted it, I’d take up Boro reporter Eric Paylor’s kind offer of a freebie. Sitting in a press box for two hours, surrounded by journalists working hard while doing nothing oneself, isn’t my idea of fun, so I’d wait until kick-off then find nearby an empty seat alongside the paying customers.

Metres of copy were being written and processed about Boro’s impending departure from Ayresome and progress on construction of its replacement, the £16m Riverside Stadium. I suspect, by April 1995, I was heartily bored with it all. Certainly, I didn’t have any intention of attending this all-ticket fixture, a 24,000 sell-out, against Luton Town, the last competitive match at Ayresome. Maybe I felt such an occasion was best left to proper supporters. Indeed, that Saturday, I was working until half-one. Not sure how I’d managed to escape a shift on the Sports, the paper’s evening pink, because most Saturday afternoons that was my lot. In 1995, the Gazette had three pinks (the editor, a dour Scot from Aberdeen, regarded sport as a major sales vehicle): a morning preview; a ‘stuffer’ in the main paper; and the standard post-match, on-the-streets-at-a-quarter-to-six production.

I’m a little hazy on what happened next. As I remember, the deputy chief sub entered the editorial floor of the paper’s Borough Road offices (these days, the Gazette is based on some God forsaken industrial estate) and strode towards our desk. In one hand, she had a slip of paper. As she neared us, she raised the paper and shouted: “I’ve got a spare ticket for this afternoon’s game - anybody want it?” Without thinking for so much as a split-second, I stuck up a hand. Eight quid later, it was in my possession. The ticket was marked North East Corner (standing); a part of Ayresome I hadn’t watched from before. In five minutes, the clocked had ticked round to half-one and it was time for me to get on with the remnants of my weekend. From Borough Road, the walk to the ground, bathed in sunshine, took about 10 minutes.

I was in position on the terrace just in time to catch a parade on the pitch of Boro legends from the previous 60 years. They included Malcolm Allison, David Armstrong, Billy Ashcroft, Stuart Boam, George Hardwick, Arthur Horsfield, Gordon Jones, Willie Maddren, Wilf Mannion (on the programme cover), David Mills, Heine Otto, Jim Platt, Bernie Slaven, Rolando Ugolini and Ray Yeoman.

Adding spice to the occasion was Boro’s need for a win, in this second-last game of the regular season, as they chased promotion to the Premier League. In his programme notes, player-manager Bryan ‘Robbo’ Robson’s ‘ghost’ wrote: “Play from the heart. That’s what I’ll be telling my players to do today in a match that demands composure and passion. Everyone knows how important this game is and the lads are looking forward to the challenge. We have got to want to win the game badly enough but we must also play with composure because that is what can cut teams up.”

The programme contained a Fans Cherish Ayresome Memories piece. Contributors would miss the “traditional walk from my local pub”, “standing in my usual spot in the Holgate corner” and “my secret car parking space near Ayresome”. Another feature advised six feet square pieces of Ayresome’s turf could be bought for “just £50”. I recall Teesside comic Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown getting in trouble with Boro after they’d given him permission to film at Ayresome for a video he was putting together about his hometown. The only Boro-related bit to make the cut revealed ‘Chubby’ looking across the ground, saying something like: “My dad said the pitch was so good because of all the shit that went on it over the years.” Mike McGeary, a Gazette colleague, in his Ayresome Antidote programme column, reflected on his personal “curse of Ayresome”. Two pages, near the back, were devoted to a photo spread of the new stadium being built at Middlehaven Dock.


Boro: Alan Miller, Neil Cox, Derek Whyte, Steve Vickers, Nigel Pearson, Clayton Blackmore, Bryan Robson, Jamie Pollock, Jan-Aage Fjortoft, John Hendrie, Alan Moore. Subs (none used): Uwe Fuchs, Jaime Moreno, Stephen Pears.

Hatters: Kelvin Davis, Des Linton, Marvin Johnson, Gary Waddock, Richard Harvey, Trevor Peake, Paul Telfer, Scott Oakes (Tony Thorpe, 80), John Taylor, David Preece, Dwight Marshall. Subs (unused): Mitchell Thomas, Martyn Margetson.

Two goals from Scot John Hendrie secured victory, to leave Boro five points clear at the top and one from guaranteeing promotion. According to Eric’s Gazette match report, an excellent aide-memoire, the hosts “spurned more clear-cut openings than they have created in the last half a dozen games”. Eric wrote of an “unprecedented and almost oppressive air of expectation”. Neil Cox saw a 35th-minute penalty (awarded for a mysterious handball) saved by Kelvin Davis, who denied Boro three times in one-on-ones. Hendrie struck in the 45th and 72nd minutes. His first goal, out of nothing, on the stroke of half-time, was a shot deflected over Davis; his second a calm sidefoot, off a Derek Whyte pass, from just outside the six-yard box. An unmarked John Taylor, who headed in a Paul Telfer free kick, had threatened to spoil the party by bringing David Pleat’s Luton level in the 63rd minute.

Who, I wonder, were the seven with tickets yet didn’t turn up?

In the event, Boro were promoted as champions, three points clear of Reading, who missed out in the play-offs. A good end to Robson’s first season at the helm. Word was, mind, Robson’s assistant, Viv Anderson, did most of the work with the players. Bolton Wanderers, who had finished third, joined Boro in the big time after beating Reading 4-3 in the play-off final.

There was one last hurrah for Ayresome Park: 20,000 turned up to watch goalkeeper Stephen Pears’s testimonial match. After that, Boro hired out the pitch, at a couple of hundred quid a time, to all and sundry. The club certainly milked every last drop from their spiritual home. Houses now covers the site. Street names, such as Camsell Court, Clough Close, Maddren Way, The Holgate (Boro’s kop), The Midfield and The Turnstile, commemorate its former use.

Once the 30,000-seat Riverside Stadium opened, it became almost impossible to get a ticket. Suddenly, the sports desk’s ‘spare’ press pass was in high demand. Before leaving Teesside, in January 1997, I managed to ‘tick’ the Riverside, albeit for a ‘nothing’ midweek League Cup tie against Crystal Palace.

Other football worth a mention:

Lincoln City 1 Halifax Town 1 (2001, Football League, Division Three). Craig Middleton netted in the fourth minute of stoppage time to gain a point and ensure Halifax’s fight to secure Football League status extended to the last two games of the season. Middleton’s goal, his third in four matches, prompted a mini pitch invasion by a section of the 500-plus visiting fans. Ben Sedgemore (9) had put the Imps ahead. 3,701 in attendance for this rearranged evening fixture at a rebuilt Sincil Bank. I had to race back up the A15 (no speed cameras on it in 2001, thankfully) and the M180 for a night shift starting at eleven. I was a few minutes late, despite positioning myself by the main stand exit to ensure a quick getaway. Had a very good, side-on view of Middleton’s equaliser, driven through a forest of legs! In their penultimate game, Halifax drew at home to runaway champions Brighton & Hove Albion thereby ensuring survival. Barnet, in the end two points adrift at the bottom, returned to non-league football. Lincoln City finished 18th.

Halifax Town 3 Macclesfield Town 3 (1997, The Football Conference). What a game! Halifax, battling relegation and almost certain closure, hit back from 0-2 (Chris Byrne 3, Neil Sorvel 21) and 1-3 (Jamie Murphy 45, Peter Davenport 79) down with two goals in the last nine minutes to deny, if only temporarily, Macclesfield the win they needed to clinch the title and a Football League place. Geoff Horsfield (81) and former Silkman Kevin Hulme (85) were the home heroes. In the last minute, Town’s Gary Brook headed against a post. A 2,191 crowd featured about a thousand travelling fans. Halifax won their last game, 4-2 against Stevenage Borough, also at The Shay, to secure survival. Macclesfield bounced back from this blip to go up as champions, five points clear of Kidderminster Harriers. Bath City, Bromsgrove Rovers and Altrincham were the relegated trio.


York City 0 Chesterfield 1 (1996, Football League, Division Two). No idea what I was doing at Bootham Crescent. Thirteen years later, I’d relocate to York. I watch them at home at least once a season. Most games I’ve seen at BC seem to finish either 1-0 or 0-1 (or, worse, 0-0). This was a warm-up for what lay ahead. Recalled striker Gary Lund netted, off the inside of a post, following a 70th-minute Jamie Hewitt corner, as Chesterfield won for the first time in eight games to boost their chances of finishing in a play-off position. Glenn Naylor, John Sharples and Gary Bull went close as York piled on pressure in the closing stages. 2,839 spectators braved heavy rain.

Other sports:

Buxton Hitmen 43 St Austell Gulls 47 (2000, speedway, Conference League Cup). During the 1995-2018 lifetime of the Buxton club, I must’ve driven up to High Edge (initially, to the stock car stadium then to the purpose-built speedway track) at least 20 times. Given the exposed, scenic location of the two circuits, I went only when the forecast promised wall-to-wall sunshine. From wherever I was living, the drive took in Longdendale, Glossop, Chinley and central Buxton. On a good day, a real treat.

For this meeting, injuries to Mark Blackwell and James Mann forced Buxton to track a depleted side. Hitmen turned to the rider replacement facility. Buxton, operated throughout by the Moss family, were more concerned with developing talent than winning matches. I’m not sure Hitmen had any support from locals. The crowd always seemed to comprise followers of Belle Vue, Sheffield and Stoke, along with a handful from West Yorkshire and the Nottingham area. St Austell, another sadly defunct club, took control after heat nine, which featured a three-rider pile-up. Wayne Barrett (16 from six) led Gulls’ scoring, with reserves Jason Prynne (14+2 from six) and Martin Williams (10 from seven) swinging the match the Cornishmen’s way. Dean Felton (15+1 from seven), Paul Burnett (13+1 from seven) and Neil Painter (10+2 from seven) enabled Buxton to force a last heat decider, won 4-2 by St Austell.

Newcastle Diamonds 78 Rye House Rockets 29 (1993, speedway, British League, Division Two, Series ‘A’). For the 1993 season, British speedway opted for 18-heat matches and eight-rider teams. The extra points, covered by the same attendances, must have cost promoters a fortune! One-sided meetings, such as this, dragged interminably. It was – probably still is – the highest points total in Newcastle’s history. Three Diamonds, Paul Thorp, Mark Thorpe and Garry Stead, were paid for the lot. Reserve Darren Spicer (8+2) led the scoring for a Rye team operating rider replacement for the injured Jan Pedersen, whose fellow Dane, Jens Rasmussen, fell in the second heat then took no further part in the meeting. Having lost 51-57 at Hoddesdon, Newcastle collected the aggregate bonus point.

Halifax 12 Wigan 32 @ Wembley Stadium (1988, rugby league, Challenge Cup, Final). Watched this from the press box because West Cumbria U11s had played in the schoolboy curtain-raiser. At the time, I was working for Cumbrian Newspapers. Very one-sided final, watched by 94,273. Wigan, en route to the first of eight consecutive Challenge Cup triumphs, led 26-0 until the 53rd minute. Riversiders scrum-half Andy Gregory won the Lance Todd Trophy. Seven tries to two in Wigan's favour. Very disappointing for those, like me, of a Halifax persuasion. Memorable, nonetheless, for the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the ‘old’ Wembley.



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Reserve Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Tranmere, South Liverpool
Congestion? Can't be many cup finals that take place a day after the two finalists play each other in the league, or where one of the finalists is playing their fourth game in four consecutive days!

Lancashire Dairycrest Floodlight Trophy Final
@ Deepdale, Preston NE
Horwich RMI 2-0 South Liverpool
Around 250 in attendance

After a traumatic season both on and off the pitch, this was a bonus cup final for South, albeit in a much-maligned competition. I recall Joe Rice hit the bar early on for South but this was a comfortable win for RMI, a brace from Paul Moss earning them the trophy. At least it was a night out at a venue above our station.

Remarkably the two sides had met in the league just 24 hours earlier at RMI's splendid old Grundy Hill ground, drawing 2-2 on the renowned slope. And besides being South's fourth game in four days (one of which was our final group qualifying game in this competition), the final was also our 15th match that April. A few days' rest followed before our 67th and final game of the season.

Although April was hectic and did throw up a cup final, far more importantly it also saw the club finally secure its status. The Football Echo's end of season review, described as "better suited to the problem pages of the popular press" while noting that South now had "a solid base for the future", brings back some sobering memories (though the future was indeed brighter...for a while):



Youth Team Sub
Dec 9, 2019
Melksham Town, Bath Rugby, Lancashire CCC, Wigan Warriors
2016 Melksham T 0 Barnstaple T 2 Toolstation Western Premier Att: 916
Last home game of the season and billed as the last at the Conigre; free entry and playing the team who would finish 2nd and get promoted due to Odd Down's ground grading. Surreal atmosphere with a hot day, everyone drinking the bar dry, nobody cared whether we won or not. We duly lost but also knew deep down that Oakfield would never be ready for the new season and that at some point we would have to come back here. Western scheduled our first 7 home games away...we were assured by the Council that October 2016 would be the date. Didn't happen and we had to get the lawnmowers out, re-hang the nets and re-stock the bar for a Premier game against Buckland in October.

2017...a Double
1100hrs FC Lacock 5 Lavington Rangers 1 Chippenham & District Sunday League Premier Att: 8
Lavington's swansong; they turned up with nine players and were duly whacked. They folded within days.

1430hrs Dursley Arms 2 Corsham Cricket Club Wildcats 1 A&M Print Copy Cup FINAL played @ Hardenhuish Park Att: 150+
Interesting game. Corsham CC all turned up in suits and club ties, the pub team in jeans and trainers. The pub side were mainly Western Step 6 players (Trowbridge based) but I saw them several times and they were brash, psuhed the boundaries of fairness and brought a loud selection of WAG's with them. They won despite Jake Hiscox (then a 'bit-part' Melksham player) being sent off. Once again both clubs are now defunct.

2018 Shortwood U 0 Kidlington 5 Southern One South & West Att; 50
Shortwood's relegation season and they were poor. I saw them at Mangotsfield three weeks earlier and at least they had some fight in them; here they were awful. I literally landed at Bristol from a fortnight away with Mrs Dog in Tenerife, dumped the cases and drove here to get the tick.
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Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
North West non-league
Thu 30 April 1992 - Ashton United 1 Burscough 0 - North West Counties League Challenge Cup Final
My 6th of 21 visits to Gigg Lane

There are VHS copies of this knocking around as my dad videoed it (he did 3 in total for Ashton in the 91/92). The first was of the earlier Manchester Premier Cup Final v Flixton, also at Gigg Lane, which found its way onto YouTube. The 3rd was the title clinching game at Bacup Borough - so Ashton won by 1 goal in all 3 videos. It did inspire me to search for the my copies of them all, but despite an extensive search of the archive loft, I cannot find them. Tons of videos of other old football (which one day I'll try and upload myself) but not those.

I can't really remember the game, except it was the first time I had seen Burscough play, and Ashton won 1-0.

Tue 30 April 2002 - Accrington Stanley 1 Bradford Park Avenue 0 (1-1agg, 5-4 pens) - Unibond League Cup Final 2nd Leg
My 11th of 56 visits to Crown Ground - Attendance 1107

This was the live non league match on Radio Lancs, after I had also covered the 1st Leg 1-0 defeat at Horsfall Stadium. My memories of the 1st leg when I was sat in the main stand - I didn't realise then that it had that press balcony opposite - and the fan that used to shout "Come on AvenYOO" non stop throughout the game. I could even hear him sat in the press area at the Crown Ground and he was behind the goal in a crowd of over 1000.

With Stanley trailing 1-0 from the 1st Leg, they did the needful with a 1-0 win to take it to penalties. I can't remember if there was Extra Time or not - all records I can find suggest not, and that it went straight to penalties, which I am sure was relatively rare then. However I'm sure I would have remembered commentating on the penalties - which I would surely have done if no ET - but the sport programme finished at 10pm irrespective of what was happening at whatever game I was at... I'm sure I didn't do the penalties live. However considering the only other games on that night were League 2 play-offs and Champions League Semis - and none involved Lancs sides, they might have ditched the sport show and made me report into a music show instead. Anyway, Stanley won.

Sat 30 April 2005 - Lincoln United 2 Burscough 3 - Unibond League Premier Division
My 1st of 2 visits to Ashby Avenue - Attendance 120

Another final day drama in the Unibond League, as it was the battle for 5th place and sneaking into the play-offs for Burscough. Such a potential feat was only possible thanks to Prescot's 2-1 defeat two days earlier. So for Burscough to take 5th place, they needed to have a better result at Lincoln than Prescot did at Guiseley. This being 2005, it was too early to have any idea what was happening at Prescot's game via any other than retro means, so I had to resort to phoning up the Guiseley press box to find out the score. But the drama was not to be for this one as despite Burscough getting a thrilling 3-2 win, Prescot did exactly the same, won 3-2 and sealed 5th place for themselves.

Mon 30 April 2012 - Hallam 1 Worsbrough Bridge Athletic 1 - Baris Northern Counties East League Division 1
My 1st and only visit to Sandygate

This was an end of season nothing encounter, but I could not pass up a Monday night visit to report live onto the Non League Show on BBC London from such a historic ground. This is another of the variations of oldest ground award - this one simply "the oldest football ground in the world" (from 1860) and "oldest continually used football ground" with signs in the ground stating the "Hallam Football Club - the world's oldest ground - Established 1860", although it opened in 1804 for cricket presumably (as it still shares with) But I was immediately impressed with the magnificent recently done-up clubhouse. One of the officials when he realised I was going to be reporting live not only welcomed me, gave me a tour round the ground, changing rooms etc, but also insisted I took a copy of the recently released history book of the club. It is still in my enormous reading pile, but has found its way near the top after 8 years! I got to see the men's bathrooms (empty I hasten to add) but they did include signed Geoff Hurst shirts on the wall for some reason. In fact the tour lasted so long I missed the first 20 mins of the game... I wanted to say "yes very interesting but I did actually come here to watch the match!"

Lucky I was in my place in the stand for the opening goal on 32 mins as Hallam took the lead. After HT the floodlights came on but only 3 of the 4 worked, and it soon got very dark in the corner. Equaliser for WBA on 60 mins. That's how it stayed and I went live just before FT to tell the story to the listening billions in London.

Wed 30 April 2014 - Prestwich Heys 2 AFC Monton 3 (HT 1-1) - Manchester League Premier Division
My 1st of 3 visits to Grimshaw Park/Sandgate Road/Adie Moran Park - Attendance 45

Was due for a 6.15pm KO but referee arrived late so 6.25pm underway. Prestwich needed to win to have a realistic chance of winning the league after 2 consecutive defeats. They made it 3 consecutive defeats and didn't win the league. The match kicked off in torrential rain and in those days there was no cover. Prestwich dominated the start of the game, so AFC Monton took the lead on 20 mins. Quite a lively game in all... Nice pleasant ground, club house, and there was a surprise programme on offer.


Reserve Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Crewe Alexandra.
I won't bore you with who I was broadcasting / writing ( :unsure: ) for but just go straight to the subject matter,

Tuesday @ 20-00.
UEFA Champions League Cup Semi Final (1st leg).
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham 0 v 1 Ajax.

Tottenham - Hugo Lloris , Toby Alderweireld , Danny Rose , Davison Sanchez , Jan Vertongen , Victor Wenyama , Kieran Trippier , Christian Eriksen , Dele Alli , Fernando Llorente , Lucas Moura.
Subs - Eric Dier , Kyle Walker , Moussa Sissoko for Vertongen , Juan Foyth for Trippier , Paulo Gazzaniga , Ben Davies for Rose , Oliver Skipp.
Manager - Mauricio Pochettino.

Ajax - Andre Onana , Joel Veltman , Matthijs de Ligt , Daley Blind , Nicolas Tagliafico , Lasse Schone , Frankie de Jong , Hakim Ziyech , Donny van de Beek (1) , David Neres , Dusan Tadic.
Subs - Daley Sinkgraven , Jan Huntelaar for Ziyech , Nossair Mazraoui for Schone , Lisandro Magallan , Kasper Dolberg , Bruno Varela , Dani de Wit.
Manager - Erik ten Hag.

Referee - Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain).

It's nice to know a few people especially season ticket holders at big clubs , it doesn't come in handy much because of the standard I watch my football nowadays.
But when someone asks you 'I'm just going to order my ticket for the Ajax game and I can't go , would you like to go with my mates ?''. Pondered it for about a nano second and said 'Go on then', so that was it , transport - they were driving , car parking in private house driveway 5 mins away (15 for me , ) ticket and decent company. It was my travelling companions 5th trip to the new stadium including the Q Final v Man City , no ticket was available that day but I was away anyway.

The game was very one sided and I was the only one of the three to enjoy it , Ajax were brilliant although Spurs were under strength missing the injured Harry Kane and Harry Winks plus the suspended Son.
Ajax broke the offside trap after 15 mins with a nice finish by de Beek . Vertongen was then injured just before half time and replaced by Sissoko , it looked all over for Spurs.
Second half was easy for Ajax but they were to regret not getting another goal.

I enjoyed the journey home , the talk was about the second leg and I thought they would not have a chance , Ajax had already beaten Real Madrid and Juventus so Spurs at home shouldn't be a problem especially with the class of de Light , de Jong and de Beek.
Then Moura had a worldie scoring a hat trick with a 96th min winner :D

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Youth Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
30th April for me reads like this...

Saturday 30th April 1977 ~ Portsmouth 1-2 Grimsby Town
Saturday 30th April 1988 ~ Swansea City 1-1 Scunthorpe United
Monday 30th April 2007 ~ Oxford United XI ?-? Chelsea XI (result not recorded)
Saturday 30th April 2011 ~ Bloxham 1-2 Sporting Hethe
Monday 30th April 2012 ~ Highmoor Ibis Reserves 2-3 Mortimer
Tuesday 30th April 2013 ~ Marston Saints 3-1 Freeland
Wednesday 30th April 2014 ~ Yarnton 4-2 Watlington
Thursday 30th April 2015 ~ Mansfield Road 3-1 Chalgrove
Saturday 30th April 2016 ~ Spelthorne Sports 1-2 Hartley Wintney
Tuesday 30th April 2019 ~ Oxford City 4-3 Banbury United

Forty-three years ago I was at...

Saturday 30th April 1977 ~
Division Three
Portsmouth 1-2 Grimsby Town

A bad defeat to a side even worse that we were, which dragged Pompey deep into the relegation fight. After the amazing 5-1 win over Rotherham United just a fortnight before, this was the third of four straight defeats - the crowd turned toxic and began chanting for manager Ian St.John's head, and after the away defeat at Mansfield three days later he'd be gone, replaced by Jimmy Dickinson.

Despite his generally unsuccessful time as a football manager (one mid-table finish with Motherwell in 1974, relegation with Pompey in 1976, and then almost repeating it again this time round in 1977), Ian St.John was a keen believer in bringing youth players through into the first team - he'd done it successfully with the prolific goalscorer Willie Pettigrew at Motherwell, and was responsible for creating a very strong youth set-up at Fratton Park (astonishing how good the youth team was, considering the dire state of the first team). Partly due to his poor relationship with some of Pompey's older players, along with the desperate state of the clubs finances at the time, St.John worked hard to start the footballing careers of youngsters like Steve Foster, Chris Kamara, Keith Viney, Clive Green, Peter Denyer, Leigh Barnard and even signed on the 14yo Alan Knight who'd go on to make 801 first-team appearances for the club. If he had a weakness, though, it was often throwing these youngsters in too quickly and too deeply - the victory over Rotherham showed how brilliant it could be when it worked, but this defeat against Grimsby showed how fragile those youngsters' confidence could be on a bad day.

By the following Saturday, Dickinson had brought back many of the old codgers that St.John had dropped, managing to grind out a 0-0 draw and a valuable point at promotion-chasing Preston which went a long way to staving off the inevitable for one more year. Ian St.John, meanwhile, had a short stint as assistant at Sheffield Wednesday before joining Granada Television as a pundit, hosting 'On The Ball' with Jimmy Greaves, and then seven years of 'Saint & Greavsie' and six million lunchtime viewers. It's been said by Pompey fans before, but getting sacked by Portsmouth was probably the best career move of Ian St.John's life.



Youth Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
The other stand-out matches in that list would be...

Saturday 30th April 1988 ~
Division Four
Swansea City 1-1 Scunthorpe United

A valuable point against high-flying opponents. This was probably the result and the day when it first dawned on the Swans that they might just scrape into the play-offs with a bit of luck - wins in their final two league matches meant they did indeed just squeeze into the final available slot on goal difference. Scunthorpe would also reach that season's play-offs, but would be a little less satisfied with it - this draw proved costly a week later when Bolton narrowly pipped them to the third and final automatic promotion place. And despite Scunthorpe's superior placing, it was eventually the Swans who would be promoted.

Another missing result...

Monday 30th April 2007 ~
Peter Rhoades-Brown's Testimonial
Oxford United XI ?-? Chelsea XI

Played in front of 5,130. Wish I'd kept my team-sheet for this, as the Chelsea side consisted mainly of their youth team, many of who have no doubt gone on to pretty major things. The Oxford side included several of the 1986 Milk Cup winning team such as Ray Houghton, as well as Joey Beauchamp and ex-England manager Steve McClaren.


And finally...

Wednesday 30th April 2014 ~
Oxfordshire Senior League Div.1
Yarnton 4-2 Watlington

...the last football match that I attended with my good friend JimmyJazz, before his sad passing. Still remembered and still greatly missed.
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town ender

Junior Team Hopeful
Dec 9, 2019
Probably a few to choose from on 30th April, thankfully I’ve never written any sort of list of games attended, so relying on recent recollections of a personal favourite . . .
30/04/2016 NPL Play-off final
Salford City 3-2 Workington
Play-offs are not always the best games but this was an exception to the rule. The old Moor Lane ground was packed, got there early to grab a programme and negotiate the unusual entry arrangements - £8 admission at the turnstile (a league instruction apparently) but a pound back from a table behind the school end goal. Lots of visitors from Cumbria and an afternoon of intermittent sun and showers, which basically meant most of the crowd got wet. Recall that Salford seemed to have brought in some private security to keep people off the grass banking, a hopeless task and eventually they pretty much gave up.
As for the game? An early Workington goal off the crossbar, home equaliser and then 1-2 when a cross shot was buried into an empty net. That was the first 20 minutes or so, it certainly couldn’t be described as cagey. And it continued in that manner, albeit without further first half goals, indeed with about 20 minutes to go you could sense a gathering urgency. In the end two supremely scrappy goals from a combined range of about a yard out managed to see Salford promoted and the visitors very unlucky not to be . . .


Reserve Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
Fife clubs
So many games to choose from for April 30th. 1978 was Pat Stanton’s Testimonial in front of 25,000 at Easter Road, Hibs v Celtic. 1990 was a brilliant Scottish Junior Cup Semi Final at Brockville with Hill of Beath Hawthorn beating Linlithgow Rose before a 10,000 plus crowd. But in the end I will go for . . .
Wednesday April 30th 1980
Scottish League Division One
Hearts v Airdrieonians, 1-0, H.T. 0-0, Att 13,299
At Tynecastle Park

This was a winner-takes-all Championship decider. Both teams were already promoted and they went into their final game in 51 points each. Airdrie held the advantage on goal difference so a draw would give them the title at the ground of the team they had been neck and neck with all season. For Hearts, only the win would see the coveted flag flying over Tynecastle at the start of 1980/1.

Typical home gates at Tynecastle that season, despite Hearts success, were in the 5-6000 bracket. Indeed their previous home game against Berwick was watched by fewer than 5000. However, the Jambos turned out in numbers for this game as did the supporters of Airdrie. I was with them in the Gorgie Road End of Tynecastle – probably around 2500 Airdrieonians were through from Lanarkshire that evening.

Herz: John Brough, Bobby Robinson, Jim Denny, Crawford Boyd, Frankie Liddell, Jim Jefferies, Willie Gibson, Cammy Fraser, Derek O’Connor, Walter “Zico” Kidd, Malky “The Alky” Robertson. Subs Artchie White and Graham Shaw
Waysiders: Ernie McGarr, Tommy Walker, Jim “Jolly” Rodger, Willie “Cowboy” McCulloch, Gordon Hamilton, Norrie Anderson, Brian McKeown, Sandy Clark, Robert Russell, Ian Gordon, Willie McGuire. Subs Harry Erwin, Jim March
Ref: Brian McGinlay (Balfron)

Airdrie, managed by Bobby Watson, came looking for the point that would have won them the title. They defended solidly and were prepared to counter attack when possible. However, I suspect their tactical set-up was their downfall. The Hearts defence was notoriously lacking in pace. Jim Denny and Crawford Boyd could barely raise a canter. If Airdrie had unleashed Willie McGuire properly then they would surely have exposed them.

The match could be described as robust. One newspaper report described it as “warfare”. Willie McCuloch scythed down Malky Robertson twice in the opening five minutes to earn the first booking of the evening. Today either tackle would have seen a straight red. Hearts were reduced to ten men for a spell as Kidd went off for stitches in an eye wound. Hearts were no angels themselves – Boyd and Liddell were both booked for reckless tackles from behind. Jim Jefferies joined them in the book for retaliation, then Airdrie’s usually demure Tommy Walker was carded for a lunge at Robertson.

As often happens the pressure from Hearts grew stronger and stronger. They had a good claim for a penalty turned down when Derek O’Connor was body-slammed by Ernie McGarr but referee Brian McGinley waved away their claims. Manager Bobby Moncur took the pedestrian Boyd off and replaced him with forward Archie White. The former Oxford player enjoyed his best (only?) decent 10 minutes in a Hearts jersey. The decisive goal came when even the most optimistic Jambos were starting to give up hope. White’s trickery won a corner. Malky Robertson swung the ball over and big Frankie Liddell headed into the net, right in front of the Airdrie fans. They had been preparing for a party – discussion amongst those around me was as to whether a pitch invasion at Tynecastle would be advisable. They needn’t have worried.

What followed after the game was some of the worst trouble I’ve seen at Tynecastle. Some of the Airdrie fans went on a wrecking spree as they headed back to their buses parked out by Saughton. Hearts fans coming out of the Wheatfield exits intercepted them and for a while Gorgie Road was the scene of running battles. Few Airdrie buses escaped with their windows intact that night.

So, both teams went up to the Premier Division for 1980/1. Airdrie survived that season but Hearts came straight back down again.

Last edited:

Kirby Knitters

Reserve Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
The Knitters.
Division 1.
Birmingham City 1 Leicester City 1. (20,836)

Division 2.
Bradford City 4 Leicester City 1. (14,393)

Mid Comb 1.
Barwell 2 Barlestone St Giles 1.(130)

Mid Comb Premier.
Studley BKL 2 Shepshed Albion 2.(45)

Conference North.
Moor Green 2 Hinckley United 1.

Conference North.
Workington 3 Hinckley United 1.

UCL Premier.
Holbeach United 4 Kirby Muxloe 0.(110)


Ball Boy / Girl
Apr 26, 2020
Gillingham, Tonbridge
Division One
Middlesbrough 2 Luton Town 1
Att 23,903
Programme £3

The last competitive game at Ayresome Park. On the Monday before the match I rang Boro and asked if there were any tickets left. To my amazement there were so I sent a cheque and a SAE and within 48 hours had a ticket for the Holgate End. This annoyed the Boro fans I met on the way back to London. Boro had initially only sold tickets to supporters who could produce X amount of stubs so they purchased tickets for games they never attended in order to collect enough.
I got to the ground an hour before kick-off but the streets were empty and there wasn't a programme seller in sight. There was a party atmosphere for much of the afternoon except for a lull after Luton's equaliser put a dent in Boro's title hopes (this was the season when only one team went up automatically). Lee Hendrie scored a late winner.
I didn't lay my hands on a programme until I bought one at the International Programme Fair several weeks later.

Belarusian Cup
Dynamo Minsk 1 Slavia Mozyr 1 (aet, 4-3 pens)
Att: several hundred
Programme: Yes

This game took place at the Orbita Stadium in Minsk, which I'd never heard until this game. It was on the southern edge of the city and consisted of little more than a few rows of ramshackle benches that didn't stretch the length of the pitch.
By way of background all the major stadiums in Minsk closed for the best part of a year for 'renovations' meaning Dynamo, Dynamo-93 and Torpedo lead a nomadic existence for a while, playing home games in places like Soligorsk and Molodechno
I was late setting off for the game and wasn't sure where the ground was so not wanting to miss kick-off I jumped in a taxi without agreeing a fare, which was rarely a good idea when you were obviously a foreigner. By luck, the taxi driver didn't know where the ground was, set off in the wrong direction, until I explained I wanted the Orbita Stadium not the Orbita Hotel, and then pulled over while he asked for directions on his radio. As a result he was too embarrased to attempt to fleece me.
This was a poor game, one of those when you dread having to watch an extra 30 minutes, but at least I got to watch my first penalty shoot-out in Belarus.
There were no floodlights and the evening was starting to draw in by the time the match ended. I don't think Dynamo Minsk ever played there again


Youth Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
seems to get busier at the moment - ten on this date, again including some important games....

1977 - Northern Prem - Morecambe 1 Stafford R 2 - this one wasn't important, an undistinguished mid-table clash, easily won by the visitors who would come good in the next few seasons.

1987 - Southern Prem - Fareham T 0 Aylesbury U 1 - important win for the visitors, playing catch-up, but they were destined to finish three points behind champions Fisher. The mid-table hosts gave them a game in the first half but faded after the break.

1989 - Simod Cup Final - Everton 3 Nottingham F 4 aet - I was outraged at there being no cheap tickets on the day (only 46606 attended), but £12 enabled me to see the best game I've seen at (either) Wembley. Chapman's ET goals eventually gave Forest, who also won the League Cup this season, the victory. but I remember Garry Parker, who also scored two, as being outstanding.
Report here:
Highlights (not great editing) here:

2003 - Friendly - Scotland 0 Austria 2 - a chance to visit Hampden, but Berti Vogts' home team were awful in the first half and couldn't make much impression in the second against a solid but unspectacular, Austrian team after the break. The second goal was comical.
Report here:
Goals here (Scots look away now):

2011 - Hampshire Prem - Winchester Castle 0 Team Solent 1 - a late goal in a tight, well-fought game gave the visitors the win, and second place in the league, good enough to be promoted to the Wessex.

the rest have match reports on the old WDYG:
2012 - Southern League S+SW PO SF - Gosport B 1 Sholing 0 - tight game saw a red for Sholing's Fennemore in the first half, and a spectacular overhead winner by Bennett in the second. And that was about it. Gosport won at Poole in the final.

2014 - Isthmian Prem PO SF - Bognor Regis T 1 Lowestoft T 2 - an early lead for the Rocks was cancelled out by a defensive error so all square at half time. The home team didn't turn up for the second half and keeper Smith made several good saves before Reed scored the overdue winner for the visitors 13 mins from time. Lowestoft won the final and went into the Conference North.

2015 - Conference PO SF 1 - Eastleigh 1 Grimsby T 2 - biggest game in the Spitifires' history to date, after their best-ever season. A terrible start saw an early goal conceded but they got better and visiting keeper McKeown was lucky not to concede a penalty and, later on, not to get a red card. The home team eventually equalised, but a late goal for the visitors put them in the driving seat for the second leg, which they won 3-0,. They lost on pens to Bristol Rovers in the final. A great occasion and the two goals by Nathan Arnold for the Mariners were superb.
Here are Arnold's goals:

2016 - Portsmouth Senior Cup SF - Baffins MR 2 Moneyfields 1 - Hampshire Prem champs Baffins beat Wessex Prem Moneys to reach the final. Moneys looked tired after 6 games in 11 days and were two down after 38 mins. A second yellow for the hosts before the break made it interesting but they held out. Baffins then went on to embarrass Havant and Waterlooville in the final at Fratton.

2018 - Norfolk Senior Cup Final @Carrow Road - Downham T 2 Norwich U 4 aet - an enjoyable final as underdogs Downham took the lead in only the third minute, but their opponents, two leagues above them, had turned it round to lead by half time. Still Downham would not give up and equalised on 69 mins to take it to extra time. Two goals then clinched it for United. It had rained heavily all day but the pitch was in great condition and the Downham fans made for a good atmosphere.

Climate Change

Youth Team Regular
Dec 8, 2019
Saturday 30th April 2016
NATSBath City20Margate695



Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Warrington Town are #1, Leeds Utd, Stranraer, Matlock Town, Warrington Wolves RLFC
Some minor pieces of history in this selection. The final game at The County Ground was an odd one. It had always been planned to get the ground in and against my adopted second Football League club Chester City was the obvious choice. The game was not advertised as all ticket anywhere I had seen but on arriving I was told it was. Chester were never massively supported though and I was able to get a ticket for the away end. The game was largely forgettable. The ground was really basic for the level. A covered home end terrace, a small stand on half way and an open away end terrace. Cricket down the other side meant that was out of bounds for football. Town won it with the only goal. At the end the home fans invaded the pitch and charged at the Chester fans but taunting was all that came of it. The Chester fans just quietly left after another away defeat.

Warrington Town won the NPL Cup Final in 2015 – the only time we have done such and twenty years on from our only other final appearance. This game was a tense affair, but chances were created, just not finished

Finally, last season we won our first ever play-off match (third time of asking). We would go on to win the NPL play-off’s but still were denied promotion, unlike in any other season. That still hurts.

HFS Loans League Division One Irlam Town v Winsford United 2-1

1992 Raab Karcher Cup Final (@ Bury FC) Ashton United v Burscough 1-0

1994 Endsleigh Insurance League Division Three Northampton Town v Chester City Lost 1-0

(last ever game at The County Ground)

1997 PA Rowlands Construction Cymru Alliance Rhos Aelwyd v Oswestry Town 3-5

1998 Derbyshire Senior Cup Final Second Leg (aet)

Matlock Town v Glapwell Lost 1-2 (Aggregate Drew 3-3) Penalties Lost 2-3

1999 Springbank Vending Midland League Division One Adderley Green v Goldenhill Wanderers 4-3

2001 Carlsberg West Cheshire League Division Two Manweb v Heswall Reserves 1-1

2002 Air Miles Manchester League Division One Royton Town v Belden 4-1

2003 Wearside League Windscale v South Shields Harton & Westoe 1-0

2005 Silver Star Holidays Gwynedd League Bethel v Llanrwst United Reserves T41 1-2

2011 Bellfield Midlands Regional Alliance Premier Division Holbrook St. Michael's v Willington (T255) 4-2

2013 Gamlins Solicitors Vale of Clwyd & Conwy League Soeverign Trophies Auxiliary Cup Group A

Llandudno United v Rhyl Athletic 2-4

2014 Cheshire Football League Division Two Sandbach United v Golborne Sports 8-0

2015 Doodson Sports Cup Final (at Stockport County FC)
Farsley v Warrington Town 0-0 (penalties Won 2-3)


Precision Training Notts. Senior League Senior Division Beeston v Underwood Villa 0-0

Precision Training Notts. Senior League Division One Bilborough United v Ashland Rovers 1-0

Precision Training Notts. Senior League Division One Nottinghamshire v Gedling Southbank 0-3

Precision Training Notts. Senior League Senior Division Real United v Unity 1-1

2019 Evo-Stik League Premier Division Play-off Semi-final Warrington Town v Natwich Town Won 4-1


Junior Team Star
Dec 10, 2019
Bristol City
St Albans City
Verulam Cycling Club
UEFA Women's Cup Final - Leg 2
Arsenal Ladies 0-0 Umea IK
@ Borehamwood FC
Aggregate Score: 1-0
Attendance: 3,467

Arsenal Ladies were dominant in domestic football at the time and had a lineup entirely of British Isles players. Umea had already won this cup twice, with the only other winners coming from Germany. Their squad was predominantly Swedish with one Chinese player and a couple from each of Norway and Brazil.

The game was a tight and, early on, nervy affair with few good chances. While I had watched Arsenal a few times over the years this was the first time I had seen a truly world class female player, the Brazilian Martha. She seemed stronger, faster and more skillful than anyone else on the pitch and, dare I say, looked more like a male player - in a complimentary way. But Arsenal scraped through with Alex Scott's late winner in the away leg, and a few new Arsenal supporters were gained that day.


Junior Team Sub
Dec 10, 2019
Monday 30 April 1984
Reyrolles 1-3 Whickham
Wearside League
Attendance: 70
Admission charged, no prog

Long-time members of the Wearside League, Reyrolles always seemed to keep plodding along despite invariably finishing in the bottom half. The ground, now called Victoria Sports Ground but possibly something different back then, is located on Victoria Road West in Hebburn and would have entailed a 20 minute walk from the nearest Metro station at Pelaw, but there was still enough time to get there & back using public transport on a school night. It was a welcoming venue, a smart, multi-sport, workers’ sport & social club, and was one of only a couple in the league with a stand at that time. It hasn’t changed much over the years, Google Maps showing just an additional small cover behind one goal.

The club have gone through a few name changes in the ensuing years. Their elevation to the Northern League in 1989 was a bit of a surprise given their lack of achievement on the pitch and their time in the NL has again been mostly bottom half finishes plus an enforced relegation due to ground gradings. All the more surprising, therefore, that they should experience quite an upturn in fortunes both on the pitch and on the terraces in the last 3 or 4 years.

Saturday 30 April 1988
Hounslow 3-1 Andover
Southern League Southern Division
Attendance: 80
Prog issued

My only memory of the 90 minutes is of a guy sitting further along from us who attempted to light a cigarette or pipe, but ended up setting fire to something, threw it onto the stand floor and began furiously stamping on it to extinguish the flames. As for the ground, Denbigh Road, I’m pleased I made the effort to get there before it was demolished even though it wasn’t one of the more memorable of London’s old amateur venues. There was a compact main stand on one side, a good-sized covered terrace opposite, 8 or 9 steps of open terracing behind the far goal and further sections of terracing scattered around, but the place felt rather tired and crowds were generally pretty low. Within just a few years they’d been relegated to the Hellenic League for a second time, lost their ground and then ‘merged’ with Feltham.


Youth Team Starter
Mar 10, 2020
Another missing result...

Monday 30th April 2007 ~
Peter Rhoades-Brown's Testimonial
Oxford United XI ?-? Chelsea XI

Played in front of 5,130. Wish I'd kept my team-sheet for this, as the Chelsea side consisted mainly of their youth team, many of who have no doubt gone on to pretty major things. The Oxford side included several of the 1986 Milk Cup winning team such as Ray Houghton, as well as Joey Beauchamp and ex-England manager Steve McClaren.
I don't think I attended this match, which was unusual of me - I would probably have been there if it had been a pre-season friendly between two normal teams but perhaps I was put off by the fact that it was old players v. young players. The only mention of the game on Google appears to be on Rhoades-Brown's Wikipedia page, which mentions the game but not the scoreline! Will keep on looking.


Junior Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Dessel Sport, Oxford Utd and all North Devon Clubs
Northampton Spencer v Spalding Utd 3-1
UCL Div1

Sheepbridge v Askern MW 0-1
Central Midlands Prem.

Roberttown v Morley Town 3-1
West Riding County Amateur Div 2
(if the late and great actor Robert Morley had still been alive he would have wanted to be at this !!!)

BEADS v Hartlepool FC 1-4
Teesside Lge

Park Utd v North Molton 2nds 10-1
N.Devon Snr

Appledore v Galmpton Utd 4-0

Hartland v Braunton 4-2
N.Devon prem.


Forum Admin
Staff member
Dec 7, 2019
Cheltenham Town
April 30th was a good date for me to watch Cheltenham Town, even if we lost at home to Shrewsbury Town in 2011 (1-2). The celebration of National League title, following a 3-1 win over Lincoln City is the subject of today's tweet of the day.

Two other big days for Cheltenham were in 1985 and 2002. The more recent of these was a play off semi-final (second leg) against Hartlepool. As at Hartlepool, the pools scored first. In this case, Cheltenham equalised through Lee Williams on 27 minutes, and we played the rest of the game, including extra time without further score. It was a tight game that could easily have gone either way. In the penalty shoot-out, Hartlepool missed their second shot, but Michael Duff missed Cheltenham's fourth and we went into sudden death at 4-4. Julian Alsop now scored for Cheltenham, while Ritchie Humphrey's attempt hit the crossbar and dropped down to Steve Book's back. Somehow he managed to keep it out, and Cheltenham were on their way to Cardiff.

In 1985, I watched Cheltenham away, at the old Horton Road ground of Gloucester City. Gloucester still had hopes of avoiding relegation, but Cheltenham had bigger aims, in a crowded end of season list.

The last week of the season had Cheltenham playing on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then Saturday again. At Gloucester City, a Mark Boyland hat-trick put Cheltenham into a commanding position, but goals from Gary Harris and Rob McCawley pulled Gloucester back into contention, for a nervous final quarter of an hour. Cheltenham held on to win, took a draw the following night at home to Fisher and finally won 2-1 against Alvechurch to secure the title with a two point gap ahead of King's Lynn.

The other Cheltenham game for the date, in 2005, was a 3-0 win over Macclesfield.

The biggest of the other games also went to a penalty shoot-out. I do not have the attendance, so if anyone (maybe from Scotland) knows, then post it. This was the 1989 Scottish Junior Cup semi-final, played at Linlithgow Rose's Prestonfield. Ormiston Primrose took the lead in this one from the penalty spot, midway through the second half. Lesmahagow levelled close to the end, and with no goals in extra time, it was on to a penalty shoot-out. Lesmahagow's first was missed, and their third was saved - so with four out of four, Primrose made it to the final.

I was like this one, taking at Churchmead School, home of East Berkshire League team Datchet Sports in 2007. The ball has not been kicked so high as the endanger whichever recent departure from nearby Heathrow that had captured the two Waltham subs' attention. Waltham won this match by 3-0 and I was one of ten in attendance

Datchet m.JPG

The following season, I also recorded ten, this time in North Berkshire as Saxton Rovers lost 3-1 to Harwell International in the North Berks League, while an even lower figure, of 7 is shown for Southport Trinity 3-3 Mossley Hill Athletic at the JMO Sports Centre in 2012.

Missing figures, apart from the Junior Cup final are Hillingdon's home games against Dover (1977, 1-1) and Bognor Regis Town (1981, 2-3), and the Combined Counties League Trophy final, Ash United 1-2 Cove (1982, played at Woking).

Although I supported Hillingdon Borough in 1981, I was working in Portsmouth. The away team manager picked me up as he passed the offices, drove me to Bognor from where I travelled on the away team's coach to the match. After we got back to Bognor, I then got a lift back to my flat. No wonder I never have a bad word for Jack Pearce!

Crowd wise, the Cheltenham figures were 7165 (Hartlepool, 2002), 5055 (Lincoln, 2016), 4288 (Shrewsbury, 2011), 3662 (Macclesfield, 2005) and 1220 (Gloucester away, 1985). I also had around 3000 for the only foreign excursion in the list, RAA Louvieroise 2-1 Beerschot VAC in 1995, (Belgian Second Division).

The most recent match on the date eclipses all the others though. I was offered a ticket to watch Spurs play Watford at Wembley for £30. It seemed a reasonable offer, although not much of a game as it turned out. 52,675 at Wembley. A Dele Alli goal in the first half, and one from Kane early in the second period gave Spurs a simple enough win

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