It’ll Be Off

FC Away Day Tales
June 25, 2008, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Taken from the forum, a post by Salford10 that deserves a much wider audience. One that is literate, for a start.


I used to work with these two brothers from Collyhurst and Ancoats. They’d been in Manchester for 20 years but they was originally from Glasgow. Whenever they spoke to each other they spoke with Scottish accents but whenever they spoke to anyone else they spoke Collyhurst / Ancoats. Even in the same conversation it’d be Scottish to each other, then a line in Collyhurst / Ancoats to me, then back to Scottish. Fair play to em, they never missed a beat. They never spoke to anyone else in Scottish and I never heard em talking to each other in Collyhurst / Ancoats.
The younger of the two, Scottish Sammy, had a bust of Elvis in his flat. Struck me as odd because he was only 32. (Sammy, not Elvis. Elvis dosnt live in Collyhurst / Ancoats…he lives in Blackley).
Talking to two mates after the draw for the F.A. vase, one of whom watches FCUM and one of whom isn’t having it, I was reminded of the Glasgow / Collyhurst / Ancoats triangle. Two of us spoke ‘non-league’ whilst talking to the other in ‘normal United’. My footballing language has changed post-FCUM and the first venture into the vase was already adding to the lexicon.
I never found out why the brothers spoke to each other in Scottish and everyone else in Collyhurst / Ancoats. I guessed it was probably because on the estate Scottish Sammy was known as ‘Mad Sammy’ and because he was the kind of fella who kept a bust of Elvis in his flat.

Theres something about the name Brodsworth that sounds a bit 1970’s. A bit 1970’s and a bit made up. It sounds like the name of a town in a kids TV show…the place where the ‘Brods’ live. It was a real ‘wherethefuckisthat?’ trip, though Im finding theres less of them as we scribble ourselves a new football map. I could tell it was gonna be in Yorkshire though…without the need of any map.
I was happy with the draw as it gave me a new name to add to my ‘Teams FCUM has played with a daft name’ list. They’re now tucked in between Clitheroe and the Laburnum Rovers of Atherton. (No real challenge to Daisy Hill yet though). To be fair that list should be 100% full of every team FCUM has played. They’re all daft names for a United supporter to be watching his team play against.
Turns out Brodsworth is situated between Doncaster and nowhere which is a massive disservice to nowhere.

Come the day of the game and though I wasn’t buzzin with ‘vase-fever’ I was looking forward to an away a bit farther afield. Transport arrived with me compadre and mentor Kieron, an exiled Salford red of enough years standing to have worn shorts to his first job interview.
Brodsworth had issued different coloured tickets for different parts of the ground. There was a few travellers meeting up for this one so we wanted to sort tickets together in the same end. It was down to me to sort tickets and Id made arrangements to pick em up from a few people including George the clubs kit-man.
The tickets was a bit of a mither because having to do anything is a bit of a mither but helpful people were helpful and they got sorted.
Took a call from George as we set-off. He was in a boozer called The Highwayman but he had to get off at one. No danger, we’d be there by then.

Reached Brodsworth with no mither. (Well…we took a (ahem) ‘detour’ into Doncaster, though with manly, stiff-upper-lippedness , we decided we meant to and it was necessary to find a bank. There cant be that many of em in Yorkshire).
We hadn’t found the Highwayman but we could find the ground and go from there. I stopped in a local shop for refreshments and directions. 20 minutes later, with me chat with Sam Dingle, Nora Batty and Jimmy Saville producing 3 different sets of directions, I Ieft em arguing and got back on the phone. The reason we hadn’t found the ground or the pub was because neither of em was in Brodsworth. The game was being played in some other backwater down the road.
Took another call from George asking me whereabouts. I was worrying that if I didn’t meet him soon the lads would be playing in skins.
The pub and the ground was in a place that didn’t sound ‘Yorkshire’, it sounded quite posh. Cant remember its name but it dosnt matter coz if you went back it would be gone. The sign said it was 11 miles to get there but they must’ve been dog-miles coz it took ages. I had more mither on the phone but I just blamed Yorkshire.

There was joy and despair when we reached the Highwayman. Joy at the sight of red hordes filling the car-park, songs being sung and flags draped from every surface. Despair at the fact that it was 30 yards away from the turning to Brodsworth we’d taken an hour earlier.
It wasn’t the best boozer in the world (It was shit), big, soulless family fun-pub but reds were doing their best to improve it. It looked like it had two Salford lasses on the door but the turned-out to be cardboard cut-outs of Vicky Pollard.
Got some tickets sorted and met up with the UTB lads and the Moston contingent who were all wearing hats like mine. It was lovely to see such homage being paid to me sartorial settings. A cynic may suggest they were taking the piss but I don’t trust or believe cynics.
I’d got there too late to get me tickets from the kit-man and Id missed his calls again.
There were disturbing reports of red-on-red skirmishes round the back of the Highwayman. So much for ‘The Soul Is One’. I didn’t see any of it meself but I was told that it was carnage in the kiddies ball-pool.

Finally got me ticket of the kit-wallah at the ground. I apologised for me tardiness and he said it was no drama but he wasn’t very smiley. Made-up to him by singing ‘Batman’ songs later though.
The mither over the colour of the tickets was pointless. Having mither in your life is a ball-ache at the best of times but mither over nowt is a killer. The potential relaxin time you lose out on coz you’re being mithered is gone. You cant get it back. That’s relaxin time Ive lost from me life, mithering over coloured tickets and then when I got to the turnstile, no bleeder asked me for any ticket of any colour. Walked straight in. Ive still got em…2 reds, 2 greens and one of them special mauve ones.
Hung the colours on the wall at the top of the grassy knoll. There was that many coppers on it it looked like the grassy knoll in Dallas. The dibble were sound all day to be honest…even if they did have to be told to move coz they were obscuring the lag.
We stood at the end that was a 3-foot wall with a big field behind it. A big field with an ice-cream van parked in it. Never in all my years of watching football have I been on a end / terrace / stand that’s had an ice-cream van in it. They don’t even do it in Itlay…mind, theyd probably throw it off the curva. (Ok…I know t was only an ice-cream van but sometimes the little-ist things are the biggest differences. And it was the towns major landmark. That and the superbly named off-licence ‘Rhythm and Booze).
I had a 99 and a Fab lolly.

From the opening minutes of the game it became clear that this was a game FCUM were gonna win. From my vantage point FCUM s 8’ 3 “ centre-half Liam Coyne was dominating Brodsworth’s number 9 with ease, though I think even Id have kept him in me back pocket. I don’t know the fellas name but I’ll remember him as the worst player Ive seen come up against FCUM. Its not that he was bad, though he was, he just looked completely out of his depth. The pace of Sheringham, the dribbling skills of Neil Webb, the work-rate of Seba Veron and the turning circle of an old dear with a shopping trolley. He made big Liam look like Paul McGrath.
There was loads of police and stewards about but everything was jovial and good-natured. Some Yorkshire types shouted a few bars of “Yarkshire, Yarkshire” to let us know where we were so we responded with “On the grass, on the grass” to let em know exactly where we were. And where we were stood.
About half-an-hour in, a fella stood near us holding a guitar. A guitar. At the match. Now me usual response to such a sight would be to observe that hes obviously a bell of the highest end, move away and leave him to his goon-ness. But y’know, as much as FCUM is about rediscovering old pleasures and experiences, its about discovering new ones. And I was stood there licking a 99 with raspberry sauce I wasn’t able to criticise from a position of strength. Him and a few others belted out Woody Guthrie in a FCUM style and you know what…it was fuckin smart. (Its still bellendishness to take a guitar to the match though. Im a fickle bleeder).

At half-time our party repaired to the big field behind the open end, henceforth known as Brodsworth green. A small contingent of brothers from Tameside arrived bearing buttys from the clubhouse and a very welcome tartan picnic blanket. It all got nice and mellow and a bit Camberwick on the green and for a short while it felt like we could be many places but it didn’t feel like a football match. A combination of the sun and relaxants of choice gave it the air of a summer festival (Albeit one in Yorkshire with no music. Bit like V festival).
A police van was parked-up nearby, providing neat shade for the large North Manchester types who get a sweat on by blinking. Some scamps had coverered the back of this van with stickers. You could call this vandalism or you could call it profile-raising. The dibble would probably call em a bugger to remove. Maybe they were just unlucky to have parked there or maybe it was karma. They did obscure the colours earlier on.
As the teams came out for the 2nd half, most were snapped back into the reality that we were at the match. The break had been lovely but I was ready for more of the same from the reds and anyway, the old boy from the St. Johns ambulance had realised where his blanket had gone and wanted it back. Wouldn’t wanna get grass-stains on me Levis.

The team put in a dominant performance against a Brodsworth side that never looked like they believed they could win. Their subs asking us at Half-time where we were going boozing after the game wasn’t a good sign for them. Brodsworth barely seemed to get passed FCUMs midfield and when they did it was just a hopeful / hopeless ball to Johnny Useless up front.
The famous ‘magic of the vase’, a 3-1 victory, a good game with a good atmosphere and all-in-all a top day. There’d surely be more of this on the inevitable march to the new Wembley.

A post-match venue to watch United had been organised by the man-who-organises-things; The Adam and Eve, a big square brick house a bit like the Lightbowne in Moston that looked about as welcoming as the Lightbowne in Moston. It was sweet though and we settled in to watch United on the big screen and scran the free chip muffins.
We were all in one big function room and when I went for a gypsies I noticed that next-door it was full of the Adam and Eve regulars. Not once did I notice any of them come into our room or anyone go into theirs. No mither at all. I wondered if they knew we were there and if the scenario would’ve been the same if we’d have been in a bigger city and the letters of our clubs name were arranged more traditionally. I put it all down to the man-who-organises-things and his love-beads.
Our table was joined after a while by members of the team. This would normally be me cue to get off but I took the opportunity to introduce meself to Will Ahern, a young player me and a few others sponsored for the season. It was a 12 pints introduction though and he seemed a bit wary of me. I tried to force him to eat a chip muffin coz theres nowt on him the nesh get and I told his mate to stop smoking near ‘me athlete’. He told me he needed the bog and no-ones seen him since.
I had a brief chat with the foreign lad Rudd as well but it was hard goin. He seems a nice enough lad but I couldn’t understand a word.
By this time the man-who-organises-things wanted me to wear love-beads and give out chips to the needy so I was in needy of getting off.
In the words of O’Shea Jackson…Today was a good day

N.B; Wembleys shite anyway, vases are for flowers and the North West Counties League Challenge cup is the big one.

(as a post script, the spell checker on my browser just told me there were too many supicious words in this document to check. Brilliant)


1 Comment so far
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Brilliant read. Funny, charming and heartfelt. Sums up what supporting FC United is like for many of us. I’d love to read more stuff like this. Some funny memorable lines in there as well “The large North Manchester types who get a sweat on by blinking”.
Rythm and Booze is the best name for an offy Ive ever heard.
I liked the bit about the ‘Scottish’ brothers too. ‘Bust of Elvis’
Thanks a lot for posting…great blog.

Comment by PsychoPaul.

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