My Wild Life
Boro FC Tales from the Riverside
"The Local Lad"
Middlesbrough FC: "The Local Lad"
I dedicate this page to my father "The Local Lad" who has supported MFC for over 80 years. He took me to my first match in 1967. Over the years I've never stopped hearing about, Hardwick,Mannion, Delaphena, Dickie Rooks et al. and how football used to be.
My father supported me, getting me a squeeze into Ayresome, collecting and posting on away match tickets when I had moved away from the area and also keeping my feet firmly on the ground.
"The Local Lad", well unfortunately over the last few years he strugged to remember players names referring to them as the Local Lad. He had to give up his season ticket a couple of years ago as his heatlh struggled.
I am forever grateful for the life "The Local Lad" gave me and for putting Boro in my Blood.
My first match at Ayresome Park was in 1967. The season before Boro had clinched promotion from the old 3rd Division by beating Oxford 4-1. I wasn't allowed to go to football then, too young, too many men smoking, shouting and swearing....I remember in our coal house some Safety Helmets with Ayresome Angels painted on them. I still have a wooden rattle from those days.
I'd heard all about the match from my elder brother and I wanted to go. Finally I was taken by my father who manged to squeeze me through the turnstiles for the Bob End (Seats behind the goal). My first view of the inside of the ground.....oh I loved it, still do. The pitch, the smell of the turf, the goals, the stands and the players warming up. I remember the loud music coming over the tannoy . My father bought me a program, I still have it as I have nearly every home program from 1967 to date.
The match itself, August 19, 1967 we lost 2-0 to Ipswich. I didn't get to many games that season, my father worked shifts but, as today, couldn't wait for the next match.
*My favourite team: It has to be the 73/74 Promotion winning team.
Platt, Craggs, Spraggon, Souness, Boam, Maddren, Murdoch, Mills, Foggon,Hickton, Armstrong.
*Favourite Player was Willie Maddren. He was class in all ways. I used to stand at Hutton Road Training Ground and he never refused me an autograph. Stuart Boam was the same. I was gutted when Willie had to stop playing.
Juninho was from a different time/place and planet hence I can justifiably have 2 all time favourite players.
*I attended all the record breaking matches below;
Highest attendance at the Riverside Stadium – 34,836 vs Norwich City, Premier League, 28 December 2004.
Lowest attendance at the Riverside – 3,918 vs Northampton Town, League Cup, 11 September 2001
Lowest attendance at Ayresome Park – 1,633 vs Brescia Calcio, Anglo-Italian Cup, 22 December 1993
The Riverside was built in 1995.
After each match at Ayresome Park I always made a trip to see how work on the new stadium was progressing.
These future season ticket holders often came with me to have a look around......lovely slippers.
It was sad to leave the old Ayresome Park, lots of great memories but looking back it was time to move on to something fit for the town and the future.
The Riverside gave us a new beginning and has given us some very memorable moments.
This is my good friend Ewen....one of the craziest, passionate, lunatic, fanatical, happy Derby County fans you could ever meet.
Sheephead now lives in New Zealand so lifes a little less noisey and exitable now although social media stopped that.
BAckground to this photo.......I took Sheephead to see Boro v Derby at Ayresome. I won't go into too much detail but Boro lost 2-4. Did I suffer on the way home...Sheephead never shut up giving me stick every mile, every minute of the trip home. Living 80 miles awat from the ground should give you a clue on whatthe journey home was like for me.
I took Sheephead to the Riverside so he could see progress. A few years later Derby County left the Baseball Ground and copied the Riverside exactly but changedthe colours to that drab and dismal black and white scheme.
Sheephead and I made a trip to the Riverside to see the Boro play Derby. It was an evening match.
Boro won 6-1.........and sheephead got 80 miles worth of ear ache................super Ravenelli.
Keep up the banter......and have a good season (but not as good as the Boro). Top Ram!
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