Jump to content

Rangers Friendly


sheepyvillian
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just been looking at some photos (apparently unseen till today ) of that infamous day . Hard to believe its nearly 40 years ago .

I was 11 at the time , but the memories are still vivid . Broke my poor little heart to see the Holte in a sea of tartan ,but tbh they never "took it" there was no one to take it from . I think everyone was taken by suprise in the amount of fans they brought down. I've been told they were in the Holte from early morning . My most abiding memory is running down Witton Lane gripping my old mans' hand , trying my best not to trip over the bottom of my side-pockets .

By the way , the photos can be viewed on Villa news now .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Memorable for quite a number of distasteful reasons. I remember lumps of timber coming over the top of the wall, from whatever was being dismantled and bottles flying in every direction. Someone was stabbed, if I remember rightly and its the first time I ever saw a policeman cringing against the wall in fear.

 

'Friendlies', eh?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/aston-villa-unseen-photos-villa-7899872

 

Dodged a bullet that day. I was going to go (I was 16 at the time) but my brother managed to put me off.

 

I heard some real horror stories from mates who did go. An awful day for the game, let alone the club and its fans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was 11yrs old and remember the day well. In those days my mates dad would take 3 of us to most games and as per usual we were eager to get to VP and soak in the atmosphere, lol.

 

My old man was working in Witton and used to ride his bike to work, he finished work around midday and was riding home when he was asked the time by some Jocks. Stupidly he stopped looked at his watch and was attacked for his trouble. My old man could handle himself so he gave as good as he got and then raced home to stop me from going down as it was kicking off all over Aston. He was too late however as we had left by the time he got home.

 

There were loads of Scots acting like knobs on the way to VP however I don't recall feeling concerned, just a normal 70's game (those who were around will understand what I mean, hooliganism seemed somehow normal back then). We got to the turnstiles and my mates dad was warned it was full of Ranger's supporters but he wasn't the type to take a backward step so even with 3 lads in toe in we went.

 

They were everywhere, fights were happening all around us but they left us alone. Dennis Mortimer scored and things started to get rough and by the time Frank Carrodus put us 2 up it went mental. I recall jumping up and down that we had scored and then watching what looked like a scene from a western movie but happening on The Holte. Villa fans didn't stand a chance, way out numbered by a mob of drunken Scots who didn't come to support their team only to show they were thugs. Cowards the lot of them, a couple did try to square up to my mates dad but he's 6'5" and they soon backed off thankfully.

 

I've been involved in worse fights than I saw that day however what sticks in my mind is that they were all like it, everyone of them wanted to hurt someone. I didn't see or hear one of them telling his mate to leave off or just watch the game etc just the opposite. I have always disliked Rangers ever since and couldn't have been happier when they went into liquidation, shame they weren't completely obliterated.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I arrived at the Holte End at our usual spot behind the goal to be greeted by a very quiet "Welcome to Glasgow" from my mate to find we had Rangers fans rather than our usual Villa mates around us (1 out of 3 of which seemed to sport a scar on their face and most of which were at least twice our age with a bottle of Scotch in their coat pockets).

 

I recall they started having a go at each other at the top of the Holte due to a lack of Villa boys up there at half time. We spent the first half in our usual position. But our cover was 99% blown when one of the lads we knew waved at us as he was being escorted out of the Holte  wearing our colours by the boys in blue. The Rangers fans looked back to see who he was waving at as did we (a little too late I suspect). A couple of minutes later we moved towards the front, climbed onto the pitch and then made our way from Holte End goalmouth to the safety of the Witton End walking past the players as they came out for the 2nd half (their captain was among the Rangers players that looked far from happy to see us on the pitch).

 

This "Battle of Villa Park" was a long time ago and it was a sad day for both clubs. Our club officials took way too big a risk in arranging the game in the first place and a large proportion of visiting Rangers fans took the opportunity they were given to prove how unwise the invite was. Things were crazy that day, fans safety was at real risk and we were fortunate that a bigger price was not paid for the errors made back then. When we do meet again in Glasgow or Birmingham or at both grounds things can surely only be better than they were way back then,    

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...
Â