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Villa Park History


1974Centenary
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My post in recollections of my first game thread  has prompted me to search for pictures of the structure (seemingly called the Witton End) which stood before the current North Stand monstrosity.

I was aware it was just a bank of terracing but there is an almost bizzaire shortage of pictures of it. 

Maybe times have changed but this was only demolished in the mid 70's but the only photo's I can find are of very old black and white. 

You would have thought that at least few people would have taken along their cameras before it was demolished and there would be a few half decent colour pictures about. 

Anyone got one to post? 

There are plenty of the other stands,  even the pre expansion Witton Lane stand which was about as bland as a football stand can be. 

And obviously billions of the original Trinity though that was obviously much later and much loved. 

Love the AV floodlights picture, makes me feel young again. 

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I remember there being a programme cover of those floodlights, taken from some distance from the ground during a night game.  That was a good picture also.

The old Witton end was strange.  I sometimes used it in the summer months.  For some reason I was in there also for the 5-1 night game against Liverpool.  What was really funny was that the terracing stopped about 5 or 10 yards from the back and the last bit was literally just a bank.  Talk about safe standing, the whole end would have been shut down in this day and age.

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I remember the old Witton stand from the 1970's. I was basically a large and bare open terrace for the away fans. If you were a real nutter looking for a bit of trouble you stood in that end with the away fans. A so called 'Witton Warrior'. I recall there was song they sang'We are the Witton Warriors......'.

Mind you in the pre segregation days it was a bit wild at some games. I remember going to the Blues game at VP and there were a whole load of Blues fans at the bottom of the Holte. We used to stand against a crash barrier about two thirds of the way up the Holte and I still remember loads of hard core fans from behind us piling down to 'engage' with the Blues fans. A lot of stretchers were needed and the police then moved the Blues fans down to the Witton end.

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On 05/08/2016 at 03:05, 1974Centenary said:

villa.jpg       can we have these back?

I love that these were style over substance. . Probably threw out half the light of a full set of floodlights but were just the best thing ever,  totally unique. 

I miss the days of watching players run round in the middle of a Grey cross. Modern football is rubbish.  Can't remember the last time I saw a decent quagmire on a pitch even in lower leagues. Ain't right. 

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3 hours ago, rjw63 said:

criminal that the 5-1 against Redscousescum wasn't captured on film

It was on the Midlands news the following night but someone it seems chose to wipe the tape! :angry:

4 hours ago, Butterfingers said:

I remember there being a programme cover of those floodlights, taken from some distance from the ground during a night game.  That was a good picture also.

The old Witton end was strange.  I sometimes used it in the summer months.  For some reason I was in there also for the 5-1 night game against Liverpool.  What was really funny was that the terracing stopped about 5 or 10 yards from the back and the last bit was literally just a bank.  Talk about safe standing, the whole end would have been shut down in this day and age.

Yes I recall that programme cover as well I'm sure there must be some shots of the Witton End somewhere. I stood on the grassy/muddy bank for the Santos game and more than a few others. Happy days!

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22 hours ago, John said:

It was on the Midlands news the following night but someone it seems chose to wipe the tape! :angry:

Yes I recall that programme cover as well I'm sure there must be some shots of the Witton End somewhere. I stood on the grassy/muddy bank for the Santos game and more than a few others. Happy days!

Was there any kind of feelings of regret and nostalgia when The Witton end was swept aside? 

Also what kind of facilities were there,  could you get a half time beer?  I assume it was just a solid lump underneath. 

I remember the toilets in the old Holte End were appalling assume they would have been even worse over there,  at least the Holte End was designed and built albeit to standards below what would be expected today in the latrine areas. 

I always remember The Holte End toilets had a row of cubicles and a urinal trough down 2 walls with a blank third wall.  People used to just urinate against the blank third wall due to the massive cues causing a river of urine to run all over the floor and out onto the concourse 

Only other place I have seen this happen was at the Original Wembley stadium. 

It's a shame,  the old Witton End development is the earliest significant alteration to Villa Park which I could conceivably have visited in my lifetime but I was just a few years too young to have really known it other than my very vague recollection from my first game. 

 

Edited by sidcow
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2 hours ago, sidcow said:

 

I remember the toilets in the old Holte End were appalling assume they would have been even worse over there,  at least the Holte End was designed and built albeit to standards below what would be expected today in the latrine areas. 

I always remember The Holte End toilets had a row of cubicles and a urinal trough down 2 walls with a blank third wall.  People used to just urinate against the blank third wall due to the massive cues causing a river of urine to run all over the floor and out onto the concourse 

Only other place I have seen this happen was at the Original Wembley stadium. 

 

You obviously weren't at Bristol last weekend. 

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19 hours ago, Butterfingers said:

I remember there being a programme cover of those floodlights, taken from some distance from the ground during a night game.  That was a good picture also.

The old Witton end was strange.  I sometimes used it in the summer months.  For some reason I was in there also for the 5-1 night game against Liverpool.  What was really funny was that the terracing stopped about 5 or 10 yards from the back and the last bit was literally just a bank.  Talk about safe standing, the whole end would have been shut down in this day and age.

Yes before that it was just grass or dirt bank with no terracing. I used to always stand at the front when I was 8/9 with my friends. I can still remember vividly Tommy Docherty walking around, because the dugouts were on the witton lane side in those days and throwing a pocket full of coins on the ground for the kids to collect. Quite a character the doc. 

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1 hour ago, PaulC said:

Yes before that it was just grass or dirt bank with no terracing. I used to always stand at the front when I was 8/9 with my friends. I can still remember vividly Tommy Docherty walking around, because the dugouts were on the witton lane side in those days and throwing a pocket full of coins on the ground for the kids to collect. Quite a character the doc. 

According to wiki Deadly sacked him the day before I was born!  It does not report if these 2 events are connected. 

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I used to love seeing those lights heading down the hill coming into Perry Barr. I loved the old Trinity Road stand & will never ever forgive Ellis for demolishing it & building that monstrosity that is there now. I used to love sitting there with all the old uns when I was a kid, stamping our feet & shouting Villa . I understand the wooden structure had to go but something could have been built meaning the old brick structure could have been saved .

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18 hours ago, John said:

It was on the Midlands news the following night but someone it seems chose to wipe the tape! :angry:

Yes I recall that programme cover as well I'm sure there must be some shots of the Witton End somewhere. I stood on the grassy/muddy bank for the Santos game and more than a few others. Happy days!

I was in the Witton End for the Santos game! Was one of the last people to make it in before they closed the gates.

Normally was Holte Ender so that was a weird view.

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6 hours ago, sidcow said:

Was there any kind of feelings of regret and nostalgia when The Whitton end was swept aside? 

Also what kind of facilities were there,  could you get a half time beer?  I assume it was just a solid lump underneath. 

I remember the toilets in the old Holte End were appalling assume they would have been even worse over there,  at least the Holte End was designed and built albeit to standards below what would be expected today in the latrine areas. 

I always remember The Holte End toilets had a row of cubicles and a urinal trough down 2 walls with a blank third wall.  People used to just urinate against the blank third wall due to the massive cues causing a river of urine to run all over the floor and out onto the concourse 

Only other place I have seen this happen was at the Original Wembley stadium. 

It's a shame,  the old Whitton End development is the earliest significant alteration to Villa Park which I could conceivably have visited in my lifetime but I was just a few years too young to have really known it other than my very vague recollection from my first game. 

 

Not in the same way as when we lost the old Trinity Road and Holte End stands.

I was never able to get a half time beer at the Witton End as I was too young back then so Bovril was my tipple of choice.

I think the toilets there were of a similar standard to those found on the side at the Holte End but I must say that toilets were not a big part of my match day experience back then.  ;)

By the way does anyone recall what the old Witton Lane Stand was like (by that I refer to the one pre-1966 World Cup)? The cost of a seat in the stands was beyond the reach of my pocket money back then).

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3 hours ago, sidcow said:

According to wiki Deadly sacked him the day before I was born!  It does not report if these 2 events are connected. 

Did you call him "Dad"? Otherwise they probably weren't.

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3 hours ago, briny_ear said:

I was in the Witton End for the Santos game! Was one of the last people to make it in before they closed the gates.

Normally was Holte Ender so that was a weird view.

I was literally the first in the Holte End that night, the lines were massive and as I walked past one of the turnstiles opened and the some girls in the front of the line didn`t see me jump past them and first in :ph34r:

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24 minutes ago, tismyk said:

CqhSELVWAAAAico.jpg1_zpsbi7wamf9.jpg

Funny I don't recall the pillar for the right hand floodlight being physically situated inside the Holte,  and that's the side I used to stand albeit right in the middle against the segregation fence. 

Was that removed when the Holte roof was extended or a while before?  Could just be my memory as most of the time I can't remember what I did yesterday. 

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4 minutes ago, sidcow said:

Was that removed when the Holte roof was extended or a while before?  Could just be my memory as most of the time I can't remember what I did yesterday

It was removed when they extended the roof. The lights went onto the front edge of the roof. Here's an after shot X 2 image.jpegimage.jpeg

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