1997 and It was the last game at the Baseball ground and we travelled up to Derby with nothing much riding on the game.
After a bizarre minutes silence for the stadium the game began and Adams was sent off early as we battled on with ten men to record a victory. Matthew next to me fell asleep and therefore missed most of the win he also missed a couple of great goals from Ian Wright and some humorous banter between the home fans and us Gooners. An old stadium died that day and the trend has continued, for better or for worse; I think worse.
The real highlight of the day was stumbling across an old pub nearby. When visiting away grounds it’s hit and miss as far as pubs go; you never know what you will find or what sort of reception you will get. In this particular case we walked into a rather decrepit looking boozer but were delighted to hear the sound of Ska and Blue beat being played by a bloke with a single turntable. The speakers were converted wardrobes and clearly had been around for a good long while. There were tables of older Caribbean men smartly dressed and playing dominoes. The price of the pints we all ordered were dirt cheap. And it was friendly. What a great time we had.
That was one of the things I enjoyed most about away games. It’s a great feeling to win in a hostile ground, it feels like you’ve undertaken a mission and completed it successfully, but the discovery of quirky drinking holes is a good deal of the adventure.
An away day was fun and those that travelled and still do are examples of great supporters; much more so than some of our current home fans. Pricing is one factor for not going to away games but disillusionment is another. I miss those adventures.
©nicnac1000 Before last game at Baseball Ground
©nicnac1000 Last game at Baseball Ground