I never imagined I would be writing about my football experiences from nearly 50 years ago, however, time moves on! Footy was so predictable in my youthful days as I peer through my rose-coloured spectacles.
The start and end of the football season was more or less set in stone, at that time there were still a few talented footballers who could transfer to playing professional cricket in the close season, as one sporting season ended and another started.
Today, there is no real pause from our great game as one match follows another, especially with the world game being available through your TV, playoffs, tournaments, internationals, friendlies, the games just keep coming.
As a youngster, my interaction with footy during the summer months was completing the pools draw coupon for the Australian football leagues for my Dad.
There was never any question of whether I would be a City fan as I was encouraged to go from a nipper with a combination of my Dad, Grandad and two young Uncles. I still remember meeting outside the cafe opposite Thorpe Station and making our way down the industrialised Riverside Road, factories and yards on one side and moorings on the other.
When old enough I would attend with school mates from Woodside Juniors. It would start with a walk into the City to visit all the toy and sports shops - Langley, Co-op, Jarrolds, Debenhams, Stevenson’s and Pilch or Pilchards as we called it, chips on the market and a stroll to the Carra for the 1 pm opening of the gates.
We would agree on where we would stand and pay our 25 pence to enter the terracing, initially in the River End, progressing to the back of the South Stand and finally making the leap to join the ‘Barclay Boot Boys’ with the obligatory silk scarf knotted around our wrists.
The simple format was if City were playing away on a Saturday the reserves would be at home and at the time you could watch behind the goal City were attacking in the first half and then walk to the other end over half time for the best view of the Norwich goals flying in for the second period. It was also the same military music played before the start of each game.
After each game, we would walk alongside fans who would have transistor radios close to their ears to pick up results and once home, the excited wait to read the broadsheet Pick’un and relive the game and analyse the league tables.
If not, Match of the Day on Saturday evening, the Sunday papers and Gerry Harrison on a Sunday afternoon for the regional game.
The summer break and match day experience today can hardly be compared?