Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Nuggets from the Loft… Volume 4

OK, here’s another priceless antique for your inspection…

Yep, a genuine dog-eared match ticket for a crunch North-Eastern derby, from the days when professional football was played by slightly pot-bellied men with sideburns the size of the Indian subcontinent. And the kind of persistant bronchial conditions that suggested most of their pre-match warm-up consisted of a drag on a Rothmans Kingsize.

My first Boro match was in October 1981 (a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, fact fans) so this ticket must have belonged to my Dad… who, in September 1976, was 36 years old and will no doubt have grumbled endlessly about the extortionate entrance fee (“65 bloody pence? I can get two pints of Tetleys for that and still have change for a bag of chips on the way home”) as he walked the mile and a half from my Gran’s bungalow in Acklam to a seething, overcast Ayresome Park.

Sporting mustard-coloured BHS flares and a fur-lined parka, he’ll have wriggled onto the packed concrete terrace of the Holgate End and taken his place amongst the 26,014 fans who saw Boro sneak a 1-0 victory over their bitter Geordie rivals with a goal from David Mills. Yay! And then, at 4.43pm, he’ll have muttered ‘Right, time to get get a flyer…’ and shuffled to the back of the stand, waiting for the shrill parp of the final whistle before jogging gently out onto Roman Road amongst a streaming flock of ebullient Boro fans.

Meanwhile, I’ll have stayed at my Gran’s house. Three years old, and probably messing about with Mr Men colouring books for the afternoon before steadfastly refusing to watch Part One of the new Doctor Who story ‘The Masque of Mandragora’. Too scary, you see, and likely to make me choke on my Chocolate Flake Cake. Although I imagine the Doctor’s nail-biting battle against the Mandragora Helix was a walk in the park compared to my Dad’s afternoon spent in such close proximity to Micky Burns.


  bobfischer wrote @

PS The current bog-standard matchday ticket price for Boro home games is £27. And we’re in a lower division than we were in 1976!

‘£27? I could buy eight pints for that and still have change for a bag of chips on the way home’… etc

  Russell Thomas wrote @

hi Bob!
I’ve just finished reading your book “Wiffle lever to full” and loved it! It certainly helped me pass the hours whilst i was in Sierra Leone this week on a work trip. it helped me keep my sanity out there – (and made me pine for beans on toast!)
i also share your love of 1984, and found this page simply by typing in Christmas 1984 tv listings – as i wanted to improve my memories of my most favourite childhood christmas. Its not christmas now without the theme from “The box of delights”.

  bobfischer wrote @

Hi Russell,

Aw! That’s lovely, thankyou! Thrilled you enjoyed the book. And yep – The Box of Delights is still a firm favourite Christmas treat for me, too. You’ve probably twigged already, but if you’re REALLY desperate to indulge yourself in unadulterated 1984-ness, then all the 2009 entries on this site are my 1984 diary, blogged every day for the full year. It’s what I did when I should have been writing a second book… 🙂

Now go and treat yourself to some beans-on-toast, I believe they’re still widely available in this country…

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