This feels like a big game, especially when you hear the opposition are running coaches to the Abbey from East Anglia. Well I keep saying this but it’s been a while since we last crossed swords. Given the size and history of Sunderland AFC our record isn’t so bad but it’s probably not worth mentioning the last time we met, in the League Cup at home on 1 October 2002. I always liked that fizzy lemon and lime concoction, mind.
If 2002 seems like a long while ago then how about 27 November 1965? The Linnets from King’s Lynn were in town for a Southern League Premier fixture. Fascinating programme, not least the cover featuring the original United in Endeavour badge. Why oh why did the badge never feature on a U’s shirt? Don’t get me started so let’s move on……
One spectacularly unusual feature of the programme in that era was that you had to turn to the centrefold for the basic match details including date, opposition, line ups, etc. Never seen that before or since. There is of course an argument to say that the programme cover adornment is such a thing of beauty that………….there I go again.
I know ads are boring but somehow when you look back to those days there is a certain air of romanticism. Some cracking pubs in there, some still with us, some not; I particularly like Mr and Mrs Prong at the King’s Head in Fen Ditton. The pub’s still there and funnily enough sits on a fork in the road off the High St. Think about it. And no King’s Lynn team of the 60s can go without mentioning Malcolm Lindsay, idol of The Walks and later of course of the Abbey. He scored 321 goals for the Linnets in a career spanning 740 games. He joined the U’s in February 1970 for £750(!) at the age of 29 and made an important contribution to the gaining of Football League status with eight goals in 17 Southern League appearances. He had returned to The Walks after a spell at Boston after leaving the Abbey at the end of 1970 after a mediocre start to life in the FL whereby he made 6 league appearances scoring just once.
Finally, on this date in 1920 English actor Buster Merryfield was born in Battersea. Known most popularly as ‘Uncle Albert’ in Only Fools & Horses, Merryfield learnt his trade as a fitter but later became a bank manager! A big Millwall fan. He died in Dorset in 1999, aged 78.
Evening, campers and a warm welcome to one of the Latics teams from Lancashire. It’s been a while since we last met you know, 5 March 2002 to be precise. The 4-1 thrashing we endured that day at what was then the JJB Stadium was probably a decent portent of how life at CUFC was going to unfurl in the next three years or so.
Enough of that misery. Let’s travel back to this day in 1996 when we entertained the O’s in an old division three fixture. Interesting programme and just £1.50 for 32 pages. All your old favourites in there including “Memories” which no doubt could have been an inspiration for this feature. Roy Mac has just joined as manager after the Tommy Taylor affair and we have just scraped through against Welling in the FA Cup. It’s easy to forget isn’t it how long it can take to assemble a promotion-winning has taken the squad although there is probably some context to how long it has taken the existing incumbent to round this lot up and having a good old crack at the division above, in what 18 months?
The Orient squad line up was interesting in those days…. Scott McGleish, an old foe Carl Griffiths and Alvin Martin. I don’t remember him being there? And another Martin for your delectation, Ling. Remember him! Anyway we won 2-0 in front of 4,360 to keep up a good record v the O’s which to this day shows us on 21 wins v 14 in our favour since we first met in 1978. One final thing, and I can’t let this pass, our very own DMJ has a page in the programme. If that teaches you anything then don’t get involved deeply with your football club if you want to preserve your looks and youth!
Finally, on 23 November 1961 one Merv ‘the swerve’ Hughes was born in Victoria. As some of us cricket-lovers anticipate the start of the Ashes next month, bit of a thorn in our side this guy and infamous for taking the art of “mental disintegration” aka sledging to a new level in his time. Took 212 Test wickets at an average of 28 before retiring in 1994 and now makes his money leading cricket tours for Aussies around the cricket world.
Happy Harry's blog
I'm the living embodiment of the spirit of the U's, and I'll be blogging whenever I've got news for you, as long as I don't miss my tea.