Afternoon and seasonal greetings from the old codgers at Coconuts. I hope those who travelled to the Valley by boat last week enjoyed themselves. I certainly did. Sunday was a very quiet affair.
We’re travelling back to 18 December 1999 for our bout of reminiscence on the programme front today and a third tier encounter with the Latics from Oldham. This was our 21st competitive encounter since we entered the League in 1970 and to this day I still harbour bitter memories when I hear mere mention of their name; this goes back to the three epic Cup ties in the first half of January in 1974. Ending in bitter disappointment at the City Ground, Nottingham(home of Nottingham Forest, NOT Notts Forest as I was reminded recently by an avid reader) on a dank Monday afternoon on a ‘gluepot’ of a pitch. Even the Oldham manager admitted that the better team lost. Remarkably my old man let me go with him and miss school for the day. He was stricter than a methodist minister with a bull whip but suspect my old dear would have said he was a bit more selective when it came to the mighty U’s!
Generally the atmosphere around the club seemed quite positive. Whilst the previous game against Barnet had been postponed we were still coming off knocking Crystal Palace out of the FA Cup third round. Redemption for nearly ten years earlier, maybe. That game was on a Friday night so early signs even then nearly a quarter of a century ago that the FA Cup was, let’s be honest, being messed around with. Anybody remember as well why the third round was as early as December? Me neither.
Leafing through the programme I thought the sponsorship page was interesting. Whatever happened to “the Buglies”? Answers on a postcard please to CB5 8LN. And there is evidence that Cambridge United Supporters’ Club sponsored players. How times have changed, eh? And some very familiar old faces on Graham Eales’ PR page…..you know who you are. God bless Andrew Bennett. And lots of CUFC/Oldham connections highlighted which we don’t see so much of these days in programmes. Anyway, the Latics beat us 3-2 that day and completed the double the following April with a 1-0 victory.
Finally, on this day in 218 BC, which even Colin Proctor won’t remember(!), Hannibal’s Carthaginian army commenced battle with the Romans in the second of the Punic Wars in the battle of the Trebia fought on Italian soil. By 23 December Tiberius Sempronius Longus had been heavily defeated and it took until 202 BC for the Romans to finally tame the leader/warrior from N Africa. You are duly enriched.
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.