Festive greetings, all. One of my favourite days of the year and looking forward already to my favourite meal of the year later, cold meat, pickles and good old bubble and squeak! Once I’ve finished that wonderful fare I do tend to find myself in the dining room on my own which is strange.
Anyway, the O’s on Boxing Day always brings to mind the same day on 1997 which is the featured fixture and programme for today. As well as all the post-Christmas day delights, a home win, a Wanny scorcher and some great banter in the Habbin in the days when we stood over the seated away fans. All 360 of them on a good day. A crowd of 4,808. And I could have sworn the O’s wore their ‘Croatia’ shirts that day but the historians tell me not(and see programme). That would have been the following season, 12 September 1998 to be precise(another 1-0 home win in what became the promotion season). We had already beaten the O’s at Brisbane Road 2-0 on 5/9/97 so a decent double against our ‘M11’ rivals.
The 1997/8 season indeed very flatly for the U’s in sixteenth position although with hindsight, as Roy Mac’s first full season in charge, one could argue it was a proper launch pad for better fortunes round the corner. And thank heavens for Martin Butler. The programme reminds us of some names from the past, secretary Steve Greenall - on the tv the other week working for a firm near St Neots, Carla Frediani, a very amiable individual, wonder what happened to her?
And those that have passed away, eg Wally Rookes and Dave Brown, bless them. And does anybody remember the third string ‘keeper, Jed Sumner? Not a lot on the www but he did come from Coventry City. Finally, an honourable mention for the birthday wishes on page 12 and a right load of reprobates listed there. Well one, anyway.
Just for a little bit of perspective, it was sixteen years ago today that a massive tsunami hit India, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia killing over 200,000 people.