For our trip down the Lane this week we’re in 1982, the old division two and a home fixture v the Addicks from SE7. This was our fifth season punching well above our weight in the second tier and you wonder if the novelty was really wearing off with U’s fans. It had been a win-less start to the season but only 3,314 had turned up at the previous home game on 7 September against Barnsley to see us gain our first point of the campaign. Looking back to the old programme there are some fascinating features not least a report on the Miss Cambridge United competition of 1982! Would that even be allowed these days? Or would there have to be a corresponding Mr Cambridge United beauty parade too? Answers on a postcard to the club secretary.
The Charlton line-up was interesting too. Paul Elliott, remember him? Went on to play for Villa and Chelsea as well as abroad in Italy but had to retire in 1994 after a bad knee injury. Steve White? The West Country goal machine. And Derek Hales. Well we certainly remember his strike partner, Mike Flanagan who actually was with QPR in 1982 but returned the following year to add to his eight seasons with the club in the 1970s. Flanagan joined the U’s prior the start of the 1986/7 season and only made seven league appearances but many readers here will remember his impact even though ongoing knee problems forced him to retire before even Christmas had taken hold that season. Charlton’s shirt sponsor was interesting that season although not sure if they were just a passing phase. Anyway, despite the first point gained at the previous home game we found ourselves 2-0 down at half time and it seemed as if the mediocre start to the deason was to continue. Goals however from Floyd Streete and a brace from George Reilly meant we were in front within twelve minutes of the restart and that’s the way it stayed, in front of a pathetic 3,162. I’d like to say that this heralded a good run of results. In truth we didn’t win again for another seven and a half weeks! The fact that we ended that season in twelfth place, two better than the previous, says it all for the second half of the campaign. The following 1983/84 season unfortunately saw the death knell ring as far as the second tier was concerned, and we wouldn’t be back again until 1991.
At this point we always look back in time outside of CUFC to reminisce in some way. All I would say today is the World Trade Centre……...
Enjoy the old programme and today’s game!