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Monday Morning Image #8

Away days in the Seventies.....

Ipswich Town fans on their way to their team’s FA Cup tie at Millwall in March 1978.

This wasn’t exactly common in the UK in the seventies, but it wasn’t terribly rare either. Many fans would get together, someone would hire a van for an ‘away-day’, driver did a whip-round for petrol (gas), and off they’d go....

Sometimes they’d travel the length of the country. A group of Manchester United fans from Cumbria once made the 600 mile round trip (at least 5 hrs each way) to White Hart Lane this way, saw their team score in the fourth minute through Gordon Hill (of Montreal Manic fame) and finally draw the game 1-1.

This Monday’s subject image is of Ipswich Town fans on their way to the Den at Millwall for their FA Cup 6th round tie in March 1978.

Sir Bobby Robson’s (just plain Bobby in those days) team won the game 6-1 on their way to their only ever FA Cup victory a few weeks later.

But the game was halted for 19 minutes when with Ipswich leading, Millwall fans tried to get the game abandoned.

Fighting which began on the terraces, spilled out onto the pitch and into the narrow streets around the ground.

Bottles, knives, iron bars, fists, boots and concrete slabs rained from the sky. Dozens of innocent people, including many Millwall fans, were injured by the thugs.

Order was eventually restored and former Toronto FC manager, Paul Mariner put Town in control with two strikes in the 52nd and 72nd minutes. The England striker would go on and complete his hat-trick, and outside after the game violence erupted again at infamous Cold Blow Lane.

Supporter coach windows were broken with the old and the young caught up in the violence.

At least these lads in the van wouldn’t have had as drafty a ride home than some who had travelled to the game in relative luxury... if their van was actually still there after the game, that is...

Ahhhh... the good old days...



Check out the latest The Ball Is Round Podcast (Episode 18). Recorded Wednesday evening the TBIR team discuss the general state of CF Montreal in the wake of Thierry Henry’s departure and recent Re-branding/Renaming...

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