By Brian Hall
Sunday 14 Oct 2012 15:03:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



Dont panic. This blog is one of two or three that will follow via the editorship of ToonTalk, and they will contain far more happy memories. This one, though, does not, as the title might just indicate. Late summer of '79. We had drawn the smaller club in our region in a League Cup 2nd Round tie. The away game was scheduled for August 29th - my birthday, unfortunately - and the home match was due around the corner on September 5th.


The build-up started badly, as this then nearly 22 year old, visited Preston earlier in the month, only to find himself with a badly broken hand, plastered up in a hospital shortly after the trip, after being at our first away match in that Division 2, and a boring 0-0 draw. Four of us had foolishly decided not to head for the station down there with the Mag Army, had a pint somewhere, and decided to get the following train out of town to a nightclub in Carlisle. Result. A pretty large angry mob of locals, who had obviously avoided the Toon Military Forces, overheard our accents as we tried to get into the said station. Curling up in a ball time, I am afraid, until local coppers intervened, and told us to, shall we say, leave Preston. 


I digress. There was worse to come. Far worse.Some days later, body bruised, and hand in plaster complete with sling, SAFC Kev, a very good ex-schoolmate of mine, invited me to join his lot in Sunderland for a drink in their pubs. They were pretty wild, and obviously knew my NUFC affiliation, but there were canny lads, actually. I decided not to go to the night club over there, and just get the last bus home to Shiney Row, as my hand was knacking me. 


Bad decision again. On my own, sitting in the middle of the vehicle, 2 young lads from my area, both SAFC but meaning no harm to me, shouted down from the back seat........Bry, how many Maggies are coming over for the first leg? Not a great idea, as the bus had not left the Pennywell area yet to cross over into safer borderlands. My sign to them to be quiet was too late, as some brave SMB looked at me, and gave me a broken nose. All hell broke loose on that pleasant vehicle, as there were Shiney, Chester Mags on it, and to be fair, the 2 young villagers got stuck in, too. More far more dangerous hell nearly broke out, as well, when SAFC Kev  found out about the event, and wanted to get his mob to find, and say hello to the oh so brave culprit and his mates.I told him just to leave it. Kev did, reluctantly.


So. Up comes the actual first leg tie at Joker Park. I got there, plastered hand and broken nose too, and it passed off fine on the pitch. Good result. 2-2. Job done. We could finish it at SJP.


Alan Shoulder, and Boam, scored 2, in that second leg, but some SMB git got a late equaliser. 2-2 again. So. Penalties! Aye, penalty shoot outs for us tend to mek England look good at such things. Jim Pearson missed the crucial one in the shoot out, and we were down, and very much out. And so was I.


I went hyem with a broken hand, broken nose of course remaining, and a broken heart. And you know what hurt the worst. The League Cup exit. 


Happy Days




ps    i do stress that forthcoming Derby Blogs will take on a different tone, and remind us all of rather better occasions.!

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