By Brian Hall
Wednesday 17 Oct 2012 09:40:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles




Now. Most of us have been to memorable Derby games against the SMB, both home and away, but the early September one in '96 certainly ranks as the most odd one. Due to very serious fears of crowd trouble, the police had ordered that lot down Joker Park that they could not sell tickets to our tribe. Some clandestine characters made it down there, but numbered few, and obviously could not expose their allegiance. 


Whilst the disguised NUFC managed to get inside the SAFC ground - dont want to mention names, Piper - the alternative to watching the game was simply going to the Arena in the town. Me, Ian, and Joe, duly did so, along with many others packed inside the place. It was strange , to say the least! We could all see the game itself, but also listen to the commentary as well. That meant that we could hear the SMB singing away, with their anti-Mag songs. It annoyed a canny few of us, obviously, but down near the screen itself, a whole range of our fans sang back everytime they heard the rather meek choirs of abuse coming from the small town's following in the Joker Park. Big Joe was particularly amused by this plot, as he did point out to me and Ian that the SAFC would not be able to hear the Toon fans' response. Obviously, he was dead right.


But the real amusement surrounded the game itself. Clearly, our goals were just met in total silence down there. Not a normal occurrence when we play anywhere, let alone against them.  The real fun came, though, courtesy of Peter Beardsley, and Sir Lesley Ferdinand. Job done. 2-1. No away backing that night, apart from our silent stragglers and infliltrators, but Peter and Les did not need us that night. Not many sides could cope with them two knocking around, and certainly our smaller cousins could not.


Afterwards, we all shared a pint - or three - and laughed our heads off. Maybe Sunderland FC should have asked police if they could have also banned the NUFC players as well, and just cancel the whole thing. 


A short blog. And a really ever so sweet Derby.


tarah. Bry


Thanks Peter. And Sir Les

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