Not a great programme from the collection, but a significant one.
Before there was GBG ticking there was football ticking. I finished my pursuit of the 92 League Grounds on a crisp March Sunday afternoon at the Riverside.
A first visit to Middlesbrough, which we immediately deduced was the Watford of the North, but a bit cheaper.
We parked just off the A66, gave a local urchin a fiver to
mind clean the car, and I joined the hordes of Smoggies and Saints on their way to the dullest fixture of the weekend (and therefore the one on Sky).
Quite emotional finishing the 92, so goodness knows what I’ll be like when I finish the 4,500 (assuming there’s 4,500 pubs left when we re-open).
Back in ’99, ‘Boro took the field to
Prokofiev Pigbag. It’s still 1981 on Teesside.
Well, it may be an odd fanfare but it worked. The Riverside was the loudest ground of all 92 I went to, and no-one will ever believe that.
Perhaps it was the Carling.
Programmes lost their value to the spectator as squads increased from 12 to 100, and team sheets became pointless.
Sadly, I got to see Phil Stamp instead of Gazza. Sorry, Phil.
Here’s the highlights of a dull match that 21 years on seemed poor value for £22. What was the average weekly wage in Middlesbrough in 1999 ?
Since ’99 the team has wobbled, the town has acquired a Modern Art gallery and actual street art,
and the narrow streets between Uni and shops are home to 37 micropubs, the sort where folk of all ages drink gin on a Friday.
I love it.
In the Bottled Note the bants were Manchester class;
“Beans and sausage sandwiches are top”
“I prefer crabsticks”
“I won’t eat anything I’d lose to in a staring contest”
“That rules out prawns. And snails”
If you’ve got those all-important CAMRA vouchers you’re spoilt for choice. The Resolution is very much the 3rd Spoons in Middlesbrough, the one that never makes the Beer Guide, the one the ladies singing “I Touch Myself” move onto at 11pm.
Post-match in ’99, I’m fairly sure Mrs RM spent most of her household budget in the “boutiques”, leaving just enough for a slap-up parmo from Smoggies.
If you’re unsure of the nutritional value of the parmesan, there’s a good curry alternative.
Dosa Houze (with a z) gains bonus points for calling me “weird” for my unique application of complimentary pickles and chutneys to my keema chaat. I always ask for “everything” when given a choice.
But honestly, who’s staying in Middlesbrough when there’s Stockton next door ?