NOSTALGIA corner. A thread about Ayresome Park v The Riverside on Fly Me To The Moon the other day and talk about the joys of standing at Synthonia sparked a rambling, rose-tinted, overly sentimental, jumpers for goalposts conversation in Chez Vickers today.
It went via the skill of selecting a likely candidate to give you a squeeze, the impact of seeing the green pitch under floodlights for the first time, the discovery of colourful and creative invective as a comedy artform, pre-match pubs, relegation as an occupational hazard, Bernard Gent and the Powergame, vicious spikes on the Holgate fences, 60p in, being “run” by Sunderland up Costa Street, slashing against an uncovered corroding wall in a tidal sewer, rubbish players traumatised by the Chicken Run, blokes in ICI donkey jackets arriving straight from a shift, Eric the tranny man, the Boro bugler, Bernie on the fence, Brucie requests no swearing or missiles, the strength of the reforged bond between fans and players in the post-liquidation era and the excitement of EIOing and surging in unrestricted celebration without fear of those dangerous seats. The meandering ended in quick bursts of “You’ll Get A Boot Wrapped Around Your Head,” “The Boro Boys Are In Town” and “We’re Boro, We’re Barmy…” much to the amazement of the kids trying to watch Numberjacks or play on the PSP.
Inevitably the conversation turned to the great goals and I ended up in the loft looking for old videos (remember them) of end of season reviews, late night soccer specials with Roger Tames and David Mills only vaguely aware of what was happening before them and snatches of highlights from Tyne Tees and Look North back in the post-Sky era when in-depth football footage was as rare as Tories on Teesside. Equally inevitably conversation turned to this….
The oft-overlooked John Hendrie picks up a ball ten yards outside his own box and weaves through the entire Millwall team as he trundles 70 yards to get in the box and slot home at the Holgate End. Magic. Little changes of pace, excellent close control, power to shrug off defenders, stamina , a scruffy but accurate finish after such a long run. Brilliant. If Rooney or Henry did that now it would be on a permanent tape-loop on Sky Sports and lauded as one of the greatest goals ever. As it is, well, its only Boro v Millwall. No one saw it at the time on the blipvert highlights and it probably barely got a mention in the national press.
Here’s another iconic moment of Holgate folk legend….
A staggeringly brilliant moment that helped seal the Mogga legend in a game full of drama and historical significance. The first ever match from outside the top flight to be broadcast live and a watershed victory over promotion rivals Villa that took Rioch’s side a little closer to completing an astounding football fairytale. And what a well worked goal: a neat, patient build-up from a fluid team looking to get forward, a great cross in and a fantastic flying header. And look at the Holgate dance. And not a replica shirt to be seen. Bliss.
Those two clips come off the treasure box of copyright busting beauty that is our collective loft, YouTube. If you can’t find your old videos don’t panic, there is almost certainly someone out there in cyberspace who has found their’s and done society a service by sharing them in an easy to find, easy to download two minute nugget of joy.
This pair of golden goals were made available by Boro fan Matelot, to who we should all be grateful for putting in the time and effort. He has some other excellent archive footage on his page too: balding Balkan polyglot lawyer and Bosco Jankovic, cut-price George Best Terry Cochrane, tragic dribbler Stephen Bell, lumbering miss machine Billy Ashcroft, and ‘Karl Heinz’ Kernaghan when he was still a striker. It is well worth checking out and giving him a rating too. You can see his work here.
When I get some time I’ve got some valuable stuff I should really stick up there too. The ZDS Cup final is up in the loft unwatched somewhere, although to be honest maybe that should be left as a warm glow rather than analyised and exposed for the damp squib it was.
Pathe News for those yearning for a bygone age.