Favourite Opening Day Memories

With the new season almost upon us and the ‘feelgood factor’ going around the club, why not keep it going and reminisce on our favourite memories from the opening day of the season.

Split into home and away as I reckon there might be a few who say the same home fixture involving Mr Merson (which would be mine).

In terms of away, would have to be Rotherham away in 2000. 2-0 down to a Mark Robins brace before a Brett Angell brace gives us a 3-2 comeback win and a 13 year old me a first appearance on TV behind the goal. :grinning:

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That Rotherham game was tremendous. It was the birth of Leitao!

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Rotherham all day long … amazing

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Great Thread :+1:
Yeah I was there at both the Albion and Rotherham games, both memorable. The Albion game at home has got to be the favourite though, everything just clicked on a scorching hot day… full house against our big neighbours with a Merse brace and in Samways Osborn and Corica they couldn’t get the ball off us, not to mention Jorge running them ragged upfront on his own. We totally outplayed a team that went on to get promotion to the prem… unfortunately our bubble burst a few months after.

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Always had a soft spot for Rochdale (A) on the first day of the title winning season. Played well and Martin Butler got the winner, suddenly felt we might be back on the up.

Hope to feel the same leaving Sixfields on Saturday.

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4-1 against the Albion was pretty darn good for obvious reasons. That’ll live long in the memory - I even brought the VHS of the match. More recently I enjoyed watching Oztumer’s performance on his debut vs AFC Wimbledon.

I also enjoyed our first season back in the Championship after our first relegation when we played Ipswich - more so because they’d just been relegated from the Premier League after a good couple of seasons, resulting in UEFA Cup qualification. I enjoyed watching players such as Matt Holland and a certain Marcus Stewart. Was also the season Darren Bent broke into their first team I think.

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Baggies at home. Was on my way back from hols in North Wales. Rest of family not pleased to have a delay in Walsall. After match police helicopter watching my every move at my parent’s house, especially when Itook a toy sword into the car. Think they thought I had been involved in some aggro after match. Best first away match, Northampton away, 3 August 2019!! See you there…

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I suppose it was memorable in a way but forgettable for a certain Matt Bryant who was on-loan to us from Bristol City at the time. in our Opening game of not only the season but FIRST ever league game at Bescot back in 1990… when in true walsall style he put through his own net in the first minute against Torquay :joy::joy: we ended up drawing 2-2.

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Away at Gillingham in 98 - the birth of the Graydon legend!

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Albion at home. All day.

Those Rochdale and Rotherham aways were also great days out.

I think we’ve done pretty well on opening days over the last twenty years or so.

Walsall 4-1 Albion, 2003

Baking heat and some of the football we played that day was superb. The two Merson goals were brilliant and snagged all the headlines, but that Corica flick and volley for 4-0 was just as good. It felt like the sky really was the limit after that afternoon.

If you’d have told me as I was leaving the ground that day that we’d be relegated from the Championship and not return for at least 17 years I’d have laughed in your face.

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Every opening day match when I was a kid,the pitch was the greenest of greens,looked like a snooker table.By Christmas it was like a mud bath.Or if you were Derby county a ploughed field…:grinning:

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Completley agree. The combination of that performance, those goals, the opposition, the weather and the general opening day buzz make it my favourite ever football match.

The 3-2 win over Vale the following season was a pretty good one that some people may have forgotten, Leroy Williams and Darrel Taylor on the scoresheet!

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Sure there were over 8k in attendance for that Vale game.

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Not going to go against the grain. The Albion game was a very rare time that I have made an opening game at home. Rotherham away was a brilliant game too.

You’re right!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_2/3942093.stm

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Not bad for a home league one game of yesteryear.

Definitely the WBA game. I was in the upper tier when Merson hit his goal from the edge of the box and I old Worsul style at first it looked like it was flying well over the bar but then it just seemed to keep dipping and dipping and dipping until it crept under the bar. Albeit briefly I felt like we had premier league quality in a Walsall shirt.
4-1. Top of the league. Neighbours from Hell. A move that involved 24 passes (I boght the video and counted’em). What could possibly go wrong?

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9th August 2003, no question.

Can’t think of a better Walsall performance I have ever seen and I go back to the '70s.

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Many, many years ago (I’ll take a stab at 1986?) our first game of the season was away at Bristol city, on a gloriously sunny August day, when they were also holding the annual hot air balloon festival. Went to that in the morning and then watched us beat Bristol 3-2 with Nicky Cross, Steve Elliott and Steve Daley in the team. And Steve Cherry in goal, I think.

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