Fulham (a) 1987


#1

Came across this picture online, taken outside Craven Cottage before a match against us in 1987. I believe there was talk at the time of a Fulham merger with QPR which was of course met with the response that any such propositions deserve.

Anyone recognise the Saddlers fans? Anyone there themselves?

Seemed appropriate given the sad news last week.


#2

If I remember rightly we were 2-0 up at half time, then they all invaded the pitch and started to run towards our end, out came the banner and it was all friendly, then they came back and made it 2-2 second half! For many years later I remember a lot of goodwill from Fulham towards us. A group of their fans under the unlikely guise of the “Trevor Christie moustache fan club” (or something similar) always sponsored one of our players’ kit in the program for a few years after.

Few years later when we went up together in 99, I was on my way back from one of our matches in the all important and rather nervous run in, I think it was Macclesfield at home, a couple of games before we all but clinched it away at Lincoln. When my train got to Chesterfield four very drunk Fulham fans got on, if memory serves they’d suffered a rare defeat, but on finding a Walsall fan to drink with they were waxing lyrical about that day, getting the beers in and getting even more drunk. I was relatively sensible with having been to Bescot, visiting my mam and dad in the morning etc, Just done my usual home game routine of four or five pints and a few cans on the train. When we got to Darlington about 8pm I asked them what was their business traveling north… University? night out?? Get Carter re-enactment??? Turned out they’d just got on the wrong platform at Chesterfield and thought they were on the London train.


#3

Yes. I was there.

And you’re right we were two up at half time. They came on the pitch and at first treated us lot with some aggression as there was a link between Terry Ramsden and the outfit buying the land.

But when they saw how sympathetic we were to their cause there was nothing but peace, love and harmony. Hats and scarves being swapped and a bond created that as you say lasted some time.

There was another distraction that day too. The epic Watford FA Cup tie was in full flow and this was the game between the 4-4 and the next home game. Tickets had sold out at Fellows Park but the club had promised to not penalise folk travelling to Fulham by ensuring tickets were on sale at Craven cottage. A rather large snake of fans formed at the back of the away terrace overlooking the river. There were players not involved in the game in the queue too (from memory Hawker and Mower but might be mistaken).

Not uncommon in Coakley’s first season, we then conceded two goals which put another dent in any ambition we had around a late play-off surge.

As the coaches pulled in to Fellows Park after the return trip, there were hundreds of people on the look out for Watford tickets. The pulling power of the 4-4 against a top flight club and the coverage it received (Midweek sports special?) was amazing. For the only time in my years watching us we filled the whole of the Popular terrace with Walsall fans with Watford not getting the 25% on the side we usually gave away fans.

Sorry, went off piste a bit there but that day at Fulham and the Watford saga always intrinsically linked in my head.

You’re right about the Fulham fans sponsoring a player for years to come. Unfortunately, relations with Fulham soured somewhat after one of our absolute idiots attacked an elderly female Fulham fan after a game at Bescot (the one after Hibbitt was sacked and we thrashed them).


#4

Yes I remember participating in the Watford ticket kiosk on the terraces at Fulham! Amazing how back in those days, with comparatively minimal technology, less notice of games being arranged, and comparatively huge crowds for cup-ties, a bit of common sense would manifest, and everything would just “work”.


#5

Watford away still remains my all time greatest game


#6

Yes i remember it well, the only time i ever went the Craven Cottage, did they have a collection?i seem to remember giving money to people with buckets?


#7

No that was for Bonser …hope you didn’t contribute :wink:


#8

He used it as seed capital and bought the club with it…


#9

I’m in the photo mop of black hair then.


#10

There’s some more great photos on flickr in these albums:

Fulham Protest 1987 1

Fulham Protest 1987 2


#11

Phil Hawker, he couldn’t stop a pig in an entry with those legs :rofl:


#12

Nice one.

Reckon I can see myself on one of the colour ones.

Obviously it wasn’t Phil Hawker I was queuing with to get Watford tickets!!


#13

I was there !!!
Sadly just out of shot as the guy far right was my mate Graeme lynch and I was stood next to him !!
We were getting the v’s as five knuckle shuffle when we approached on the coach butbthat changed as soon as the don’t kill Fulham banner came out .
The two moustache guys never missed a game like us back then.
I remember some shirt swapping going on with fans on the pitch at half time .


#14

Struggling to recognise myself but should be somewhere a fair ways up, right behind the goal net leaning on a crush barrier (as was always my preferred vantage point). Of course, I’d have taken up less of the photo than I do these days so maybe I’m hidden behind a beanpole? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

What I remember of that game is that it was in still in the days when Thatcher had us football fans caged in like animals and I was a bit surprised that as well as opening the gates in the fencing for their own fans to get onto the pitch the stewards opened them at our end too. All our lot seemed bemused by this (well those that were still on the terrace - most were either queuing at the kiosk for Watford replay tickets or had gone for a half-time comfort break), and no one made any move to go onto the pitch. A largish group of their fans broke away from the masses protesting in front of the main stand and headed our way chanting and I feared the worse as it seemed to provoke who I’d call our “usual suspects” to head down towards the front as if they’d been challenged.

To my eyes (and, from their reactions, most of those around where I was too) it looked like it was all about to kick off as there was a sort of stand-off waiting for a flashpoint as they met and stood hesitantly either side of the fence. Just as we were expecting fists to start flying, all of a sudden a hand was thrust forward through an open gate - but instead it was met not with a punch but a shake, then another, scarves started being swapped, shirts - and then then it was all bessie mates heading back to the middle of the pitch arms around shoulders where they were warmly applauded by the rest of the Fulham fans.

So instead of the usual aggro that you often saw in those days (which was the excuse used for having the fences and heavy-handed policing) it was a genuinely moving moment of football camaraderie that brought a lump to my throat.

As a further bonus, as we were leaving the round after the game a passing Fulham fan insisted on shaking our hands, thanked us for the show of support and wished us well against Watford.

That’s what being a football should be all about (take a lesson all those who were goading Blackpool fans by chanting "Oyston in at them the other week).


#15

They say that football is a simple game, unfortunately it attracts some simple folk.


#16

Well i must have graduated through the academic ranks to professor standard nowardays :rofl::wink:


#17

No arguing there sunbeam.

PS: what did your Spanish financial adviser tell you to do with your assets :blush:


#18

More to do with tax advice. Yeah OK so far.


#19

You can’t relocate to Monaco. You didn’t campaign to leave.


#20

I remember thinking in '99 that there seemed to be a mutual respect between our two sets of supporters. This thread goes a long way to explaining it. Thanks for the history lesson.