The Anonymous Widower

An Old-Fashioned Football Match

In some ways yesterday’s match between Burnley and Ipswich reminded me of the 1950s, when football was much more honest and very much a part of the community.  I’m not saying things are not better now, but some of the values have gone.

Men would finish their Saturday lunch, kiss the missus and the dog goodbye, put their pipe and tobacco in their pocket, don their flat cap, pick up their rattle and then walk to the match through streets of terraced houses, arriving just before kick off.

Now wives and family will more as likely be going and thankfully all stadia are now smoke free. But at Burnley the ground is still surrounded by houses.

Turf Moor Behind the Terraced Houses

And as the picture, which was taken an hour before kick-off, shows, they don’t get there early.

I also got a lot of good old-fashioned courtesy from the stewards, police and the staff in the ticket office, where I was able to buy a senior ticket for the away end for just £15.  Now that is an old-fashioned price for a Championship football match!

I also sat on a proper wooden seat.

A Comfortable Wooden Seat at Turf Moor

It was comfortable too, just as the one I’d sat on at Fulham.

I also took this picture of the rows and rows of wooden seats.

Rows and Rows of Wooden Seats

Sadly, they are to be replaced with anonymous plastic. But is that progress?

In some ways not really! I seem to have heard that supporters prefer them and that if you have someone who knows what they are doing, keeping them in good nick is cheaper than with plastic ones.  I’m not for the return of standing at grounds, but proper wooden seats are another matter.

I took this picture less than an hour before kick-off.

Turf Moor an Hour Before Kick-Off

Note only a handfull of the crowd have arrived, the pillar supporting the roof and even more wooden seats in the Bob Lord stand to the right.  But some things have improved.  Just look at the state of the pitch after our awful winter and a very dry March. It is a real credit to the groundsman and his staff.

The match too was strangely old-fashioned in that although the players showed passion, there was little or no aggro, either from them or the crowd, which was very good humoured.

I was happy with the result and Ipswich perhaps could have had another giving a bit of luck.  But then so could Burnley!

And after the match we all walked away in an amicable fashion, shepherded by a few policemen, who’d not been required to help out at Blackburn. The only trouble, I had in walking to the station was the long uphill climb and the difficulty in crossing the roads, with cars flashing impatiently everywhere.

As the station was being well-used by supporters of both sides, surely a shuttle bus between the station and Turf Moor might even be profitable at say a few pound for the return.

April 3, 2011 - Posted by | Sport | , ,

12 Comments »

  1. Burnley is a town of nice friendly people, Neil and I lived there for a couple of years and our eldest daughter was born there. House prices are sensible compared to other parts of the country as well. Even now, the pace of life is gentler, Neil’s sister lives a couple of towns along the motorway, in Nelson, and her daughter and family live in Colne. They are gentler places too.

    Comment by liz | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. I think my only problem was the lack of information on transport. In my travels very few towns get this right with good maps and especially bus maps.

    Comment by AnonW | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  3. I see there was a big turn-out by the Ipswich supporters!

    Comment by YellowBlood | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  4. I have a memory of a not very nice bus station, I remember having to change buses at it when too pregnant to drive. Bus since the “baby” is nearly 29, this was a long while ago and has probably changed. I do remember the excitement when it got a McDonalds though.

    Comment by liz | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • The bus station is new, but it’s not signposted from the railway station.

      Comment by AnonW | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  5. There usually is a lot of traveklling support! You have to remember that Suffolk is a proud county and look after their team. I also met some supporters on Saturday, who used to always go to Blackpool for the weekend, when we played there. But this time, as Blackpool are in the First Division, they went all the same and came to see Ipswich at Burnley instead.

    Comment by AnonW | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  6. The bus station may have changed places then, because I have an idea the bus station was close to the railway station, but I may be wrong, itis nearly 30 years ago.

    Comment by liz | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • The main railway station is now Manchester Road and that has only been reopened for a few years.

      Comment by AnonW | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  7. I have to say I am not sure which one is Manchester Road after all these years, but if I am correct, the bus station used to be a fairly short walk away from it. Past a night club with a very bad reputation.

    Comment by liz | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  8. […] A general report on his trip to Burnley is on his blog here. […]

    Pingback by The Anonymous Widower on the Burnley Match on April 2nd « ITFC Supporters in London | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  9. […] won’t deny Burnley has problems, but it has a lot of things going for it, like the football club and Towneley Hall.  And I would say that everybody I met last Saturday was friendly. That includes […]

    Pingback by Not My View of Burnley « The Anonymous Widower | April 9, 2011 | Reply

  10. […] is on the 29th November 2011 at  Burnley. It was a good trip last season and too far for a Tuesday in November. 52.245212 […]

    Pingback by The Fixtures For 2011-12 Are Now Out. « The Anonymous Widower | June 18, 2011 | Reply


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