Where do I start, THE STRETFORD END or should I say the West Stand…Changing the name of our most famous stand or terrace, yet another one of the clubs moves to disenfranchise the hard core old fashioned supporter of Manchester United, who might actually love the club more than the people who run the business want them to. If you get my drift..Could you ever imagine the Vermin ever renaming The Kop…..East, West , South or North stand wherever the infestation is located compass wise..But our owners and for once this isn’t a dig at the parasites, but Edwards allowed it to happen under the auspices of safety, it hasn’t stopped them renaming the North Stand, the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand though…i’m not denying the great man this honour, but it galls me to think that a large percentage of the supposed 659 million manchester united fans around the world have never heard of the Stretford End, But who gives a shit! eh Malc…as long they are walking around in a Kagawa shirt…Lets just erode an integral part of mine and thousands like me football heritage!
Well it seems the name STRETFORD END means more to opposing fans than our own nowadays, especially the cockney’s……You cannot walk into your local Waterstones or WH Smiths bookshop nowadays without seeing some new book published about some no mark London hooligan firm, Gobbing off how Big and Tough they are, I really should walk on by, ignore them and go look at something on the top shelf or something. Is just me though or do you also get a morbid fascination to see what they have to say about United and our firm, only to cringe at the fairytales put into print by these people… Everyone has ‘done’ United if you believed all the shit written by these guys, United’s mob should be able to give Paula Radcliffe a close race, we must have clocked up more miles than an habitual marathon runner, I for one won’t be bringing any of my three lads to Old Trafford again, its just not safe! All these fucking hooligans chasing united around the streets of Manchester. Lets get a few Facts straight about these , They all except Cass Pennants (Wets Ham) credit where’s its due fail to mention what United fans had done in and around their grounds during, from what some people (not me) would say, were the Halycon days of Football Hooliganism. After Englands world cup win in 1966 until around 1986, a twenty year peroid when you defended ‘your End’ at any cost, and things became tribal… As i said at least Cass Pennant admits United took the West Ham North Bank in May 1967, but no mention from Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal about United taking their ends on a regular basis, memorably taking the Shed in 1973.
It was always awkward at Spurs, taking the Shelf at Tottenham or whatever part of the ground was their end at the time, The Park Lane or Paxton Road. A clever ploy by them, fed up with getting embarrassed every year you take the The Shelf, and they say, thats not our end, we’re in the Park lane, next year you go in the Park Lane, and its We’re in The Paxton Road now…As for Arsenal, we took their North Bank so many times, United fans actually started to think thats where we were meant to be! …Its strange non of these events are mentioned in their account, yet they have the audacity to say “They have taken the Stretford End, thinking that’ll sound good in a book, a chapter how we ran the Stretford End will sell a few copies, sod the fact its nots true!…But once its in print and with the passing of time, people believe it. And some of these stories, it would more honest to say fable’s, supposably happened before anyone from London had the courage to enter Old Trafford, anywhere except the reserved seating in A stand..in those days only the Suits sat.(that started to change in the 80’s)..The facts are, none of these cockney warriors came to Old Trafford in force until the introduction of police escorts in 1977, now that is a fact, not a rafa benitez fact, but a real FACT! ….Anyway a lot of these myths are spreading and as special request from a mate, Lindsay who has asked me to re-print an article i wrote about five years ago for Red News.. http://www.rednews.co.uk/ the first ,in a series called Fact or Fiction
So Lindsay here’s the article:
But one book in particulary about The Chelsea ‘Head-hunters’ by Steve Hickmott and Colin Ward, really pissed me off, and it’s a chapter from that book which is to be the subject in our first FACT or FICTION : ……………..Have Chelsea taken the Stretford End ?
September 5th 1984 is the date in question. It was early in the season our second home game, in fact. Chelsea had just won promotion from old division two, with their supporters earning a fierce some reputation terrorizing such places as Shrewsbury,Carlisle,Grimsby, and Huddersfield, before coming back into the big time. I must give them credit though the previous April they had taken extreme liberties in Manchester and at Maine Road, but that was against City, who were also languishing in division two.
This was United though, The attendance that night was 48,000 with Chelsea bringing about 3,000 filling three sections of the Scoreboard End, they also had a small section in A stand, where there main boys were seated. The kick-off was approaching, and about 7 o’clock, a small firm of Chelsea were sussed in the top right hand corner of K stand (looking up from the pitch), the word went around and united started to prepare for a set too, most of uniteds lads were still outside and everyone decided to wait a few minutes before getting stuck in, Someone though was tipped the wink by a steward, that the old bill were about to come and move them out, it was now or never. Uniteds boys moved up the steps towards the Chelsea fans, they were quickly on there toes with only one or two standing. Scattering them across K stand, some of them jumping into A stand, and the others into the Scoreboard amongst there own fans. The then ritual ‘Chelsea Aggro’ chant started, with the Stretford End replying ‘United Aggro’ soon drowning out the rent boys. It looked quite impressive as the united boys who’d seen off the Chelsea mob, then charged down too the bottom of K stand just above the Chelsea fans, chanting ‘UNITED, UNITED’, letting everybody know exactly who had come out on top. Nothing else happened until about three minutes from time,Chelsea’s main Firm, about thirty of them were seen leaving A stand, they had just exited the stadium, underneath that tunnel where the little railway station is, when they bumped into some of Manchester’s finest. All hell broke loose with Chelsea taking a real pounding. Heavily outnumbered some Chelsea fans were eventually hospitalized, the police surrounded them, and tried to force united fans away towards the Stretford End, but they couldn’t contain uniteds mob, and sent for the police horses. In the mean time the game had finished (1-1) while all this was going on. The police horses arrived and were charging the united fans back, causing a concertina effect on supporters fans exiting the Stretford End and Stretford Paddock, people coming out were pushed back in, forcing fans who couldn’t see what was happening, back into the Stretford End….. Chelsea fans in the Scoreboard End, (locked in waiting for an escort) saw fans pouring back into the Stretford and came up with the Myth, this honest account of events dispels once and for all.
So giving a Definitive FACTor FICTION to this rumour ……FICTION
I mean literally, it’s up there with Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny.
Some classic photos of the Stretford End in all her glory!… And no matter what the club do, they can’t take away our memories, and unlike all our Counterparts during that period we STRETFORD ENDERS can go to our graves knowing nobody has ever taken The STRETTY!
(of course neither myself or Red News condones violence at football matches, this is just an account written for true historical records)