Author Topic: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.  (Read 14252 times)

Online FlashingBlade

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Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« on: May 28, 2014, 09:22:10 PM »
This Friday will mark the 30th Anniversary of Liverpool's 4th European Cup win in Rome, 30th May 1984. I Was talking to someone about  my trip and thought it might make an interesting ( or not) post … unfortunately I'm not skilled enough to convey the..erm!…’intensity of the events’…..in written words as I can verbally ( with hand actions and mime!)

You have to remember thirty years ago it was a wholly different way of travelling to European games than now ,less controlled more freedom but none of the modern day 'comfort' benefits that link you to home; a mobile, internet, ATM’s  or even the homogenisation of City's with  Mac’s , Starbucks etc which provide a sense of familiarity…..travelling to a European away was a lot more of an adventure and dare I say ‘foreign experience’ that it  possibly is  now….you felt a long way from home.


It was thirty years ago so memories have faded and some blurred…but some seared never to be forgotten……

Rome.

Easter 84 I finally got a job after being on the Dole for two years…happy days indeed, although it hadn’t cramped my match attendance going to all home and away league and cup games (back of a van, few bob ale money was all you needed for the always) but Europe was out the question, however with money now  in my pocket Rome was in my sights and soon as the final whistle went against Dinamo Bucherest I was planning my trip.

Most of my mates could afford to fly, so it was left to me and two other lads to make our way over land and sea. Transalpino, the student cheap rail fare company who transported many a scall across Europe was the plan. So with tickets in hand , hope in our hearts and without a fucking clue in our heads off we set. The plan:  Set off Friday over night train to London…then London -Dover - Calais - Paris..Saturday in Paris  and then Sunday overnight train straight to Rome….Roma…the Eternal City….Liverpool’s European Cup City!

The journey to Paris was enjoyable but uneventful..though I recall the lack of fellow Reds concerned me….where are the hordes?.....anyhoo!..Paris was great, visited a few haunts from ’81 ;) and on the Sunday whilst collecting essentials for the overnight train journey ( wine, bread, cheese,ale..more wine) we bumped into Paul Weller and the Style Council making a promo video in a Parisian back street….Paul comes out of shop and bumps into Mick Talbot and ..well that was it…we weren’t impressed and may have offered a view at the time.

The night train to Rome got a bit mad as a few other Reds where on it, a long journey with not much to do but drink…some lads who were bunking their way slept under our pull out seats in the carriage…crossing the Swiss border early morning we were woken early in the morning by ticket collectors and passport control and  the sound of cow bells from  the adjacent fields...having checked our  tickets and passports they moved on...we called the lads below our seats who had been ensconced for a few hours...silence...we were worried. No one had thought about the ability to breathe..when we opened them up I wasn’t sure if they had made it  ..there they were sleeping like little cherubs...


Many a famous General had entered Rome on chariots....later hordes of Vandals...this Monday morning it was just a handful of bleary eyed hung over Scousers. We hadn't made any particular plans for arrival and where happy to be enticed by a lovely young girl waiting at the station holding a placard with a hotels name on who pointed us to a waiting cab who would take us to a hotel...now I know what you’re thinking here..classic set up..nope , we ended up in a stunning place,  a massive house or mansion turned into a hotel...a balcony inside running around a courtyard full of trees and  flowers...it  was a touch faded glory about  it was like something out of a film.. surprisingly  it was cheap , well run and we appeared to be the only guests...there was no catch, but....years later I found out it was in the dodgiest part of Rome...the place they tell tourists not to go to now.

My other mates weren't due to arrive to the Tuesday so we took in a few bars...pretty low key, went for a pizza in a restaurant and had a massive kick off when the bill arrived...we didn't know they  charged for the bread sticks on the table we were eating by the basket load.

Tuesday arrived , met the mates at their hotel and we had an epic day visiting the sites...and beers...few of us got off to the catacombs which was an experience , more so walking through the dodgy apartment blocks after wards trying to get a cab back into the City where we met more mates who had flown in...by this time the buzz was beginning, a European Cup final…..ok so it was Roma's Ground but this was our City.

Late evening about 30 of us  holed up in a bar, quiet but ideal for a beers , laughs and singing...it had to be said there was some talk of it getting dodgy the next day, but by then we had been drinking all day therefore  full of Bravado....then someone said 'there’s a load of Romans outside!!'...you could heat a fucking pin drop...one lad went to check it out...furtive glances around..not laughter or singing now...he came back in..." they want to know if we want a game of football"

Now it’s become a bit of cliché  about visiting fans playing a match with locals in a square...but this is how it was...there was about twenty of them, , late teens, we all piled out and started a game on  square next to the bar...now I have to say it’s about one in the morning by now, and we had been drinking all day so it should come to no surprise they where more nimble than us..but it was great fun and at the end it was handshakes all round, I thought this is what it’s all about and all those shithouses worried about trouble, it’s going to be fine...that feeling lasted about ten minutes. As me and me two mates made our way back to our hotel we passed an bar with some lads outside across the street , next thing bottles and glasses rained down on us and about eight blokes ran at us..with nowhere to go we backed up to the wall and thought this is it... thank god one of them had the good sense to calm the others down otherwise we were done for….he jestured to us to get off and we needed no further encouragement.

The Wednesday welcomed one of the worst hangovers of my life..after discussing the previous night’s events we felt as everyone else was leaving after the game , it was probably best if we did too, especially if we win...our plan was this......there was an overnight train heading north leaving around 01.15 , so plan was leave bags in the main station Termini , than after game  pick up our  bags, few beers,  then cab to the other station our train was leaving from Ostienese....seemed a good idea at the time

We dropped our bags off and   met up with the mates at the Trevi ...still  dying with a hangover I doubled back to my mates hotel and got me head down for a few hours...by the time I woke everyone was in the hotel bar and the mood had definitely changed, not the normal pre match nerves but  something extra...

The trip me mates where on had booked a coach from the hotel to the ground and where going straight to the airport after the game..so we jumped their  coach to the stadium and it got there quite early around 5pm...it was already moody , at one point a mob of about 40 appeared looking like they want a fight…but it turned out to be Lazio looking to join up with us…no takers.. a decision was  made best if we didn’t  go looking for a bar around the stadium, so it was a long wait for the gates to open and get in

The Game is well documented but  a few things I recall from the game…

• Our numbers where disappointingly low at the time( 17,000) but with hindsight a fantastic turn out.
 
• Roma fans made one hell of a noise even with no roof, they had been given these plastic souvenir gloves and when they clapped it was deafening

• They unfurled a massive flag which covered their entire end.

• A very entertaining medieval battle took place in the no man’s land between us and them before the game..stick, rocks, flares..

• I’m convinced it’s the first time I heard ‘Liverbird on my chest’

• A crazy Greek Leeds united supporting airline pilot sat in front of us and he told us how he tried to the take UEFA to court over the 1975 European Cup final saying the ref was biased ( and showed us the letter to  UEFA he carried around with him)

• I realised I needed glasses as couldn't see the ball.

• We won! Joy!!

Leaving the ground in the dark around 10:30pm the mood became very serious and the joy of winning had left us.  At this point we realised we hadn't actually made any plans to get back into the centre of Rome and it was pointless getting on my mates coach...so though best if we headed  away from the noise of police sirens ,fighting and smell of tear gas...likewise quite a few other reds did  too...we headed down a poorly lit dark street leading to a dual carriageway and the little twats  where everywhere on scooters , with sticks and knives, saw one old guy get caught, but we had to get out of there.

We saw two coaches parked up in a lay-by in darkness but  Liverpool fans were heading towards them , we approached ..Liverpool coaches...as we realised there was no way we could make it back to the centre on our own we asked could we get on their coach, thankfully the coach was heading back into the city centre to their hotel and give them there  due they were sound, of course, in fact there where a few others who had just bailed on, it was getting tense , some women crying cos there partners hadn't got back yet....after  a while the coach driver said he  had to go..with the coach not full....the  journey into the centre  was fraught...and when we go there we knew it was time to get off, the people the coach to their credit offered to let us stay in their hotel after we told them our plan...they wished us all the best and patted our backs..  Fuck me  , it felt 'we're going over the top' ...I recall as we stepped off thinking we should have took up there offer....where the fuck are we...and where was the station?...and time was running out for our train...

  There streets where empty ..but lots of lads  on scooters and in cars...very moody, we headed in a direction we thought the  station was in and coming the opposite way was a flat back truck with about twenty Roma fans in the back waving sticks and bars... in what felt like an age in slow motion the truck drove past..phew!...one of the lads  confessed this was the point he really was shitting  himself…and it what made it worse was he was in  the Army!!...I had bought my kid brother a Roma hat and without a shred of shame I put it on to blend in...I looked like a Scouser with a Roma hat on.

 We didn't have a clue where we were and one mate said shall I get out the map. We had a map of the city. Not those cute pop up things you can buy now .. this thing folded out to the size of a bed sheet...so there we stood..rolling out a map like tourists looking lost , pointing in different directions...with loads of Roma driving past..but I had me Roma hat on so we blended in.

 Thankfully we were just  around the corner from Termini .. and with  some  relief we saw police  wagons at the station ..but about 100 lad hanging  around....but Reds...turns out bit earlier there had been a massive  mob of Roma , kicked off but police got there in time. So partly relieved , we picked up our bags from the station left luggage...and this is where our plan began to fail.....we saw a taxi rank but no cabs....that night Roma Taxi drivers decided to go on strike...now I’m all for the workers’ rights to withdraw labour...but why fucking now!!!

It was approx. 12:30am..our train was leaving at 1:15am...we were at Termini but with our train was at  Ostienese..think Lime St to Edge hill...no cabs , no buses...and also we only had £30 of Italian lira left ..what where we going to do..then .like an angel from heaven this guy walks up says, 'Taxi?' !! yes!  yes !! ..he wasn't of course but saw an opportunity..we told him we had to get to Ostienese by 1:15..he said ok but wanted  the  equivalent of £25...which is like saying £150 from Lime St to Edge hill...so realising our situation I say fine...and to my amasement one mate says 'no! it’s a rip off’....five mins off heated exchanges later  we were in the 'cab'..it was about 12:55.....now give the fella his due , he went like the clappers, real crazy stuff and got us to the station with about seven minutes to spare...now the station was full of reds....the special was leaving from there..so quick decision ..jump special..yes? no? what if we don’t get on ?....get our train!  we crossed the platform bridge onto the platform ..just as the guards where waving it away, I swear we ran opened a door and it began  moving , it was like a film, throwing our bags on and jumping on...we made it!!

We slumped on each other , about 8 hours of heightened anxiety, joy , fear , terror , relief  came gushing out....'We won the European cup!!..' first time it was mentioned since leaving the  ground. We jumped and hugged..I think mainly because we felt safe.. and we were going home.

We shuffled down the aisle of a  surprisingly busy train, and found a compartment with a teenage lad in a suit with a big suitcase , he looked like  his mama had dressed him. We slumped on the seats , calmed his startled look and began to relax..I noticed he had a giant bottle of coca cola....we hadn’t drank for 8 hours...he  graciously offered it to us and between the three of us we knocked all but  dregs...I can still see the look of shock and disbelief on his face...well fell into a deep sleep.....I woke few hours later needing a pee..the lad was gone, as I  walked down the  aisle there he was sitting on his case.

We woke, morning...tired happy relieved and proud as the train pulled in Turin Station a gable wall bore the legend in six foot painted letters "Grazie! Liverpool”. Some station staff had Liverpool hats and flags...the special must have passed through...we were heroes..with the little money we had left we dined  on a giant  punnet of strawberries and 1.5 litres of cheap Italian plonk

Our onward journey was Turin to Lyon, then Paris, Friday night then home Saturday ...when we went to the ticket office to sort train time all the ticket staff stopped serving to  congratulate  us ..”leeeverpoool!!”  I must have thought , we will always be welcome here.

Train from Turin to Lyon...we had a two hour wait then a long journey to Paris arriving  early evening...but then the  TGV  hooved into view..a stunning piece of engineering and more  importantly it could shave about 5 hours of our journey...so got on ...superb , like a plane....like a bullet...only down side was after half an hour I noticed our tickets  weren’t eligible on the TGV...but what where they going to do , throw us off?...the guard arrived , “Liverpool?” has asked and then had a very pleasurable 15 min  conversation with him about how great Liverpool where...he asked for our  tickets... I sort of  sheepishly showed him my Transalpino ticket and very gallantly he waved it away giving  a ‘ doesn’t matter’ gesture . The respect for Liverpool Football Club made that happen.

 Paris earlier than expected, so a quick decision stay the night of straight on home...home. The journey from Paris to Calais to Dover to London was arduous, the fun had gone we were tired, skint and homesick...but when spirits where low ,all we had to do was remember the Mighty  Reds and had  done it again ..we'd won European Cup..four fucking time!!..and on the other teams ground.

We arrived back in Liverpool on the  Friday night, one last pint together, we walked into the central and as we ordered a drunk at the bar , turned around , looked me up and down and slurred " you want to fight?".

Home.



 

 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 02:24:02 PM by FlashingBlade »
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Offline jason67

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 09:36:54 PM »
Brilliant read that mate, cheers for posting.
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Offline PROPER crazyemlyn72

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 09:49:21 PM »
history written down in words. just the way i like it :D lovely read.

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 10:06:49 PM »
Good read that mate. My brother was there and told me a similar story. Said when they got out of the ground it was hairy to say the least. Him and a few of the lads were getting chased everywhere.

They got to a cemetary that was locked up and jumped over a fence to get away from the scooters and blades and when they got out of the other side of the cemetary they came across a few Liverpool coaches. The coaches where surrounded by a few hundred Roma fans and Police firing rubber bullets at them. The coaches had no windows left and the drivers had fucked off so the Police jumped in and drove them away to safety.

My brother has followed the reds all over since the late Seventies and said that night was one of scariest he`s ever encountered in his Liverpool supporting career.

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 10:09:27 AM »
Not a selfish bump...but just to remind anyone who might be interested that thirty years ago today , Joe Fagan, led Liverpool to an impressive 4th European cup...oh! and a Treble.

Maybe not as exciting as talking about who we should sign as LB or the latest away shirt, but some acknowledgement for Joe wouldn't go amiss.
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Offline tony new mexico

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 02:14:33 PM »
Also the birth of the famous Campioni song, not the shitty effort sang by the pretenders over the years.
'Transalpino 1978

Offline Fat Scouser

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 04:03:38 PM »
Scariest thing I ever seen at a footy match... getting back to the car parks. 
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Offline Red Ol

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 04:21:23 PM »
Great post FB
Thanks for sharing the memories

Offline TSC

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 05:06:59 PM »
Good stuff that OP.

Offline storkfoot

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2014, 12:03:22 AM »
Funny one this. I can recall loads about our week in Paris in '81 but my recollections of Rome '84 are somehow tainted by the post match "fun" and what happened the following year against another Italian team.

I recall going on a coach, possibly a Toppings Crown, and the trip taking forever. I remember going passed Piacenza and thinking we were nearly there. Wrong.

We were staying in a hotel on the outskirts of Rome. In these pre- Satnav days, the driver had no idea where we were going. Anyway, we arrived in Rome around teatime. I knew it was Rome as the first bit of graffiti I saw as we came off the autostrada was a massive, and I mean MASSIVE "Bastardi Liverpool" painted in white gloss on a sandstone wall.

Possible half an hour later, we had been surrounded by a gang of kids on those 50cc Piaggio Ciao mopeds, banging on the windows and doing cut-throat signs. I was quite amused by this at first. Anyway, about 4 hours later (yes, that long) the driver found the hotel. We just about managed to lose this moped gang about 20 minutes before we found the hotel. I remember the marble floors of the hotel and having a couple of small luke warm cans of Nastro Azzurri (??).

The following day, we had a laugh, met up with other lads off other coaches and trains and before we knew it we were walking across a large ornate paved area around the stadium, taking photos.

The game itself, can't remember that much __disappointed at number of Reds there only 8/9000__marble benches for seats__open stadium__ loads of lights___hills visible in the background__not a great spec too low down and I was separated from my mates__Phil Neal___Graziani__ Grobbelaar.

The euphoria of winning the shootout was negated by a feeling of trepidation in the ground. I was miles and miles from the hotel, separated from my mates, and there was a nasty feeling it was going to kick off outside.

I can recall quite a bit of the carnage outside including being on a tram going over the river which was getting bricked, and getting off the tram to try and rescue a 12 year old Red and his Dad who were getting a good kicking by a large gang of very brave Italians.

Thankfully, our coach got away the next day without getting the windows put in. I think it must have been late that we left as I can remember passing through Lyon in the earlier hours being the only one on the coach who couldn't sleep.

I'm still glad I went though :-)

Offline CRAZY HORSE EMLYN

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2014, 03:14:56 AM »
The only European Cup Final of ours my dad has missed.
My sister's 30th birthday today.
Victoria she's called.

Offline meady1981

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2014, 08:11:02 AM »
The only European Cup Final of ours my dad has missed.
My sister's 30th birthday today.
Victoria she's called.

Great that  :)

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2014, 12:04:26 PM »
Great read that mate .This was the first European Cup final I went to .

Always remember about a week before the final , the news was on and showed riots in Rome of the Roma fans queuing for tickets - tear gas , the lot . Didn't bode well for what was to come .

Travelled down in a transit van , about 10 of us .Stayed a couple of days in Ferrara in the NE of Italy , staying with the sister of one of our group . Had a great few days there and the people were top notch .

The day of the game , we travelled down the motorway and stopped off at a service area for a stretch . Anyway , a car screeches to a halt just next to us and a couple of lads get out . Turns out they were Liverpool fans looking for a ticket . We had a spare and ended up swapping the ticket for a big bag of grass - good deal  :) !

Ended up getting into Rome fairly late that day . The accommodation booked by one of the group was like a residential care home / hospital but was empty except for us - very bizarre.We were about a 2 mile walk away from the ground . As it was late , it was pretty quiet and even when we got to the ground it was empty outside . Made our way in and the ground was chocker ( Liverpool end not so much ). The atmosphere was white hot . Remember a flare being shot over the no-mans land from the Roma fans into the Liverpool fans . Quick as a flash 2 flares were shot into the Roma fans in reply .

The game itself wasn't great but it was always about the  score . As mentioned above , the joy of the winning penalty was tempered by what we knew wasn going to happen outside .On leaving the ground , the road out had a high wall on one side . Bricks , bottles - you name it , it was all coming over the wall . The end of the road led to an open area with boulevards . That's were it really kicked off . Tear gas , flares , running mobs - fuckin madness . When you see the Italian riot police hiding behind cars , you know it's not good .

By this time I'd got split from one brother and a mate , which left me , another brother and a friend to try and make our way back to the 'hotel'.I just wanted to get out of the immediate area and headed off across a few car parks .Don't mind admitting , at this point I was bricking it . Didn't have a fuckin clue where we were , where we were headed , with loads of Italians just waiting to stab me in the arse . We came across a car park , deserted except for 2 lone coaches . We walked past he coaches and as we headed away , I heard someone call my name . It was another brother who had traveled to Rome with my Dad by plane . Fuck me , I was happy to see him . We all jumped on the coach and headed back to Rome city centre .Plenty of other stragglers jumped on the coaches too before it left , all as relieved as we were.

To this day , I still can't believe the chances of bumping into my brother in some obscure car park 10 minutes away from the ground . God knows what would have happened if we hadn't have met them .

Got back to the brothers hotel , exhausted after 5 days of heavy sessions , and slept like a log .

Got back to our hotel the next morning and a fair few of our group did'nt get back to the hotel until that afternoon . My brother and mate ended up kipping at the train station but said it was a scarey experience . They met up with a red there who used to go all the games . His nickname was Dover - called that funny enough because he was from Dover .

Was glad to get out of Rome . As we got on the motorway out of Rome , got plenty of the Roma fans giving us the fingers . How we all laughed  :)!
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2014, 12:31:17 PM »
Sponge...wonder if it was the same two coaches we bailed on?

Anyone reading this will notice a certain 'continuity' of experiance's. One of the ironies is that days later Thatcher congratulated Liverpool fans on our behaviour as the post match shit was discussed in the House...and we all know what happened next.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 12:35:52 PM by FlashingBlade »
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Offline Spongebob Redpants

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2014, 12:37:48 PM »
Sponge...wonder if it was the same two coaches we bailed on?

I was thinking the same mate .

I remember the coach I was on had curtains ( all closed ) so wasn't targeted when headed back to the centre . Can't remember exactly , but reckon it was also a local coach so wouldn't have stood out.
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home. - 30th Anniversary Today!
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2014, 12:41:38 PM »
I was thinking the same mate .

I remember the coach I was on had curtains ( all closed ) so wasn't targeted when headed back to the centre . Can't remember exactly , but reckon it was also a local coach so wouldn't have stood out.

Same as ours...coincidence?...from memory I thought they had something to do with the London Branch...maybe not...
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Offline The 92A

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2014, 04:17:31 PM »
Flashing blade, thanks for taking time to write that, That's RAWK at it's finest, I love reading things like this you explain the times well. I missed that one but it struck a cord. You forget how exciting it was getting out of Liverpool them days, signing on and just going for it, mad trips all over Europe. Not to do with the footy but I'm sure we bumped into the same girl in Rome's Termini, expecting a rip off, we thought we'd chance it for one night and  ended up in  a great place in the Red Light district. Fantastic write up, hope you do more.

Offline storkfoot

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #17 on: June 1, 2014, 08:23:49 AM »
Dover - can't recall the face but, yes, he was a regular at aways around that time.

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #18 on: June 1, 2014, 11:18:45 AM »
Dover - can't recall the face but, yes, he was a regular at aways around that time.


Blonde haired lad I think, he turned up at Soton away once with white shoes and got ragged for it.
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #19 on: June 1, 2014, 11:44:13 AM »
Dover - can't recall the face but, yes, he was a regular at aways around that time.

Blonde haired lad I think, he turned up at Soton away once with white shoes and got ragged for it.

That's the fella !
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Offline nozza

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #20 on: June 1, 2014, 04:35:36 PM »
5 of us set off in a Ford Granada, only supposed to be 4 off us going but me best mate decided last minute to fuck off his holiday with his bird and his engagement and literally jump in, best move he ever made he says to this day.
1 was 18 at the time, so my first one, remember being gutted in 81 when me dad and all his brothers and mates left for Paris flags furled getting told I was to young to go for that one.There was no stopping me for Rome.
 The innocence of youth is great to look back on, no plan, no sat nav, just a fucking big map, load of ale and a two man tent.
We  stopped off in France on the way, one of them roadside pull overs, to pissed to get the tent up so a few kipped in the car and a couple of us on some benches, i woke up to a tap on the shoulder from a French Bizzie telling us to move on. Next stop was a little town on the coast of Italy called La Spezzia, spent a good day and night here on the piss and had a ball, cheap red wine , fine young Italian girls, and a few dodgy moments with locals but on the whole all good, we loaded up on the cheap plonk and set off to Rome.
Arriving in Rome, with the scarfs and flags decking the car out, hanging out the car singing was magnificent. Yellow and red flags everywhere hanging from buildings, we felt like fucking kings arriving.
To be fair the Romans in the few days before the game were sound to us, loads of good banter, an epic drunken  game of footie against a load of their fans on a field outside the Collisium, playing headers in the Trevi fountain, getting interviewed by radio city and me family just happened hear it back home. Me mate got a spare from Paul Usher of all people( Barry Grant from Brookie who had  a mate with one extra…fucking happy days) Everything was falling into place. We found a  campsite on the outskirts owned by a Lazio fan who was a cracking fella, he lent us a tent too,  and gave us the name of a Lazio bar and directions for it after the game, which proved to be some of  the best  advice  I think I ever have been given in hindsight.
You could literally feel the change in mood on the day of the game, the couple of days before the Romans we met were very welcoming, it was good to get off the tram and walk down a big tree lined boulevard, more yellow and red flags draped everywhere, them big foam fingers,  and the red and white checkers in our end, some fella next to us stumbled in bladdered and slept through the whole game, we woke his up for the penalties. I can't remember much of the game at all, sang myself hoarse, I remember sitting down for for Kennedy's penalty, bottling it.Pure joy when it went in…then a few bonfires in there end, then that walk out after, getting rained on with bottles and bricks, dads with kids sheltering ..fucking despicable twats, we legged it to the Lazio bar where our campsite boss met us , the place was bouncing . A  few good bevvies in there and off back to the campsite, fair do's this fella had put a big spread on in the camp bar and the drinks flowed. About 30 reds had found the campsite and we had a ball in there. We were lucky to meet this fella , loads of accounts off mates from after the game all much like the ones in here.
The trip home was long, no money for food, just petrol and the ferry money,  we met a few older hands at our campsite who had drove down and we followed them all the way back, every time they stopped and cooked on a grill out of the boot of their car they brought us food over, great fellas , we would have been fucked without there help on the way back. Sitting here now 30 years later I wonder where the fuck they went…30 years....christ. It was the start of many a foray into Europe following the reds though for me, the comarardierie of fellow reds  has always been the same and them old hands who helped us on the way back has always stuck with me.

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #21 on: June 1, 2014, 05:27:43 PM »
I went. It was shit. I'd been there in 77. I went to Juve the year before. That was shit an all. Me mates call me Lucky
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #22 on: June 3, 2014, 11:25:04 AM »
Part of our History

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #23 on: June 3, 2014, 02:25:43 PM »
Terrific piece mate.
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #24 on: June 3, 2014, 09:02:25 PM »
Wow - fanastic read.

My trip to Istanbul was a bit of a "planes trains & automobiles" type adventure but without the threat of being battered/stabbed hanging over us.  Must have been horrible for Reds to go through.  Rome from a day or two before the final onwards sounds a proper nasty place to be. 

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2014, 10:29:26 PM »
Fantastic read that mate. Really enjoyed it.

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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2014, 10:41:54 PM »
Wow - fanastic read.

My trip to Istanbul was a bit of a "planes trains & automobiles" type adventure but without the threat of being battered/stabbed hanging over us.  Must have been horrible for Reds to go through.  Rome from a day or two before the final onwards sounds a proper nasty place to be. 



Always liked that picture anyone got a bigger version of it
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #27 on: July 5, 2014, 12:27:32 AM »


Respect x2.
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2015, 02:12:12 PM »
Here is a Rome 84 documentary - audio. It's a good listen.
https://mega.co.nz/#!mYoxRAbJ!vCn_Z5ZKlBQlevwiVO0W6Tmh08QOdqcq9i-Oe85bY8k
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Re: Memories of Rome 84 - From Rome to Home.
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2015, 11:49:38 PM »
Brilliant that from Flashing Blade.Its the onlyEC Final Ive missed.Had a job interview the following morning,which I couldnt change,and couldn't turn down either due to being on the dole.I got the job and a decent 30 career out of it so not all bad,and recently retired from it.