PLATFORM 9.. dave kirby
The millennium stadium 2001
a shining example to everyone
two sets of fans, drink arm in arm
in an atmosphere of total calm.
Outside the pubs they congregate
there was no need to segregate
they share the buses and the trains
and walk together to the game.
As I reflect upon that day
I pray it always stays that way
because I remember vividly
the way that football used to be.
The mods from the early sixties days
moved on into a different phase
they cropped their hair, got rid of their suits
then put on jeans and airwair boots.
These skinhead boys looked quite a menace
especially on a football terrace
where Β‘agroΒ’ was the battle cry
then heads and fists and boots would fly.
This escalated out of hand
to football clubs throughout the land
it was impossible not to get involved
for hooliganism had truly evolved.
To watch your team away those days
you’d catch a ‘special’ football train
at lime St. station where hundreds of reds
would all prepare for battle ahead.
These ‘special’ trains were very old
uncomfortable and always cold
they carried 700 at a time
and always left from platform 9.
Youd turn up with your little crew
and make your way to the back of the queue
youd see flemings jeans, boots and braces
Liverpool had some real hard cases.
Newcastle station in 74
the train was still moving as you jumped out the door
700 lads all up for ‘a go’
sang Β“ hello hello scousers agro .”
It didnt take long till the geordies arrived
hundreds of them on the street outside
“ stick together boys, dont split up “
If we dont ‘have a go’ we are gonna get ####ed.
Their crew outnumbered ours by far
some geordie jumped on top of a car
he threw a bottle, then screamed abuse
the next thing we knew, all hell broke loose.
They charged at us, and us at them
felt like we’re outnumbered 1 - 10
I got a terrible smack, and seen ‘white stars’
then my mate got ran over by a passing car.
The aftermath was a shocking sight
after police moved in and stopped the fight
injuries everywhere, it seemed so surreal
with my mate trapped under a motor car wheel.
I never got to see that game
with my buddy ‘franny’ in so much pain
heΒ’d broken his hip in that affray
and walks with a limp to this very day.
I dont know how I stayed alive
after going to Leeds in 75
but a knight in shining armour came
a kirkby ‘physcho’ mad gerry his name.
At lime st there was something wrong
2 ‘specials’ laid off, there was now only one
we knew the match tickets had been sold
but the safe bet at Leeds was to travel by road.
It was butterfly time as we boarded the train
just 300 in number for this powder keg game
there was a worried expression on every man
then at ’Leeds city’ station the party began.
We piled off the train, there was no turning back
mad gerry was frightening as he led the attack
there was roaring, and car horns, and breaking glass
in the famous battle of the underpass.
As we got to the middle, they attacked from both sides
we fought like ####, there was no place to hide
hand to hand combat, on this scale was rare
there was pandemonium everywhere.
For 25 minutes with no police around
there were bodies thumping and hitting the ground
a Leeds fan gave my brother a smack
so I head butted him right onto his back.
I must admit id had enough
when the coppers came and broke it up
police vans, dog vans, by the load
then escorted us to elland road.
before the match ended gerry wised us up
“when the gates are open lets get to ####”
so off to the station, a 3 mile hike
on our heels, the biggest mob iv seen in my life.
Buses would pass us, absolutely packed
theyΒ’d get off and charge, trying to force us all back
but with Β‘mad gerryΒ’ leading the line
we fought our way through them every time.
In all the away games that iv ever been
the Leeds mob that day was the biggest iv seen
they were right when they said , if you went there by train
you would never travel there by that means again.
Β‘Mad gerryΒ’ that day was a general at large
he fired us all up and led every charge
a natural leader who saved 300 lives
in the underpass battle of 75.
As the 70Β’s moved forward, a new dawn began
The scousers pioneered Β‘the designer fanΒ’
Off came the braces, off came the boots
In came the Β‘trainersΒ’ and Lonsdale tracksuits.
The rest of the country were slow to catch up
when we travelled away we were easily sussed
In our Adidas Samba and Lois jeans
we may have looked different, but weΒ’re still pretty mean
But it was violent everywhere
youd seen so many brawls that you just didnt care
it became 2nd nature, a bit of a laugh
just part and parcel of going the match.
Kings rd London, venue sloane square
the chelsea Β‘headhuntersΒ’ met us there
the cockneys were very well organized
we came out of the station but were forced back inside.
They forced us back down the moving stairs
then seemed content to leave us there
it wasnt long till we found out
what their plan was all about.
A tube train stopped, opened its doors
out came chelsea fans by the score
they ran up from the underground
as the ones up top were running down.
With absolutely nowhere to go
we decided to take the ones below
we managed to push them back onto the train
it was when they pulled out that the real horror came.
By the ones up above, we were being pushed back
to an electric underground railway track
the lads on the platform, who were nearest the line
went through a nightmare of a time.
Through sheer weight of numbers they were all dropping down
nowhere to climb up as they rallied around
imagine the fear that went through their minds
not knowing if a tube , would appear on the line.
I was so ####ing scared on that escalator
that id have kicked the shit out the Β‘terminatorΒ’
I was hit by something, but felt no pain
rather under the cosh, than under a train.
A fight on an escalator is no fun at all
you lose your balance, and always fall
if you ever get chased in London town
dont ####ing run up, the ones that come down.
In a screaming rage, we all attacked
to the sheer relief of the ones at the back
B.R. turned the power off on the tubes
an event which made the national news.
It wasnt always quite this bad
it depended on the mobs they had
youd always have a laugh and joke
at Bolton, Ipswich town, and Stoke.
The eighties came and things went mad
the violence got vicious and twice as bad
not just a kicking anymore
as stanley knives came to the fore.
This was a real dodgy time
but still youΒ’d travel down the line
paranoid every step of the way
and all to watch the redmen play.
The annual trip to man utd
had every die hard red excited
weΒ’d go in thousands to that match
we loved to invade their precious patch.
The crew that traveled in 81
were the craziest crew iv stumbled on
they left a trail of sheer destruction
and on trafford bridge, caused mass disruption.
When we arrived at warwick rd
the coppers were all in Β‘panic modeΒ’
we could hear the riot up ahead
which was started by the Kensington Reds.
They were holding the bridge like a cavalry fort
there were thousands of us in a police escort
it was like a bugler had sounded his horn
as we broke through the escort, like Zulu Dawn.
The Mancs didΒ’nt know what had hit them that day
they were battered then scattered in every way
The Kenny crew went by coach and got pissed
then said Β“ah #### it , lets go and take the bridgeΒ”
Man City was just as bad as well
the surrounding roads were sheer hell
You didΒ’nt know who the #### youΒ’d meet
in that maze of coronation streets.
To go by car was just plain silly
so youΒ’d catch the train to Piccadilly
Theres safety in numbers so they say
but not when the Mancs came out to play.
The rivalry is well renowned
there was always murder around that town
A constant battling war crusade
whilst dodging bricks and stanley blades.
Other fans were also bad
the London boys were ####ing mad
Most fans done a quick u-turn
from West Hams inter city firm.
The first time we went to boroΒ’s ground
there was total ructions in their town
A two mile dash through shopping malls
whilst fighting hundreds of boro scalls.
The mayhem came right out the blue
you didΒ’nt know who the #### was who
Dont know how many times I was asked the time
shrugged my shoulders, punched them, then moved down the line.
Then at Middlesboro station I finally got pummeled
took a terrible kicking in the underground tunnel
Our kid who is quiet then led an attack
put me back on my feet then took me up to the track.
The following day I could just about walk
My jaw was so swollen I could just about talk
Felt like IΒ’d been dragged, tied to a horse
but football and beatings were par for the course
I could mention Rome in Β‘84
Birmingham New St, and many more
Like the chaos at Tottenham in Β‘81
were the seven sisters Β‘went off Β’ like an atom bomb.
There are hundreds of stories that I could relate
IΒ’m not saying there clever or macho or great
IΒ’m just writing it down so it can be seen
what you had to go through for the love of your team.
To deny that it happened, or to turn a blind eye
would be stubbornly foolish and a downright lie
The only way forward is to conquer our fears
letΒ’s face it, it went on over 25 years.
As I piece it together now middle aged
I see some of the reasons which started those dayΒ’s
You lived and breathed football with all of your mates
It was your only release from the council estates.
It became like religion, a tribal thing
It was a society that made it a boxing ring
Working class youths, nothing else in their lives
saw a way of being identified.
So youΒ’d follow your team through thick and thin
even though you risked getting your head kicked in
YouΒ’d travel through the wind and rain
on a B.R special football train.
It was such a different story then
youΒ’d be thrown into the lions den
And laid your life upon the line
When you took a train from platform 9.