Author Topic: Sweaty Dockers, Urine and Tobacco  (Read 8203 times)


  • Guest
Sweaty Dockers, Urine and Tobacco
« on: December 22, 2001, 01:47:10 am »
Courtesy of Mottman, from the official site forum. Sound bloke.


In the early 60’s when I was a young lad, I noticed that my Dad used to go missing most Saturday’s for hours and hours on end. He used to arrive home invariably in a drunken state late at night and would tell me about this team called Liverpool Football Club and how they had played each match.

It didn’t matter if this team had played great or poorly, he always came home in a calm, mellow but happy mood. I was always curious where he went and why it soothed him so much. Obviously being a clever sort I found out if I took an interest in Liverpool FC I would be able to stay up later than usual.

I used to sit for hours listening him to pouring out his heart about Liverpool FC, the history, it’s high and low points and a team called Everton.

Then in the Christmas of 1965, my dream came true. On Boxing Day Liverpool took on Leeds United at Anfield and all our family where going. I can remember what seemed a horrendous long walk for a
7 year old boy from Clare Road Bootle to Anfield. Walking up, I can remember being amazed at the numbers of people walking up to the match.

We arrived at this place called Anfield, and made our way into the paddock right by the Anfield Road.
I remember sitting on the wall of the “old” floodlight stantions and watching a mass of people at one end of the crowd. This end contained the most people I had ever seen in my life, it was huge it was incredible it was just a wall of noise and very colourful. This turned out to be “The Spion Kop” one day to be the love of my life.

Then as both teams ran out side by side, the noise was deafening, it was a wall of sound that hurt this young boys ears. Suddenly as if prearranged the majority of the Spion Kop held up their red and white scarf’s and started to sing you’ll Never Walk Alone. I had never seen or heard anything like this in all my seven years on this planet.

Throughout the game, The Spion Kop moved and sang as one, Liverpool scored, I fell off the floodlight wall and suddenly the Earth moved. I was put back up on the wall and was greeted with the sight of all the ground going berserk. Leeds equalised and the couple of hundred Leeds fans in the Anfield Road End waved white hankies up in the air in acknowledgement. The Liverpool supporters clapped the Leeds United goal.

At the end of the match, I can remember clapping in appreciation to the efforts of both teams, my hands hurt for ages afterwards.

This was the shape of things to come, every Saturday when my Dad used to get ready to go to the match, I used to pester him to take me. Obviously he didn’t take me to many games because he wanted to meet his mates in the pub for a few bevies or had to travel to away games.

In 1965 we had progressed to the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park against Chelsea; I was deemed a lucky mascot and duly travelled to Birmingham to watch the Tricky Reds. I can remember thousands of Liverpool Fans like I’d never seen before, all built up into a frenzy, all moving all as one, the spirit of Liverpool FC. Of course we won after a very close encounter. History was in the making.

On morning in May 1965 seemed like any other, until the Cup Final approached, My Dad once told me that when Liverpool FC were in the second division and felt we were good enough to win promotion or the FA Cup the Blue noses always used to say “Tell it to the Marines”. This is a famous saying some of you may have heard.

Well one morning in May 1965 we certainly “Told it to the Marines”. During WW2 my Dad was in the SBS the fore runners to the SAS and of course he started our as a Royal Marine. Another local famous saying (from Everton fans was, when the Liver birds leave Liverpool then we will win the Cup).

I’d heard all this but it meant nothing to me, then after watching the pre-match warm up to the Liverpool V Leeds Cup Final something happened, my Dad had not been able to get a ticket and had gone to the local boozer for a couple of pints, on his way home he noticed a pigeon sitting on our roof, well, he told us and as we watched the game we had to run out to the back garden to check if the
“Liver Bird” was still on the roof. History was made Liverpool FC had won the FA Cup for the very first time.

Next day, I can remember going to Town to see them bring the Cup back to Liverpool, if I had thought the Spion Kop was awesome what followed next beggared beyond belief. It was incredible the whole of Town was full of Zany Liverpool fans and I mean FULL. St John held the Cup aloft as the team bus left Lime Street Station, he was wearing a red beret, which somehow my Dad caught whilst holding me on his shoulders. I still have it with a special badge proclaiming Liverpool FC league Champions 1966.

During the late 60’s I was fortunate to be taken too many games by my Dad. For home games we used to leave around 12:30 walk up to Anfield, then he always had to pop into a pub to see if his mates were in there. After a while I noticed that most pubs’s usually had small groups of young lads standing outside each holding a packet of Walkers crisps and a bottle of lemonade. We always went into the Anfield Road end, as this was less crowded.

For the next few years, each match we stood in amazement looking and listening at the Spion Kop. In our eyes it was the eight wonder of the World, I had been to some away games and nothing compared to it.

As I began to grow, probably 12 or 13 years old, I started going into the pub with my Dad and sat with the other lads in awe. We were always told that if a policeman walks into the pub, then get up and quickly walk out the other door and wait outside.

I was fortunate enough to travel to many away games with me Dad and his mates, usually in some clapped out banger, it was funny! No matter were we went we always bumped into someone he knew in the pub.

As time passed I looked forward to meeting my football mates in the pubs around Anfield, happy days. I remember one particular occasion when sitting in a pub with the other lads, when in walked these huge Policeman. Before we could get out, they took off their long overcoats placed them on some chairs nearby and asked us if we would mind their coats. The Police ordered some beer then sat down with my Dad and his mates and started playing cards. We where totally gobsmacked!!!!!!!
Five or six young teenagers sitting by Policemen in uniform watching them play cards and supping ale, mind-blowing?

In time me and my own mates and my football mates decided it was time to rebel, we wanted to go into the Spion Kop. The Spion Kop had a reputation of being full of drunken high-spirited young Liverpool men and was not for the faint hearted. Our first game in the Spion Kop was to be Roger Hunt’s Testimonial. For the next week my Mum, Dad and Brother kept saying, “I hope you know what you are letting yourself into” On the way to the match, none of us mentioned the Spion Kop, but I think we were all-nervous but wouldn’t admit it. We got into the Spion Kop, even the fella on the gate said
“Are you sure, you want to come in here” moved near to the middle and claimed a barrier to sit on. Easy!!! What is all the fuss about?

As the crowd began to build up we noticed how cramped our space had become. We must have climbed up and got knocked off the barrier two dozen times at least. What a night, suddenly all of us seemed to know all the words to all the Liverpool songs; we sang our hearts out. For the first time in our lives we where independent and had been fully introduced and accepted into the world famous Spion Kop. The smell of sweaty Dockers, urine and tobacco would never be forgotten.

Before I left School, in the early 70’s we where told that the employment situation in Liverpool was the worst in the United Kingdom and that the majority of us would not get jobs. I and most of my mates got jobs in unemployment hot spot called Liverpool, this enabled us to go to all home games and more away games.

To be continued.


« Last Edit: January 1, 1970, 01:00:00 am by 1017961200 »

Rd Ender

  • Guest
DgthemIL .COMRe: Sweaty Dockers, Urine and Tobacco
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2001, 05:10:54 pm »
Brilliant article that.It reminds me of my first game.It was actually the day after the Leeds game mentioned above(we lost the home game 1-0 by the way),and we played them at Elland Rd and won 1-0 with Gordon Milne scoring.I  had been to loads of reserve games but never to see the 1st team.Why the hell my dad took me away I don't know,probably the only way he could get out of the house without causing a row with me mam!
     I only actually saw the pitch once,and that was the end of the game,it was freezing cold,I can also remember a Leeds fan giving us a drink of his coffee which had scotch in it and was bloody awful!That was also my first experience of football specials,there was no heating,it broke down on the way home,a gang of lads got off the train in Manchester and robbed loads of sweets and gave me them,got back to Edge Hill really late(or so it seemed to a 6 year old.And so began my love affair with the reds,still going strong after all those years.Thaks dad!
« Last Edit: January 1, 1970, 01:00:00 am by 1017961200 »

Offline cyn

  • Archivist
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Legacy Fan
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,640
  • I love YaBB 1 Gold!
Re: Sweaty Dockers, Urine and Tobacco
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2001, 04:08:44 am »
This deserves to be on the front page.
« Last Edit: January 1, 1970, 01:00:00 am by 1017961200 »

Offline ZC_09

  • Main Stander
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • We all live in a Red and White Kop
Re: Sweaty Dockers, Urine and Tobacco
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2001, 04:15:38 am »
Agree with that.

Quality piece of work, should be up for all to see.

« Last Edit: January 1, 1970, 01:00:00 am by 1017961200 »

Offline Mottman

  • OCB Rep, King of Bootle, Snake Wrangler Extraordinaire, Member of the Garston is in Runcorn Society
  • Legacy Fan
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,424
Re: Sweaty Dockers, Urine and Tobacco
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2001, 06:26:46 pm »
Ban Hoonin, only messing.

« Last Edit: January 1, 1970, 01:00:00 am by 1017961200 »
A boy from the Mersey and a Son of Shankly.