Ridsdale and I Part 13- The lost season ticket & Ull
Tuesday, 18th May 2021 17:54 by Mark Monk
The tale of my early years following Leeds United continues through 1989/90, as I search in vain for my missing season ticket and we have a bit of trouble with Don Goodman. Not for the last time.
The lost season ticket continued to be the dominant thought in my mind, I even started tearing up the flat to make sure I'd not accidentally carried it back home somehow or by a miracle of biblical proportions it had teleported itself from the dusty terraces of the Kop and appeared by magic on the mantlepiece.
The word from the club was not encouraging either, basically there was very little Eric Carlile could do other than to offer a sympathetic ear and refer the matter to David Dowse, Club Secretary. I wrote a pleading letter to Mr Dowse but got a blunt reply back saying that I'd have to pay again for it and maybe try and claim off my house insurance, something I did not have as I was 18 and lived with my parents in a flat above the pub.
Barry as ever was brilliant, he told me not to worry he'd fix me up somehow for the Hull City game. Despite losing 3-2 at Swindon the previous Sunday afternoon, we were still top and three points clear of Sheffield United. Hull meanwhile lay 5th from bottom just one point above the drop-zone.
Barry took me into the Fullerton Park Social Club and made a beeline towards a shady looking character in the corner as I got the beers in. The guy come over and basically he'd got some complimentary tickets and was happy to flog me one at a couple of quid over face value. Immoral yes, but he wasn't as bad as the touts who were lurking in Elland Road in increasing numbers searching for opportunities and prey.
The ticket was a funny coloured yellow cardboard thing, but it admitted me to the South Stand paddock for the seven goal thriller against the Tigers. Chris Kamara and Imre Varadi made their debuts- the latter joining the likes of Carl Shutt, Lee Chapman, Mel Sterland, Glynn Snodin and erm Dylan Kerr as the Sheffield Wednesday old-boys network.
But Vinnie Jones turned in a sublime performance scoring a magnificent volley and setting up Gordon Strachan's late winner - one of his finest games in a Leeds shirt without a shadow of a doubt and another slap in the face for those who said he was merely a thug who couldn't play and his role was to stop others from playing.
Unfortunately like a prat, I missed Strachan's winner, deep into injury-time as Id left the ground early, to this day I don't know why as I was on the coach which never left until 5:20pm at the earliest and Barry never gave the signal to Mick to leave until everyone was on board.
At least my early arrival at the coach meant I could browse the Mail Order Price List supplement included with the Hull programme to my hearts content. The most expensive item was unsurprisingly a replica away shirt at just £23.50, the bad news however was the biggest size was a 42" chest which obviously ruled out beer monsters including yours truly.
Bizarrely in the VHS video selection you could buy the FA Cup Final Replay from 1970 (lost 1-2 to Chelsea) and if that wasn't enough misery, another £10.99 (including UK shipping) would get you the 1973 Final (Leeds 0 Sunderland 1). Both the Cup Winners Cup of '73 and the European Cup Final of '75 were conspicuous by their absence.
The previous season I noted Leeds were selling luxury souvenirs for the more discerning supporter in conjunction with a local company called Beaver International, I'm not sure if the same firm were behind the Leeds United Ladies Briefs or even the G-strings, both a bargain £1.75 in the Mail Order catalogue!
For the next home game against West Brom on February 24th Barry again turned up trumps and told me I was going to the game with him free-of-charge. His trusted sidekick Brian had to miss the West Brom and Port Vale games and kindly Brian had said I could use his season ticket, a seat next to Barry in the West Stand! The posh seats where The Square Ball fanzine said they showed their appreciation by rattling their jewellery.
Obviously being the son of publicans, I've met my fair share of men (and women) who could take their drink. Barry however was in a league of his own. My "complimentary" ticket included a pre-match "session" in the Fullerton Park Social Club. I don't think I've ever drunk so much beer in the 90 minutes before kick-off!
Stumbling and blinking my way to the upper West Stand aligned more towards the Kop, I watched as we tore into West Brom and deservedly took the lead, Chris Kamara heading home Strachan's corner. I celebrated from Brian's seat then all of a sudden I felt an arm wrap around my neck, nearly knock me to the ground and then literally squeeze the living daylights out of me, it was Barry!
He duly apologised saying "Sorry I get a bit carried away when they score!". When Lee Chapman put us 2-0 up I knew what was coming next! Alas, Leeds let a 2-0 lead slip and Don Goodman (who else) and Kevin Bartlett earned the visitors a 2-2 draw.
Goodman was born in Leeds but was overlooked by his home town club and went on to have a career with Bradford City, West Brom, Sunderland, Wolves amongst others and seemed to have a habit of scoring against Leeds and seemed to carry on his thorn-in-our-side approach through his punditry in later years!
If you can’t wait for the next episode to appear on toellandback, you can sneak a peek at my blog by clicking on this link.
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