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Poised to Sing!
Poised to Sing!

It's Blue, It's Square

By: Chris Smith
Date: 19/04/2010

I HOPE to be proved wrong, but I think our league status is temporarily suspended as of this season. Oddly enough, whilst I’d rather we managed to stay up, I’m determined to make the best of it. Ultimately, I’m powerless over events on the field and the officials and the sooner I accept what might happen, the better I’ll be.

In my humble opinion, our relegation will not mean the end of GTFC. We had a stay of execution last year and got more s*** players whilst the ones we had got worse. It was always coming. However, I don’t intend this to be a post mortem. I’ll leave that to the message boards.

I haven’t got many happy memories post 2004 and have become heartily sick and tired of some grounds. The way I see it, at least I’ll be able to reacquaint myself with some happier hunting grounds or at least good days out. I’ve also been bitching about how the value of my season ticket has been devalued with all the offers but have been strangely pleased to see the number of families in the UF. As a good Brentford mate of mine has observed from afar, the crowds we have pulled in (even taking into account the discounts) have been impressive. I suppose I’m happy we’re not bowing out in front of an empty ground. I really enjoyed the game on Tuesday night as well although I was disappointed with the result. It has combined to make me optimistic for the future. I’ve even thought about renewing my season ticket despite missing four or five home games a season which we invariably win.

My own experience of drink and drugs has made me realise I can’t place my overall emotional well-being on something external to me and that has to include my football club. I’ll be grateful I have one to support and get on with it.

I see that Hayes and Yeading United have just drawn which keeps their BSP future in the balance. I sincerely hope they stay up. A few Town fans have fond recollections spent at the Church Road ground and the odd away game as well. My first visit was a game at home to Bognor Regis Town in 1989 when I was unable to get to BP as I was recovering from a bout of flu. One two nil win later and I was hooked on the ground which might not grab the admiration of Town fans. As you go in through the turnstiles, there is a side stand in front of you for those who prefer to sit. The terracing just to the right has some of the more vocal support. Opposite is the larger stand which covers the terracing and which can be segregated when needs be.

When Hayes have had an FA Cup game, and they do have a pedigree in the competition, they have needed this. Hayes is very much Chelsea territory and when Hayes played at Fulham in the early 1990s, plenty of the 5,000 travelling support supported the Stamford Bridge outfit. Another Town fan, Gary B, went along and the two nil win for the non league side featured two cracking goals which would subsequently feature on Match of the Day intros. It remains one of the best Friday nights at football to this day.

Gary and I barely missed a Town home game in the 1992/3 season. We’d travel up for Tuesday night games either by car or by caning the Boots free rail voucher offers. We’d end the night scoffing mountains of bacon sarnies at my folks’ house after the invariably good results and normally pick up some big match tickets from Pete Furneaux’s business on the Wednesday morning for the other London Mariners. A mate’s sister worked for him and we could normally get first dibs before they went on general sale. Anyway, we had been in a rich vein of form when Dave Beasant was playing for us and despite our regular trips up north, the home game on a Saturday against Bristol City was turned down in favour of a trip to Brighton to watch Hayes. We’d normally bump into plenty of Brentford fans looking for a change of scenery and I suppose that is something I hope to take out of next season. It was Hayes fans who inspired us to sing "We know a song that gets everybody’s nerves" non-stop for ages. Just as the listener thinks it will get to "and this is what it is", the next verse starts "and we still know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves" It got on Town fans’ nerves as well to be honest but we did enjoy singing it all the way from Luton to St Pancras after a last minute midweek win there.

Hayes’ favourite song was the repetitive "We are ‘Ayes" (pronounced Eyes) and I have the t-shirt to prove it. A group of local Spurs fans (Boo hiss) turned their back on the Premier League (geddin there!) and now follow Hayes everywhere. One was the husband of a colleague. She sadly related they kept diaries of what they drank on trips (which I thought was impressive) although the entries were Stella, more Stellas, even more Stellas.

They could be heard at Maidenhead singing;

Fack ‘em all Fack ‘em all Yeading Uxbridge and Southall We are from ‘Ayes and we are the best We are from ‘Ayes so fack all the rest

Can’t sing that since the Yeading merger.

Just to show that Town fans don’t have the monopoly on misery, there were two old boys who no-one would stand next to and who whinged at how bad the side were playing in the game before it had kicked off. One even stood on an open terrace, in splendid isolation, at Marlow (who hate Wycombe-good for them) during a rainstorm as 300 plus of us sheltered under the stand.

I’ve hurled abuse at H*ll in an FA Cup tie at Church Road and saw myself berating their keeper after a second equaliser there. It was captured brilliantly on MOTD which seemed very funny as I watched it completely plastered that night. That was the game where the H*ll mascot nearly caused a riot after gesturing to the home fans after they’d gone ahead.

Hayes were winning as I started typing this but have drawn and so aren’t mathematically certain of staying up. If they do and we drop, a good boozer is The White Hart in Harlington High Street, a ten minute bus ride to Church Road if they are still playing there next year. Although a bit pricey, it’s a good Fullers pub and was a regular watering hole for thirsty airport workers post Heathrow shifts. The insalubrious Tumblers opposite the railway station has shut and that’s probably just as well as the locals used to catch out ex league supporters trying to large it up in this Middlesex suburb.

The article continues in Part 2

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