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Author Topic: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game  (Read 2452 times)

Offline Pat McMahon

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2019, 02:52:18 PM »
Nadir must have been mid 80's as you can't really count the pre-division 3 days. My guess would be a few trips to Newcastle.

I was at St James's in the 86/87 relegation season and it was bloody freezing!   I've just found this on YouTube and there was more there than I remember (I think I can spot my brother when we equalize, but not me or my mate - and we were were standing together.)   At the end, we were kept in for ages and then asked how we were getting home.   A number of us said by train and we were given a lift back to Newcastle Central Station in the back of a police transit.


That sounds spookily similar to a trip there at the end of the 1976/77 season when it felt like there were maybe a few dozen, if even that, of Villa fans there, and a handful of us were given a lift back to the station in the back of a police van. In contrast it was warm May day, and from memory we lost, 2-1(?).

It wasn't just us. I remember us relegating Newcastle at a midweek home game around 1978-79. We won 2-0 IIRC.

They had a transit van of fans come down for the game and the following day the Evening Mail ran a story on how the dozen or so blokes had their petrol money covered by their players as a gesture of thanks.

When the Trinity enclosure became seating around 1972 my dad switched us to the Witton end, to the left of the goal. Many teams brought very small turnouts. With no roof, you usually couldn't hear them either, even stood in the same end. The only time we would switch to the Holte was for Blues and Man U. Liverpool never filled the Witton End - I was there for the 1975-76 0-0 and the 1976-77 5-1 and i reckon the Witton End was probably 50% Villa

Offline Archbishop Herbert Cockthrottle

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2019, 03:18:21 PM »
I went to Luton when the away fans ban was in force (1992?). There seemed to be a few of us dotted around the ground that day.

Offline Damo70

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2019, 03:37:27 PM »
Did we ever have to play at Luton during their away fans ban ?

I think it was in our relegation season in 1986/1987 when they put a big screen up in the Villa Leisure centre and charged us something like a fiver to watch the away game at Luton. I think we lost 2-1. Andy Blair was out injured and provided a half time and full time summary over a microphone. I can't remember who the other guy working with him was. I have no idea how many people were in there that day.

Offline Damo70

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2019, 03:41:14 PM »
I went to Luton when the away fans ban was in force (1992?). There seemed to be a few of us dotted around the ground that day.


I think 1992 was when Bosnich made his debut at Luton and we lost 2-0 in what I think was our last away game of the season. Due to the away ban it was the first time I had visited Kenilworth Road so 1991-1992 was possibly the first year after the away fan ban ended.

Offline Rudy Can't Fail

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2019, 04:04:48 PM »
One that sticks in my mind was Boro away in the Simod Cup of Zenith Data Systems Cup (I forget which) under SGT. It was the second leg of the semi final which we lost. From memory, there wasn't many of us there at all.

Another vote for Boro away but this one in the league with a televised game. Two of us traveled over from Leeds to be met at the train stations by loads of very confused police. They put us in the back of their Transit and dropped us off at the ground. They also picked us up after the game and taxied us back. Probably just as well as I recall hearing the few Villa fans that traveled got picked off by Boro fans after the game.

Non-competitive game has to be the July 2000 friendly against Benfica. I was literally the only Villa fan there though I did hear later the few that traveled were rounded up and put in the Press Box.

Online Exeter 77

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2019, 04:12:16 PM »
I think that televised Boro league game was Valentine's Day 1988.

Offline Des Little

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2019, 10:31:08 PM »
I went to Luton when the away fans ban was in force (1992?). There seemed to be a few of us dotted around the ground that day.

I was there too. Seem to recall Cascarino playing for us, and Lars Elstrup scoring for them?

Was also at Boro in the Simod/ZDS cup, and amazed that their fans took time out of celebrating getting to Wembley to smash our coach windows.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 10:33:01 PM by Des Little »

Offline Andy_Lochhead_in_the_air

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2019, 11:37:25 PM »
There was a bit in the programme on Saturday that our record low following is one! Plymouth away in December 1960, in a 4th round replay of the League Cup!


How can they be so sure ?

1) Nearly all games then were cash at the gate with no away section turnstiles or segregation.

2) Were the other 11,005 people in the ground really all Plymouth or neutrals ?

3) The game finished 0-0. How can they be sure more away fans went to the second replay a few weeks later ? Maybe it was the same person but this time he got a friend to come along as well ?

Offline dave.woodhall

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2019, 12:04:33 AM »
There was a bit in the programme on Saturday that our record low following is one! Plymouth away in December 1960, in a 4th round replay of the League Cup!


How can they be so sure ?

1) Nearly all games then were cash at the gate with no away section turnstiles or segregation.

2) Were the other 11,005 people in the ground really all Plymouth or neutrals ?

3) The game finished 0-0. How can they be sure more away fans went to the second replay a few weeks later ? Maybe it was the same person but this time he got a friend to come along as well ?

It was John Russell and the story has been mentioned a couple of times in H&Vs passim. In those days when there wasn't much of an away following (ie if there wasn't a train or coach laid on) everyone who went to the game would meet up at the players entrance. John says he didn't see anyone on the train there or back, there were no other Villa supporters at the players entrance and nobody has ever contradicted his claim and said they were there.

Offline steamer

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2019, 07:34:54 PM »
York away in the league cup
Night game, 73
only 7000 at the  game, me and a couple of others is all I remember being there. One of them ( Haddon ) is now a Holte ender in the sky.

Online 144 Hard Boiled Eggs

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2019, 01:08:11 PM »
Nadir must have been mid 80's as you can't really count the pre-division 3 days. My guess would be a few trips to Newcastle.

I was at St James's in the 86/87 relegation season and it was bloody freezing!   I've just found this on YouTube and there was more there than I remember (I think I can spot my brother when we equalize, but not me or my mate - and we were were standing together.)   At the end, we were kept in for ages and then asked how we were getting home.   A number of us said by train and we were given a lift back to Newcastle Central Station in the back of a police transit.


That sounds spookily similar to a trip there at the end of the 1976/77 season when it felt like there were maybe a few dozen, if even that, of Villa fans there, and a handful of us were given a lift back to the station in the back of a police van. In contrast it was warm May day, and from memory we lost, 2-1(?).

It wasn't just us. I remember us relegating Newcastle at a midweek home game around 1978-79. We won 2-0 IIRC.

They had a transit van of fans come down for the game and the following day the Evening Mail ran a story on how the dozen or so blokes had their petrol money covered by their players as a gesture of thanks.

When the Trinity enclosure became seating around 1972 my dad switched us to the Witton end, to the left of the goal. Many teams brought very small turnouts. With no roof, you usually couldn't hear them either, even stood in the same end. The only time we would switch to the Holte was for Blues and Man U. Liverpool never filled the Witton End - I was there for the 1975-76 0-0 and the 1976-77 5-1 and i reckon the Witton End was probably 50% Villa
1984 at Newcastle (their first game back in Division 1, I think) was lively and we were also taken back to the station in a police van.
I remember just getting in the ground at West Ham in the mid 70's as Andy Gray scored in the first minute and not seeing any celebrations in the ground (I kept quiet the whole game).
Leeds away, League Cup replay 1972 didn't seem to have many Villa there (although I sat with the Leeds fans in the seats as a very silent 10 year old).
As others have said, plenty of small followings around 1984.Percy and Dave W probably remember details/matches.

Offline SashasGrandad

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2019, 07:19:01 PM »
I wonder how many fans we took to Reykjavik, Berlin and Kiev, the last of which was moved to Simferopol in the Crimea.

I think was 57 of us who went to the Inter Tonto cup game in Reykjavik some of us went on the official club plane.

I remember going on a boat trip during the day - didn't wear a coat and found out how cold it was at sea in an open boat so close to the arctic circle. It was August and I thought a Villa shirt would be warm enough! Didn't see any whales, just a load of ducks on a rocky island just offshore.

Match was a comfortable 4-1 win - a band played most of the game which gave it a bit of atmosphere. But otherwise not the most exciting trip.

First day I went to the hot springs lagoon which was a lot warmer, along with a lot of the other 57 villa fans, quite a few villa towels on the railings!

Offline dave.woodhall

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2019, 09:58:07 PM »

As others have said, plenty of small followings around 1984.Percy and Dave W probably remember details/matches.

From 1983-87 our away support was often downright embarrassing. At the start of 1985-86 a midweek game at Southampton (Steve Hodge's debut) had about 200 or so of us there but the lowest was probably a night match at Newcastle in April 1986.

Offline Damo70

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Re: Smallest away following with the villa - competitive first team game
« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2019, 10:25:15 PM »
It wasn't a competitive game but I was at Witney Town when BFR gave a load of debuts to his summer signings in 1991. There were no stands so everyone (and there weren't many of us) were just stood around the touchline. I think BFR had started his coaching experience at Witney whilst still playing at nearby Oxford. I can't remember the score but we won by a fair number of goals, one of them scored by Ivo Stas which was allowed despite going through the unstable side netting and creeping into the goal. The subs were just standing around the touchline and I ended up having a chat with Kevin Richardson during the game.