I asked our forum members to give their derby day memories as we get closer to Sunday’s clash. It was a bit of a late thought, so the responses were a little limited, however hopefully there is enough for you to enjoy.
Do they remind you of yours? If so, add them in a comment below.
I was in the Kop for the derby game in December 1982, a couple of weeks after my 16th birthday.
Villa were on a high after their success in the previous season, and with us languishing in the relegation spots, I have to admit to a sense of trepidation as I entered the stadium.
The match itself was a blur – the time just raced past. My over-riding memory is of the Kop being packed to the gills, and struggling to find a spot where I could see properly – in the days before all – seater stadiums, and whilst I still had some growing to do.
That all changed with each of the goals – the entire Kop rushed forward, to be held up at various points by the barriers. Looking back up the stand I could see thousands of fans all bunched up, bouncing around the barriers, with acres of empty terrace until the next barrier.
Brilliant atmosphere, just after Christmas. Still makes the hairs on my neck stand on end.
I was there that day too! Also in the Kop. Never seen it so packed – never before or never since! Sell-out crowd of 44,000 I believe. It was Boxing Day, so a great Holiday fixture. There was a section of empty terracing on the Tilton designed to keep home and away fans apart, but they had to open it up to Villa fans to squeeze everyone in. 1-0 up at half-time, and 2 more late in the second half – vaguely recall Jimmy Rimmer spilling an easy save for one of them!
About 2-3 years later I also recall Howard Gayle scoring the winner at St. Andrews, 2-1. First minute of the second half, and a fantastic run and shot down the right wing. We’d been 1-0 up early on, then Peter Withe had headed their equaliser. For some reason the attendance was amazingly low – about 26,000 for a Saturday afternoon in March. We went on a terrible run afterwards, don’t think we won another game all season and were relegated I recall 🙁
Me too. Agreed, I’ve never experienced anything like it since. I do remember wondering what was leaking so much, seemingly across the whole length of the top row of the Kop…..good times.
My other memory must be from around the same time, maybe the next season. I walked from town to VP with a ‘gang’ from Uni. It was persisting down. So much so that one weak-willed Pompey fan turned back and went back to his digs.
Arrived at VP to find space only at the front of whatever hell-hole stand we were in, and obviously it was not under cover. Never been so wet, and we lost 1-0. Bad times.
I remember the game when we scored in the last minute… Stern John in the last minute!!
Watching it with my brother in law in our front room, holding my newly born son in my arms. Then we scored, I ran from the front room, handed the sleeping baby to the wife and ran up and down the three stories of the house screaming!!!!
Better than a win, such elation thinking we had lost and then having to be quiet so as not to wake the baby!
I remember going to the Villa away game in our first Premiership season with a good friend of mine.
We had an absolute blast! Started in the pub (the game was on at a normal time!) before trekking to New Street Station, where we boarded a train crammed with both home and away supporters. A little bit of banter ensued before we finally disembarked and started our relatively short walk, with coats firmly done up covering the royal blue, to Vile Park.
The atmosphere was electric, aside from the Villa idiots throwing coins and spitting from the top tier of whatever god-awful stand we were in, though the two goals from Horsfield and Lazaridis, especially the style and execution of both, as well as the blissful silence that swept over the claret and blue supporters was magical. A late injury to the great Nico Vaesen made for a tentative ending though, with the legend that is Mr. Horsfield keeping goal for the last few minutes. Whilst there was little trouble from the Blues fans, a few did rip out a couple of seats from the away end – but if quite a few Villa idiots were insistent on spitting and throwing coins then who cares, eh?
A scary run back to the station followed the game, but once back at New Street a huge conga line started behind a Blues fan with ‘Enckelman 1’ on the back of his shirt. We danced through the station, to some bizarre looks singing ‘Enckelman’s a Bluenose!’….a fantastic night and one I won’t ever forget.
When John scored I jumped up with such force that I burst a button on my trousers. I then jumped around celebrating waving one hand in the air while using the other to hold my trousers up.
Mind you for those that remember the best has to be Noel Blake…. After defeat Steve McMahon thought it a good idea to wind up Blakey, a nice solid headbutt later I think he changed his mind!!
Noel Blake – Legend!
All of those memories including getting soaked at Villa park and Blake’s headbut. I was there.
82 game I was a bit late arriving, so I had to stand 2/3 down the kop just above the walkway that used to go through. Each time we scored, the surge pushed me off and I ended up on my back in the walkway!
Also can’t remember the year,, we beat Villa 1-0. All I remember is that they were ALL over us, but Jim Montgomery made superb save after save.
Back in the 70’s, I wasn’t allowed to go and had to listen to Tony Butler and can remember sat in the airing cupboard to get some peace so I could listen to it. When we won at Villa park, Connelly’s (sp) winner, I jumped around so much I banged my head!
More recently, our 1st game at home in the Premier League – I watched on TV. But my wife had arranged friends to come round. I had to switch off all the phones and watched the game “live” all be it 2 hours later. Unlike cliffman, I DID wake the kids up!
The 3-0 in 2002, been building it up for weeks at school. We were winding up all the Villa fans that went there, they were shrugging it off that they would hammer us.
Going to the ground was surreal, even from when we parked the car and we were walking to the ground you could feel the buzz. I remember walking past what now is the Beau Brummie Tavern and it being packed. We then we stood outside the Railway talking to my uncle, but I just had to go in.
I have never before or since felt an atmosphere of pure hatred, it was incredible. But there was that sense of nervousness there, and then it happened. Morrison, Enckleman, then Horsfield, singing ‘there’s only 1 Graham Taylor’ as that lot trudged out the ground.
Then there was Robbie Savage dancing for a few minutes in front of the Railway as we all sang his name. Hearing someone on the radio in the car say ‘Tom I’m not just upset, I’m emotional’ and Tom Ross trying to hold in the laughter.
School at the next day was amazing, never looked forward to a school day so much, one Villa fan actually said to me ‘yea, but we had more possession!’.
The 2-0 at their place that, just Graham Taylor’s interview after the game. That season was amazing, all the years of them saying that they didn’t care about, we were small fish, absolute nothing, and those two games proved how little of it they could take, we beat them twice, took the p*ss out of them, and what did they do? Invade the pitch, get two players sent off, and have a manager embarrass himself!
They just couldn’t take it, and I loved every single minute of it, and didn’t stop laughing about it and going on about it for months!
The 2 2, I was playing football, and my old man recorded the game for me, and told me we had lost 2 1, but he made me watch it! With me thinking we had lost 2 1, then Stern John! What a man!
What I would give for another day like those, and a few more seasons of having it over them! Lets hope Sunday is OUR day.