Monday, September 10, 2007

Nostalgia Time

Linfield 0 Glentoran 2

Windsor Park, Tuesday 2nd February, 1988.

A non-descript game, you might think, but anyone who was there would probably not forget it. Not necessarily because of the game itself, but because of the weather.

I have NEVER experienced anything like it in my long life as a football fan. I was only a kid at the time, and I still remember it as if it were yesterday. As a prelude: The original game, the Boxing Day 1987 game, was abandoned after 47 minutes because of fog, with the Blues leading 2-1 (I forget the scorers now, maybe someone could enlighten me, McCleod and Burrows?) and rightly so, we were standing on the Kop and couldn't see past the halfway line.

The return game witnessed the worst conditions I have ever seen at a football match. It was like a tropical storm in the middle of winter. Complete with non-stop torrential rain and Arctic sub-zero temperatures, combined with a strong wind. Again, I was in the Kop, I remember loads leaving at half-time as it was too cold, I remember huddling with my dad at the wall to the North Stand as it provided a modicum of shelter. I don't remember why they wouldn't let us go into the North Stand for shelter and dryness from the elements, were Glenmen in there? And some of the players were treated for exposure, they didn't have to just stand in it for 90 minutes. I was soaked to the skin. I remember little from the game, only that the Glens played better and deserved to win, the ball flew like lightning over the wet surface, any long high balls were pointless and a lottery in the wind and rain, and that the match should probably have been called off, but as it was already a re-organised game, they probably didn't want to. Didn't we lose the league that season by only a few points? Such is life.

No comments: