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Ive always been into Football and Rugby, attendances and grounds and a few threads recently have got me really looking into crowds, in particular a discussion today with @gingerjon. It is fairly clear that there certainly wasn't the huge gulf that we now see, in practically every way from crowds to money, and it really shows the explosion in Football post Hillsborough, Italia 90 and with the Premier League. No doubt the decline in hooliganism played a big part too.

Here's one random weekend from 1988 with the supposed football mad Newcastle only getting 16k and RL towns like Oldham only getting 5k and Huddersfield less than 3k in Divison 2:

FB_IMG_1642444395578.jpg.1523e26a3d174dfc1610ce2bc0ff9cba.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/groups/844940199360108/permalink/1283625198824937/

Here's another from 1982 with Everton only getting 14k with Chelsea getting a sub 7k crowd in the old division 2 and Leeds getting sub 9k:

FB_IMG_1642444506060.jpg.a3a4ff5c89b111a225a562c9909eaf42.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/groups/844940199360108/permalink/1280992892421501/

Some of the crowds seem unbelievable in this day and age.

Edited by Damien
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57 minutes ago, Damien said:

Then there is this in 1987 4 x 4 digit crowds in the old 1st division and not a single crowd past 16k. Yes some small teams but remarkable all the same:

FB_IMG_1642445245554.jpg.ebe36c80d60292aa4ee463134a256800.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/groups/844940199360108/permalink/1279217445932379/

Linked to this is how far from the polite mainstream football was - beyond the televised big games like the FA Cup final (only one semi final was televised live and then not always).

I'm fairly certain that England getting to the semi final of the World Cup didn't even make the front page of the tabloid press as it wasn't considered proper news - even by the red top understanding of the word.

(England's games at Wembley were often sparsely attended too.)

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Football fandom was certainly more of a sub-culture back then.

What certainly sticks out now is how much older the average spectator is and of course the gentrification of the crowd.

Worth mentioning the impact the rave scene was about to have around that time on a lot of football heads.

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, gingerjon said:

Linked to this is how far from the polite mainstream football was - beyond the televised big games like the FA Cup final (only one semi final was televised live and then not always).

I'm fairly certain that England getting to the semi final of the World Cup didn't even make the front page of the tabloid press as it wasn't considered proper news - even by the red top understanding of the word.

(England's games at Wembley were often sparsely attended too.)

Indeed and football fans were demonised by politicians too (being polite there not to be political) and treated like a sub class of society.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

Indeed and football fans were demonised by politicians too (being polite there not to be political) and treated like a sub class of society.

Yes. I wrote a lot more about that but decided to delete it as this isn't the politics board.

But very much so.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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15 hours ago, Damien said:

Ive always been into Football and Rugby, attendances and grounds and a few threads recently have got me really looking into crowds, in particular a discussion today with @gingerjon. It is fairly clear that there certainly wasn't the huge gulf that we now see, in practically every way from crowds to money, and it really shows the explosion in Football post Hillsborough, Italia 90 and with the Premier League.

The year that Liverpool won the league and Widnes won the league in the late 70s, there was an "It's a knockout" type event with the players from both squads taking part, I think as part of a joint testimonial. Unimaginable that something like that would happen today, such is the gulf. 

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On 17/01/2022 at 18:53, Damien said:

Then there is this in 1987 4 x 4 digit crowds in the old 1st division and not a single crowd past 16k. Yes some small teams but remarkable all the same:

FB_IMG_1642445245554.jpg.ebe36c80d60292aa4ee463134a256800.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/groups/844940199360108/permalink/1279217445932379/

The Leeds/Shrews match isn’t there a nought missing from behind the 13. Then it’d be the official attendance of 130,760. 

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Great win for the Tics last night, they started off slowly but got more into the game as time went on. Max Power causes all sorts of problems with his throw ins. I can’t see anyone stopping them from winning the league now. 
Doncaster are doomed. 

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21 hours ago, Damien said:

Indeed and football fans were demonised by politicians too (being polite there not to be political) and treated like a sub class of society.

Many behaved like animals at that time 

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2 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

Many behaved like animals at that time 

DNFTT

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Just now, GUBRATS said:

SOIDWIW

I didn't know you could speak Welsh

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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On 18/01/2022 at 09:51, Damien said:

Indeed and football fans were demonised by politicians too (being polite there not to be political) and treated like a sub class of society.

Indeed, and plenty of people revelled in the sub culture status too that evolved during that time. 

To become accepted though football had to get gentrified to a large extent.

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55 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Indeed, and plenty of people revelled in the sub culture status too that evolved during that time. 

Most of the people who claim to miss the culture of the game at the time were noticeable by their absence either through age or just not actually going to games.

There's a lot I don't like about football now but treating people who turn up to games like human beings is significantly better than being routinely caged like animals.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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11 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Most of the people who claim to miss the culture of the game at the time were noticeable by their absence either through age or just not actually going to games.

There's a lot I don't like about football now but treating people who turn up to games like human beings is significantly better than being routinely caged like animals.

Still happens to Leeds fans away sadly, as recently as last month at Chelsea.

It was a sub-culture within a subculture in some ways.

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Moderate ambition to have a cover photo on a football programme achieved ... although I'm pleased they tagged me to let me know as I'd forgotten taking that one

Bild

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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28 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Moderate ambition to have a cover photo on a football programme achieved ... although I'm pleased they tagged me to let me know as I'd forgotten taking that one

Bild

Well done, mate.

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Old Faithful we never lose at Wembley

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The laste 80s was when I became disillusioned with football.

Those low crowds are not surprising. Hooliganism, poor quality, poor stadia.

This year non-league Notts County and Stockport have got over 10,000 - my team Chesterfield have gone over 5,000 every game, often with only 100-200 away fans. These teams probably had a third of that two divisions higher in 1988. 

"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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