Never mind standing – bring back sitting in the dark at night matches!

Got, Not Got reader Erik Hogstrom contacted us with some urgency from Canada, to politely complain that there’s not nearly enough of his beloved Leyton Orient in the book. And it’s true. An Esso petrol freebie here, a Ralph Coates scrape-over on the cover… “Why no love for the O’s?” Erik wondered.

Well, as it happened, Derek had just been to see the O’s (bottom of Division 3) play Bournemouth (second bottom in Division 3) in a midweek thriller that only cost him £25 to get into (but what a great real ale bar!). And while he was there, he saw a nostalgic sight that warmed the cockles of his heart…

Over on the other side of the pitch was the grand old East Stand with the gable that used to hold the photo-finish apparatus in the Mitcham Greyhound Stadium before the club bought it secondhand off the back of a lorry. The gable is off centre because back in 1956 they only erected two-thirds of it, finishing it off in 1962! They don’t make ’em like that any more.

But best of all, there are areas of the East Stand where it’s still possible to sit in the dark. The post-Taylor Report development of million-watt arc lights in every stand ruins the atmosphere of every night match just as surely as the all-sitting, zero-mud, namby-pamby, overpriced overpaid primadonna developments.

Never mind Health & Safety – bring back the cosy theatrical feeling of snuggling up in the dark to watch night football.

It’s cheap and easy. Just unscrew a few thousand lightbulbs for a guaranteed fan-friendly crowd-pleaser.

And while you’re at it, check out the GNG Facebook page to see the cool Scottish Football Map that Erik used to fuel his dreams with as quite possibly the only Orient fan (with a soft spot for Stranraer) in all of California.

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5 Responses to Never mind standing – bring back sitting in the dark at night matches!

  1. “They don’t make ‘em like that (any) more.”
    In my early days of what Simon Inglis terms Stadiumitis, these old grounds were anathema to me. The shiny wonderment of the ultra modern Italia 90 stadia were where it was at! Now, as ever more clubs move into bland, identikit stadia (these aren’t Football Grounds, where’s the mismatched sides, the oddly chopped off stand, the ‘cordened off for H&S reasons’ terrace?), I can’t but help feel yet more soul is being driven from the game. I get the whole ‘revenue stream’ etc arguments, but, despite how unkempt and possibly unclean some of these older grounds are, it will surely be a sad day when the last one is replaced by yet another Tesco Arena…with its requisite 3 billion Watt lighting 😦

    • notgot says:

      Lots of non-League grounds are brilliantly stuck in the past.

      Just one example of thousands, Kettering Town – in deep financial trouble – is totally 1979.

      You can even get a pint and look out on the pitch at ground level.

      Try that in plastic Prem Megabowl

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