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.