Cobblers - Good old days.
By Micky Shoemaker
Tuesday 25 Mar 2008 22:25:31
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Cobblers – The Good Old Days

What ever happened to the good old days at The Cobblers? The move to a new ground, like many others before and since, has only succeeded in ruining the atmosphere and the whole match day experience. I mean where is the current day Chronicle and Echo seller walking round the ground clutching the latest edition in his grubby little hand shouting out “Echo, Echo” only for the crowd to respond to his cries with a spontaneous reply of “Echo, Echo”. The Tony Ansell garden shed serving up overpriced tea, coffee and something he described as a burger. The banter while you waited to be served meant you didn’t care that you were standing in the pouring rain and getting soaked, it was something that you, well, just did, it was Saturday afternoon that’s why.

The girls that would walk from the Wantage Road Turnstiles carrying the days takings, smiling and whispering to each other as they passed the duck boards that the loyal handful of supporters used to stand on, knowing that in another 20 steps time they would receive a large chorus from the crowd in The Hotel End of “get your tit’s out for the lads” This would continue all they way to the players tunnel. The old bill who would walk towards their places with the crowd singing, Old McDonald Had A Farm, and of course as we all know, he had some pigs on that farm.

What have we got today? A plastic atmosphere in plastic surroundings, large franchises for the catering, no Chronicle and Echo man, no girlies with the takings, stewards replacing coppers, and nobody sings anymore. Instead you get the odd ripple of applause, a cheer when we score, and at times a few shouts from individual supporters airing their views to the crowd around them, but falling on deaf ears when it comes to the people on the bench. “Sit down” is the cry from a couple of middle aged ladies wrapped up in bobble hats and scarves that they knitted themselves, still seething after breaking their thermos flask during the goal celebrations earlier.

Sit down, plastic seats, plastic people some might say. Kids in all the latest team kit, tracksuits and hats behaving impeccably. What ever became of the scruffy little kids in jeans and trainers joining in with all the singing whilst they pushed their way through the crowd to get to a spot where they could see the pitch, or some of it? They knew their day would come and then they would see all the pitch. They would be the ones that the next generation would push their way through to get any sort of view. Well it never happened, we have deprived them of the privilege that we once enjoyed, and at times took for granted. Why, and how did this happen? Will that special atmosphere ever return now we are at Sixfields?

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