Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday June 24 2007
Springfield Park holds many memories for me; it`s where my formative years were spent.
When I look back at Springy I do so through, and no apologies, rose tinted glasses.
I made many friends at the ground, people I didn`t know, from different walks of life and from different generations.
I stood on the half way line on the St. Andrews side of the ground for over 20 years.
Two very good friends that I made were the Eyre brothers, Keith and Brian, different as chalk and cheese; they could have been a comedy duo, an Eric and Ernie.
Brian sadly passed away last year, unexpectedly, but at least he saw his team play in the Premiership and in a major cup final, Keith`s words not mine.
One memory of Brian that stands out, the infamous Bristol Rovers game of 5 dismissals.
When I got to the ground that night Brian was waiting outside, Keith couldn`t make the match quiz night!
'Hurry up, I`ve got us in the stand`, Brian had a 'mate` who worked the gate for the stand and he`d 'negotiated` free entry to the game for us.
A very eventful game, and for us, seen from an unusual angle of being up in the god`s.
Brian was good at 'negotiating`, he got us free parking at Wembley for the Gillingham play-off final.
I didn`t know Brian or Keith`s names for the first five years of standing with them; they turned into life long friends.
Springfield will hold many memories for those who were lucky enough to go there.
Walking to the ground down Third Avenue, through the mud at the bottom, why I didn`t just go down Second Avenue I`ll never know!
Using the toilet facilities was another never to be forgotten ritual.
Take a deep breath before you go in so you didn`t breathe whilst in there.
You could taste it never mind smell it, and you had to hold your pants up to stop them from trailing in the river of you know what.
Then straight to the queue for a pie and a Bovril!
I don`t mind admitting that I cried after the Man City game
Not at the result, but at the end of an era, a special part of my life had gone for ever.
I was lucky enough to get some of the pitch, enough to re-lay my front garden!
I`ve moved house since, the wife wouldn`t let me dig it up.
We all have our memories of the Latics some of the young ones will be forming these at the JJB but for me Springfield Park holds a special place in my heart.
I could write a book about Springy, and I`ve been sketchy in this article so as not to bore you too much.
What are your favourite memories of Springfield Park or even the JJB?
Let us know on the Latics 'Speyk` Forum click here
Date:Sunday June 24 2007
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