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Away days: Leeds 1978/79

Everyone remembers their first away game, the sights, smells, sounds and the violence. Mine was Leeds in 1978/79. I was sixteen and had been going to home games on the Wakefield/Dewsbury supporters branch bus with five mates from school. Our parents were quite strict and because of the trouble that followed United around the country at the time.

This season was different. As soon as we saw the fixture list we picked out Leeds away. I can’t remember the exact date but it was warm and a plan was hatched. The Saturday before the match we went to Elland Road reasoning that United would be in the Lowfields. A week later the day arrived. Excited and nervous we arrived at Wakefield Westgate for the train and got to Leeds ten minutes later.

Leeds were all over the the place waiting for the special or to pick off any Reds who had got the service trains. We heard that when the special pulled in absolute mayhem ensued, but we were safe as six kids off a Wakefield train we couldn’t possibly be Reds.

Out of the station, down the spiral stairs and under the bridge. We were there. As we came out the coppers were everywhere. One of them grabbed me slammed me up against a wall before searching what I had inside my pockets. I only had a scarf tucked under my jumper but I was still shitting myself. Suddenly a voice said “let him go, he’s no harm.” As I turned around it was my uncle, Keith. He smiled and said “hello Paul.” My heart sank as he and his wife were regular visitors to our house.

We safely got to the ground for 1.30 and went straight in. As we walked up the tunnel we could hear the Reds, but we walked out on the wrong side of the fence. After approaching the steward at the gate, I asked to go through but he refused. Luckily a young PC saw what was going on as did a good few Leeds supporters. He bundled us all to the gate and in no uncertain terms told the steward to open the gate, shoving us through. We finally made it.

They had only given United three thousand tickets but as our section filled up we felt part of something special. The match started and it was a blur. Lots of fights broke out in other parts of the ground as Reds that were clued up had got tickets from Leeds fans. Then good old WYP let us all out together.

Again it absolute mayhem but me and a friend made it into the escort. They marched about five hundred of us down the M621 towards Leeds. Then they came again. Fights erupted everwhere and me and my mate legged it. We got away and met the others outside the station to catch our train.

However, the Leeds fans were waiting for an escort too. What a shock they got when the cops left the Reds at the station doors with hundreds storming through. Our train was still in the station and we watched in awe as Leeds fans got twatted all over the place.

The numbers were overwhelming, so the Leeds supporters at the station were never going to win. Shortly after they went to get the special, we were home. Hell was about to break loose when I noticed a car in my driveway. As I opened the door my mum had a face like thunder. My uncle Keith told her about me attending the game.

At the time, it got me into a bit of trouble but we often laughed about it in later years. Unfortunately, he died just recently, which made me think about my first away day. 34 years and countless away games later, I still get the buzz of being part of the best.

RIP – Keith Harvey, 2012 WYP

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22 responses to “Away days: Leeds 1978/79”

  1. Mark Harvey says:

    Thanks Paul – much appreciated

  2. Mark Harvey says:

    Thanks Paul – much appreciated

  3. Henry Carruthers says:

    Well Well what a piece of fiction. You must have gone senile early. The only people getting twatted in that match were our friends from Manchester.

    Keep dreaming and perhaps one day your dream will come true

    ha ha ha ha

  4. Henry Carruthers says:

    Well Well what a piece of fiction. You must have gone senile early. The only people getting twatted in that match were our friends from Manchester.

    Keep dreaming and perhaps one day your dream will come true

    ha ha ha ha

  5. Grant Collings says:

    I remember listening to that game on the radio, it was an evening kick off!! Which confirms the fiction!!

  6. Grant Collings says:

    I remember listening to that game on the radio, it was an evening kick off!! Which confirms the fiction!!

  7. MIGHTYLEEDS says:

    Typical Scumchester follower aren’t you? Lives in Wakefield/Dewsbury area & presumably a Yorkshire, (well apology of a man really). Plastic Twat! Plastic memories by the sound of it too!
    We had joy we had fun we had ManU on the run….
    Decades later nowt changes. When we played your little outfit in the FA Cup & beat you as a Division 3 side (lol), my seat was right up against the segregation. The plastic mancs spent all match, (up til the goal of course!!), shouting obscenities & how you lot were going to trash our team. Soon as we scored the complete three seats in on each row buggered off! Nah mind when old pissheed Fergie pops off from your sour little Salford club you will be back to what you were for long periods in the 70’s & 80’s doing nowt

  8. MIGHTYLEEDS says:

    Typical Scumchester follower aren’t you? Lives in Wakefield/Dewsbury area & presumably a Yorkshire, (well apology of a man really). Plastic Twat! Plastic memories by the sound of it too!
    We had joy we had fun we had ManU on the run….
    Decades later nowt changes. When we played your little outfit in the FA Cup & beat you as a Division 3 side (lol), my seat was right up against the segregation. The plastic mancs spent all match, (up til the goal of course!!), shouting obscenities & how you lot were going to trash our team. Soon as we scored the complete three seats in on each row buggered off! Nah mind when old pissheed Fergie pops off from your sour little Salford club you will be back to what you were for long periods in the 70’s & 80’s doing nowt

  9. SanMiguel says:

    Wakefield scum fans = Scum of the Scum.

  10. SanMiguel says:

    Wakefield scum fans = Scum of the Scum.

  11. They just can’t climb out of their small club mentality, last time we were there in the league the west Yorkshire sheep fiddling inbreds started attacking a bus of disabled fans. Says it all really, brainless morons who still live down the pit with old Scargill himself.

  12. They just can’t climb out of their small club mentality, last time we were there in the league the west Yorkshire sheep fiddling inbreds started attacking a bus of disabled fans. Says it all really, brainless morons who still live down the pit with old Scargill himself.

  13. Lord Confetti says:

    What I can’t understand is why are there Leeds fans on what is quite obviously a Man Utd website? Are you so small minded and bored that you have to actively search for articles mentioning your pathetic club just so you can be a keyboard warrior?

  14. Lord Confetti says:

    What I can’t understand is why are there Leeds fans on what is quite obviously a Man Utd website? Are you so small minded and bored that you have to actively search for articles mentioning your pathetic club just so you can be a keyboard warrior?

  15. Neville Copley says:

    Firstly Lord Confetti, it is not necessary to actively search articles on our club. Blog posts such as these appear on the Leeds United News Now site as they mention the club and can be entered with a single click so wind your neck in.

    Now just a few questions on the article.

    1. As mentioned by Grant, this was an evening kick off so how did you get in the ground for 1.30?

    2. You say you went to Elland Road the previous Saturday and surmised Man Utd would have the Lowfields Road stand. How did you manage this from an empty stadium as Leeds were playing away at Arsenal that day?

    3. How did you manage to take a wrong turn down the tunnel into the wrong pen? In those days, there was at least a full pen separation between the home and away fans, so this is impossible.

    4. As you now must be approaching 50 don’t you think by now you should have grown out of the thrill of people twatting each other to quote your turn of phrase?

    I enjoy reading other clubs’ supporters’ experiences at Elland Road but try to give it at least a tenuous link with reality.

  16. Neville Copley says:

    Firstly Lord Confetti, it is not necessary to actively search articles on our club. Blog posts such as these appear on the Leeds United News Now site as they mention the club and can be entered with a single click so wind your neck in.

    Now just a few questions on the article.

    1. As mentioned by Grant, this was an evening kick off so how did you get in the ground for 1.30?

    2. You say you went to Elland Road the previous Saturday and surmised Man Utd would have the Lowfields Road stand. How did you manage this from an empty stadium as Leeds were playing away at Arsenal that day?

    3. How did you manage to take a wrong turn down the tunnel into the wrong pen? In those days, there was at least a full pen separation between the home and away fans, so this is impossible.

    4. As you now must be approaching 50 don’t you think by now you should have grown out of the thrill of people twatting each other to quote your turn of phrase?

    I enjoy reading other clubs’ supporters’ experiences at Elland Road but try to give it at least a tenuous link with reality.

  17. Red Rixon says:

    1 It could have been the year before or after, I am 50 you know.
    2 We were 16 and went for tickets, we didn’t have any experience of away games but knew away fans were in the Lowfields..
    3 There wasn’t stewards on the gates. 1 pen, 2 pens, 10 pens a bit picky that 1. Calm yourself down.
    4 We were 16. It’s a story, if you cant take it dont read it anorak, it did happen.
    5 As you can’t manage 5 here it is. Take your nose out of the fixture list, dates and times get blurred after 34yrs and take your nose out of your arse.

  18. Red Rixon says:

    1 It could have been the year before or after, I am 50 you know.
    2 We were 16 and went for tickets, we didn’t have any experience of away games but knew away fans were in the Lowfields..
    3 There wasn’t stewards on the gates. 1 pen, 2 pens, 10 pens a bit picky that 1. Calm yourself down.
    4 We were 16. It’s a story, if you cant take it dont read it anorak, it did happen.
    5 As you can’t manage 5 here it is. Take your nose out of the fixture list, dates and times get blurred after 34yrs and take your nose out of your arse.

  19. Go on Rixson, where have you managed to get a spine from? Anyway, don’t rise to that shit, they’ve got so much going on in their own lives that they’re reading other teams blogs. Absolutely pathetic, and that Is why they will always stay where their are. Matches their small, deluded, embarrassing mentality.

  20. Go on Rixson, where have you managed to get a spine from? Anyway, don’t rise to that shit, they’ve got so much going on in their own lives that they’re reading other teams blogs. Absolutely pathetic, and that Is why they will always stay where their are. Matches their small, deluded, embarrassing mentality.