The Ithics Files: (3) when Everton rained on our parade

Football just isn’t what it was, lad.

Back in days gone by, you could stand with a supporter of the other team, bonded by mutual love of the people’s game, in the sure knowledge you were safe from harm.

If you were old enough to get in, you’d be in their pubs rubbing shoulders, taking turns to buy rounds and swapping jolly stories and jokes.

And if you think you just saw a pig in mid-flight outside the bedroom window, you’d be about right.

Among the articles published by the admirable but dead Sunderland fanzine It’s The Hope I Can’t Stand , Dave “Chalkie” Dawson’s painfully compelling account of what awaydays and awaynights were actually like was one that the co-editor, Nic Wiseman, especially liked.

Nic has now scanned a selection of pieces from Ithics that bear repetition 11 or 12 years on. Since he went to all that trouble, it is right that his choice kicks off this phase of Salut! Sunderland‘s Ithics Files project.

If you click on each of the two images containing text from the magazine, the page should be magnified and easy to read. Unless you tell me it doesn’t work, I shall repeat the exercise with a succession of other items plucked from the Ithics archive.

About Chalkie’s article there is little that needs to be added. He captures all the grimness that so often went hand in hand with travelling away to support the club during football’s more primitive age.

Chalkie talks of the “loveable scally scousers” he encountered at Goodison on the night Jimmy Hill, over at Coventry, got us – OK, helped to get us – relegated. They had perfected the friendly little trick of relieving themselves from their tier of the Park End on to the visitors’ end below.

These are now men in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Without pretending that our own club and others had no nutters and neanderthals of their own, you cannot help wondering how such folk turned out in later life.

And as a bonus, the second image contains another article, in which Mike Clarke offers a classic analysis of why we support SAFC, concluding with a pertinent challenges to the fanzine’s title.

Monsieur Salut

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12 thoughts on “The Ithics Files: (3) when Everton rained on our parade”

  1. I’ve only recently got t’internet access through my works pc so better keep this short! By the way, Chalkie and I have known each other since schooldays (and sadly haven’t seen each other for a couple of years), he got me involved with ITHICS and I used to write for them. I always felt that the white elephant cover was the best one, and that Chalkie’s Everton away trip story was absolutely brilliant – better than anything Nick Hornby ever wrote – as it was so descriptive, you could smell the police horses, the humiliation….the hope, and evoked everything about the mental and physical pain following the Lads. Great site this and good luck to everyone involved.

  2. The controversy Givvo would have been Aldridge putting a sub on to replace one of their blokes had just been sent off. None of the officials clocked they still had 11 players on the field when we took the free kick. Then the ref didn’t add on any time after. We were outplayed to be honest but felt aggrieved especially as it was the sub whose headed the ball clear from the free kick.

  3. I hadn’t heard of this being an Everton trick before but I have been on the receiving end from the loveable Reds of Analfield during the 90’s. Maybe it’s a Scouse thing? Hope not.

    On another note I remember having a beer at the Lime Street Station with a pub full of Sunderland lads. it was the day we’d beaten Birmingham in the Fa Cup and you guys had played Tranmere (some controversy over a throw-in/goal, I don’t remember the exact details). Anyway, you were some of the friendliest fans that I’d met. I nipped down to the cash machines and when I got back up to the bar 10 mins later the place was trashed and a load of your guys were on the floor bleeding. Apparently the Brummie scum had rushed the train station pub and kicked the living daylights out of everyone.

    Anyway, good luck for the season.

  4. Remember the night, for some reason I think it was a Thursday our Bus (Bonds Bros. didn’t do Coaches) arriving at the last minute due to the fact we started at Willington then picked up at Stanhope before setting off over the Pennies but couldn’t complain as I ran the trip. There was no space left so we were sent off to park with about 10 Everton Coaches 100 yards away, after the game me and my mate had to leave the safety of the Sunderland fans to try to reach our Bus when about 10 Everton yobs tried to block our way, their heavy squaring up luckily for me to my mate, wrong move as my mate was as sick as and wanted to get home, so after one blow the rest of them decided 10 onto 2 wasn’t such good odds, stood aside to let us on our way. Me and my mate now well into our Fifties as well as a couple more there on that night are looking forward to a little trip to Germany next month.

  5. Mike, I am most certainly not dead nor in a nursing home.
    Remember the night very well. Both sets of fans paaing one another by the Park End when somebody shouted the score from Coventry then all hell broke loose.

  6. Apologies to all who found the second page still loaded onto its side. I have now found another way of adding it to the posting and it seems to work as it should. So if anyone was reluctant to turn their computer onto its side in order to read the last third of the article, they should now be able to see it the right way up/round.

  7. Yes times have changed but today a Scottish Welsh or Northern Irish player may not want to are be forbidden from playing a game at the Olympics with an Englishman this sort of tribal behaviour has no place in football. Does a Scottish athlete refuse to pass the baton in the relay team. Football needs to look at itself.

  8. Lesley’s looking forward to the Shildon-Bishop game when we come over for Mike Amos’s do. She’s planning to wear something in two shades of blue. Given that the game’s at Dean Street, I’m not entirely convinced of the wisdom of that. As I told her 38 years ago, “It’s not you who’ll get your head kicked in.”

  9. I humbly apologise for the behaviour of my compatriots – all of whom are either dead or in a nursing home over the water by now.
    2 points;
    1. ManUre Fans were guilty of the same trick on us in the 1980s (which might cheer you up)
    2. I seem to remember getting a train to Stalybridge after stuffing (and essentially relegating) your shower in 1985 to help the Blues to a memorable League trophy – the Sunderland fans on the train must have outnumbered Evertonians by 500 – 1 but they were the most generous bunch of fans I ever met.
    Good luck for the new season and stuff the Redshite in the opening game.
    Mike

  10. The subordinate in charge of rotation has been fired.

    Thanks for pointing it out, as did Nic Wiseman.

    I thought I had got it the right way round but clearly not. Corrected now.

    You wonder at the thought process that led someone to give you a thumbs down: a fully paid up member of the You’re Going To Get Your F****** Head Kicked In Society? Villa, Newcastle, Chelsea fan with sneaking regard for football yobs? Someone who disapproves of first class carriages?

  11. It’s perfectly readable, Colin, but the second bit is on its side so you have to screw your neck around. Sort of like a yoga exercise.
    One of the chants I remember is, “There’s gonna be a nasty incident…” And there were very often was.
    I recall being in Birmingham back in 1968 or ’69 and going to see, strictly as a neutral, Aston Villa play West Brom. I believe it was at Villa Park. Either way, we standing in the middle of a crowd of home supporters when a guy right in front of me had his face opened up by what turned out to be a sharpened half-crown. As the fan, bleeding like a stuck pig, was led away for treatment a great cheer went up as someone picked up the coin and hurled it back. Then there was a short discussion about Baggies fans with more money than sense – a sharpened penny (one of the big old ones) would have done just as well, it was generally agreed, or at most a two-shilling piece.
    I first met my wife shortly after Sunderland won the FA Cup in 1973. I had both a club pin and a cup-winners pin, which I gave to her. We were on a shopping trip to Newcastle when I suddenly realized she was wearing them. She couldn’t understand why I made her take them off and thought I was exaggerating when I said, “It’s not you who’ll get your head kicked in.” She finally changed her mind a couple of years ago when we were in London and trying to take the underground at Baker St. station — which was closed by Chelsea fans on the rampage. And they’d won that day.
    When I’m back in England and travelling by train, I still pay the extra to go first-class, especially on a Saturday. I learned a long time ago that it lessened your chance of being caught up in something nasty.

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