‘Absolute tripe’: our readers on the worst football matches they have seen | Soccer

‘A 14-hour day for absolutely nothing’

Crystal Palace 0-3 Swansea, 2010
As a Swansea fan you can suppose I have nice reminiscences of this one proper? Wrong. Perhaps the largest drawback used to be that I didn’t get to look the recreation in any respect, regardless of a 400-mile spherical shuttle.

My spouse and I left early sufficient, at 8am. Or so we idea. Until we stuck roadworks in Bristol. And then there used to be a crash on the outskirts of London. And then I didn’t realise how a lot of a ache it’s to get a automobile from the M4 and head downwards to South London, which needs to be one in all the maximum inhospitable highway routes on earth.

Cut to 3pm and we’re listening on the radio as Scott Sinclair ratings the opening target. Great. We in the end get there at 3.55pm. I am getting out of the automobile and my knee offers method momentarily because of cramp. We stroll in opposition to the flooring. We hadn’t purchased tickets because it used to be pay on the day. “It’ll be fine,” we’d mentioned. Except what they don’t let you know is that tickets pass off sale the minute the recreation kicks off.

We hover round the flooring for some time, paying attention to the Swans rating two extra targets. We attraction to a steward to allow us to in for the final 10 mins. He does now not. So we minimize our losses and get again on the M4 and head house. We get stuck up in site visitors once more in Bristol and don’t make it again till 10pm. A 14-hour day for completely not anything. Great occasions. Andrew, 41

‘I shot a jet of urine down my left leg’

Aston Villa 4-0 West Bromwich Albion, 1998
At Birmingham town centre I couldn’t in finding the proper bus prevent to Villa Park, inflicting me to get there simply prior to kick-off. I had wasted such a lot time that I used to be determined to visit the rest room, however there have been large queues to get into the flooring and, as soon as inside of, there have been large queues for the bathrooms. Just after I idea I’d made it, a mixture of stiff buttons on a brand new pair of Levis, button-up lengthy johns and button-up boxer shorts ended in partial failure as I shot a jet of urine down my left leg prior to hitting the urinal.

Feeling uncomfortable and smelling of piss, I take my position amongst the Villa fanatics as I couldn’t get a price tag for the Albion finish. I’m proper in the back of a pillar, which would possibly in truth have been a excellent factor as a result of I may slightly see the Albion getting tonked. So, I’m in the heart of 1000’s of Villa fanatics who’re abusing my staff, having rainy myself. The magic of the FA Cup. Chris Lees, 56

‘Even a mass brawl couldn’t save this wreckage’

Sunderland Ryhope 0-0 Liversedge
Starved of football in 2020 with non-league suspended {and professional} video games being performed in the back of closed doorways, I made up our minds to get all the way down to Sunderland for this 3rd spherical tie in the FA Vase, assured that the crowd would now not exceed the authorised most so I’d get in. I did. And how I needed I hadn’t. Not simply used to be it 0-0, however it used to be a recreation practically completely devoid of motion. The first 1/2 used to be the worst I’ve ever seen, the 2nd simplest marginally higher. The house staff misplaced the penalty shootout; I misplaced the will to are living. Even a mass brawl on the ultimate whistle couldn’t save this wreckage. Andy Clark, 61

‘My wife turned to me and said: never again’

Chelsea 0-0 Southampton, 2002
It used to be a dreary Boxing Day and my spouse and I had been dwelling in Battersea. I satisfied her to come back alongside to her first event. She had somewhat of a chilly however got here at my urging. The event used to be horrible: a goalless draw that used to be totally devoid of the rest. The maximum pleasure got here when a Chelsea shot close to the finish hit William Gallas on the bottom. After the ultimate whistle my spouse became to me and mentioned “never again”. She has now not been since. Vincent Savard, 54

Boxing Day misery for William Gallas as Chelsea fail to score against Southampton.
Boxing Day distress for William Gallas as Chelsea fail to attain in opposition to Southampton. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

‘We spent the second half betting on plastic bags’

Luton at house in the Conference
It used to be a chilly, windy day and, relatively than observing Luton and their similarly inept combatants flounder round, we spent maximum of the 2nd 1/2 making a bet on which of the two plastic baggage blowing up and down the pitch would achieve the midway line first. I have no recollection of who the opposition had been – a real nadir in the 52 years of observing Luton in 5 other divisions. Yvonne Fletcher, 52

‘If there were any good bits, I missed them while at A&E’

Bolton 1-1 Everton, 1979
I were given frozen to the bone with the intention to watch us lose our best possible participant (and, down the line, an entire bunch of cash) in a meaningless, deserted fixture that are meant to by no means have kicked off in the first position – and, insofar as there have been any excellent bits of the recreation in any respect, I neglected them as I used to be in A&E.

It’s New Year’s Day in 1979 and there’s heavy snow throughout a lot of the nation. Most fixtures are cancelled however, for some explanation why, the referee noticed have compatibility to move forward with Bolton’s house event in opposition to Everton in the First Division.

The unsuitability of the stipulations temporarily become glaring to me all through a pre-match lunchtime kickabout with my brother and buddies; I slipped, fell and smashed my lip open on the icy flooring. Stitches had been obviously wanted. No topic, my dad made up our minds, we’d go away somewhat previous than deliberate, prevent at the Bolton Royal Infirmary on the method, get my mouth mounted, and proceed on to the recreation.

A&E being rammed with an identical sufferers of the icy stipulations, I needed to wait some time to get my lip sewn up. By the time we were given with reference to Burnden Park, we’d already neglected a excellent bite of the first 1/2. It used to be brutally chilly, snow used to be once more falling closely, and you might want to have skied down the Manny Road. It gave the impression improbable that the recreation may nonetheless be on, however the noise from the stadium informed us that used to be certainly the case. We were given in the flooring and discovered that the rating used to be 1-1 – we’d neglected the targets. We had been, on the other hand, simply in time to look Bolton’s best possible participant, Peter Reid, get carried off injured after he slipped in the snow and collided with the Everton keeper.

At half-time, the snow used to be falling much more closely. We sat shivering as 2nd 1/2 kick-off time got here and went, till the officers in the end bowed to the inevitable and deserted the recreation. We trudged off again to the automobile; I bring it to mind taking about 4 hours after the recreation to really feel correctly heat once more.

Reid had badly broken his knee ligaments; he wouldn’t play once more for almost a yr. This almost definitely contributed to us getting relegated the following season. The damage additionally crashed Reid’s switch price: when he in the end moved in 1982 (to none rather then Everton), it used to be for an insignificant £60,000 – a fragment of his pre-injury valuation. Of path it used to be one in all the nice bargains of all time for Everton, as Reid become a key part of the nice Howard Kendall groups of the mid-Nineteen Eighties. But for the endlessly cash-strapped Bolton, it used to be a sour tablet to swallow. Giles, 54

‘Getting home was a nightmare’

England 0-0 Chile, 1989
First, there used to be a tube strike, which made attending to Wembley practically unimaginable. But we made it – and simplest 15,628 did (the lowest crowd for an England recreation at Wembley). Then it used to be a 0-0, and a nearly chanceless 0-0 at that. And then John Fashanu made his England debut, which will give you an concept of the way dedicated the staff used to be to finesse that night. And in the end, there used to be nonetheless a tube strike at the finish, which made getting house a nightmare. Imagine a recreation being memorable only for its low attendance and the presence of John Fashanu. Michael Hann, 53

John Fashanu in action during his England debut against Chile at Wembley in May 1989.
John Fashanu in motion all through his England debut in opposition to Chile at Wembley in May 1989. Photograph: Mark Leech/Offside/Getty Images

‘The closest I’ve ever were given to purgatory’

Bristol Rovers 0-0 Plymouth Argyle, 1986
If the word “a cold Tuesday night” is a cliche, I’m beautiful certain this used to be when that word used to be born. Rovers had been enjoying at Twerton Park in Bath, a stadium with the declare to status of being the ugliest development in the town, and the trap of the maximum minor of cup video games in opposition to a meant West Country rival (regardless of the 150-mile hole between the golf equipment) used to be now not sufficient to influence a lot quite a lot of hundred fanatics to make the shuttle from Bristol, let by myself from Devon.

However, boredom led my brother and I to take a punt on seeing what may turn into an entertaining recreation. How unsuitable we had been. I take note little of the event, with the exception of the proven fact that there used to be now not a unmarried likelihood for both sides. The howling wind made the ball uncontrollable for the two units of gamers, who had been restricted of their talents even in the best possible stipulations.

The ball used to be hoofed, taken by means of the wind, mis-controlled, put out for a throw-in. And then the collection would start once more. And once more. And once more. I spent two hours freezing, paying attention to my brother try to blame me only for the resolution to move. It in reality nonetheless fills me with a way of horror and is in all probability the closest I’ve ever were given to experiencing purgatory. David Thomas, 50

‘Nothing happened for 90 minutes. Then another 30 minutes’

Brentford 0-0 Wrexham, 1991
I went as a result of somebody I knew from college used to be enjoying for Wrexham. It used to be brutally chilly, with about 2,000 fanatics damn round the flooring. Nothing came about for 90 mins. Then it went to extra-time and not anything came about for any other half-hour. Then we had consequences and Wrexham neglected all of theirs. At full-time they performed the Jan and Dean music Surf City – both to offer a California sunshine vibe or (much more likely) to take the piss. Dafydd Jones

‘I had spent my bus money on whisky’

Huddersfield 2-0 Grimsby
We stood in the pouring rain at the open away finish of an enormous bowl for 2 hours and watched Grimsby get beat 2-0. The recreation used to be dangerous however what adopted used to be worse. I walked via Huddersfield to catch my teach. As I headed up a hill in opposition to the station, two giant skinheads oozed out of a doorway the place they were looking ahead to somebody like me. One of them requested me the place I used to be from. Grimsby would have intended giant bother. I rediscovered my almost-lost Glaswegian accessory and mentioned: “Glasgow.” That at a loss for words them. One of them requested me the place I used to be going and I informed them to the pub I had simply noticed throughout the highway. That at a loss for words them once more.

As they considered beating me up, I crossed the highway and walked into the pub. I used to be beautiful scared. For some bizarre explanation why, almost definitely fear-induced, I ordered a whisky, although I used to be nonetheless into shandy in the ones overdue teenager years. I don’t take note if I drank it, however I paid and left in a while afterwards, working to the station and hoping to not stumble upon my new buddies. I were given on the teach safely and arrived again in Hull an hour or so later. Only then did I realise that I had spent my bus cash on the whisky. A four-mile stroll in the similar rain adopted. I in the end were given again to my mattress, depressing, chilly and skint, if nonetheless in a single piece. Alan Nocker, 62

‘Every single minute was miserable’

Brighton 4-0 Barnet, 2008
My buddies mentioned they had been coming with me, so I purchased my price tag and were given off paintings early. None of them got here so I used to be on my very own. The recreation used to be horrible. We misplaced 4-0, the first target coming after simplest 90 seconds. The flooring and pitch had been each appalling. Both groups ended the recreation with 10 males. Several Barnet fanatics had been thrown out for being under the influence of alcohol and belligerent. The teach again to London used to be behind schedule. Seven hours of my existence I can by no means get again. Every unmarried minute used to be depressing. Victoria Sharkey, 45

‘I ended up sleeping in an outside toilet’

Barnsley 5-1 Ipswich, 1990
Ipswich misplaced 5-1, it used to be midweek and I didn’t realise there could be no trains again from Sheffield to London after the recreation. I took a teach to Doncaster considering there could be trains from there, however there weren’t. I walked to the A1 and attempted to join again, unsuccessfully, and ended up slumbering tough in the out of doors rest room of a church corridor. I needed to pay once more to catch the first teach again to London the subsequent morning. I’ve at all times checked teach occasions after that and now force to video games. Robin Lancaster, 55

‘We barely had a shot on goal for a decade’

Wimbledon 1-3 Everton, 1993
There had been 3,036 other folks there and I used to be one in all them. As an avid Wimbledon fan who performed Saturday football, I may simplest pass to midweek video games. We had a chain of matches in opposition to Everton in the Nineteen Nineties that now soften into each and every different – they had been all freezing chilly, maximum of them ended 0-0 and nobody with the exception of me and a few associates went. I don’t suppose we gained any of them, slightly having a shot on target right through the decade. I went final season, after we did not win for 29 video games in a row, however even that run wasn’t this dismal. Trevor Pearce, 53

Empty terraces at the Wimbledon v Everton Premiership fixture 26-Jan-1993
Empty terraces at the Wimbledon v Everton fixture in January 1993. Photograph: PA/Alamy

‘I made my way home in a daze’

Newcastle 1-3 Scunthorpe, 1958

At 12 years previous, I had simplest not too long ago begun to observe Newcastle United at St James’ Park. My dad labored on Saturday afternoons and my good friend Tom used to be now not allowed to move with out an grownup, so I went on my very own. We had been doing badly in the league, however this used to be the FA Cup. Newcastle had been a cup staff; we had gained it thrice in the early Nineteen Fifties. We had simply crushed Plymouth 6-1 in the 3rd spherical. Surely this used to be our yr to win once more – Scunthorpe at house in the fourth spherical, it might be simple, any other six targets no less than.

I left house at 12.30pm to be first in the boys’ queue. Despite all of the anticipation, we misplaced 3-1. In football language that I had but to be informed – we didn’t flip up. Newcastle had been totally outplayed by means of Scunthorpe. I made my method house in a daze, in surprise. How may this have came about? Maybe there used to be one thing at fault? Maybe the outcome could be cancelled? It used to be now not, after all. Welcome to a lifetime of supporting Newcastle United. Peter Foster, 76

‘My uncle gave me a nip of rum to help me stay alive’

Wales 1-0 Northern Ireland, 1978

On a chilly Friday evening in May 1978, I used to be one in all 9,000 souls trembling in the chilly at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham to look the perennial worst recreation of the Home Championship: Wales v Northern Ireland. And a stinker it used to be – what little shall we see via the sleety mist. A nailed-on 0-0 with few gamers having a look . Dreadful recreation. My uncle gave me, a schoolboy at the time, a nip of rum at half-time to lend a hand me keep alive. Awful. But weirdly, I simply checked the effects and it sounds as if we gained 1-0 because of a Seventieth-minute penalty. So dire used to be the recreation that this had totally vanished from my reminiscence. Guy Hearn, 55

‘It was absolute tripe’

Watford 0-0 Grimsby, 1998

I used to be a tender Manchester United from Ireland going over to consult with my uncle and his spouse in London for a weekend. My folks had shipped me off to offer them a damage and informed my uncle, smartly upfront, to type out tickets for a football event as I used to be a enthusiast at that age.

I land over and my uncle has totally forgotten to get any tickets or actually organise the rest – he had, and nonetheless has, no youngsters – so I spent the Friday evening of their condo consuming Wagon Wheels and observing TV with them. Saturday morning comes and he’s searching for a recreation to wait – and that we will get into. He settles on Watford v Grimsby for some explanation why. So we trek throughout London to what used to be a reasonably crap stadium at the time. However, I’m excited to be going to a event as a result of as a child the build-up is sort of higher than the recreation itself.

Then the recreation began and it used to be absolute tripe. I sat there having a look at those two groups simply lumping the ball backward and forward for 90 mins and the simplest time that I will be able to take note there being any form of cheer used to be when Gifton Noel-Williams began to heat up.

That day killed my dream of being a footballer. I assumed to myself that the rest, even a existence in the global of finance, will have to be higher than this. I haven’t been again to consult with my uncle since; I haven’t been to Watford since; and I haven’t been as bored since. I are living in a relative state of happiness now – dwelling somewhat for the second and content material with my lot – figuring out {that a} Watford v Grimsby recreation might by no means be too some distance away. Bryan Murray, 36

‘It was like being in a jungle’

Newcastle United 0-1 Manchester City, 1960

This used to be the first Football League recreation I attended. I believe my father idea it wouldn’t be too crowded because it used to be the final recreation of the season. However, for an eight-year-old it used to be like being in a jungle. Standing at the entrance of the paddock I used to be nearly underneath pitch degree, so I used to be lifted up on to the perimeter edge and sat there for roughly 20 mins till it become too uncomfortable and I joined the crowd on the terraces. But I may simplest see some motion by means of having a look via gaps in the crowd.

In essence all I noticed used to be a tangle of legs, the bizarre sight of the ball, however memorably a mazy dribble by means of a tender guy, Denis Law, who had simply signed for Manchester City. I will be able to’t take note a lot else. It wasn’t the best possible advent to skilled football, however it set me off on an extended highway which has at all times been travelled in hope greater than expectation. Nicholas Johnson, 70

Manchester City captain Ken Barnes giving a No8 jersey to his new teammate, 20-year-old Denis Law, who has just been signed for a record fee of £45,000 to become the costliest player in English football in March 1960.
Manchester City captain Ken Barnes offers a No8 jersey to his new teammate, 20-year-old Denis Law, who has simply joined for a report charge of £45,000 to turn out to be the most expensive participant in English football. Photograph: PA

‘This was two teams with no clue’

Ormiston 0-0 Craigroyston, 2021

Ormiston had been having a horrible season, having conceded 35 targets by means of the get started of October and having but to attain a unmarried target at house. Astonishingly, they weren’t backside of the desk – Craigroyston had been. Surely their assembly would produce one thing thrilling. Both defences had been so dire that Ormiston would possibly even rating their first house target of the season, and Craigroyston would possibly set up an away win to take them above their combatants in the desk.

But no. Not one unmarried effort on target used to be controlled by means of both sides. These had been two groups without a clue. Only as soon as did one in all the aspects string in combination 4 consecutive passes. Nowhere used to be a midfield to be discovered, and no ahead may keep an eye on a move or take a pop at target. Don’t be tempted to suppose that this used to be as a result of the defences had been any excellent, regardless that. You couldn’t actually inform for the reason that neither actually needed to trouble. For the 40 or so observing, it used to be an staying power take a look at like no different. Rubbish flooring, too. Mark Nixon, 50

‘It was cold. It was wet. It was windy’

Barrow v Horwich, 1993(ish)

It used to be chilly. It used to be rainy. It used to be windy. The wind whipping in off the Irish Sea carried portents of gloom in addition to chilly air to the assembled throng. It used to be a Lancashire Cup recreation – the lowest hire of all the myriad non-league cup competitions. The half-interested groups ambled round in entrance of the even much less crowd, who had been there out of a way of responsibility and a decision to steer clear of Coronation Street relatively than any roughly enthusiasm.

As the guests took a two-goal lead, the house crowd consoled themselves with the proven fact that this used to be, no less than, the finish of our participation on this nugatory festival. A comfort target used to be tolerated however the last-minute equaliser used to be met with howls of frustration as extra-time loomed. My dad, status subsequent to me, uttered the phrases “I’ve had enough of this” and that used to be it. After taking us to our first recreation in 1984, he had made up our minds that this used to be his swan music. From then on, my brother and I needed to make our personal solution to video games. Teenagers, subjected to the vagaries of the rail community as we navigated our method round the Unibond league as Barrow huffed and puffed their solution to midtable mediocrity.

Dad by no means misplaced pastime totally, maintaining with the ratings, the comings and goings, the ups, the downs and the further downs. He couldn’t be tempted again regardless that. Not even a shuttle to Wembley for the FA Trophy ultimate in 2010 may get him again on the bandwagon.

In 2012, my first daughter used to be born and, once she used to be sufficiently old, I used to be placing her in the automobile and taking her to house video games. Eventually the prospect of multi-generational attendance, allied to Barrow reclaiming their position in the Football League, proved an excessive amount of of a trap and my dad made up our minds to come back again to Holker Street. Like slipping on a couple of cushty footwear, he fell proper again into the groove and whilst his attendance is sporadic, the flame that glinted so perilously with reference to extinction has recovered a few of its gusto and the gentle continues to polish.

Rochdale away will likely be our subsequent recreation in combination. Me, my daughter and my dad will likely be enduring and playing it in combination. Can’t wait. David Ingham, 43

Thanks to everybody who took phase. We had loads of responses and may simply have used they all however merely ran out of house. Thank you.

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