Monday, 8 October 2012

The Totton & Eling Team Tab

There's a Totton & Eling team tab hidden somewhere in this old scrapbook page! See if you can spot it!
At the end of every summer in the 1970s, Shoot! used to give away league ladders for the new season. Over a period of three weeks, you would receive the ladders themselves in the first week (league tables for England and Scotland with slots for each position within each division), then the team tabs for each English and Scottish league club. The idea was that you would update each division with the team tabs as and when matches were played.

So, you would dutifully start the season doing just that, but after a few weeks it became a little, well, boring. So, you would take them all out of the ladders, put them in a pewter tanker, shake them up, and draw out ties for the British Cup (which was surely just around the corner in reality - you were just doing the draw before Bert Millichip could get his hands on his 128 numbered balls and do the first-ever real draw). "And Coventry City will play Hibernian, in surely the tie of the round..."

The team tabs were slathered in useful information from the mid-70s onwards. The club's name would be in its colours on the visible part, but underneath, on the invisible iceberg-like bit, would be the name of their ground, year of formation, nickname, and most intriguingly, their record gate (e.g., Pompey's was 51,385 v Derby County - I've been in 40,000+ crowds at Fratton Park, but that ain't going to happen ever again!). I would learn all of these things off by heart and would wish that one day I could be in a record attendance.

Well, I may have done this at last, after 40 years of trying. The 230 at Totton & Eling's Millers Park for their FA Cup tie with Weymouth might well have been a ground record (probably not a club record - they must have bettered that at Southern Gardens in the 1940s or 1950s. I don't know for sure, and I don't expect anybody else does!). Anyway, to celebrate, I made a Totton & Eling team tab with the following vital information:

Totton & Eling (red lettering on a black background - club colours)
Millers Park
Formed: 1925
Record gate: 230 (in invisible brackets afterwards: "I was there!")
The Millers

I added it temporarily to an old scrapbook, just to see what it would look like (see illustration above). It looks good there, in amongst all the Sun soccerstamps!

Terry Paine, circa 1971.
From the same scrapbook, here's a picture of Saints legend, Terry Paine. Bradley Wiggins, eat your heart out! That's proper sideburns!

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff Andy!
    Terry Paine was a great player - shame he was a Tory though!