Friday, 8 February 2008

I was there the last time Leeds United met the Cobblers

Posted by Chris:

As Leeds United prepare to face the Cobblers at Sixfields tomorrow it is amazing to think that it is 42 years since the last time they visited Northamton Town.

It also makes me feel old as I remember both games.

Back in 1965/66 the Cobblers completed a remarkable climb to the top division and spent that season amongst the elite only to slip straight back down to the basement again in, I think, successive seasons.

Why I remember certain things about the two games against Cobblers that season I don't know. I was a regular at games both home and away before and for many years afterwards but these two stick in my memory more than some of the bigger games we played at the time.

The first match, at Elland Road, was on 16th October 1965. I was 15 at the time and used to spend each Friday and Saturday night baby sitting for my uncle and aunt at Boroughbridge. My uncle was working, I think for Wimpy at the time, on a building site on the outskirts of Leeds and he dropped me off on the morning of the match.

I remember hanging around Leeds city centre before it was time to go to the match. I stood in the good old Scratching Shed and watched the Whites thrash the Cobblers 6-1.

The return match took place at the County Ground on March 5th 1966. I can't remember how I got there, probably on 'Tod' Pynes Coach from Starbeck, but we stood with all the Leeds fans in a covered stand, to the right of the players tunnel, if your looking out onto the pitch. The ground was three sided but they had a temporary open terrace on the side that would normally be the cricket pitch.

Leeds were riding high and the Town were battling against relegation but as we have come to expect, in situations like that, the struggling Cobblers side won 2-1.

I have only been to Northampton twice since then and both have included visit to the Cobbler's ground.

In the early 1990's I attended the memorable final meeting of the Liberal Party Council, held at Northampton, when we finally agreed the terms to merge with the SDP. I remember this was the first time and only time I ever drew a response from David Steel to some critical comment I made about his leadership during the negotiations.

During the lunch break I took our lad Mark, who came with me and played football all day outside the meeting hall with some other delegates kids, to the County Ground to have a look at the stadium.

About six or seven years ago Glynis and I attended a seminar, held in Northampton one Monday and we took the opportunity to take the caravan. We spent the previous weekend at a lovely site, near the town, that was surrounded by a river or canal and a series of commercial fishing ponds. If anyone knows where this was please let us know because we can't remember and would like to go again sometime. There was a huge viaduct.

During that weekend we went to have a look at the new Sixfields Stadium and I remember being able to see right inside from a nearby hill. We also had a look around the impressive Rushdon & Diamonds ground as well.

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