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OrdinaryJon

Filbert Street & nostalgia

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7 minutes ago, demon_dog said:

Think one of my memories of Filbo was when we played a non league team in the League cup, it was a freezing cold winters night, the kop was virtually empty.

In the row I sat in there were only 2 other guys, the game was that bad that just after half time they lit a spliff and sat there in a haze watching the game with a smile on their faces!

To this day I can't recall who we played or what the (if any) score was, I simply recall these two guys!

 

When I first went the match cost 7shillings and 6 pence to go into the Kop, About 35p in todays money.

Ok, I'll take the bait.

 

A non-league team in the League cup?

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11 minutes ago, HighPeakFox said:

Ok, I'll take the bait.

 

A non-league team in the League cup?

I suspect he meant the FA Cup I guess it makes a big different to the emotion/nostalgia in the story :cool:

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Football was much rawer back in the day,a lot realer too. The current stadiums are immaculate these days from the concourses to the pitch. but the older ones like Filbert Street had more heart about them, largely because the quality by today's standards were so crap LOL. 

 

On a personal note, I went to Filbo for the first time during the 1988/89 season as a teenager and instantly fell in love with the atmosphere in the penns behind the goal and the close proximity to the away fans, buzzing from the sense of excitement of the game and a tad of fear of having the oppo fans next to you, even if there was a metal fence separating us LOL. Everything about the match day experience just felt a lot more rough and ready but fair and that happened when we had at times a third of the fans we have today. People aged in their 40s like me will always state that those days were the best because it was such an experience for a teenager and helped some of us transition from boys to men, making friendships along the way. There is also something to be said about being crap and winning games with pants players, something that the newer fans wouldnt quite understand with a team of Internationals on the pitch and another load on the bench or even loaned out!

 

Finally, fav game was November 89 v Leeds. 18,032 fans there (the biggest home attendance of the season) as Leeds travelled in force as usual and in fairness there fans were everywhere and very noisy but we were there and giving them a match in the stands too. The Filbo roar was deafening at times as we came back to win 4-3 after trailing I think 3-1. It really felt like 50,000 fans were there not 18k!! 

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13 hours ago, Bourbon Fox said:

My first footballing memory is of watching a bloke piss through a rolled-up programme onto the steps of the kop. I'm sure we were standing, which I think would tally with it being about '89 and me being about 5 years old. 

 

What I miss is the frisson of danger, the swelling of the ranks through the side streets, sticking with the crowd and avoiding the spots where away fans might be. It sounds stupid but for a young boy having this experience of excitement, anticipation, trepidation and being part of a surge of thousands doesn't come close to any other type of feeling. A street packed with friendly strangers with a common love.

The occasional glimpse of trouble or being bundled past the Shed and steered away from the horses definitely added to the impression that this was a place, a few hours, where life could be a little bit different. 

 

Oh, and the songs. Starting in Westcotes and growing down Narborough Road, by the time the streams of fans converged on Raw Dykes it was hundreds together. Sung at top volume, all joining in, borne on a breeze of Carling Premier breath and profanity. Sometimes my dad would join in, belting out something like '**** off Mark McGhee' with a 'don't tell your mother' wink and a conspiratorial grin. This was different. This was Going Down The City. 

 

Wide-eyed, silent and with a panda pop and a bag of Smith's Salt-your-own I learned about pub culture - taking the piss out of your mates, always giving a lady a seat, playing spoof and buying rounds and the confident espousal of tactical expertise. My replica shirt was sacred, worn only at the match or when emulating the likes of Tommy Wright and Muzzy on a Thursday night. 

 

I don't miss the ground per se, and I think family-friendliness is a welcome, necessary, inevitable part of progress. 

 

But somewhere along with the danger and my childhood I think we lost the thrill. Walking to the KP is always a special feeling, but it's not got the edge for me - the cocktail of passion and mild peril. 

 

Filbert Street for me will always be a place of noise, camaraderie and an intriguing hint of menace. Not saying that's a good thing, but I wouldn't want my memories to be any different. 

Brilliant post this - brings back memories when we had Derby at home on a Tuesday night in mid 90s. There was trouble around the Woodgate/Buckminster Road area and there was a touch of menace in the air. 

 

My dad once once told me and my brother at about 11/12, this was the only acceptable place to swear. Ironically, he tells me off how when my language goes blue in the Kop

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Just read the match report on the Leicester Mercury website, and noticed an article at the bottom relating to certain photos of the old Filbert Street ground.

 

These stood out, personally:

 

Gone but never forgotten..

1_483123JPG.jpg

 

0_497502JPG.jpg

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Some small memories from the 70s that give me a warm feeling about Filbert Street;

 

a. Back in those days, not every game was shown on TV and you never knew in advance which games would be shown on Match of the Day or Star Soccer (remember Hugh Johns?) so the first thing I did when I got in the ground was to look up into the pale blue corrugated steel camera 'box' on the roof of the member's stand. Was always disappointed when there were no cameras in there.

 

b. The stadium announcer at about ten-to-three 'Hello everyone, hello everyone...'

 

c. The member's entrance. I wish that had been carefully dismantled and re-erected somewhere at the KP.

 

d. The small 'club shop' in a house on Burnmoor Street.

 

 

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What was so good about Filbert Street? First of all there were the long queues to get in. Then you had to squeeze through those narrow turnstiles. Then you were trapped in a pen for the next two hours, pushed, shoved, deafened and only able to see half the pitch. On one occasion, some Chelsea headcases infiltrated the pen I was in and caused mayhem. The best thing about that ground was the muddy pitches, which added an extra element of entertainment!  

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Just now, String fellow said:

What was so good about Filbert Street? First of all there were the long queues to get in. Then you had to squeeze through those narrow turnstiles. Then you were trapped in a pen for the next two hours, pushed, shoved, deafened and only able to see half the pitch. On one occasion, some Chelsea headcases infiltrated the pen I was in and caused mayhem. The best thing about that ground was the muddy pitches, which added an extra element of entertainment!  

The best thing was the closeness to the pitch.

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Old School Leicester song from Filbert Street. Would love to see it make a return.

Once upon a time there was a Spion Kop, Where we used to throw a can or two, Where we used to while away the hours, Watching the boys in Royal Blue, These were the days my friend, We took the Stretford End, We took the Shed End, the North Bank Highbury, We'd fight and never lose, We'd live the life we choose, Oh yes these were the days...

 

Edited by l444ry
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Listening to records supplied by AG Kemble of Wigston. Being body searched before being allowed into PEN3. Pre match warm up with players allowed to be in the penalty area

Edited by 49er
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Can't be sure when I first went to Filbo, but I was certainly attending in the 1956-7 season when I was 10.  We won div 2 at a canter in that season, with Arthur Rowley still banging in the goals.

 

We  (my Dad and I) went in the Pop side, where it was all standing.  It was 9d (4p in today's currency) for me as a junior.  I remember once arriving late, having no chance of seeing from the back, and being lifted and passed down over everyone's heads and deposited at the front.  You wouldn't see that happening these days.

 

There were many great moments over the years.  Whenever there was anything exciting happening on the pitch the people sitting in the upper deck of the Spion Kop would stamp their feet on the wooden flooring and create a huge din.  Hardly surprising that the atmosphere at the KP is hard to match that at Filbo, when the best assistance we can get these days is a drummer or clappers.

 

No regrets about moving to the KP though.  It had to happen, and we have already experienced some exciting times there.

 

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On 11/08/2019 at 16:24, Kinowe Soorie said:

always giving a lady a seat, playing spoof and buying rounds

Dare i ask?

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19 hours ago, String fellow said:

What was so good about Filbert Street? First of all there were the long queues to get in. Then you had to squeeze through those narrow turnstiles. Then you were trapped in a pen for the next two hours, pushed, shoved, deafened and only able to see half the pitch. On one occasion, some Chelsea headcases infiltrated the pen I was in and caused mayhem. The best thing about that ground was the muddy pitches, which added an extra element of entertainment!  

All those noisy people & nasty away fans. Sounds like you should have gone to the pictures.

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4 hours ago, deep blue said:

Can't be sure when I first went to Filbo, but I was certainly attending in the 1956-7 season when I was 10.  We won div 2 at a canter in that season, with Arthur Rowley still banging in the goals.

 

We  (my Dad and I) went in the Pop side, where it was all standing.  It was 9d (4p in today's currency) for me as a junior.  I remember once arriving late, having no chance of seeing from the back, and being lifted and passed down over everyone's heads and deposited at the front.  You wouldn't see that happening these days.

 

There were many great moments over the years.  Whenever there was anything exciting happening on the pitch the people sitting in the upper deck of the Spion Kop would stamp their feet on the wooden flooring and create a huge din.  Hardly surprising that the atmosphere at the KP is hard to match that at Filbo, when the best assistance we can get these days is a drummer or clappers.

 

No regrets about moving to the KP though.  It had to happen, and we have already experienced some exciting times there.

 

This more or less mirrors my experience. My first game was 26 Jan 1957, against Grimsby (won 4-3 with goals by Ian McNeill, Billy Wright (no, not that one), Derek Hines and Arthur Rowley) and I was taken as a reward for passing the eleven-plus by the father of one of my mates. I lived in Loughborough, so I had a choice of Forest (who were also going well) or City, and City were chosen because they were playing at home that day: astonishing how such a small timing issue made such a big difference to my life. 

 

I was utterly enthralled by the whole experience, even though I couldn't see much of the actual game. Every sense was assaulted, but in a primary way. The colours were bright and solid – City’s blue and white, Grimsby’s black and white, the pitch’s brown and (not much) green. The roar of the crowd as City scored or the shouted-out swearing as Grimsby hit back. The smells of cigarette and pipe smoke, and of factory-grime, sweat and beer – because a lot of the men (and it was all men) had come to the match directly from a Saturday working in a factory, via the pub. Above all, it was visceral, exciting, theatrical - and I was hooked. Despite all the changes over the next 40-odd years, I seem to recall that the atmosphere in Filbo - when we were winning, that is - was always good, and I still smile at some of the memories of great games there.

 

I was at the last match at Filbo, as well as the first at the KP (Walkers as it was then) and I remember being really disappointed with the new place. OK, so the view was better, but I'd been at noisier funerals - even though we won - and it was still dull at the end of that season when we were promoted back up to the Prem! It got better of course, and on the rare occasions I can now get to games, the atmosphere is really good - of course, having a good team helps. I just hope the ground gets reopened while I'm still mobile!

 

 

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Hi Langudoc, are we twins?  I too was born in Loughborough (and coincidentally, now have a house in France).  Being born in Loughborough, the choice was tight between Forest, Derby and Leicester, and I guess you could throw Notts County in the mix.  But my Dad was a Leicester fan so that's how I started - thank goodness.

 

I guess it was a grimy experience at Filbo but, being a child and growing up in an age where there was a lack of sophistication and where hardship was the norm, I guess I never noticed.  I do remember being with my cousin at the very front of the Pop when a scruffy little lad next to us dropped a peeled orange onto the gritty (and no doubt germ-ridden) concourse surrounding the pitch where it rolled over in the dirt.  He nonchalantly reached out, picked it up and proceeded to eat it.  Lack of cleankiness was no big deal then but my cousin was disgusted and screwed up his face in such distaste that I remember that look to this day. Odd how such insignificant memories stick in the mind.

 

Other memories include taking my girlfriend to a "friendly" v Glasgow Rangers;  must have been early 70s.  We were in the East stand and a Rangers fan, absolutely drunk, crawled along the girder above us showering phlegm, whisky and broken glass all over us.  Probably the only time I've left a match early.   On reflection, times were grim.

 

One other memory was with my sister, in the East stand again and must have been about the same era, home to Leyton Orient in an early cup round.  It was so cold that both legs were completely frozen by half time, but we won 5-1 (I think), so that was OK.  Happy days!

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9 hours ago, deep blue said:

 

No regrets about moving to the KP though.  It had to happen, and we have already experienced some exciting times there.

 

Blimey, understatement of the day :)

 

My first match at Filbo was Boxing Day 1965 (Fulham 5-0) and have been a regular since 1970-71. To be honest I don't think we witnessed anything even approaching what we've had in 18 years down on Freeman's Wharf. 

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On 08/05/2020 at 04:11, ozleicester said:

always giving a lady a seat, playing spoof and buying rounds

 

On 08/05/2020 at 04:11, ozleicester said:

Dare i ask?

It's a gambling game with 2 or more players. Start with 3 coins in your hands behind back, select 1, 2 or 3 coins and bring 1 hand to front. Each person takes a guess at how many total coins are held for pints money or special favours with the pub landlords wife/daughter/grand daughter.

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loved reading some of the posts on here. brings back many memories. With the blue tinted specs on, Filbo was a place of wonder when i was a kid, watching my heroes of the day (and not just the city players themselves, but the likes of charlton, law and best, Gordon Banks on his first return with Stoke, Geoff hurst, Martin Peters, Jimmy Greaves etc). The Bloomfield boys, the glory days of the play offs and league cups. The atmosphere and noise, especially to a young and impressionable lad was unbelievable. I remember a cup game (6th round think) against Arsenal, there were 42,000 in the ground that day (lots sitting on the roof of the east stand and climbing up the floodlight pylons too) and the noise was deafening yet i never felt threatened.Walking down Filbert street past all the programme and memorabilia sellers with their boards festooned with rosettes and scarves etc.

With the specs off though, in its latter days, the main stand apart with its conferencing facilities ect, the place was a dump. Outside the ground i remember being more than a little scared as Millwall fans ran riot, trying to dodge running battles against various visiting teams fans across Welford Road Recce (Nelson Mandela park) as me and my dad made our way back to where the car was parked on several occasions. It got so bad with the hooliganism at times that my parents refused to let me go to certain matches.

On balance though, i have many more happy memories of Filbo than bad, and that includes some of the best, and worst football, served up by my beloved team.

As has been said, KP is now beginning to forge its own nostalgia and memories for old and new fans alike. there have been tears of sadness and joy both, promotions and relegation's, heroes and villains, and no doubt many more to come in the future. Love it or not, the KP has been witness to both the greatest and saddest single moments in the entire history of our club over the last few years.

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36 minutes ago, urban fox said:

loved reading some of the posts on here. brings back many memories. With the blue tinted specs on, Filbo was a place of wonder when i was a kid, watching my heroes of the day (and not just the city players themselves, but the likes of charlton, law and best, Gordon Banks on his first return with Stoke, Geoff hurst, Martin Peters, Jimmy Greaves etc). The Bloomfield boys, the glory days of the play offs and league cups. The atmosphere and noise, especially to a young and impressionable lad was unbelievable. I remember a cup game (6th round think) against Arsenal, there were 42,000 in the ground that day (lots sitting on the roof of the east stand and climbing up the floodlight pylons too) and the noise was deafening yet i never felt threatened.Walking down Filbert street past all the programme and memorabilia sellers with their boards festooned with rosettes and scarves etc.

With the specs off though, in its latter days, the main stand apart with its conferencing facilities ect, the place was a dump. Outside the ground i remember being more than a little scared as Millwall fans ran riot, trying to dodge running battles against various visiting teams fans across Welford Road Recce (Nelson Mandela park) as me and my dad made our way back to where the car was parked on several occasions. It got so bad with the hooliganism at times that my parents refused to let me go to certain matches.

On balance though, i have many more happy memories of Filbo than bad, and that includes some of the best, and worst football, served up by my beloved team.

As has been said, KP is now beginning to forge its own nostalgia and memories for old and new fans alike. there have been tears of sadness and joy both, promotions and relegation's, heroes and villains, and no doubt many more to come in the future. Love it or not, the KP has been witness to both the greatest and saddest single moments in the entire history of our club over the last few years.

That Arsenal match was the biggest Filbo crowd that I was ever in. It was pre-pens in the Kop and remember having to get my place on the Main Stand enclosure wall over 2 hours before kick off. I think that was the first all ticket match I went to and had to cut out tokens from the programme and glue them on a collectors sheet of paper to be in with a chance of a ticket. It then involved a 6 o'clock trip down to Filbo on a non-match day and a queue of thousands to present the tokens (and cash) at the Kop turnstiles and entry into an empty stadium (and straight out) with ticket in hand. 

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I might be remembering this wrong I was only a kid and not from Leicester but wasn't there some objection about relocating to the outskirts of the City? Wasn't there discussions about around the Fosse Park area?

I don't remember there being any objection from fans regarding the Bede Island plans that were proposed that would have seen a new stadium built opposite the Freemans wharf site on the other side of the river. I'm not sure why those plans did not go through wherever or not it was due to planning or lack of resources.

The Walkers Stadium planning went through very quick without many people knowing much about it, around 12 weeks in total I think

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On 11/08/2019 at 22:17, Wymsey said:

Just read the match report on the Leicester Mercury website, and noticed an article at the bottom relating to certain photos of the old Filbert Street ground.

 

These stood out, personally:

 

Gone but never forgotten..

1_483123JPG.jpg

 

0_497502JPG.jpg

Was this when the germans bombed it in the war?

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27 minutes ago, Gamble92 said:

Was this when the germans bombed it in the war?

Yeah hitler was a Coventry fan 

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9 hours ago, Jace said:

I might be remembering this wrong I was only a kid and not from Leicester but wasn't there some objection about relocating to the outskirts of the City? Wasn't there discussions about around the Fosse Park area?

I don't remember there being any objection from fans regarding the Bede Island plans that were proposed that would have seen a new stadium built opposite the Freemans wharf site on the other side of the river. I'm not sure why those plans did not go through wherever or not it was due to planning or lack of resources.

The Walkers Stadium planning went through very quick without many people knowing much about it, around 12 weeks in total I think

There wasn't opposition from fans about Bede Island but there was from a vociferous protest group called 'Offside' made up of residents and an MP. It never received full planning consent as, if I recall correctly, the proposal was dropped when the City directors had disagreements with the property company 'Goldwing' and ultimately decided it was going to be too difficult to proceed on that site. During the following months many other locations were proposed including alongside the M1 not far from Fosse Park. That would have been a disaster in my opinion. The City Council were very keen for the club to remain within the city boundary due to the investment it brought and not long after the Freeman's Wharf site became available at a very good price. Powergen needed a buyer as permission had been refused for retail use. 

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