Away From The Numbers

PRE SEASON AT SPENNYMOOR/DARLINGTON (JULY 1994)

Crowd From The 1930's At BayviewFife Fans Pre Season At DurhamFans At Bayview StadiumFans At Bayview StadiumFife Fans In Fancy Dress At Arbroath April 2007Golden Days At Bayview

Being an East Fife fan in the 1990's took you a number of weird and wonderful places - most of them in the county of Durham.

1994 was no exception, throwing up a two game tour with visits to Spennymoor, where let's face it, most of us hadn't heard of, and Darlington, which we had! And where we'd been the year before.

Stevie In Action For Woking
There wasn't a lot of people went down to Spenny on the Friday (July 29th and a 1-0 Fife win) but a Supporters bus load and several cars came down for the Saturday match at Darlington - and boy was it eventful!!!

AFTN's car journey down on the Friday was also eventful as we decided to have a rest stop in a lay-by at the side of the A68. Now, with the benefit of all these years of hindsight, I suppose a full-size foam ball, four numpties devoid of any footballing ability and one of the main routes between Scotland and England is a bit of a dangerous combination and a disaster waiting to happen.

And so it transpired! As one of our crew proved you don't need fancy football boots to make the ball skwaff a ball off at ridiculous angles. Cringe, shit, panic, as the ball flies into the road, almost causing several cars, an agricultural vehicle and a coachload of German tourists to become the main feature on the 6 o'clock news.

Match abandoned and onward to Darlo (since it was our second visit there we were allowed to use the trendy, abbreviated name). We also chose the same dodgy digs as the last time, in a row that contained only B&B's, a Chinese, an Indian and a sex shop.

The Spennymoor game was pretty uneventful but the small but loyal Fife contingent wouldn't let that put them off.

The number of East Fife flags almost outnumbered the supporters.

Dougie Hope had won the Spennymoor game with a late header (yes, you have read that correctly) and after the game the players mingled with the Fife support, even choosing to come over and sit with us in the Social Club after the game and share their food.

How it should be at small Clubs and thankfully we now have these days back again.

The players all bought copies of AFTN and much hilarity ensued when Scotty pointed out to Ray Charles and Euan Wilson the humourous "Keystone Keepers" parody about them. Well everyone else found it funny apparently. I couldn't tell as I was hiding from them at the time!

If the Friday night was quiet then Saturday 30th July was to be a day to go down in fan folklore. It was the day of the "Darlington 6"!

And we're not talking about the 6 to get in, which amused us to see so many locals turn up at the ground, see the admission price, mutter some undecypherable nonsense and turn back round again. We on the other hand bunged the steward a couple of free fanzines and got in for nowt.

Least we got in. Not like the six!

The turnout was tremendous and there weren't many other lower league teams at that time that would have brought down the travelling support we did that day.

How many other small clubs would have taken this turnout down south in the 90's?

It was a sweltering day, the Fife lost 3-0 and it was far too hot to play football.

Over fifty Fife fans made the long trip down and despite the result a great time was had by most. But maybe not the "Darlington 6".

Ok, so for those not around at the time, what and who the hell are we talking about now??!

Names will be spared to protect the innocent and it was a long time ago, suffice to say that being detained at the local constabulary's pleasure and missing 85 minutes of the match was not what they had planned when they set off.

The crime? High spirits.

The police? Heavy handed.

The aftermath? An apology for the police for their actions.

We've not been back to Darlington for a friendly since!!!

Celebrity Fans Time As One Of The Bee Gees Takes Time Out From Recording To Cheer On The Fife

The East Fife Boy Band Tryouts Were Proving Fruitful

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