Away From The Numbers

PRE SEASON AT PETERLEE TOURNAMENT (JULY 1995)

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

Despite brief hopes that Barcelona would be 1995's pre-season venue, paella gave way to pies, castanets to karaoke and for the third year running we headed to explore the wonders of the county of Durham - this time for the Peterlee three day tournament from July 21st to 23rd.

There were four teams - ourselves, Sunderland, Alloa and Peterlee. We won our first match on penalties against Sunderland, having drawn 0-0 over the 90 minutes, then lost 3-2 to the winners Alloa on the Saturday and drew 1-1 with Peterlee on the Sunday.

The Hardcore!

Only around twenty East Fife fans made the journey this year (twenty more than Alloa mind you), but with the numbers steadily increasing with each of the three games over the weekend, we figure that if we'd spent a whole week down there we'd have eventually reached a hundred!

In saying that, there wasn't that many East Fife players turned up either, with then Fife Chairman Jim Baxter putting the AFTN crew on standby as players - we think he was joking - we hope he was joking!

It was a weird weekend all round really.

Our antics on the field later would surely have convinced him what way to go with that thought, as we were allowed to play football and have penalty competitions on the pitch inbetween games.

Weirdest thing of all though was the fact that they had whippet racing right outside the ground's perimeter wall at the same time as the tournament was on. We still don't know to this day how many poor whippets died at the hands of our poorly placed spotkicks.

Sorry that was second weirdest. Weirdest of all was when Stevie Llewellyn, who was wearing a Sunderland top, was mistaken for an actual Sunderland player during one of our kickabouts and asked for an autograph by a wee kid. Man, Sunderland must have been pretty bad in those days!

Robin - A Local hero
Then there was Robin.

Robin was Peterlee's middle-aged ball retriever and Club mascot. He had a step ladder and chairs strategically positioned around the ground to help him get over the wall to get wayward balls.

And he provided one of the most amusing moments during the tournament when he spent a whole ten minutes searching the field and bushes outside the ground for one such wayward ball, whilst every one of the entertained crowd had spotted the ball being kicked back into the ground just as he went over the wall.

He was like a man possessed when on the hunt for one of those missing blighters. He wasn't quite right was Robin, if you know what we mean, but a lovely guy.

An amazing feat was witnessed in the Peterlee Social Club on the Friday night. No, Scotty didn't have a soft drink, it was when a local punter managed to amaze all onlookers by managing to completely remove his jumper whilst not only keeping a fag in his mouth, but without even disturbing the ash hanging off it at the same time.

The hospitality in the Social Club though was fantastic and with double vodkas and coke at 1, was more than well sampled! And a gorgeous barmaid, who sadly wasn't.

It wasn't just at the stadium that things were weird as the Alloa players had to leave a Durham pub in a hurry on the Saturday night when a somewhat upset local citizen burst in brandishing a machete and attempted to relieve another local citizen of his head!

Our journey between Durham and Peterlee was equally scary (well ok, maybe not quite), or at least the part of it when we found ourselves in some wee village shop which seemed to be staffed by the banjo players from Deliverance. They were more inbred than the royal family.

Ah what a trip, but certainly not our last to the county of Durham!

The Youngest Ever East Fife Ballboy? - 2 Year Old Stephen Gill

Penalties v The Mackems

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