Away From The Numbers

2005/2006 - A SEASON OF PROTESTS (IN PICTURES)

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

A disasterous 2004/2005 season behind us, many Fife fans went in to the 2005/2006 season thinking it couldn't get much worse. How wrong we were.

A squad that looked decent on paper, but shit on grass. A manager auditioning for Clueless. A board as effective as a chocolate fireguard. And a chairman, more loathed and despised than a convicted paedophile.

It was a hard season. A season that united fans of all ages in one common goal. A season that reignited the community caring for the Club. A season of battles and determination.

But most of all, it was a season that made me proud to be an East Fife fan and to stand side by side with my fellow fans, many of whom I wouldn't have known or met if it hadn't been for our struggle.

That was 2005/2006 for East Fife Football Club folks and with a possible light at the end of the long, dark tunnel, AFTN tells the story of that season in pictures:



SATURDAY 23RD JULY 2005:

The East Fife Supporters Trust's attempt to buy 2000 shares in the Club is thwarted by Brown and the Board. The fans are angry and signal their intentions by boycotting the pre-season games and watching Raith score 4 from the mound. The Club respond by calling the police and asking for the fans to be removed as "trespassers". The police step in dog shit. The fans don't move. Brown antagonises when he should be offering the hand of friendship. We are even more resolute now. The battle lines have been drawn.



SATURDAY 30TH JULY 2005:

More determined than ever, the mound bound fans increase in numbers as the first competitive game of the season sees another 4 goals lost, this time to Stenhousemuir. The Club try to stop the fans from seeing on the mound by putting up plastic flags. The fans just move along a little bit and see perfectly! First example of money squandering by the Club for the season. The fans bring their own banners to make our point.

Following a 201 attendance three days later at a CIS Cup game, the Club cave in to our fan pressure and agree to sell the Trust 1000 shares now and vote at the AGM to sell another 1000 in December. The visual protests stop, but many still stay away until Brown leaves the Club.



SATURDAY 28TH JANUARY 2006:

The visual protests may have temporarily disappeared but with more and more fans walking with their feet every week, the team getting worse and the Trust being declined their second 1000 shares following misleading statements at the Club's AGM by Brown, enough is enough for some fans and they decide to stage a protest at the home game against Queens Park. The numbers are small - 12 of us. But as I said at the time, from small acorns....and how right this was to be. Good right ups in the papers. The Board know we mean business.





SATURDAY 11TH FEBRUARY 2006:

Despite Jim Moffat's long overdue sacking and following more unrest and an internet campaign to ensure good attendance, the numbers grew to over 50 for the second week of protests at the home game against East Stirling (some of whose fans joined us on the mound to protest). Trying to fend off the protests, the Club had made a half arsed and ballsed up attempt to dig up the mound, causing widespread damage to the woodland and landscape. Armed with placards and red cards, the protesters made their feelings known to Brown and the Board for the whole game, which had a pathetic attendance of 309. With 15 minutes to go and the heavens opening, Brown must have thought that the rain would stop the protests and we were going away. Far from it as we staged an invasion of the ground - first the away end, then the home end. As Brown and the stewards shat themselves, we were finally evicted from the ground before continuing our protests outside the front door at Bayview - doors which where quickly locked by minder Betty Brown, as only director Dave Marshall had the balls to come and talk to the fans about their concerns.



SATURDAY 18TH FEBRUARY 2006:

Time to take the protests away from home. To Arbroath. On the terracing in the first half, in the stand right beside the Board and surrounded by stewards and security for the second. Highlights of the day being Brown answering his mobile call from the fans as we sung "We just called to say we hate you" down the phone to him and his infamous "bigger supporter" video outburst outside the ground after the game. We have him rattled.



SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY 2006:

Back at home and another increase in numbers. No chance of getting into the ground this week, but the protests continue from the first whistle to last and on to outside again after the game and we are joined in solidarity by some Montrose fans. Another piss poor crowd - officially given as 332. Highlight of proceedings though are when season ticket holders Dyker Grove and Enfifer get up after ten minutes, throw their books at Brown and walk out to huge cheers to join the mound. Another fantastic visual gesture of our disgust and Brown just looked at the books on the floor for ages before Willie Gray eventually picked them up. The books were sent back to the pair, but Brown was too see one of them again soon!



SATURDAY 11TH MARCH 2006:

As Brown digs in, the protests continue to bite with the official attendance of 257 being the lowest that day in senior Scottish football.



SATURDAY 18TH MARCH 2006:

The pinnacle of the protests as over 150 people march from the East Fife Mail offices in the centre of Leven to the ground, led by pipers, before the Stenhousemuir game. Several Stenny fans join the protests in a show of support for the damage being done to small Clubs. Banned from walking past the front of the stadium, the crowd assemble in the away car park to listen to impassioned speeches from organisers Matthew McLean and Dave Marshall, who has now resigned as a director after seeing first hand how the Board are ruining the Club and whose car gets vandalised in a quiet cul-de-sac the night of the march. The protests continue onto the mound, whilst a chicken pushing a wheelbarrow eludes the stewards and gets into the ground in an attempt to throw Brown into the Forth. Great media coverage follows and our cause is raised to a wider audience with Brown being dubbed "universally loathed". The official attendance is given as 375, the majority of which being Stenhousemuir fans.



{Thanks to Stewart Kirkwood and Jim Corstorphine for the chickenman and bawbee bridge pics!}



SATURDAY 1ST APRIL 2006:

April Fools Day and we have one of the biggest ones at Bayview. To celebrate this fact, dozens of fans (season ticket holders and long time fans) got up en masse with fifteen minutes of the Elgin City home game to go and left the ground to join the protesters outside. A stunning visual moment that must have made both Brown and the Board realise just how deep and how big the feelings are against him.



SATURDAY 8TH APRIL 2006:

Going into the fashion industry, the protesters launch their own fine line of t-shirts, with a picture of Derrick Brown on the front and "Down With Brown. Universally loathed" on the front and "Black and Gold Not Brown" on the back. Getting their debut at the East Stirling away game, Derrick asks for extra security to be provided for him. The Shire say no, so Brown no shows. The stewards are ordered not to let anyone wearing the t shirts into the stand. Five of us get through no problem and the Board are confronted with how they can support someone who is killing our Club. Davie Hamilton and Kenny Mackay turn mute and we are escorted out of the ground to applause.



{Thanks to SJ for the pic from the game}



SATURDAY 15TH APRIL 2006:

Keeping up the protests away from home, a brave band venture into Engerland where they surround the directors goldfish bowl, holding the t shirts up for all to see and blocking the directors view of the game. Some get escorted out of the ground, only to walk round the other side and straight back in. Top security, but you ain't seen nothing yet. Sadly no pictures of this.



SATURDAY 22ND APRIL 2006:

The last home game of the season and the last home game with Brown at the helm we hope. Go out in style and what better way than to have a barbecue. The weather may have been crap but the banter and camaraderie were second to none. The mood is soon turned though when Dave Marshall is refused entry back into the ground after coming out at half time to collect money for that evenings official Player of the Year dance from fans on the mound. Hired goons swearing at the protesters almost cause a security debacle, but Dyker Grove escapes the melee and the secure security and manages to walk right up to the directors section and throw his season ticket at Derrick Brown once again, smacking him off the puss, before being escorted from the ground.



SATURDAY 29TH APRIL 2006:

The last game of the season and after all of the doom and gloom, it's time to protest and have some fun at the same time. Fancy dress day at Montrose! Fun and laughter it may have been, but the message was still serious - Brown Must Go. After the season we've had and the hard work we've put in to unite to this goal, it IS coming and soon. Down With Brown.



SATURDAY 29TH JULY 2006:

We'd hoped the protests the season before would have done the job, but it wasn't quite finished yet. There was one more game of mass protests - the pre season friendly v Raith. It was eventful. A chicken infiltrated the ground and sat down beside Brown. Much hilarity followed. Sure the police must have not believed the call - "there's a chicken harrassing me".



*** A victory for the fans followed. Brown was deposed, never to darken the doors of Bayview again. Long live King Willie of Gray. Who said there wasn't any happy endings any more?! ***





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