Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

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spen666
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Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by spen666 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:19 pm

Saw a picture on Facebook showing results on 12 October 1968 Showing Darlington drew 0-0 with Rochdale in front of a crowd of over 7000.

That season Darlington finished 5th, so just missed out on promotion and Rochdale went up, so fair to assume it was a top of the table clash.
Further checks here https://tinyurl.com/yzkquue8 show the Darlington average that season was over 6000.

however from the following season according to the website, attendances plummeted to 2000 or so and rarely got above 3000 or so for most of the rest of the time until 2012, apart from seasons when the club were winning promotion or at least seriously challenging.

Prior to 1968/9 season crowds were 4000-8000 approximately.

Why the sharp fall after 1968/9 especially given the club had narrowly missed out on promotion? What happened to cause such a big drop in crowds from which the club never really recovered?


PS If you are a stats fan. the European Football Statistics website I refer to is heaven

dfcdfcdfc
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by dfcdfcdfc » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:55 pm

They all caught the vibes from Spennymore :lol:

banktopp
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by banktopp » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:56 pm

spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:19 pm
Saw a picture on Facebook showing results on 12 October 1968 Showing Darlington drew 0-0 with Rochdale in front of a crowd of over 7000.

That season Darlington finished 5th, so just missed out on promotion and Rochdale went up, so fair to assume it was a top of the table clash.
Further checks here https://tinyurl.com/yzkquue8 show the Darlington average that season was over 6000.

however from the following season according to the website, attendances plummeted to 2000 or so and rarely got above 3000 or so for most of the rest of the time until 2012, apart from seasons when the club were winning promotion or at least seriously challenging.

Prior to 1968/9 season crowds were 4000-8000 approximately.

Why the sharp fall after 1968/9 especially given the club had narrowly missed out on promotion? What happened to cause such a big drop in crowds from which the club never really recovered?


PS If you are a stats fan. the European Football Statistics website I refer to is heaven
Not just us but football attendances in general fell dramatically in the seventies.
Decrepit stadiums, hooliganism and lack of disposable income.

Double digit inflation in the seventies and huge jump in unemployment from 2-3% in the 60's to 6-7% in the following decade.
Three day week etc. All this before Thatcher put 3 million on the dole.
Swinging sixties was replaced by the seventies and economic struggle, football was not exempt.

spen666
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by spen666 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:04 pm

banktopp wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:56 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:19 pm
Saw a picture on Facebook showing results on 12 October 1968 Showing Darlington drew 0-0 with Rochdale in front of a crowd of over 7000.

That season Darlington finished 5th, so just missed out on promotion and Rochdale went up, so fair to assume it was a top of the table clash.
Further checks here https://tinyurl.com/yzkquue8 show the Darlington average that season was over 6000.

however from the following season according to the website, attendances plummeted to 2000 or so and rarely got above 3000 or so for most of the rest of the time until 2012, apart from seasons when the club were winning promotion or at least seriously challenging.

Prior to 1968/9 season crowds were 4000-8000 approximately.

Why the sharp fall after 1968/9 especially given the club had narrowly missed out on promotion? What happened to cause such a big drop in crowds from which the club never really recovered?


PS If you are a stats fan. the European Football Statistics website I refer to is heaven
Not just us but football attendances in general fell dramatically in the seventies.
Decrepit stadiums, hooliganism and lack of disposable income.

Double digit inflation in the seventies and huge jump in unemployment from 2-3% in the 60's to 6-7% in the following decade.
Three day week etc. All this before Thatcher put 3 million on the dole.
Swinging sixties was replaced by the seventies and economic struggle, football was not exempt.

I agree on all of those factors.

It just seemed that in the 1969/70 season, it was long before hooliganism was at its height, long before 3 day week ( 1973/4) Thatcher was not in power for another 10 years


There must have been a reason for the massive fall in 1969

York increased their average between 1969 and 1970. Indeed in 1969 Darlington were getting far more than York or Hartlepool to name but two sides in same division

Hartlepool average fell, but Grimsby , Newport and others in same division rose. Was it something in related to Co. Durham area?


The average attendance in 1968/9 was excellent as were attendances in prior seasons. The town supported the team in large numbers, but for some reason the 1969/70 marked a rapid fall to levels around 2000

Feethams was never a decrepit ground. It was always one of most picturesque to go to. It was old, quaint and had character, but never decrepit

Old Git
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Old Git » Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:18 pm

Not certain but I think 1970/71 was possibly the George Tait era. He was a very unpopular chairman who tried to run the club on a shoestring budget in the early 1970s and heralded in an era of turmoil on and off the pitch. Perhaps a lot of supporters were disillusioned and simply voted with their feet. I was still at school at the time but I can remember there was much discontent with the way the club was being run. Think we may have finished bottom of the league in season 1970/71 which would explain a lot.

spen666
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by spen666 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:35 pm

Old Git wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:18 pm
Not certain but I think 1970/71 was possibly the George Tait era. He was a very unpopular chairman who tried to run the club on a shoestring budget in the early 1970s and heralded in an era of turmoil on and off the pitch. Perhaps a lot of supporters were disillusioned and simply voted with their feet. I was still at school at the time but I can remember there was much discontent with the way the club was being run. Think we may have finished bottom of the league in season 1970/71 which would explain a lot.
Thanks for that. It is a striking drop in attendances.

The 1969/70 season club finished 90th and in 70/1 finished 80th. They finished bottom in 1972/3 ( crowds slumped to 1697 average that year)

In fact the club have rarely otherwise finished bottom. only in 1989 and 2010 both times were after automatic relegation


Looking at results in 68/9 when they finished 5th, they lost 6 home games, but only lost 5 away games!

also, 17/24 teams in the 4th Division that season have either been out of the league (some returned) or ceased to exist since then

Bradford (PA), Newport County, Aldershot, Chester, and Halifax Town all ceased to exist and new clubs were reformed
Last edited by spen666 on Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Old Git
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Old Git » Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm

I was wrong about finishing bottom in season 1970/71 in fact we were a respectable 12th.
However Tait did take over the club in 1970 so that probably was a factor.

spen666
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by spen666 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:42 pm

Old Git wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm
I was wrong about finishing bottom in season 1970/71 in fact we were a respectable 12th.
However Tait did take over the club in 1970 so that probably was a factor.
A few years before I started watching ( about 74 for me). What was the reason for Tait's unpopularity?

LoidLucan
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by LoidLucan » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:18 pm

Spen's just about as transparent as a sheet of clingfilm and as subtle as a bucket of s***.

spen666
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by spen666 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:57 pm

LoidLucan wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:18 pm
Spen's just about as transparent as a sheet of clingfilm and as subtle as a bucket of s***.
Love you too darling ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

EDJOHNS
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by EDJOHNS » Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:36 pm

spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:42 pm
Old Git wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm
I was wrong about finishing bottom in season 1970/71 in fact we were a respectable 12th.
However Tait did take over the club in 1970 so that probably was a factor.
A few years before I started watching ( about 74 for me). What was the reason for Tait's unpopularity?
He was unpopular because he sold anything that moved. Brought in crap players and 1 of the worst things he did not insure the players against injury.
If memory serves me correctly this came out when Brian Albeson was injured and needed surgery which the club could then not afford.
There were also many rumblings about us not getting promoted in 69. We were the last side in the country to lose. (It made big headlines when Everton lost and left us as the last unbeaten side in the league with BBC sport giving us a particularly big mention).
When we went to Bradford city and got a 0-0 draw with about 8 weeks to go we were top of the league and looked far more likely than in 02 to win the league, but we just fell to pieces ending with the infamous loss to the same side on the last day of the season.
Many, many people believed that games were thrown to make sure we did not win promotion and I remember that rumbling in on for a long time.
Again, if memory serves correctly it was sometime after that that we had a big turnover in the boardroom and Tate came from nowhere to take over the club

spen666
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by spen666 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:25 pm

EDJOHNS wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:36 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:42 pm
Old Git wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm
I was wrong about finishing bottom in season 1970/71 in fact we were a respectable 12th.
However Tait did take over the club in 1970 so that probably was a factor.
A few years before I started watching ( about 74 for me). What was the reason for Tait's unpopularity?
He was unpopular because he sold anything that moved. Brought in crap players and 1 of the worst things he did not insure the players against injury.
If memory serves me correctly this came out when Brian Albeson was injured and needed surgery which the club could then not afford.
There were also many rumblings about us not getting promoted in 69. We were the last side in the country to lose. (It made big headlines when Everton lost and left us as the last unbeaten side in the league with BBC sport giving us a particularly big mention).
When we went to Bradford city and got a 0-0 draw with about 8 weeks to go we were top of the league and looked far more likely than in 02 to win the league, but we just fell to pieces ending with the infamous loss to the same side on the last day of the season.
Many, many people believed that games were thrown to make sure we did not win promotion and I remember that rumbling in on for a long time.
Again, if memory serves correctly it was sometime after that that we had a big turnover in the boardroom and Tate came from nowhere to take over the club

Thanks for that information.

I was surprised to see that Rochdale game got a crowd of over 7000 and then to realise that those sort of crowds were the norm in the 60's at Darlington. In my time, I only ever knew Darlington with 2-3000 crowds, apart from promotion/ play off seasons.

I was at Feethams for the Sheffield United game in 1982 with 12,557 there, it was rammed. Can't imagine how packed it was in 66/7 with 18,000+ there, some 50% more than in 82

bga
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by bga » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:40 pm

spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:25 pm
EDJOHNS wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:36 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:42 pm
Old Git wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm
I was wrong about finishing bottom in season 1970/71 in fact we were a respectable 12th.
However Tait did take over the club in 1970 so that probably was a factor.
A few years before I started watching ( about 74 for me). What was the reason for Tait's unpopularity?
He was unpopular because he sold anything that moved. Brought in crap players and 1 of the worst things he did not insure the players against injury.
If memory serves me correctly this came out when Brian Albeson was injured and needed surgery which the club could then not afford.
There were also many rumblings about us not getting promoted in 69. We were the last side in the country to lose. (It made big headlines when Everton lost and left us as the last unbeaten side in the league with BBC sport giving us a particularly big mention).
When we went to Bradford city and got a 0-0 draw with about 8 weeks to go we were top of the league and looked far more likely than in 02 to win the league, but we just fell to pieces ending with the infamous loss to the same side on the last day of the season.
Many, many people believed that games were thrown to make sure we did not win promotion and I remember that rumbling in on for a long time.
Again, if memory serves correctly it was sometime after that that we had a big turnover in the boardroom and Tate came from nowhere to take over the club

Thanks for that information.

I was surprised to see that Rochdale game got a crowd of over 7000 and then to realise that those sort of crowds were the norm in the 60's at Darlington. In my time, I only ever knew Darlington with 2-3000 crowds, apart from promotion/ play off seasons.

I was at Feethams for the Sheffield United game in 1982 with 12,557 there, it was rammed. Can't imagine how packed it was in 66/7 with 18,000+ there, some 50% more than in 82
I am falling into the trap of joining a Thread created by Spen but.....wasn't that against Sheffield Wednesday?

bga
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by bga » Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:45 pm

bga wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:40 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:25 pm
EDJOHNS wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:36 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:42 pm
Old Git wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm
I was wrong about finishing bottom in season 1970/71 in fact we were a respectable 12th.
However Tait did take over the club in 1970 so that probably was a factor.
A few years before I started watching ( about 74 for me). What was the reason for Tait's unpopularity?
He was unpopular because he sold anything that moved. Brought in crap players and 1 of the worst things he did not insure the players against injury.
If memory serves me correctly this came out when Brian Albeson was injured and needed surgery which the club could then not afford.
There were also many rumblings about us not getting promoted in 69. We were the last side in the country to lose. (It made big headlines when Everton lost and left us as the last unbeaten side in the league with BBC sport giving us a particularly big mention).
When we went to Bradford city and got a 0-0 draw with about 8 weeks to go we were top of the league and looked far more likely than in 02 to win the league, but we just fell to pieces ending with the infamous loss to the same side on the last day of the season.
Many, many people believed that games were thrown to make sure we did not win promotion and I remember that rumbling in on for a long time.
Again, if memory serves correctly it was sometime after that that we had a big turnover in the boardroom and Tate came from nowhere to take over the club

Thanks for that information.

I was surprised to see that Rochdale game got a crowd of over 7000 and then to realise that those sort of crowds were the norm in the 60's at Darlington. In my time, I only ever knew Darlington with 2-3000 crowds, apart from promotion/ play off seasons.

I was at Feethams for the Sheffield United game in 1982 with 12,557 there, it was rammed. Can't imagine how packed it was in 66/7 with 18,000+ there, some 50% more than in 82
I am falling into the trap of joining a Thread created by Spen but.....wasn't that against Sheffield Wednesday?
Or is my memory playing tricks was that game a few years before?

Emdubya
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Emdubya » Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:22 pm

bga wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:40 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:25 pm
EDJOHNS wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:36 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:42 pm
Old Git wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:40 pm
I was wrong about finishing bottom in season 1970/71 in fact we were a respectable 12th.
However Tait did take over the club in 1970 so that probably was a factor.
A few years before I started watching ( about 74 for me). What was the reason for Tait's unpopularity?
He was unpopular because he sold anything that moved. Brought in crap players and 1 of the worst things he did not insure the players against injury.
If memory serves me correctly this came out when Brian Albeson was injured and needed surgery which the club could then not afford.
There were also many rumblings about us not getting promoted in 69. We were the last side in the country to lose. (It made big headlines when Everton lost and left us as the last unbeaten side in the league with BBC sport giving us a particularly big mention).
When we went to Bradford city and got a 0-0 draw with about 8 weeks to go we were top of the league and looked far more likely than in 02 to win the league, but we just fell to pieces ending with the infamous loss to the same side on the last day of the season.
Many, many people believed that games were thrown to make sure we did not win promotion and I remember that rumbling in on for a long time.
Again, if memory serves correctly it was sometime after that that we had a big turnover in the boardroom and Tate came from nowhere to take over the club

Thanks for that information.

I was surprised to see that Rochdale game got a crowd of over 7000 and then to realise that those sort of crowds were the norm in the 60's at Darlington. In my time, I only ever knew Darlington with 2-3000 crowds, apart from promotion/ play off seasons.

I was at Feethams for the Sheffield United game in 1982 with 12,557 there, it was rammed. Can't imagine how packed it was in 66/7 with 18,000+ there, some 50% more than in 82
I am falling into the trap of joining a Thread created by Spen but.....wasn't that against Sheffield Wednesday?
It was Sheffield United when they went up as champions.Hundreds of them in fancy dress in a real party atmosphere with them filling three sides of Feethams.
Think the Wednesday game you’re thinking of might have been the cup game when Ron Ferguson scored his worldie.

Old Git
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Old Git » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:02 pm

bga wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:40 pm

I am falling into the trap of joining a Thread created by Spen but.....wasn't that against Sheffield Wednesday?
It was Sheffield Utd in the early 1980s.
Don’t worry about falling into a Spen trap. What is important is that Darlington have a long and interesting history. In contrast does anyone know or is anyone even interested in Spennymoor’s past. I think not.

jjljks
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by jjljks » Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:17 am

Before Tait, I think the majority of directors were local businessmen who appreciated the fact that having a vibrant club in the centre of town attracted folk into the town on matchdays (often while their wives went shopping) - sorry, should have been a warning there that this comment may contain historical references which some people now find offensive. It was always a popular day out for away fans who could get a train or bus to within 1/2 mile and have several beers before/after match. Fair-weather fans could be sat in the pub & decide at very last minute whether to have another pint or go to the match as prices were similar. Local papers would keep fans in touch with happenings at the club, even prooducing a Saturday night Pink Sports Despatch with all the final scores in so you could check your foorball pools coupon (like the national Lotto to win a fortune). All of this has gone & so have the crowds.

Henley
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Henley » Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:48 am

banktopp wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:56 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:19 pm
Saw a picture on Facebook showing results on 12 October 1968 Showing Darlington drew 0-0 with Rochdale in front of a crowd of over 7000.

That season Darlington finished 5th, so just missed out on promotion and Rochdale went up, so fair to assume it was a top of the table clash.
Further checks here https://tinyurl.com/yzkquue8 show the Darlington average that season was over 6000.

however from the following season according to the website, attendances plummeted to 2000 or so and rarely got above 3000 or so for most of the rest of the time until 2012, apart from seasons when the club were winning promotion or at least seriously challenging.

Prior to 1968/9 season crowds were 4000-8000 approximately.

Why the sharp fall after 1968/9 especially given the club had narrowly missed out on promotion? What happened to cause such a big drop in crowds from which the club never really recovered?


PS If you are a stats fan. the European Football Statistics website I refer to is heaven
Not just us but football attendances in general fell dramatically in the seventies.
Decrepit stadiums, hooliganism and lack of disposable income.

Double digit inflation in the seventies and huge jump in unemployment from 2-3% in the 60's to 6-7% in the following decade.
Three day week etc. All this before Thatcher put 3 million on the dole.
Swinging sixties was replaced by the seventies and economic struggle, football was not exempt.
Thatcher put 3m on the dole in 1968, did she?

🙄

Wiseacre
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Wiseacre » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:16 am

I have a bit of a problem with Quakers history around this time because I honestly suspect promotion was spurned in 68-69. I saw quite a few of those games and we were excellent - top for long periods and beating most of our rivals - then we didn't pick up a point in March, including letting a two goal lead slip at home to a poor Colchester side to lose then there was the infamous last match decider at home to Bradford City where I thought we should have won comfortably, despite the pitch invasion. Ray Yeoman had put together a title winning team but we stayed down. I think the drop in attendances was part of this and after our David Frost experience the club took about seven seasons before our next top ten finish. There's no doubt that George Tait was a malign figure and a prototype for the kind of destructive chairman or owner you still see. An odd bugger really, he'd been on the board since at least 1960 and seems to have been working away like a sleeping enemy agent, planted by Spenny ? Regarding the main point, I'd say a lot of fans were so disappointed or disgusted by the way we appeared to blow up for no apparent reason. Did it all come down to finance and the difficulties Hodgson experienced when he took us to the top of the division - ease back because we can't afford to go up ? :? :?

eddie-rowles
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by eddie-rowles » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:48 am

dfcdfcdfc wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:55 pm
They all caught the vibes from Spennymore :lol:
or was it Evenwood?

EDJOHNS
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by EDJOHNS » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:21 am

Wiseacre wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:16 am
I have a bit of a problem with Quakers history around this time because I honestly suspect promotion was spurned in 68-69. I saw quite a few of those games and we were excellent - top for long periods and beating most of our rivals - then we didn't pick up a point in March, including letting a two goal lead slip at home to a poor Colchester side to lose then there was the infamous last match decider at home to Bradford City where I thought we should have won comfortably, despite the pitch invasion. Ray Yeoman had put together a title winning team but we stayed down. I think the drop in attendances was part of this and after our David Frost experience the club took about seven seasons before our next top ten finish. There's no doubt that George Tait was a malign figure and a prototype for the kind of destructive chairman or owner you still see. An odd bugger really, he'd been on the board since at least 1960 and seems to have been working away like a sleeping enemy agent, planted by Spenny ? Regarding the main point, I'd say a lot of fans were so disappointed or disgusted by the way we appeared to blow up for no apparent reason. Did it all come down to finance and the difficulties Hodgson experienced when he took us to the top of the division - ease back because we can't afford to go up ? :? :?
Your memory there mirrors what I said and totally agree with, though I did not know Tate was on the board pre his takeover.
I did not want to say I am 100% sure we threw games as there is no proof and many of the players and manager are no longer with us, but it certainly stunk the town out.
I do not believe Yogie was in on it as I spoke to him about the City defeat and he was totally gutted. He also 100% believed we would go up.

EDJOHNS
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by EDJOHNS » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:28 am

jjljks wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:17 am
Before Tait, I think the majority of directors were local businessmen who appreciated the fact that having a vibrant club in the centre of town attracted folk into the town on matchdays (often while their wives went shopping) - sorry, should have been a warning there that this comment may contain historical references which some people now find offensive. It was always a popular day out for away fans who could get a train or bus to within 1/2 mile and have several beers before/after match. Fair-weather fans could be sat in the pub & decide at very last minute whether to have another pint or go to the match as prices were similar. Local papers would keep fans in touch with happenings at the club, even prooducing a Saturday night Pink Sports Despatch with all the final scores in so you could check your foorball pools coupon (like the national Lotto to win a fortune). All of this has gone & so have the crowds.
The pink never had our result in the main paper, as with the Evening Gazette sports, we sometimes hit the small section of "late news" as we kicked off at 3-15 to allow the latecomers from the pubs kicking out at 3pm to reach the ground, and there was always a "star" beside our league position and the opposition with a note at the bottom saying "Not including today's result"
We did however always have a decent 1/4 or 1/2 page write up about the club in both papers after the "Big 3" had their full page.
Travelling by train to Darlo from Teesside I often used to get caught up with away fans and the police did not help as they always made us march together with the away fans on the left-hand side of Vicky rd road going up to the station. I used to try to break free there and go under the tunnel via a quick run and the steps to get to platform 3 before the away fans were herded onto either platform 1 or 4. (Mainly 1).

Vodka_Vic
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Vodka_Vic » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:34 am

'It is not unknown for players at this time of the year to throw matches'.
That's what she was alluding to then. (allegedly)

Wiseacre
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Wiseacre » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:05 pm

Reynolds partner was totally out of order when she said that but we were struggling for a number of reasons then. The season OG and I remember was different - we were streets ahead of the rest and I still think it was the best Quakers side I saw - the spine of the 1966 team plus Lance Robson, Ken Hale and Alan Gauden. Something went wrong there but I don't think the players wanted to throw it away - I think the board had some bad memories of going up then straight back down two years previously. I wouldn't believe Yogi had any part in it but it wasn't a case of promotion jitters either. It was a very bad feeling after the Bradford game though and I think a few people felt they didn't want to go through anything like that again. While we're looking at attendances - was I the only fan surprised by the 1980 boxing day crowd against Pools - 7000+ what a match too ?

banktopp
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by banktopp » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:57 pm

Henley wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:48 am
banktopp wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:56 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:19 pm
Saw a picture on Facebook showing results on 12 October 1968 Showing Darlington drew 0-0 with Rochdale in front of a crowd of over 7000.

That season Darlington finished 5th, so just missed out on promotion and Rochdale went up, so fair to assume it was a top of the table clash.
Further checks here https://tinyurl.com/yzkquue8 show the Darlington average that season was over 6000.

however from the following season according to the website, attendances plummeted to 2000 or so and rarely got above 3000 or so for most of the rest of the time until 2012, apart from seasons when the club were winning promotion or at least seriously challenging.

Prior to 1968/9 season crowds were 4000-8000 approximately.

Why the sharp fall after 1968/9 especially given the club had narrowly missed out on promotion? What happened to cause such a big drop in crowds from which the club never really recovered?


PS If you are a stats fan. the European Football Statistics website I refer to is heaven
Not just us but football attendances in general fell dramatically in the seventies.
Decrepit stadiums, hooliganism and lack of disposable income.

Double digit inflation in the seventies and huge jump in unemployment from 2-3% in the 60's to 6-7% in the following decade.
Three day week etc. All this before Thatcher put 3 million on the dole.
Swinging sixties was replaced by the seventies and economic struggle, football was not exempt.
Thatcher put 3m on the dole in 1968, did she?

🙄
No of course not, I should have said Thatcher put 3 million on the dole in the eighties.

Old Git
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Old Git » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:16 pm

In 1970 Thatcher was appointed Secretary of State for Education in the new Heath Government following the General Election. She was too busy stopping free school milk for children to be putting 3 million on the dole. We would have to wait another 10 years for that to happen. Perhaps her Thatcher Thatcher Milk Snatcher nickname should have sounded a warning of what could happen if she ever had the opportunity to run the country.

quaker4life
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by quaker4life » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:40 pm

I love how a discussion about attendances in the 60's has led to a debate about Maggie Thatcher and school milk! :lol:

Could you not just take yer own ya tight gits? ;)
love it! wrote:Considering we are Darlington 1883 I'm happy that we are named correctly

bga
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by bga » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:47 pm

Emdubya wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:22 pm
bga wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:40 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:25 pm
EDJOHNS wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:36 pm
spen666 wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:42 pm


A few years before I started watching ( about 74 for me). What was the reason for Tait's unpopularity?
He was unpopular because he sold anything that moved. Brought in crap players and 1 of the worst things he did not insure the players against injury.
If memory serves me correctly this came out when Brian Albeson was injured and needed surgery which the club could then not afford.
There were also many rumblings about us not getting promoted in 69. We were the last side in the country to lose. (It made big headlines when Everton lost and left us as the last unbeaten side in the league with BBC sport giving us a particularly big mention).
When we went to Bradford city and got a 0-0 draw with about 8 weeks to go we were top of the league and looked far more likely than in 02 to win the league, but we just fell to pieces ending with the infamous loss to the same side on the last day of the season.
Many, many people believed that games were thrown to make sure we did not win promotion and I remember that rumbling in on for a long time.
Again, if memory serves correctly it was sometime after that that we had a big turnover in the boardroom and Tate came from nowhere to take over the club

Thanks for that information.

I was surprised to see that Rochdale game got a crowd of over 7000 and then to realise that those sort of crowds were the norm in the 60's at Darlington. In my time, I only ever knew Darlington with 2-3000 crowds, apart from promotion/ play off seasons.

I was at Feethams for the Sheffield United game in 1982 with 12,557 there, it was rammed. Can't imagine how packed it was in 66/7 with 18,000+ there, some 50% more than in 82
I am falling into the trap of joining a Thread created by Spen but.....wasn't that against Sheffield Wednesday?
It was Sheffield United when they went up as champions.Hundreds of them in fancy dress in a real party atmosphere with them filling three sides of Feethams.
Think the Wednesday game you’re thinking of might have been the cup game when Ron Ferguson scored his worldie.
Yes you are correct it was a few years before. I was in the Tin Shed when that goal went in, what a night!

Wiseacre
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Wiseacre » Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:40 pm

Now I see that Spen is no stranger to controversy, but I think he has given us plenty to think about with this thread and I'm enjoying the debate. It may seem that govt. policies regarding free school milk have little to do with the nuances of football at Feethams, but there is a connection; when Brian Honour and Freddie Barbour were spud faced nippers kicking the can around Durham playgrounds they were nourished by free school milk. A generation further on spotty youths like Lee Ellison and Joe Allon missed out on natures bounty, having to make do with pop-tarts and glaxocola at break-time, you must draw your own conclusions. Law and order was a big issue - by 1996 Thatch was long gone but soggy Home Office guidelines meant that Ronnie Margaie ( ? ) was let out of prison in time to get him on at Wembley and score the only goal against us. Right wingers for you. And here's another thing, didn't we have a useless goalkeeper called Jeremy around that time ? Never trust left-wingers unless they're called Walsh or Thommo.

Feethams 1965
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Re: Darlington Attendaces - One for the Oldies

Post by Feethams 1965 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:41 pm

Having been in a crowd of 16000+ at Feethams I can only say that it was extremely uncomfortable and probably downright dangerous; you saw very little of the match, were squeezed from all sides and choked from fag smoke. But as others have said there were some outstanding performances and the standout one for me was the 1-0 league cup defeat by top of the First Division side Everton in 1969.

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