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An Exiled Turfite - Part Two


Our very own Turfite

By TheLongside.co.uk
March 26 2006

Our very own Turfite, Dave Cunliffe this week shares his experiences as a young lad following the Clarets away for the first time. The year - 1971, the opponents - local rivals Preston North End.

First away

30.08.1971 - Preston North End

 

 

Excited – no, ecstatic - YES as my Dad told me that I would be going to my first away game.

 

“Who? Where? When?” I asked.

 

“Preston on Bank Holiday Monday. Your Mum wants to go shopping in the morning so I thought that we might as well go there for a change, and take you on the football match.”

 

“Will Graham (my older brother) be coming as well?”

 

“No he’s not feeling very well.”

 

He looked OK this morning but never mind, that’s better for me as all we seem to do is fight and argue all the time. I slept in the same bedroom as my brother in bunk beds, he was in the top bunk and I was in the bottom bunk. I’m the youngest of four with Graham being four years older than me. As he was older, 15, he got the choice of bunk and of course he picked the one I wanted which caused another fight between us.

 

Monday morning came along eventually and I remember having my scarf around my neck from the moment I got out of bed. When we arrived at Preston we parked up next to the bus station and the first thing we had to do was use the toilet. On the corner of the bus station there was someone selling hats, scarves, badges, flags and the like, and I remember Mum buying me a claret and blue Tam O’ Shanter hat.

 

We mad our way to the public toilets, Dad went into the gents and I waited outside the ladies for mum to come out. The next thing I know, a group of Preston supporters came running past me and grabbed the Tam O’ Shanter off my head leaving me watching as they disappeared in a sound of laughter out of the bus station.

 

I remember thinking that Dad would give me a clip around the ear for losing it after only five minutes, but instead he praised me for not running after them to try and get it back. He didn’t know me very well as there was NO WAY that I would have done that! So that was the end of the hat. When I think about it now I must have looked a right Bobby Dazzler and they probably did me a big favour.

 

The shopping dragged on and on and the only thing that helped the time pass by was the fact that I was looking at every group of Preston supporters to see if I could see my hat. When we arrived at the ground the queue to get in was enormous, and it took us a good half an hour before we got into the ground, minus my Dad who had a falling out with Mum and stormed off an hour earlier.

 

I remember we stood behind the goal and as I looked around the ground I spotted Dad in the corner of the stand to the right of the goal. I wanted to move further along then I could shout to him, but Mum said no, we had to stay put.

 

 

ClaretFan, a Longside poster supplied me with the information below:

 

Author: claretfan 

Did you make the kick off for that game at Preston? I was about 15 minutes late getting on the ground. It took ages getting there from Burnley the traffic was unbelievable. If I remember rightly, there were around 27,000 on. Most of them from Burnley.

 

Burnley ran out 2-1 winners that day and I remember looking over at Dad when Burnley scored to see his reaction. He was easy to spot in his light brown jacket, and I must have inherited Dad’s style of celebration as he was jumping up and down for joy as I was that day, and still do today.

 

When we got back to the car Dad was already there waiting and he didn’t look best pleased as Mum had the car keys. The journey back was a little frosty to say the least with me doing all the talking. When we did eventually make it home I couldn’t wait to tell Graham all about what he’d missed. Graham didn’t come in until later that night so I had to wait until he came to bed. I remember telling him that he had missed a great day through being ill.

 

“Who told you that I was ill?” He asked.

 

“Dad said you wasn’t coming to the match as you were love sick?”

 

I hoped that I would never suffer from being ‘love sick’ whatever it was as I didn’t want to miss the footie with it. Little did I know one day it would creep up on me too.

 

 

Next up – Exiled in Spain.

 

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