Time’s wingèd chariot

Loftus Road is a small stadium, the third smallest stadium in the Sky Bet Championship this season. It’s not a comfortable place to visit. When I went there, I felt like a sardine crammed in a tin. Respect to the Blues fans who are going today, and I hope they see a good game. I’ll be listening on the radio.

There are things I like about going to away games. Birmingham City’s travelling fans are incredible and it feel’s great to be among a loud, supportive crowd. But standing for 90 minutes is tiring and by the end of a game I feel very old.

More and more things make me feel old these days.  I just read about Albert Finney dying and that brought back memories of watching him at the old Birmingham Repertory Theatre in the 1950’s.  I remember seeing him as Henry V and also saw him in less memorable roles.  Once when I was clearing out a pile of Rep programmes, I noticed his name listed in the actors playing the crowd. That was over 60 years ago.

And it’s nearly 70 years since my dad first took me to St Andrew’s. I don’t remember exactly when that was but do remember Gill Merrick, Jeff Hall and the roar of the crowd. I also remember the first time I heard ‘Keep right on’ sung, at the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in 1956. My memories may be rose-tinted but I think the crowd back then was very supportive. That’s why I’m thrilled by the atmosphere at games this season, with our crowd supporting effort and commitment even when it doesn’t end with a win. It reminds me of the crowds I stood in when I was a child and it feels good.

By the way, the title of this post is taken from Andrew Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress:

But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near  
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8 thoughts on “Time’s wingèd chariot

  1. Prewarblue

    The Winged Chariot draws near for most of us “Puddleduck” who were there for the “56” cup run, the only game I missed that season was the final itself, my aunt and uncle who took me to all Blues games couldn,t get a ticket for me to go to Wembley, ungrateful child I was then, they got me a Blues kit to make up for not going AND a whole tin of toffee,s, wouldn,t speak to them [until the next game!], my Father wouldn,t take me to games as he was a”Villa” fan, took me to two, they lost both, so said I was a jinx and never took me again, how my Grandfather let him into the house was and is still a mystery as HIS father helped with the building of St Andrews and HIS father helped set up the “Muntz St” ground,,,,,,as the “Harvey Andrews” song says “Family Tradition says I have to go,,, If The Blues Are playing I,ll Be There”

  2. Ijaz

    You only have to look around the ground on a match day and look at the age of most supporters. Most are in the 50 to 70 bracket. The new year’s Day roll call of the blues fans that passed recently went on for almost the entire half time break. Time waits for no man and we can but hope for more days like Wembley but these come spread very thinly. Blues fans are not what you’d call glory seekers and despite all the shit we put up with we are level headed and appreciate everything we get. The team is playing well and though midtable is most likely the outcome it is probably one of the most enjoyable seasons in a long time. Let’s enjoy the ride because good times don’t last forever. KRO.

  3. Gerald Richards

    Age, of itself , is not a virtue, but it does give you the opportunity to reminisce – if only you could remember the details. For my part, I was taken to St Andrew’s for the first time by my father in 1938 to see (I think) Harry Hibbs last game. Throughout the war I watched the Blues (consisting of a few regulars in essential war work, topped up with whoever could be recruited from nearby army camps and RAF stations). The games were friendlies against local sides such as Walsall, Northampton, Stoke etc. I can recall playing games at Villa Park when our ground was bombed and seeing Gil Merrick in uniform,with h
    is dad, being advised of the merits of signing for the Blues. Memories can be rewarding but I bet the present team and its manager will be recalled with equal pride in the future.

  4. Paul Martin

    Once again it was dangerous in there. Pathetic amount of room to move behind the stand and stewards deciding not to let you back to the seat witbout a tick. Missed their second goal BUT This is an accident waiting to happen.

  5. Davidjames

    blues fans being of an older age proves stands need to get local schools envolved into things on match day with cheap tickets for a class each week from a different school in rotation to secure fans for the future …come on blues wake up …

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