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Old 10-02-2019, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bubbs11 View Post
They were a bunch of kids that only knew success. Right from their early youth days coming through together, it was just an upward trajectory. They didn’t know failure. The minute they hit a bump in the road around midway into that first season in Division 1, they struggled to cope.

In fact it was the Liverpool 3-0 mauling at Anfield that began the slide. The players went into that game like all the others, not fearing the opposition and believing they could win. A lot of paper talk in the build up about the ‘team of the 80’s’ coming along to take Liverpool’s crown, and the young players bought into it. That Liverpool side ripped us apart.

If you look at the stats, we’d lost just 4 games out of our first 22 games before that Liverpool match. The following 26 games saw us defeated 12 times.

Then Kenny left in the summer against his will. Came into training as normal and Venners shouted out from his office, ‘don’t bother getting changed, you’re off to Arsenal.’ Soon after Venners himself jumped ship after a ropey start and that was that. The kids that had come through worshipped him and basically were lost without their ‘dad’. Vince admitted that he was looking to leave the very minute Venners went to QPR. The remaining players showed absolutely no respect to Gradi after the short lived Big Mal stint.

Very sad to have to live through that slide. We went from top dogs and 20,000 + home crowds to a struggling Div 2 side playing in front of less than 10,000 within a couple of seasons. That beautiful sun and promise of ‘79 was replaced by heavy, dark clouds around the place, symbolised by the demise of the Whitehorse End, with ugly boarding and a smattering of supporters replacing an attractive looking terrace packed to the gunnels with excited red, white and blue fans.
Great post Bubbs...

As you allude to there was something symbolic about demolition of the Whitehorse End. The previous season had promised so much, and there was the thought that large crowds would be trying to get into a smaller capacity ground due to the Whitehorse being out of commission, so we got season ticket for the Arthur. (First and last ST for me). About halfway through the season it was obvious... Boy were we wrong! The football became abysmal, and the Whitehorse a sad muddy hole in the ground that never seemed to change throughout the season. It all ending in relegation that year, and nobody seemed too upset about it to be honest - it was like putting a sick dog out of its misery.

By September that next season (1981) not only was most if not all the team gone, but so was I - moving to America - I'm not sure if there is a connection...
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