Pools legend Brian Honour reminisces about the Club's only ever previous meeting with Chorley - a game he played in at Victory Park back in November 1987.
This weekend's fixture conjured up all kinds of memories for
me because I was in the Pools line-up the only other time we've played Chorleyin a competitive fixture – a cup tie back in 1987.
I can remember it was a November afternoon in winter and itwas the First Round of the FA Cup.
My memory is of us parking up behind the goal and then
having to walk round the side of the ground to get in to the dressing rooms.
Obviously I don't know if it's still the same now, I presume it isn't, but itwas a little run-down and quite dark, with all respect to the club at the time.
I remember also that it was an extremely physical encounter.
It was a proper roll your sleeves up and get stuck in kind of afternoon. The kind
of day where you know that if you don't they will run over the top of youbecause their team was full of Mancs and Scousers!
Thankfully, we had a real backbone to our team at the time
and we stood up to the challenge but I do still recall just how physical anafternoon it was.
It's weird what sticks in your head but I remember there
were loads of flags around the ground from the likes of Manchester United,
Manchester City and probably Bolton Wanderers – they are from that area and thefans from the teams around them all came out to support them against us.
It was a heavy pitch on a bit of a slope and they did everything
to try and unsettle us and knock us out of our stride – even the tea was cold.
In fact, that's just reminded me – when we first got there they brought a pot
of coffee in and John Bird shouted, “F****** coffee!?” and made them take itaway and bring tea instead! Haha!
We knew then it was going to be a test and it was quite
intimidating if I am being totally honest. But with John Bird and Alan Little
as our management team they wouldn't have accepted up not standing up to thefight – they simply wouldn't have allowed us to be any other way.
Years later I can remember reading in one of the Match
Programmes in a column Phil Dunn wrote about the game, that their defender took
a swing at me in the game and if he'd caught me fully it would have decapitatedme! And he only got a ticking off from the ref for that!
Then you've got Keith Nobbs behind me in the right-back
shouting things like “Go on, just mosey up that touchline, baby.” It was
alright for him standing at the back out of the way while I got kicked all overthe place further up the wing! “I'm right behind you, brother.” Haha!
I remember our fans in the stand all in fancy dress. It was
a tradition to go in fancy dress back then if we were drawn away in the First Roundof the FA Cup so there was Arabs, Sheikhs and all sorts in the stands!
It's ironic because the game down there was only a couple of
months before the infamous win at Sunderland when I scored the goal direct from
a corner – but I actually hit the bar from a corner at Chorley. It was a bit
windy and I took a corner from the same left-hand side but it hit the bar andcame out to safety.
So whenever people come up to me and ask if the goal at
Roker Park was a fluke, I always tell them that “of course it wasn't – I practicedthat at Chorley!”
Anyway, if you're getting along to Victory Park this weekendthen enjoy the game – let's hope we can get another three points on the road.
Never Day Die.