Hold Tight! - Football
 
Chapter 7
 
Page 62
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Hold Tight!
Chapter 7
City Transport
57 A different world
58 Portswood
59 Decisions
60 Home and away
61 Shirley routes
62 Football
63 Emergencies
64 Centenary
65 Driving school
66 End of the road
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Chapters
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
 
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One of the perks of working on the Corporation was the chance to do football specials. The overtime pay was not very much but we got in to see the match free. The downside was that we had to leave ten minutes before the end so that we were on our buses before the fans came out. There was also a time when an official at the Dell told us we could not get in to see a cup game. Until, that is, we threatened to take our buses away.
Our own fans of course were always well behaved but visiting ones could be trouble. Generally the two sets were kept apart but one Saturday as we left the ground a group of Chelsea supporters caught up with us. If we could have pulled out into the main road we would easily have got away but a special constable stopped us. We had to sit there while the bus was kicked and rocked from side to side. It needed one of his colleagues to step out and stop the traffic so we could escape.
May 1976. The day we won the cup I had a late turn. I took a radio with me so that I could listen to the match. During the afternoon the city was almost completely deserted. We drove around, stopping frequently to avoid running early. Then the final whistle and it's Southampton 1 Manchester United 0.
As if from nowhere thousands of people appeared in the streets. Cars jammed the roads, pedestrians spilled out from the pavements. Driving into the city from Portswood I abandoned any idea of collecting fares after London Road. We moved forward only very slowly and people were getting on and off the bus all the way. An amazing evening of absolute chaos and joy.
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