Derby County 1967

This is a significant memory for me involving my father, as it was to be his last game watching the Blues away from St. Andrews.

Since I’d been six years old we had been to many away games and home games, along with my Uncle, Dads brother.

A few weeks earlier as a birthday present, I had bought myself a brand new Lambretta, blue and white of course with lots of chrome, and I suggested we could go to Baseball ground together on the scooter, if he fancied it.

That’s when Dad made his announcement, deciding only to attend home games in the future, so this was to be his last away game.

The journey to Derby was a good trip as it was a fine morning and parking was very handy in a car park close to the Baseball ground. We found a pub and mixing with fellow Bluenoses we had a great time prior to the game.

The game ended in a draw 2-2, at least it wasn’t a loss, it was a good contest and in the ground both sets of fans mixed on the terraces with no trouble.

The journey home to Birmingham however turned into a wet and soggy nightmare. Imagine if you can the two of us on a scooter, at the mercy of being buffeted by strong winds, thunderstorms and lightening, taking shelter under bridges, when we could, to get out of the torrential rain. Visibility was almost non-existent in parts and it was more luck than anything else that we managed to stay upright.

We arrived in Sutton Coldfield where we were met by police, who had set up a diversion as the centre was under floodwater. We must have looked quite bedraggled as we were soaked to the skin, they took pity on us and guided the pair of us to the police station where hot tea and sausage rolls was gratefully accepted.

The storm had subsided after a while allowing us to complete the journey home to Acocks Green Birmingham, 5 hours after leaving the match.

We were bathed, dried and dressed and ate a hot fish and chip supper. It was eagerly devoured.

My father suggesting he had made the right decision to forego any more away trips and tried to convince me to buy a car.

I was delighted the Lambretta had performed well under difficult circumstances. It was a few more years in 1970 I did buy a car a mini but that Derby trip was not the same as the next time I went to Derby, then it was totally dry, as I was too.

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