When the Kursaal ground opened in 1919 initially there was no cover, they then built two temporary stands, and for the start of the 1920-21 season they built a permanent stand which had 1,500 seats and cover for 2,000 more. The rest of the ground was open.
The hardy fans of the day would largely either walk or bike it to the ground, many of whom would face the prospect of spending a couple of hours in rain, hail, snow or biting sea winds before making the return walk or bike ride back home, often miles, (my grandfather, great uncle and uncle used to walk from Ashingdon to the Kursaal and back).
These were real men suffering real hardships to watch Southend United they were hero's in my opinion and I pay tribute to them.
BUT THIS WAS SEVENTY OR EIGHTY YEARS AGO.
Why then in 2008 are Southend United Away fans still being subjected to watching football in similar conditions, as in the open at Yeovil? It could have been worse it didn't throw it down the whole match, but got worse and worse as the game went on, and the happy smiling fans were quite happy being three points better off at the end, but they were considerably wet.
In fairness to Yeovil they did have 150 seats available for away and quite a few of these were empty, but we certainly had taken a lot more there than that. Now we all understand the need for segregation and all of us I'm sure fully support the idea and if the open end is the only place to put the away fans then fine, but the gate was only 4,000 and there were empty seats all over the place. Surely Yeovil could find space for a segregated area of seating for all of our following? If they had what an atmosphere we could have created.
I few years ago in much the same circumstances I paid to go in the open end at Chesterfield, before kick off it just threw it down with rain, but within minutes the stewards beckoned us over and gave us "terrace types" seats in the stand IN THE DRY. That was really good of Chesterfield and much appreciated. However games at Gillingham and Mansfield stick in my memory for getting a real drenching.
The prices at Yeovil were good only £15, but surely it is the duty of clubs to provide DRY accommodation for all away fans if at all possible?
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