Recreate the Crowd Experience

Home News Fixtures Team News City Open Forum Stat Attack Club Info Visitor's Information Terrace Trash Supporters Club Archive Links email.

We welcome all contributions to the T-Ender. Send by e-mail to the address above. 

The views expressed on these pages are not those of Gloucester City A.F.C., it's directors, or of any other company mentioned. Neither do they represent the official views of the Gloucester City Supporters Club or its committee.
While we make every effort to ensure information placed here is accurate we do not accept responsibility for errors that may occour. If you do find a mistake please let us know.

All pictures unless otherwise stated are the site's own.

Right. Let's be brutally frank. Unless the unexpected happens and either one of us wins the lottery or the football gods suddenly begin smiling on us this is not going to be the greatest season in our memory. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't expect to be overly crowded or jostled as I stand on the T-End watching the mighty Rocester this season.

For many who were used to the crowds and excitement (no there were, really) of the past, we're offering a few tips to help you re-create that BIG MATCH excitement.

1) If you usually drive to the ground bear in mind that you will have to leave home at midday to 'find a parking space'. Head for the ground and then perform a bizarre 72 point turn in the cramped space of Sudmeadow Road as if you've realised there is no parking. Eventually park the car at the bottom of Hempstead Lane and walk back for over ten minutes to the ground. Remember after the game to sit in the car for twenty minutes as you "wait for the traffic to clear".

2) At big games you may remember there were experiments with pre-match entertainment. You can recreate some of this feeling by putting on local radio at full blast while you sit in the car with the windows firmly closed. Once half deaf you will feel a little as if you've been 'roadshowed'. Also try to encourage some full-busted young ladies to wander around handing you cheap paper hats, but if you can sort that out for yourself chances are you're not going to be worrying too much about watching City in the Western Division this season. Also wrap a few balloons round your wrist and wearing a silly hat will recreate a little 'carnival' atmosphere. Before going to the ground encourage a small child to draw over your face with felt-tips, so you can be the proud wearer of 'face-paint'. Once inside the stadium you will want to have the right music playing, so pre-record some big sounding eighties soft-rock anthems for your walkman, or if you can get your hands on a copy of Now 10 even better. It's vital that the ever hopeful 'Simply the Best' is played at some point.

3) Before many big games it became traditional to go out for a few drinks to meet up with friends in the city centre before heading down to the ground. Given the likely sense of anti-climax such actual preparation might cause this season you may no longer feel like doing this. However you can still create that 'little bit drunk' sense at the match. Firstly arrange to borrow a pair of glasses so your vision is blurred and distorted. If you already where specs simply take them off. To create that bursting bladder feeling insure that you have drank at least four litres of tap water in the minutes immediately proceeding kick off. Towards the end of the second half tie your laces together so you regularly stumble and trip, or walk with that exaggerated exactness of the 'trying not to appear drunk'. At the end of the match, also make sure you loudly check with your mates what the final score turned out to be.

4)Turn up to the match at the last minute and make a bee-line straight for one of the few other hardy souls left on the terrace. Politely, but firmly, ask them to move down a little as this is where you always stand and also mutter that  you're not changing for a load of glory-hunting part-timers who only come down for the big games. As this poor punter has probably stood there every game for the last ten years, and this is patently not a big game you may get some odd looks. But they'll probably move as you're obviously insane and they won't want to risk what you might have in your pocket.

5) In many ways the 'crowd' part of the experience is the hardest part to re-create. For this you will have to make sure you've gone to the match with at least four friends, bear in mind that you might have to offer some payment to persuade them to go through an afternoon at Meadow Park this season. Stand in the middle of your friends who will pack tightly around you, making it difficult for you to get your hands out of your pockets. At irregular intervals during the match ask them to jostle you and knock you down a step on the terracing. If one of your friends is tall, ask them to move in front of you just before kick-off. For the absolute big match experience one of your friends will at some point burn a fag hole through your new jacket.

8) An important factor in big matches is the away fans - often violent and antagonistic like e.g. Halifax. This season there may well only be a handful of traveling support for some games so alternative arrangements will have to be made.  See if you can find something else that will encourage complete strangers to hurl hostile abuse at you. Examples might be pretending to be a traffic warden ticketing cars, or perhaps taking a Bible and trying to preach down in King's Square. This should get you in the mood for the game. Once at the match you may find the only way of getting the necessary atmosphere is to argue with yourself, playing both home and away fan and providing all the necessary taunts. This will prove confusing and life will be much simpler if you can find a willing opponent to participate in the argument, remembering to pretend that you are both emboldened by having a large group behind you. If the match has been particularly heated you might want to recreate the after effects of a physical confrontation, easily done by chucking yourself down the terrace and picking up a few grazes and bruises. If you just want to generate a few real bits of verbal abuse you could do worse than pop your head round the boardroom and ask the directors when the AGM is. Of course if there has been a confrontation at the match you will want to feel as if the esteemed local constabulary have attended. Ask a friend to take Polaroid's of you from a distance, and then bundle you into the back of a car when you ask what they are doing.  If they are willing to, ask the friend to also refuse to listen as you tell them about some assaults, but then to drag of small adolescents for going on to the pitch at the end of the game. For full realism the friend may also want to say things like 'why don't you go down Kingsholm and see how real sports fans behave'. 

7) With ten minutes left before half-time head off towards the food counter to "avoid the queue". There's very unlikely to be a queue, so you might then need to spend the next twenty minutes loitering around near the tea hut to build up the suitable sense of anticipation. For the complete experience ask McGoldricks to only half cook the burger like they did when they were trying to sell thirty a minute in the good old days.

8)  Similarly you will doubtless need to use the toilet at some point during your big match experience, especially if you've been following tip number 7. To create the big match effect you will have to wait until you are absolutely busting and you can hear your bladder sloshing as you run towards the loo. Once there spend the next five minutes hopping from foot to foot, while the queue eases toward the much-desired porcelain. If you can find a willing friend, encourage them to go ahead of you and pretend to be an old man standing vacantly over the urinal for up to ten minutes after completing their task. To get the experience perfect as soon as you begin to go you'll hear a loud roar as you miss the only City goal of the game. For the real BIG match atmosphere see if you can persuade lots of other people to accompany you to the toilet and to jostle you as you go, ensuring you piss all down your leg.
WARNING - asking other people to go with you in to the toilet could be misunderstood with unfortunate consequences. Exercise extreme caution!

9) As there are fewer fans, both home and away, you might find the noise somewhat subdued and feel less like singing yourself. To counteract this record a load of static hum and play it back to yourself on a walkman. Failing that drink heavily, lose all your inhibitions and shout away regardless of what everyone else does. If possible ask a friend to sing or chant something similar but getting it slightly wrong, remember this is a big match so there will be plenty of enthusiastic but inexperienced newcomers. Try your best to catch tonsillitis during the season, to recapture that 90 minutes of shouting sore throat. Don't forget to rip up a load of old newspaper and scatter it over your head before leaving for the game. That way you will find pieces of tickertape inexplicably down your shirt when you undress in the evening.

10) Don't forget that with this being a big match there will be an awful lot of people who have not been to many Gloucester City matches before, some of them might be rugby fans or some might be armchair football supporters who keep waiting for replays of the incidents. Ask your friend to stand a small way from you, but easily within earshot. At intervals encourage them to make comments like: 'It's quite like real football isn't it ?', 'how many points is a goal worth?', 'is that one there the one that used to play for Man. U. ?' (n.b. - don't get misled into thinking anyone on the pitch ever has played for Man. U.!), 'are we the ones in yellow ?' etc. Other entertaining faux pas may be to drone 'Glawster, Glawster' in a flat voice when a corner is being taken, or clap politely when the opposition score. Your friend should also make some other mistake due to lack of familiarity with their surroundings, such as trying to park next to the clubhouse.