Why the T-End?

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Not, as many have quipped, because this famous and revered bank of terracing backs on to the oft-romanticised refuse tip. Rather the name goes back to the distant days of Gloucester City's old stadium at Horton Road. If we take a trip back through the mists of time we can see the old T-End...

It is not like the modern T-End, a terraced bank behind a goal, instead it is a humble lean-to, on one side of the pitch. One wall is the side of the grandstand, the other is open to the elements, except for the Tea Bar from which it took its name. The roof is a shabby makeshift sheet of corrugated iron. To the front is concrete terracing, and a compact floor of mud where the hot dog queuers stand at half time.

In those early years the 'singers' stood at the back of the seats in the main stand (why? It was warmer). This lasted for just a season when the T-End was blooded, so to speak. The arrival of Ch@#tenham Town fans saw to that, when abusive language and missiles were thrown and the singers were booted out, scuffles broke out by the tea-bar and the first chanting of you'll never take the Tea-end was heard. The T-END had arrived.

The strength of the following swelled as word (and bravery by numbers) got around, great days out were had by all that year. Cinderford Town away in the FA Cup (mud and blood bath) and as far away as Ashford, where their tea-bar cups and saucers (yes, saucers) were used as missiles to stem an attack by determined Ashford fans who begrudged us the use of their end. From that time onwards the T-End followed the City through good-times and bad .Many of the older (and hopefully wiser) fans still remember the huge following we had at away grounds and can remember the shocked faces of home supporters when we arrived in their end.

From these battle scarred origins came one of non-league football's first terrace choirs, inspired by the Tote-end at Bristol Rovers and the Town-end at Swindon. With the roof providing the best chance of generating noise and atmosphere,people congregated here to urge City on to greater efforts. The T-End entered the kops-choir organised by the Football League Review in 1965-6, competing alongside Liverpool's Kop, Manchester United's Stretford End and eventual winners Coventry City. Since then the T-End has become a feared and respected force in Gloucester City's search for success, and survived the move to Meadow Park in 1986.

The modern T-End has continued the reputation of its predecessor, on its day the awesome noise generated by its inhabitants has forced many an opposition to capitulate. Since it's completed roof was opened in August 1995 the T-End has won the recognition of many visitors, worthy of grudging compliments from Cheltenham and Dagenham amongst others. Most recently Team Talk's 'IWIT!' feature has stated in the February 1998 edition that the T-End has "the best vocal support in non-league football". What more can be said, they're right - and everyone knows it !

Quality Support of Unrivalled Volume and Passion -Since 1965.

Thanks to Richard Goddard for the bulk of this article, part of which previously appeared in the old T-Ender magazine several years ago.

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