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
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
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.