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Love the Gola League debut article on The Gasroom Great Memories

1985/86 Season. I cant believe its now 30 years ago! The chants that season were "Gola League Gola League" when we played someone from a league below us, Including Crawley Town who we play Saturday, who we knocked out of the Trophy. It was show of elitism that said we are the better than you. That first game against Runcorn was a bit of wake up call and we quickly realised this was no walk in the park. Maybe @NewburyWanderer could put up some pics from that season? Would love to hear others Memories on the season. The FA Cup run to the Third round at York. The Trophy Run to the Q/F. The Memorable league games for different reasons. The great 4-1 home win over Boston and the alarming 8-2 defeat at Kidderminster spring to mind. I still have entire VHS copies of home League games from that season. All in all it captured my imagination and was a real journey of discovery being the first time we played in a "National League"



  • Agreed Mr M3g, Having away fans at league games seemed very different from our Isthmian lge days. Where bar a handful of exceptions, the opponents often brought next to no supporters with them.

  • My first season supporting the Blues, or at least the first season where I reguarly paid to see the full 90 minutes. Prior to that, I used to wait with the other local kids for the Loakes Park gates to open at half time. Most of my vague memories of that season revolve around the cup run, on the pitch I vividly recall standing on the Gasworks End watching Des McMahon's 30 yarder curl into the corner of the net, with the Chelmsford goalkeeper desperately trying to scramble back and make a save. Off the pitch I remember the crowd trouble and as a young kid finding it quite frightening (especially at that 2nd round match)

    Don't remember much about the league campaign, but I was absolutely heartbroken when we were relegated in very cruel circumstances. I think we drew 0-0 with Kettering, which we thought would be enough, only to find all our rivals had won. Even then, I think there was another game (Dagenham was it?) on the Sunday, but they won and we went down level on points with several other teams.

    One other memory I have, is insisting that my Mum bought me Gola football boots and trainers, as they came with free tickets for Gola League matches. I think I used them for a 2-4 home defeat to Stafford Rangers!

  • Happy to oblige Mr @M3G. That historic first match. After all the hype, just remember feeling a bit deflated afterwards.






  • Thanks for the pictures, I see you were my stalker, my derrière in picture 3. I do recognise an awful lot of backs.

  • The night at home to Altrincham when Mr Pearce decides to lob Gary Lester with that backpass from the half way line with Alty not really interested and there for the taking seems only yesterday. Wonder what a young Dion Dublin thought when we got thumped 8-2 at Kidddrminster. Bobby Dell's screamer at Scarborough. Lots of memories but you always had that feeling we would be back and the following season you could say was the start of where we are today.

  • The Altringham game was my first ever game, me and 2 pals stood in the away end with 2 blokes and a dog from Altringham that night as my folks are from Altringham and following that woeful back pass I've followed Wanderers ever since

  • Hopefully someone can confirm something I 'think' I remember from that season. In the home game against Northwich, I'm sure there was a twice taken penalty where the Vics' keeper (Dave Ryan) threw the ball at the referee having saved the first attempt, leading to the second being awarded. Am I making this up?

  • Mr@Kimble_Blue, Dion Dublin didnt arrive until 1988, he played in the 4-1 clubcall cup defeat at Aggborough. Mr@Ned_Ludd I can remember Dave Ryan the excellent Vics Keeper, He looked a cross between Terry Mancini and Max Wall !! And getting thumped 4-0 on a wet miserable day at the drill field.

  • @NewburyWanderer Cheers for the Pics that's fantastic and takes me right back to the day of the game. Its also great to see more pics of our much missed former home.

  • @ChasHarps Of course, knew he played in a thumping defeat at Kiddy was just a couple of years early got the wrong one, the old grey matter isnt what it was.

  • Just been looking at the results page on the ever excellent COTN, what an absolutely astonishing amount of football we played in March and April!

    This was the first full season after i was born, but it feels like it belongs in a different age. I suppose it does.

  • they all had jobs as well!


  • Kiddy put 13 goals past us League matches in April, we were in such a pickle and so short of players after the March 31st deadline day. We had to recruit players who were not attached to any senior club. Hence the appearences of Dave Bradley and Andy Longstaff, who a few years earlier were reserve players before sliding down to junior local level.

  • M3GM3G
    edited August 2015

    @floyd It was partly due to the cups runs, 4 games against Leek for instance, B&B games were 1st team affairs. We made the 3rd of the FAC for only the third time in our history. But the biggest impact was the weather. It was a terrible late winter and at one point we didn't play for 3 weeks!

    I don't feel its another age, it was just a few years back, It feels like yesterday to me! It was part of that Semi-Pro era for me. Really the dawning of everything we have now, the day we finally woke from a slumber and took the plunge. But I know what you mean as thirty years previous to that time would have been our successful teams of the 50's and I feel that's the golden age of Amateur football and I wasn't born then!

  • I remember we used to do year books back then with a review of the season. I think there was an A5 ish booklet from that year. I've probably got it in s box in the loft somewhere. Anyone already got it scanned in? Seem to remember it captured the atmosphere of the season pretty well

  • @bookertease It was actually A4 and really well written and some excellent photos by the Gasman. I treasure those.

  • Yep, get my programmes and other bits and bobs out from that season every now and again. I remember borrowing the video of the Leek United game from John Goldsworthy (you could rent or buy) just to see if the cameraman had captured my snowball throwing antics at their goalie.

  • @M3G It's an era i'm sorry i missed.

    I noticed the two 'extra' Leek replays where at neutral grounds instead of reverting between Loakes Park and Harrison Park as i'd always assumed. Can you remember where they were played?

  • Stafford for the 2nd replay and Worcester the 3rd, wasn't it?

  • Ignore that. They were both Worcester.

  • Those 2 replays at Worcester will never be forgotten, for a variety of reasons.

  • @Wycombe85 another one snared by that Gola promotion. I know of at least 3 others who debuted at Loakes Park because of that deal.

  • Away at Worcester, their on the pitch, (and one was a steward) very foggy and Alan Gane talking to us before the game.

  • I started going on a regular basis that season as well. Regarding the way we got relegated, I remember our final game being a 0-0 draw against Kettering. I believe it was Dagenham v Runcorn played on the Sunday. We needed Dagenham to lose, but they drew 1-1 sending us down on goal difference. I also seem to recall that it was their goalkeeper that scored their goal with a long clearance, which pretty much summed up our luck.

    Looking back though, I can't be too disappointed given how great the next season was. Winning the Vauxhall-Opel League with 101 points, scoring over 100 goals. Yeovil finished 9 points behind despite doing the double over us (beat us in two cups as well!). I have a memory of leaving the away game at St Albans and hearing that Yeovil had somehow lost at Windsor & Eton (we'd recently beaten Windsor 11-1) giving us a 17 point lead! As well as winning the league we beat Barnet in the final of the Capital League Presidents Cup (it seemed important at the time), and then Aylesbury Utd 3-1 in the Berks & Bucks Final in the unique surroundings of Wolverton Park.

    Still remains one of my favourite seasons supporting Wycombe. May seem small fry to those who have only known Wycombe in the league, but it was amazing at the time.

  • Anyone who was fortunate to be following Wanderers in those days, always looks back fondly to that magical 86/87 season. Seeing the football genius that was Noel Ashford totally dictating games,Kevin Durham's gliding runs, Keith Barratt smooth and composed, Byron Walton the poor sighted pocket battleship, Andy 'coco' Graham the ungainly school teacher. Wanderers away following outnumbering the home fans at almost every game.
    What a season !!

  • Got to agree. Probably my favourite season. I remember getting off the train at Carshalton (I think) meeting Andy Graham and the pair of us spending half an hour or so trying to find the ground. We asked loads of locals - none of whom had a clue

  • I'm pretty sure Andy Graham didn't drive, he infamously missed the coach pick
    up at the Crooked Billet in Staines on that memorable Monday night at Bognor. George Link wore 'Coco's' number 7 shirt that night.
    Andy really was a cult hero, often in the 'Blues' club you would seem him in some rare old grey and brown flared slacks accompanied by some dirty plimsoles, you would think he had just left Woodstock.
    A very unlikely looking football both on and off the pitch, but he still mustered 24 goals in 64 appearences for the Wanderers, and was a vital part of the promotion winning team.

  • Who else took the day off for Bognor away? 13th April 1987. Foggy night I recall.

  • @Onlooker - you recall right. Here's your proof.





  • Sadly I never got to see a game at Loakes Park, having started supporting in 1991. But it's great to look back at some of the memories and see how things have changed

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