I didn’t see any goals on Saturday but at least I saw a game.
On the train journey down to Purley in the morning we passed close to Selhurst Park and I noticed some of the floodlights were on, which suggested they were working on the pitch. Pro’ clubs like Crystal Palace have the equipment and manpower to get games on, unlike most non-League sides, so I was confident their Championship fixture with Bolton Wanderers would go ahead.
They actually had a gate of over 17,000 and the pitch looked perfect. But you could see the snow piled up behind the touchlines. Palace, who are going hard for promotion, have only won one of their last ten games in League and Cup. But there was an exciting finish to Saturday’s 0-0 draw as they threw everything at Bolton to try and get the extra points.
One writer in the programme named Wilfried Zaha as his favourite player in 41 years of watching Palace. I was a fan from 1960 to 1981, going home and away in some seasons, and my favourite was Cliff Holton.
He signed from Northampton just before Christmas in 1962 and was known as ‘Cannonball Cliff’ for his powerful shooting. He was pretty lethal from free kicks near the box.
I haven’t been doing very well for goals in 2013, with only ten seen in eight games. Half of those eight have been goalless.
When I got back to Purley, there was a programme on BBC2 about the ‘Big Freeze’ of 1963. The snow and ice stayed on the ground for months, because the temperature never got above zero.
I didn’t see any football between Boxing Day and 2 March – it was hell – and my first game after the thaw was an FA Amateur Cup First Round tie between Tooting and St Albans (2-1). Even then, I think there was some snow on the pitch at Sandy Lane.
The FA Cup’s Fourth Round in that year wasn’t completed until 19 March!
I went to Regent’s Park yesterday morning but obviously wasn’t expecting to see any action.
The football pitches had about three inches of snow on them and the whole scene was particularly bleak. I saw snowmen and snowdogs but that was about all.
But I’m hoping West Ham v Spurs in The FA Youth Cup will go ahead tomorrow night, which will be my 110th game this season and 6,405th in total.