Being a football supporter in the 1970’s was a totally different entity than supporting your favourite football team today.
The experience of the match day was totally different, most football grounds had large terraced areas, in addition to the seated stands, with the majority of the games spectators were able to pay the entrance fee at the turnstiles on the day off the match, as opposed to the all ticket affairs and sell out matches of all seated stadiums of the English premiership today.
Televised football was still in its infancy, with only a small number of live televised games, the majority of football was watched on Saturday evenings on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme or on ITV’s ‘The Big Match’ highlights which were originally screened on Sunday afternoons.
A lasting memory for many supporters in the 1970s will be the ‘Football Pink’ newspaper that provided a late Saturday evening edition, with all the afternoons football results; for many this would be the first opportunity to discover their teams fortunes, and the apprehension before buying a copy to see the results will never be forgotten.
Many will vividly remember collecting Topps football cards, the picture and information cards about players, that came complete with a bubblegum in waxed packets. Topps cards became a very collectible obsession and trading cards with other children became common place in order to complete a collection.
The Subbuteo football game will be remembered by many children of the 1970s, as the ‘flick to kick’ game, which included many add on accessories, became a ‘must have’ for most football loving children
Football souvenirs and merchandise were difficult to find, with most sports shops only supplying generic coloured bar scarves, a few sew on patches and coffer sports pin badges for individual teams, a far cry from the football gifts and merchandise that are available today.
The darker side of football supporters also became very prominent, with football hooliganism becoming a major problem. Football crowd trouble was common place in football matches across many parts of the country. It soon became apparent that much of this violence was organised crime, and rival supporters were often seen clashing both inside and outside the football grounds. This problem was to remain a huge vexation for football for the majority of the 1970s and 80s.
Many football fans will remember supporting their favourite team during the 1970’s and marvel at how different the experience is today, many changes over the years have enhanced the game, and made supporting a team an even greater experience.