Memories are wonderful that we have in life and Cherish Forever. Being a kid and imagining you are your Favourite Player and Scoring The Winning Goal At Wembley in The FA Cup Final or Saving a last minute Penalty, if you were in Goal. I dreamt of playing for Southampton Football Club but unfortunately I never had the ability to do so. The next best thing was to be a Supporter and to go to The Games and watch The Saints and how The Players became your Heroes.
I have often written about that Brian Clifton was my Favourite, maybe because he Scored the goal with that stunning header against Reading and as it turned out, Clinched us Promotion the following day. My first game will never be forgotten, not for me anyway and The Day I Officially became A Supporter, A Red And White and nothing else and at no better Place than The Dell. It was for me Simply The Best, A Place To Call Home.
Then down The Years other players would become your Favorite Player. They didn’t necessarily have to be The Best Player. It was what how they were and The Commitment they gave to The Team, who gave their all, right to the end. There were the outstanding skillful players like Terry Paine, who could put a pass on a Sixpence, who played forever and then of course Matthew Le Tissier, well, what can I say about him that’s not already been said or written about him on The Saints Archive. he was Magnificent, to The Young, To The Old, an an absolute Genius. Rickie Lambert, who would of thought he would turn out, The Player he became for us. He was fearless, like when he scored his First Goal for us against Northampton Town when he headed in from close range when he was on his hand and knees amongst feet flying everywhere. Lambert is a very recent memory I know and how we could do with him now, when he was in his Prime. I’m surprised he’s never been asked to join Our Coaching Staff but that’s a different story? Then of course there were The Hard Men Of The Side, who wouldn’t take any Prisoners. These are just a few who come to mind and no doubt more I’ve haven’t mentioned but I will leave that for others to say. Jimmy Case, Mark Dennis, Dennis Hollywood, Nick Holmes, Cliff Huxford, John McGarth, Jim Steele and not to leave out David Walker or ‘Docker’ as he was known, by us Fans on The Terraces. The list goes on and on and we miss all these kind of Players Right Now.
My happiest memory from The Dell has to be Mike Channon Testimonial game against Queens Park Rangers, just a couple of days after Our Great FA Cup Final win. Bobby Stokes scores the only goal of The Game. I don’t think I’ve ever been at The Dell when it was so packed, you literally couldn’t move. The Atmosphere was like no other I’ve experienced but in a different way. You had to of been there to know what I mean!! The crowd spilled onto The Pitch in the last minutes of the game and quite rightly the game finished early as all The Players Ran Off for their own Safety. My overall happiest memory without doubt was Our FA Cup Final win.
My saddest memory was when there was a Testimonial game for Steve Mills. Not only was his career cut short due to injury, following being seriously injured in a car crash. Luckily he survived but after only a couple of games, he couldn’t carry on for The Saints. He had everything to of been a Top Class Player but it was all taken away from him. Things got even worst as he was Diagnose With Leukemia. To see him that evening was very upsetting for all and obviously, for his Family and it wasn’t long after, he passed away. Losing Steve Mills then Bobby Stokes and a bit later Peter Osgood and Alan Ball, puts everything into Perspective, that Football is only A Game.
I consider myself to of been lucky when I was Born. I am able to Reminisce about all of this and hopefully bring all these memories back to those who were there and those who weren’t around then to see what we’ve had.
Happy Days Certainly And Most Definitely Sadness From Our Memories