1,001 Posts

The infamous White Horse Cup Final pitch invasion

The infamous White Horse Cup Final pitch invasion

I didn’t notice until glancing at the WordPress dashboard just now, but the previous post on here was number 1,000. It took us almost two and a half years of posting to reach four figures, with no fewer than 37 different writers appearing here, to whom I am eternally grateful.

Here’s what I wrote in the first post here, back in early June 2007:

Pitch invasions. They can represent moments of collective joy; they can be acts of individual stupidity; they can be forms of group protest. In all their manifestations, they represent that which is glorious, terrible, empowering, inane, and perhaps even insane about the people that follow football and who have made it the world’s game. After all, claiming the pitch itself is possibly the ultimate visceral act of supporter power.

That is one reason why this site is called pitchinvasion.net (for more, see this post about my own experiences with pitch invasions), though it’s far from only about pitch invasions themselves: it will explore football supporter culture, politics and passion in all their forms.

This site will be a home for original writing on these topics, and will cull from the web news, video and images by and about fans around the world.

I hope the 1,000 posts since have made Pitch Invasion such a home to some extent, and thank you to everyone who has supported the site by writing, reading, commenting, voting for the site or even buying one of our scarves. Remember, we are always on the look out for new writers with fresh viewpoints, so please drop me a line anytime if you’d like to get more involved.

Though this blog has not proven to be a road to riches for me, I’ve enjoyed it very much as a chance to learn more about the culture of the sport I invest far too much time in, and it has helped make me many new friends around North America and beyond.

Thanks, also, to my wife for her (almost!) endless patience and support for my work on this site. Last year I got a little burned out and the site went on hiatus for a period. I’m happy to say that I don’t see that happening again, so here’s to another 1,000 posts coming up fast.

12 thoughts on “1,001 Posts

  1. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Absolutely. Not sure how I didn’t notice the impending #1,000, I really should have made sure it was at least a photo of a pitch invasion….

  2. footysphere

    Congratulations on your landmark post. You mentioned a photo of an actual pitch invasion. Well happy to oblige. Here’s two from the Sheffield United’s final home game of the 81/82 division 4 season. A 4-0 win over Peterborough Utd confirmed promotion as Champions for the Blades. Prompting a marvellous pitch invasion the likes of which have not been seen at Bramall Lane since …

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Footysphere/327163580227?v=photos#/album.php?aid=348253&id=327163580227

  3. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Ah, great photos. Pitch invasions are very much a lost part of football culture, I started a historical feature on them once I ought to get back to….

  4. footysphere

    @Tom Sadly yes, pitch invasions are less and less frequent these days. They just don’t fit with the moulded, manufactured matchday ‘experience’ that football authorites are now so keen to promote. I was fortunate that in my formative football supporting years, the eighties, I was involved in a fair few pitch invasions. Most of them were spontaneous outbursts of un-mitigated joy, celebrating an amazing goal, an unlikely win, promotion, with no hint of trouble. Though of course they did ocassionally get out of hand.

    I remember one back in the 84/85 season. It was the at the Goldstone Ground & Brighton were playing host to Sheff Utd, last day of the season. BHA had a very, very slim chance of promotion going into the match, needed three other clubs to lose heavily whilst winning by a cricket score themselves. Anyhow it was a fairly big crowd, lots had travelled down from Sheffield and were making a weekend of it. Pretty uninspiring game that the Seagulls won 1-0 but for the majority of the game it was played in a good-natured carnvial-like atmosphere.

    Towards the end of the game the Utd fans in the away end spotted some Blades in the home stand. This prompted a chant of “Shoreham’s here, Shoreham’s there, Shoreham’s every effin’ where”. By way of explanation Utd’s home Kop is on Shoreham Street & is known to some as the Shoreham End. This chant however confused the Sussex plod no end, what with Shoreham being a small town not too far from Brighton. They thought the Utd end had been infiltrated by some local nutcases!! lol

    The bobbies flooded the away end and started to get a little heavy handed. Due to the police intervention what had been a carnival atomsphere soon turned ugly. At the final whistle Utd fans poured onto the pitch fighting with the police. BHA fans saw what was happening they ran onto the pitch to get involved in the action and there was a huge three-way wild west style punch up in the middle of the pitch. Happy days (!!!)

  5. Chris O

    Congrats from all of us at ‘Some People Are On The Pitch’!

    Pitch Invasion has never failed to provide great football writing for all the world to read, and to do so over 1,001 posts is a tremendous achievement. Keep up the good work and here’s to the next 1,001!

  6. Adrian Ludbrook

    Congratulations folks! Great site, love it, looking forward to the next 1000 posts.

    As for pitch invasions, like footysphere I too cut my teeth in eighties football. Such good days, the football at Ipswich might have been dire but the atmosphere was so much better. Our normal haunt was the West Stand Terrace, costing a mighty £2.50 for me as I was under 16, sometimes we’d go in the North Stand, £5 as it was ‘adults only’, but for one last game of the season we went in the Cobbold Lower, £10 and seats but excellent access to the pitch plus there was the whole 80′s casual thing of wanting to be ‘flash’ and as a 14 year old kid paying £10 for a ticket was flash! There was about 250-300 lads in what was normally a quiet section, and loads more who wanted in as the West Stand Terrace was dead! We scored twice, each time launching a mini pitch invasion and several lads seizing the opportunity to leg it from the West Stand terrace across the pitch to the directly opposite Cobbold Lower, each time chased by an overweight wheezing copper. Old school coppers were great, they couldn’t catch a cold! Every last home game of the season would end in a huge invasion, all four stands flooding onto the pitch and most heading for either the centre circle or the cage holding the away support. Those, my friends, were the days.

    My son’s now 13, about the same age as me when I first started going to games with my mates, and it saddens me to know that in this age of sanitised McStadia football he’ll never have those same experiences, some good, some bad and some pretty frightening at the time but they helped make me a man. What I hope he does find is the camaraderie and friendship you find amongst your fellow supporters, and the endless enjoyment to be had once a year on the pre-season tour reliving the good old days!

  7. dokool

    Congrats from Japan! As someone who was drawn into soccer by the supporter culture more than the game itself I’m ever grateful that Pitch Invasion is around to highlight the many amazing things that happen in the stands and terraces.

    It was an honor to have my Nabisco Cup photo featured on the site earlier this month and I’ll definitely contact you about writing as J.League’s season gets started next year.

    Here’s to another 1001 posts! And hopefully a few more invasions.

  8. Sandeep Mancha

    I’ve said this before and I’d like to repeat that PitchInvasion is a high quality blog for anyone interested in football. I love the fact that each article is so well researched. So thank you, Tom and keep going. Your readership is going nowhere!