Watching Monday night’s Panorama programme about Hillsborough stirred up some bad memories of my early days watching football.
Shocking as the police actions were on that fateful day, nobody who regulary attended matches in the 1980s will have been too surprised.
Stadia of today are far removed from the grounds that ‘welcomed’ football supporters back then. Crumbling terraces, imposing fences and toilets that were little more than a brick wall covered were the norm.
Then there was the treatment meted out by the police.
True, hooliganism was at its height but it seemed every supporter was treated as a potential troublemaker.
We were chaperoned to grounds, herded in and then led back out. I remember being lifted off my feet as crowds swarmed out and being penned in by police as opposition fans pelted us with bottles.
Thankfully, things have changed and these days you’re more likely to have a laugh and joke with a police officer than have one swing a truncheon at you.
So the next time someone talks about the ‘good old days’ of football, remember things weren’t as good off the field as they were on it.