The Most Unpleasant Experience I’ve Had

It was a Saturday afternoon. The time was about ten to five and I was walking away from Elland Road, by myself, to the coach park. The result had been a bad one for Leeds United. Middlesbrough had beaten then two goals to one and therefore the Leeds fans were in a mean mood. I was by myself as a group of us had just been ‘ran’ by about one hundred Leeds fans and my group had split up to make their own way back to the coaches.

When our group had met the Leeds group we had had no hesitation in retreating, for the Leeds tribe were armed with broken bottles, iron bars, bricks and stones. I even saw a couple of sheath knives among the weaponry. As we Boro fans ran we were pursued by missiles, some of which found targets. A lad next to me was brought down by a half-brick on the back of his head. As I was running I looked back and saw a six-foot-six, twenty-stones Leeds character jump on the felled Boro fan’s head. ‘It’s the hospital for him,’ I thought as I ducked to avoid a broken bottle. After about half-a-mile of running we lost the Leeds head-hunters, but we has also lost ourselves in the maze of Leeds back-streets. It was there we decided it would be safer to make our own way back to the coaches.

That was how I came to be by myself. I had, of course, thoughtfully concealed my red and white scarf about my person and was doing my best to look like a Leeds local.

I was just coming up to an empty bus-stop, when around a corner on the other side of the road appeared a gang of Leeds hoodlums. I knew that to run would probably prove fatal, so I, as casual as I could, leant against the bus shelter and stared at the ground. As the gang drew opposite me I tried to look nonchalant, but it’s hard to look nonchalant when your knees are impersonating a Spanish castanet dancer. I was hoping that none of the Leeds ‘headbangers’ would recognise me but, to my dismay, I heard “There’s a Boro c***! Get the b*****d!” Something in the way he said that subtle phrase told me it was time to go. An go I did.

I was wearing my Hush Puppies so that enabled me to run and fortunately I am a sprinter so, unless there was a faster on among the head-hunters, I reckoned I would be able to outdistance them. I had to run the way I had just walked, so I knew a bit of where I was going and thought I would soon lose the hunters, but I had not reckoned on meeting a second gang of Leeds, and I did.

Quick wittedly I leapt over someone’s garden gate, and ran to their back garden. I was soon over the fence there and in someone’s vegetable garden. Without hesitating I ran round to the front of this house and into the road . Opposite me was a shopping centre. ‘I’ll hide in one of the shops,’ I thought, but it was now after five o’clock, and the shops were shut.

I was in a predicament and did not know what to do next. I looked up and down the road and to my horror saw gangs of Leeds fans spread over the road, and then behind me I heard, “There he is!” I spun around to see about ten Leeds fans running round the side of the house.

I had no time to think, but was off immediately behind the shops, and too late I realised they now had me well and truly trapped. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to clamber over a brick wall to find myself in a small back porch of a shop. I hoped no one had seen me but, about two minutes later a half-brick came flying over. I dodged it, but then it started to rain bricks, bottles, iron bars and sticks. I was not hit very often, but when the rain stopped I heard sounds of someone climbing the wall. A head appeared above the wall with a malicious grin on its face. I threw a brick at it but missed, and soon it was joined by a few more. They then clambered over. I picked up an iron bar and lashed out wildly. This made them keep their distance, but then I heard a shout above me. I glanced up and saw two of them on the roof and this time I did not dodge the bricks. One hit me on the shoulder, the other hit my back. The others in the porch then pounced.

One of then grabbed my hair and introduced his Doctor Marten to my face a couple of times. I think I broke his shin with the iron bar. I was dragged to the floor and boots and kicked rained in on my body hundreds and hundreds of times. There must have been about fifty Leeds fans all jumping on my head.

After five minutes I must have passed out, for when I came round there was no one in sight. I glanced at the time, or at least I tried to, for my watch was gone. I tried standing up, but I was bruised badly and had to sit awhile to recuperate. While I was sitting I heard a clock chime the half-hour, but what was it half-past? Five or six? I found it an enormous struggle to climb back over the wall, but I did.

It was a quarter to six when I arrived at the coach park. I limped aboard my coach which had thankfully waited and to my shock I saw that it was only half full. I came to the conclusion, therefore, that there were still some casualties to return. It was there and then that I made up my mind that that was the last away match I would ever attend.

Teacher’s Comments

Very accurate and imaginative work, but I think you need to paragraph more. Read through the 2nd and 3rd page again with this in mind.

Note I have paragraphed this piece, but the original pages 2 and 3 consisted of paragraphs 4 to 8 as one paragraph.

(c) M. Robert Gibson
Written 1979-03-11
This is a school essay.
It was written well before the internet. It is full of inaccuracies and assumptions; bad punctuation; bad grammar and a woeful lack of research, but, it is also a first draft. It was also hand-written in an exercise book, none of your fancy electronic gizmos back then.
And don’t forget, it was written by a schoolboy in a time before political correctness.
It is published here for purely selfish vanity reasons, so read it at your own peril and do not expect any great revelations.