How Many Top-Tier European Football League Games Have You Been To?

Whatever is meant by “Top-Tier” in the country in which the game took place; EPL for England, La Liga for Spain, etc.

Obviously, since I live in the US, I don’t make it a point to go to European football games. If I ever get back to Europe, and if I have a chaperone to teach me how to properly be a fan (eg, teach me the chants they recite during the game), I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Hundreds, though I’ve never recorded them. Most weeks from the late seventies to the late eighties I’d watch what was a (then) First Division game. It was relatively cheap to get in in those days and it was fairly easy to bunk the trains and tubes.
I’ve also watched a few Serie A and La Liga games when I’ve been in the vicinity.

These days I prefer watching lower/non league teams. I like standing when I’m watching football.

The most (in)famous match I ever attended was the Luton v Millwall FA cup quarter final in 1985. They didn’t show half of what happened on the TV…

None in Europe, but a few in Chile.

All together just north of twenty I think. In Holland, Spain, England and a few other really small leagues (but still highest national league).

Two Norwich City games in 2012!

I’m assuming a Tottenham Hotspur (EPL)/ Oxford United (Division 3) friendly in the summer of 2003 counts?

Are The Rangers and Celtic considered top tier?

“Less than 50”.

I’ve no idea how many. I’m a Coventry City fan but didn’t see them that much as a youth, mainly because no one else in my family liked them (Dad’s a Blades fan). But once I hit adulthood I saw them now and again when I was still living in the UK, most often when I was living in London what with there being loads of teams in the city. When I left the UK they were still in the Premiership.

Less than 50 too. I’m a lifelong Aston Villa fan and try to go there every other year. And my girlfriend’s a season ticket holder at Chelsea, so I’ve seen them far more than is necessary, including the Champions League final in Moscow when they lost on penalties and we had to walk home to our awful hotel in the rain.

It’s just “Rangers”. No article. And yes; they play in Scotland’s top league and they (though probably not any other Scottish teams) could compete in the English Premiership.

Then I’ve been to one, where they played one another.

Actually they have just won the Scottish League One. They had to restart from the bottom league due to the club being liquidated. It could be argued that they are not even the same club anymore.

100s here - nearly all at the School of Science, Goodison Park, but I’ve been to most grounds in the top flight. Highs and lows - I’ve seen Everton be an exceptional team (mid 80s), an appalling team (mid 90s) and a good team (last 10 years). Just go to a couple of games a season now - usually an evening game in the week.

Seen 3 genuine world class players wear the royal blue in that time: Neville Southall, Gary Lineker and Andrei Kanchelskis.

Best match - For the quality: 3-1 against Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the European cup winners cup, 1985 (legendary Everton performance that encapsulated why that side were so good). For excitement: 4-4 FA cup game against Liverpool (1991).

Worst match - getting absolutely hammered 4-0 by Arsenal at Highbury in the penultimate game of the 1998 season. They won the league, we were almost certainly relegated - a lot of angry people in the Everton end at that game. By a miracle, we survived the next weekend.

That 1985 Everton side I’d rate as one of the best I’d ever seen. Southall was almost unbeatable that season. The match at WHL on a Wednesday night in March(?) was almost an early Championship decider. You had Southall, we had Paul Miller:(
I saw them awarded the Championship trophy at Luton (again a Wednesday night IIRC). Awful match (the linesman probably got tennis elbow from raising his flag for offside), but Luton won 2-0 on what was to become their last home game on grass for a while…

I remember chatting to some Evertonians outside a chip shop near the ground and saying I reckoned they were nailed on to win the European Cup the next season.

Which I still think they would have done, had it not been for the events at the Heysel.

That was a sobering read. Can I ask what you remember about the match? (I wanted to ask this when the thread first came around but I didn’t want to hijack it.) What do you make of the fact that the 30 odd people arrested (per the wiki article) weren’t even Millwall supporters? Did they arrest the wrong people or did Millwall away support just attract a freelance element?

It was nearly thirty years ago, but this is what I remember…

We parked up in a church car park in Bury Park, just to the north of the ground and stood outside a nearby pub waiting for the six o’clock opening time. A group of about fifteen Millwall turned up. We (me and three old school friends) were just young lads at the time and they were in their late twenties/thirties and obvious to us, hard as nails. With shoes to match - I’ve never seen them before or since, but they looked like blunt toed, steel capped Chelsea boots.
Two of them approached us, the rest held back. They introduced themselves and said they were ‘Bushwhackers’. They were quite friendly really and after advising us not to go to the match and saying that “If Millwall lose we’re going to smash this town up” they departed looking for people with ‘dodgy suntans’, as they put it.
The pub didn’t open…
We walked down the hill to Leagrave Road and kept our heads down as we joined hundreds of Millwall supporters on the way to the ground. One of the Bushwhackers who’d seen us earlier spotted us and shouted “make way for the Luton supporters” pointing at us but no one seemed too bothered.
As we got to the junction with Dunstable Road I would estimate there were about 200 Millwall running full pelt down the road flanked by two policemen. As we got close to the ground we took a side road and made our way to the ground through a series of alleyways.

We got inside The Oak Road end (at that time the home end) which was terracing (i.e. standing). At the far side was the Kenilworth Road end (then the away end and also terraced). To our right was the main stand (seated) and IIRC a small terrace next to the Kenilworth Road end. To the left was a smaller seated stand known as THe Bobbers.

There were only a few Millwall in the Kenilworth Road end, but they’d gathered enough stuff to set a bonfire in the stand behind the goal with flames I’d guess at about 10 feet high. This was just over a month or so before the Bradford City fire, but the terraces were concrete, so nothing like that could have happened. There was a lone Luton supporter in the Bobbers, a big guy, but he got attacked by three Millwall and was left bloodied. Two other Millwall ran at the Oak Road and attacked a steward, one using the crossbar of the goal to execute a drop kick to his head.

[Having twice lost long answers about the airship industry (and the fact that England are playing tonight) I’ll call this part I. Sorry if it’s a bit long winded, but I’d never really thought to write it down before… I’ll carry on tomorrow.)

This is really interesting stuff. It’s amazing from today’s perspective that there was a bonfire lit in the stands! I recently read Bill Buford’s “Among the Thugs” and thought the parts about football were very interesting (he also goes off on some odd tangents).

Thank you so much for writing it all out; I really do appreciate it. And I really do hope you’re up for part II.

Primera, not just la Liga. Liga is the whole structured championship, ranking from the aforementioned Primera down to Tercera Regional (I don’t think there’s any regions that have a Cuarta… checked, and there is, with some regions getting up to 5 tiers although the names of the tiers change by region). 9 tiers total.

And even within Primera… the one Primera match I watched in person was two of those teams which, while usually in Primera, tend to spend more time worrying about not going down to Segunda than about raising cups. I think it’s the first time I hear someone refer to an Español-Osasuna as “top-tier”, we’re used to thinking of ourselves as a sort of “bench-warmers of Primera” :slight_smile:

Part II…

The ground filled up fairly quickly in the twenty odd minutes before the scheduled kick-off. Three sides of the stadium (excepting the Oak Road stand) seemed to be filled with Millwall supporters, it felt like an away match. I could see that something was going on at the Kenilworth Road end, and I remember the noise the crowd was making sounded different to a normal crowd noise, even for what was expected to be a hostile encounter. I didn’t know at the time, but found out later that a turnstile or gate had been broken down and an estimated 8-9,000 people were in a terrace that had a capacity of 5,000. In those days, many grounds had fences to stop pitch invasions and both ends were fenced in. Unlike their South Yorkshire counterparts four years later at Hillsborough, the Bedfordshire police obviously realised the seriousness of the situation and a lot of Millwall fans were released through a gate near the goal and put into the Bobbers and the small terrace next to the main stand. I thought the match was delayed for about half an hour while this was going on, but the Wiki article says it started on time. There were still a lot of people on the edge of the pitch as the game kicked off. There were a few orange (Luton’s colours) plastic seats which had been broken off from the Bobbers stand and some disturbance, as a lot of Millwall had been put into an area reserved for the home supporters.

About a quarter of an hour into the match Millwall supporters started encroaching (Love that word, a proper football word!) onto the pitch and the the referee took the players off. Some of the relocated Millwall and others who had climbed the fence at the climbed the fencing at the Kenilworth Road end amassed at that end.
And then charged the Oak Road.

Erdosain… cliffhanger ending! Seriously though, thanks for your interest. i’ll get part III written, hopefully Tuesday. I’m enjoying writing all this down.

Cheers.

Thank you for another installment! When you say there were lots of people on the edge of the pitch at kickoff, do you mean they were in the area usually occupied by the stewards and ball boys? Did they actually step into the field of play during the game? That sounds crazy.

I’ve read a lot of horror stories about being crushed together in the fenced-in terraces (being swept off one’s feet, getting the air knocked out of you). Was this a common occurrence at matches you attended or only at certain games? And finally, is Luton a well-supported side?

Thank you again for indulging my curiosity.