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February 11, 2010


Igor Belanov

I think the game when I stood in the Boothen End was quite a frightening experience. I'm not sure whether it was because I got shoved down ten steps by celebrating fans every time Stoke scored, or that I was alarmed more by the bloke who shinned his way up one of the posts and led the singing of 'Delilah'. It was probably one of the last games at the Victoria Ground in the March of 1997 in front of a huge crowd of 8 and a half thousand.


I greatly amused a bunch of Spanish primary schoolkids the other day by informing them that Rooney was nicknamed "cara de tarta".


Hey, Igor: didn't get shoved very often then? The crowds were bigger in my boothen end days (as they are now). You used to get those great ripple surges that you only got when the ends were full and that you dont get any more when any ground likely to be full is all seater. In a way, it was a sensual experience: a huge tumult of sweating, hawking, spitting, swearing, smoking, horrible Stokie humanity. Happy days.

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