Tonight sees the team 25 minutes down the road to me play Manchester United in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. My Mum is a huge United fan and she was at The Rec in 1970 the last time these teams met. Aldershot took a shock lead that night before goals from George Best, Brian Kidd, and Dennis Law saw United progress.
These were the good old days of the cup. Days when a team with an average crowd of 6,000 squeezed in over 18,000. Days when all these people turned out to see the mercurial talents of George Best. Days when the ‘big’ team wouldn’t field reserves because not being able to play two games in a week was a joke.
These were days when people who were children then can still remember hard man Joe Jopling, a good friend of my Uncles, rattling the crossbar against the European Champions. You can imagine all the pent up excitement since the tie was announced exploding out when Richard Walden scored the opener.
My Mum says one of her most vivid memories of the game was the sound. Not the loudness, but the pitch. You see few women went to games back then, but most games didn’t include George Best. Mum recalls girls screaming all around The Rec whenever he got the ball near the sidelines.
Lets just hope we can see some of the magic still in the game tonight.