I’ve just had my annual gas check-up (I passed, thank you for asking).
The guy from the Council has been here to do that before. He’s from Droylsden, and knows of my former interest in the club, though he’s not really into football himself: he supports Manchester City.
We got talking about Droylsden, and FC United, and I was telling him about the coincidence between my two experiences of going to Rochdale, and much to my delight, HE was at Rochdale in 1978 as well! And he remembers more about the game than I do, in particular that the referee had to stop the game twice because of fighting in the ground, once such occasion spilling into the pitch. Not a single bell ringing at that piece of information, not one.
But he has reason to remember that game and for similar but more serious reasons than I, because in a lifetime of going to football, that Rochdale game was the only one at which he got beat up. After the game. He doesn’t remember any hills, so it sounds like a different incident from the one I fled from (and it shows how bloody right I was to flee for my life).
But that just goes to show the power of coincidence, only two days after I’d written at length about the game, i meet a near stranger was also was there.