A Potted History of That Lot Up The A1

Let’s start at the start. Peterborough shouldn’t even be part of Cambridgeshire. It was originally in Northamptonshire until 1974, until they got sick of the place and booted it out. Being the nice neighbours we are, we picked it up and gave them a home, and it’s been a stain on our fine county ever since.

The history of the football club is even shorter, founded in 1934, they were elected to the Football League in 1960, winning the Fourth Division in 1961, and again in 1974, and err… that’s about it. Oh, they won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in 2014. Make no mistake, they make Spurs look like Real Madrid. Their biggest victory came against Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who tried to trademark the term Posh.

In 1989 a young striker named Dion Dublin put his name on the map by scoring a hat-trick in a 5-1 win, and a few years later the perennially dodgy Barry Fry got involved with the club, promising to take them “out of division two“, which he promptly did, relegating them into the Third Division. Our last win came at the Abbey in 1998 thanks to Michael Kyd, and after a few years Fry moved upstairs (with the help of a crane), before making a brief return to the dugout in 2006 after Mark Wright was sacked for making racist jokes. Since 2007 they’ve been managed by a rotating cast of wife-beater Darren Ferguson, Grant McCann and Steve Evans, each of them taking it turns for a season or so until DMAC gets fed up.

DMAC aka thin-skinned chairman Darragh Macanthony, has wasted millions of pounds of in a futile attempt to reach the Premier League. Their three seasons in the Championship have all ended in relegation, hilariously so on the last day of the 2013 season when Barnsley and Huddersfield conspired to play out a draw so they’d both stay up at B*ro’s expense, knowing that a last minute goal from Cambridge legend Mile Jedinak had sent them down.

During the curtailed 2019-20 season, B*ro missed out on promotion to the Championship on a PPG basis to Wycombe, which was utterly hilarious, causing DMAC no end of meltdowns as he attempted to sue the EFL for lost earnings, or something, not realising that it actually saved them from another season of Championship humiliation. They eventually achieved promotion a year later, and as predicted were immediately relegated, managing to finish just three points above a Derby side who had about forty points deducted, and a couple of places below Reading who’d also suffered a big points deduction.

B*ro play at London Road Stadium, located on the aptly-named Cripple Sidings Lane. They’ve invested a bit of money in the ground since we last visited, but it’s still a shithole. Unusually B*ro don’t just have one or two rival clubs, but a whole host who dislike them for any number of reasons. They count the U’s, Northampton, MK Dons, Lincoln, Barnsley, Ipswich and Huddersfield as rivals, and there probably isn’t a more unpopular, yet ultimately irrelevant club in the entire 92.

The head to head record is fairly even between us both – they’ve not won at the Abbey since 1988, we’ve not won there since 1990. They’re on 11 wins, we’re on 10, with 9 games ending in stalemate. A number of players have played for both, Scotts Rendell & McGleish, Trevor Benjamin, Martin Carruthers, Paul Carden and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing some of the many who’ve been tainted by the blue and white. Most notoriously, Marc Joseph, a big part of Roy McFarland’s 98/99 Promotion-winning squad moved to the Pish on a free once his contract had expired. He received a warm welcome from U’s fans when we played them next, especially as the goal-shy defender had an effort chalked off for offside in front of the NRE. We also shared a manager – Chris Turner who set up the legendary Beck team of the late eighties pitched up at London Road in the early 90’s, and is revered by both sets of fans.

If we exclude the three EFL Trophy games and the Chris Turner Memorial match in 2016, this will be our first meaningful meeting with B*ro in 21 years. 2000 U’s fans will be travelling to the game, although they haven’t managed to sell out their end. Tuesday’s win at Wycombe should mean confidence is returning to the squad, and Mark Bonner more than anyone knows what this rivalry means. We hope he’ll be joining us in a chorus of “Cheer Up Barry Fry” in front of the away end at 4:45 Saturday.

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