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Where Were We? 
Leyton Orient

This is what we've unearthed on this lot so far. If you've got anything more, 
give us a shout at

A reader writes: 

I've just been flicking through the latest copy of the 'Leyton Orientear', and was met with an article slagging off NUFC. A die hard 'O' recalls a trip to St James' in 1981, where he and 28 of his mates did the conga in front of 12,000 black & whites. The number of home fans was the reason he gives to dismiss the Geordie fans as loyal. He then goes off on the usual crying/replica shirt/Shearer bullsh*t....

In answer to this, yes the attendance was 11,639 on 02/05/1981 (or possibly 13,737 on 26/09/1981).

However, the former was the last game of an appalling season when Bill McGarry got the chop, Joe Harvey was caretaker and Arthur Cox took over. We were even dumped out of the League Cup by Jim Iley's Bury....

This was the last game of the season (against poor opposition...) and was the proverbial meaningless mid-table nothing game. We'd scored a miserable 20 goals in the previous 35 league games with a certain Mr Shinton top scoring with seven....

However, rotten as we were that season, we averaged 17,350 with 20,866 turning up to see us lose to Derby and sink to 16th in the league (Division Two). Also, 24,866 turned up to see us fail to score for the third successive game against West Ham and 36,984 (yep, nearly thirty-seven thousand) watched our FA Cup draw against the massively glamorous Exeter City.

From a reader: "With reference to your article "Where were we" and Orient I think we also need to look at the context of football attendances at that time.
If we averaged 17,000 in that year I would be surprised if many First Division teams had a better average. So to quote one off attendances or even for the season, most clubs would look poor against the boom years of today's football."


Page last updated 24 June, 2009