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1 Posted 28/02/2019 at 08:35:51
2 Posted 28/02/2019 at 08:46:53
It was similar in spirit to the ABC Matinees, which old gits may also remember.
3 Posted 28/02/2019 at 08:54:34
4 Posted 28/02/2019 at 09:08:24
My dad never allowed me there for which I should thank him for. We often went in the Park End stand I recall seeing endless streams of fireworks whizzing around the pen like the film of the May Blitz I was madly interested in seeing at the time.
Back in 1964 I knew that lads like me would never survive in that place such was it's reputation locally. Which begs the obvious question I thought of every time I read about those halcyon days from Boys Pen Bill fresh off Uncle Cyril's handlebars... romantic bollocks!!!
5 Posted 28/02/2019 at 09:29:50
Boys Pen Bill claims he was a very nervous boy growing up, so I doubt he ever went in the Boys Pen, nervous? He'd have been drove completely doo lally If he'd have gone in there.
Mind you, there was a snivelling little fella there, always on his own, tight little bastard, he could peel an orange without taking it out of his pocket... now that I think about it, could have been him.
6 Posted 28/02/2019 at 09:52:18
7 Posted 28/02/2019 at 10:00:52
8 Posted 28/02/2019 at 10:07:44
9 Posted 28/02/2019 at 10:10:26
10 Posted 28/02/2019 at 10:18:58
There are more Scousers in Huyton than there are in Liverpool City centre and always have been since the 1940s. Huyton families were mostly bombed out of the town centre, South end, China Town and Scotland Road areas of Liverpool during and just after WW2. Definitely not rural Lancashire.
The Boys Pen was still operating during the mid 1970s when we used to go in there. Not sure which year it closed but it was an horrendous experience for young lads who went in alone. You needed a few of you together in there to survive. Helped if you could fight as well. Anyone know when it was last open?
11 Posted 28/02/2019 at 10:40:49
The kids in there, sang the same songs and chants as the adult crowd did, only in high pitched voices.
The main occupation for the whole 90 minutes was trying to bunk into the Gwladys St end. Happy days? I'm not so sure...
12 Posted 28/02/2019 at 11:18:32
13 Posted 28/02/2019 at 11:37:31
14 Posted 28/02/2019 at 12:02:42
Like Michael @ 13, the line "they were trying to set fire to a policeman" was my favourite take from the piece also.
15 Posted 28/02/2019 at 13:49:39
It really could be gruesome in there.
I seem to remember paying a shilling. Wouldn't take even an extra halfpenny in with me as for sure I wouldn't be bringing it out!
My dad, me and the rest would either walk to the ground either along Great Homer Street or the top way along Netherfield Road.
Depending on how many ale houses they stopped at on the way – and there were loads – and how many planned on the way back, determined if my dad was flush enough to pay me in to Goodison Road with them, or skint enough to give me the bob for the pen!
If he was really pissed then I'd be in Goodison Road!! Used to keep my fingers crossed he was always pissed!!
It was crazy enough growing up around Everton but you were really brought on faster being a semi-regular in the pen !!
The regulars must have gone on to either be leaders of industry or regulars in Walton jail.
As regards Kenwright being a regular? Well, like most things that come out of his mouth — a load of shit.
16 Posted 28/02/2019 at 15:13:46
Tony(#10), I had an aunt who lived in Huyton and when she was sent letters or Xmas cards it was always addressed Huyton near Liverpool.
17 Posted 28/02/2019 at 15:39:33
18 Posted 28/02/2019 at 15:53:01
19 Posted 28/02/2019 at 15:56:43
20 Posted 28/02/2019 at 16:42:06
As far as the boys pen goes, I used to pester my dad to let me go in there as I wanted to stand and sing and he wouldn't go in the Gwladys as my dad wanted to be able to see the game properly. Looking back I'm so glad he wouldn't let me go in the pen, it would have been a meek lamb to the slaughter.
21 Posted 28/02/2019 at 16:59:12
I remember before segregation came in and you could watch Everton kick towards the Park End in the first half then walk round and watch the second half from Gwladys Street.
I used to love going to the away games with my Dad and Brother before segregation and you could mix with the opposing fans. Although fans were still passionate for their own team, there was always appreciation for the opposing players.
I remember going to Burnley and they had Blacklaw in goal Angus and Elder as full backs, Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy Mclroy and Ray Pointer some great players in their team. Funny hardly any fights and if someone did kick off fans from both sides would step in to stop it how things have changed.
Everything is so gladatorial now its them against us, and there is real bitterness towards the opponents these days, were in the past you spoke to opposing fans telling them how much you admired certain players in their team.
And yes, fans would also pick out the not so nice players in the opposition. Usually handshakes all round at the end, immaterial of the result.
22 Posted 28/02/2019 at 17:05:25
23 Posted 28/02/2019 at 17:16:10
My overriding memory of the boys pen was an end of season game against Fulham when we won 4-1 (I think) to win the league and hundreds of us just climbed over the fence and ran onto the pitch with thousands more.
Shame you cant do that these days cos that made many a young kid deliriously happy.
As for the Park end it was always for the away support until developed by PJ when a number of "older" ex gladiators decided to go to that end.
I do believe they then used to compete singing with the Gladys St mob.
Nostalgia is a great thing but it would be nice to add some modern memories.
24 Posted 28/02/2019 at 17:18:49
25 Posted 28/02/2019 at 17:40:35
Him and his mates occasionally used to go to Old Trafford to watch the United team of the 60s: Best, Charlton Law etc, they just went to see great players on show. There used to be a lot of that going on then, just going to see great players. You would never get that these days. >
Towards the late 70s early 80s my dad wouldn't let me go away as there was too much trouble so we occasionally used to go across the park with some red mates to watch them, it actually used to go on a lot then and the reds used to come to Goodison Park when they were away. It wasn't being a turncoat because you never support them but it was just about watching football.
Now the bitterness and hatred means you can't even go to the derby with your mates, red or blue as the loons make sure that doesn't happen. It's a shame as seeing blues in the Kop and reds in the Gwladys was what I grew up on, made us different from the rest of the country as little or no trouble happened.
26 Posted 28/02/2019 at 17:49:01
When I got home, I showed them to my dad who said "What the fuck do you want them for?" He ripped them up and said he would take me to see the blues the following week. We got to Goodison when he dropped me and our kid off at the Boys Pen and said he would see me after the match!
I remember trying to climb over the top like Jay and someone grabbing my coat pulling me back. As I turned around, this big bastard threw the head in and I ended up with a five stitcher across the left eyebrow. Met my dad outside and he said it was the last time he was taking me to the match as I was always getting in trouble!
Never did go back in. Got a job on the milk and a paper round and paid to go in the Gwladys Street after that. My dad stuck to his word and I never went to the match with him ever again. Even the aarl fellers were bastards them days.
27 Posted 28/02/2019 at 18:23:57
In fact from 1951 to 1954 I had to go to Anfield to watch first division football and the red fans from 1954 to 1962 had to go to Goodison to do the same.
As you say times and attitudes have changed with the way we react to each other: Everton and Liverpool fans.
28 Posted 28/02/2019 at 18:53:25
29 Posted 28/02/2019 at 18:56:22
It was the boaters that impressed me. Much better than flat caps.
30 Posted 28/02/2019 at 18:57:52
Billy boy would not have survived the Boys Pen as an adult let alone as a schoolboy.... He'd have been eaten alive.
Funny enough a group of us once sat behind Tory boy Philip Carter at Main Road. Somebody spotted him, I don't know if it was the ale or not, but everyone decided to take the piss out of him. He got murdered. It all started when somebody said "imagine that cunt in the Boys Pen?"
Carter would have lasted about as long as Kenwright.
31 Posted 28/02/2019 at 19:04:05
Just one time, is all we want, Martin, it's never too late to change, please!
32 Posted 28/02/2019 at 19:04:57
Like yourself, I too attended matches at Anfield, their Boys Pen, as you will readily recall, was at the back of the Kop. Football in the city was enjoyable in those days, a rivalry without the apparent hatred that prevails today, and will no doubt be in evidence on Sunday.
33 Posted 28/02/2019 at 19:11:48
You are correct, they were both as rough as each other, which wasn't all that surprising as we were all young Scouse kids and just took the rough with the smooth.
The only difference I noticed was that the men went to the toilet at Goodison and on the Kop they pissed where they stood.
34 Posted 28/02/2019 at 19:16:04
I remember being in there against Fulham 1968, I was only 7 with my older brother and my older cousins; some bully robbed my Everton scarf but my cousin retrieved it after a little altercation.
The worse thing about the Boys Pen was not so much the bullying but you couldn't see fuck all in there. So, after a few experiences in there, I made sure I was out of that shithole. I would beg borrow or steal to make sure I would not be going back in there.
Then I progressed to the Gwladys Street... Park End... Paddock.... Enclosure. The rest is history.
35 Posted 28/02/2019 at 19:19:30
I just noticed your post after I had posted mine, yes those far away days were much more friendly than what goes on today, mores the pity.
They started it though!!!
36 Posted 28/02/2019 at 19:23:06
After a while, Dick, an excellent raconteur, told his tale of how he had seen W R Dean score his 60th goal in 1928. He had pestered his dad all week about the match, but his father, though retired from the force, “still had that majestic, slow policemans gait”, and they arrived at Goodison late. The old boys pen was on Bullens Road, just around the corner of Gwladys Street.
Arrangements were made for Dick, clutching his four pence, to go in the boys pen and meet his father after the match. “When I was within five boys of the front of the queue, disaster struck. The gates shut. I was distraught - this was history in the making. Tears streamed down my face. Then this gentleman was walking along and stopped, looked at me. ‘Whats the matter with you? he asked. So I unburdened my sorry tale on him. ‘How much money have you got? he replied. ‘Fourpence I said. ‘Well, you need a shilling to get in - and he gave me eight pence! I dont think I even thanked him. I legged it to the nearest turnstile, paid my shilling, and fought my way through this mass of people behind the Gwladys St goal. After the match I told my dad my story, and for weeks after hed show me to people and tell the story, and hed always end it with: ‘And this unknown man gave him eight pence “.
37 Posted 28/02/2019 at 20:01:19
It certainly was very tough in there and we'd often cop a punch but only once did we get involved in a real boys punch up. Can't remember what it was over but we were always a bit vulnerable having accents that were more Manc than Scouse.
My brother was badly asthmatic then though and we were spared the wonders of the Boys Pen from then on.
38 Posted 28/02/2019 at 20:37:53
More regularly, I would then go to the Gwladys Street and get down to the front with a little wooden stool my grandad made for me to stand on. You would even see kids in there with milk crates to stand on.
39 Posted 28/02/2019 at 20:41:07
My brother, Dave, is 4 years older than me and dad therefore took him to the match first. Same sketch as the report I.e. dad would stop at the pub on the way. He would then deposit Dave in the boys pen whilst he went in the paddock. He didnt have to because he earned enough to pay for 2 adults but he did (character building obviously!).
Dave could handle himself well for an 11 year old but hated the boys pen that much that after a few visits refused to go again. He blamed dad entirely and decided to defect to the dark side where he went in the Kop with his mates - to teach dad a lesson!
So, dad was that shocked and did not want to lose both sons to the dark side. Needless to say I went in the Paddock accompanied by a stool which was smuggled under the turnstiles for be to stand on.
40 Posted 28/02/2019 at 22:04:19
My Dad would give me half a crown. The bus fare was 6d each way, a shilling to get into the pen, a programme cost me 4d and I'd get a Footy Echo with the remaining 2d. Living in Huyton I would get the "footy" bus from Page Moss direct to the ground. Happy days.
41 Posted 28/02/2019 at 22:58:15
I have to say I spent many a match in the Boys Pen as "adolescent youth" but confess I did have a couple of bouncers with me! But in truth I never found the pen as horrific as some say, indeed I do remember the chanting, the abuse, all in high pitch.. they would often aim to get adults chanting, and were often successful... I used to sit on the barriers in my jeans, bobble hat and scarf, I was so small it was a hell of a drop when the crowd surged or a goal scored..
The gates used to open about 20 mins from the end, I used to leave the pen and go into the Street End or up into the stands, but if I remember rightly they used to have stewards who didn't like you going up in the stands...
It wasn't all nasty, lots of laughs and good humour too... you had to give as good as you got and were, in the main respected for it. I don't recall being a relative of the witches of MacBeth, but I probably was... time does that to you. :-)
42 Posted 28/02/2019 at 23:12:34
Sorry for not being able to add a link as I could not get the option, when I selected images on Google.
Anyone with a bit more tech knowledge than me might be able to find them and put a link on here.
43 Posted 28/02/2019 at 23:40:25
44 Posted 01/03/2019 at 09:06:59
"You wanna play games?"
45 Posted 01/03/2019 at 10:04:10
I went in there once, I came out bruised and poorer.
46 Posted 01/03/2019 at 10:08:37
Liverpool City, Huyton, Runcorn, Harold Wilson, Peter Reid, some of these series of villages that became Liverpool certainly have a history of their own.
47 Posted 01/03/2019 at 11:46:16
There was a memorable story of the Kop watching kids trying to climb out of it and every time one managed it (out of the paddock) there would be a huge cheers from the crowd, as the offending tyke would disappear into the Kop to the fury of the old Bill. I noticed some comments too that suggested our pen, which the poster admitted was older than theirs, but couldn't have been as rough.
48 Posted 01/03/2019 at 12:29:37
I was seven when I first started going to both grounds. We'd walk along Greaty (Great Homer Street) and up the Valley (Everton Valley), turn left to go to Goodison and carry on to go to Anfield.
I was always well looked after, one lad, didn't know him, even picked me and put me on his shoulders in Liverpool's boys pen, Liverpool v Blackpool, late kick-off on a Saturday afternoon, I think it was a Grand National day, hence the late kick off.
Another time, it was pure bedlam in there (Anfield boys pen), Liverpool Boys v Stockport Boys, final of the English Schoolboys Cup, over 40,000 in the ground with the pen packed jam tight. It was on a Bank Holiday Monday, Whit I think... You couldn't move and it was a roasting hot day. I think it went to extra time. I loved football but I was glad when the game was over and got out and to get some fresh air.
Happy days? Well mostly, do I wish I was back there then? Most definitely, I go back to that place very often as I guarantee every one does, as Nilsson sang “Yesterday, that's a place from long ago”.
49 Posted 01/03/2019 at 12:35:46
When I got a bit older I was allowed to go and watch my dad play instead. But there was a period between 6 and 10 when I was quite often, and sometimes whilst wearing my Everton shirt (coat firmly zipped up!) This was the height of the glorious '80s and seems completely different times.
50 Posted 01/03/2019 at 12:49:53
I remember when I was olde,r I went to watch them play Leeds, and as usual I was standing in the Kop. But I couldn't contain myself when Billy Bremner scored a screamer from outside of the box. I jumped up with both arms in the air shouting "Yes!!" Just as well I was there with a friend who used to box in the 6-8 rounds contests at the Stadium, otherwise I might have been in bother. I think that was the only goal of the game.
51 Posted 01/03/2019 at 13:23:32
52 Posted 01/03/2019 at 14:48:38
53 Posted 01/03/2019 at 14:53:12
55 Posted 01/03/2019 at 15:26:19
56 Posted 01/03/2019 at 16:11:31
Heard the Boys' Pen referred to so many times on here. Is this a picture of it?
57 Posted 01/03/2019 at 16:47:56
58 Posted 01/03/2019 at 16:50:10
59 Posted 01/03/2019 at 17:20:37
Like others on here, I used to go to Anfield in the sixties with my dad when his mate couldn't use his season ticket in the Kemlyn Road stand. Everyone there knew I was an Evertonian but I never got any grief – just good-natured banter. However, on the Kop one Saturday with a schoolmate, I forgot that the rest of the ground wasn't as forgiving and cheered ecstatically when Newcastle scored. Needless to say, I had to rapidly change position after that – as you could those days on open terracing.
And since we're indulging in nostalgia, in those days before the internet, big screens and even local radio, you had to rely on those alphabet signs to get the half-time scores! Remember those?
60 Posted 01/03/2019 at 17:57:36
61 Posted 01/03/2019 at 18:40:17
I had forgotten those score cards.
When you look back it seems so archaic for a guy to walk up and down laying scorecards against the billboards.
62 Posted 01/03/2019 at 19:10:22
As far as season tickets go, I never had one in the 70s and 80s as first off my dad couldn't go to every game in the 70s and when I started going on my own in the 80s I started playing a lot myself on a Saturday morning so if we were away then I never got back in time so wasn't worth it. In those days though you could always get in the ground apart the derby games which were all ticket. For cup games like semis and finals you used to be able to collect vouchers from the match program so collect enough and it was happy days. I didn't get a season ticket until the 90s when the ground capacity got smaller and it got next to impossible to get tickets for the big games so season ticket was inevitable really. Id also stopped playing by then so I could go to every game.
It's great how so many people used to go to anfield and vice versa to Goodison. Would never happen now.
63 Posted 01/03/2019 at 19:20:43
64 Posted 01/03/2019 at 19:31:26
What marvellous times they were, the excited talk at the ground when someone had a little radio to their ear and would convey if Liverpool were losing. The cheers as we walked out of the ground when a few results were read out over the tannoy.
Jumpers for goals eh? Isn't it?
65 Posted 01/03/2019 at 19:39:53
66 Posted 01/03/2019 at 19:42:25
67 Posted 01/03/2019 at 20:11:19
The pen in those days went all the way down to the front, and there always seemed to be plenty of space, hence a season or two later they reduced it to halfway back, allowing a lot more full paying fans in the Gwladys Street.
Apart from it being rough, there was always an escape committee, whose sole aim was to escape into the Street End. This happened a few times by removing a couple of wooden posts out of the dividing fence. A handful would escape but the coppers were usually alerted within minutes.
We always escaped legally, as the gates were opened about 20 minutes before the end, and we would leg it round the corner into the empty seats at the top of the old Goodison Road Stand, no stewards on the gates then!
68 Posted 02/03/2019 at 01:22:28
69 Posted 02/03/2019 at 01:34:18
Remember in the later years mid-nineties when we beat Wolves I think 4-1 in the League Cup, sure Beagrie scored. We got to Priory Road, coach driver parked behind around 12 Wolves coaches, when we got back, there were about another 18 coaches parked behind us, all Wolves.
We was stuck there, having our coach rocked, spat on, until finally we got a gap to set off past Walton Lane police station, only to be bricked by our own fans just under the bridge, then a sorry shrug of their shoulders, when they realised we were Everton.
70 Posted 02/03/2019 at 01:45:07
Getting misty-eyed just hearing the music followed by "Here are the classified results" read out full of a coach load of Evertonians waiting the fate of our neighbours.
71 Posted 02/03/2019 at 09:16:50
It was rough, though, with many a good argument and scrap. One day I was at the front, scarf tied round my wrist and someone in the Street End thought it would be a great idea to pull my scarf, wrist, arm and shoulder so hard I thought I was going to lose the lot!
There was nothing better than hearing the shout, 'The gates are open!' and legging it into the Street End to join the adults.
Can't remember the game, but one day there was the fabulous, high-pitched chant
BOYS PEN AGGRO
BOYS PEN AGGRO
Great days that made me even more grateful when my Dad had a rare Saturday off and took me to the match in the stand!
72 Posted 02/03/2019 at 18:14:32
My Mum was born on Andrew Street so only a short walk for me. If I didn't have sixpence that week, you had to wait outside for the gates to open, then rush in to the Gwladys St end and climb on the front of the barrier and tie yourself on with a scarf. Great days indeed.
73 Posted 02/03/2019 at 18:34:56
I remember calling in at the sweet shop in Gwladys Street (just next to the school) and buying 'Kali Lumps'.
Me and my brother would get really pissed off if they started singing 'Show them the way to go home' as it usually led to the opposition scoring!
74 Posted 03/03/2019 at 13:45:30
I probably watched a couple of dozen games from The Pen in the 60s and was petrified for all of them, even though the worst that ever happened to me was being relieved of any possessions I might have been carrying, be that money, sweets or, on one occasion, my rattle.
On a matter of detail, with regards to 'escaping' into the main Gwladys Street terracing: rather than climbing over the front fencing, wasn't it also practice to climb up onto the iron cross joists that ran (and still run) the whole length of the terracing to support the Upper Gwladys St Stand and so scramble out above everyone's heads?
One final lovely nostalgic reference in the piece – the Jubbly. Frozen nectar. Can anyone though recall the strawberry equivalent of the Jubbly – the Mambo?
75 Posted 03/03/2019 at 16:04:59
I never did find out what happened to him in the Boys Pen.
76 Posted 03/03/2019 at 18:42:14
The distance from the pen to the first Gladwys Street supporters was about 6 inches more than the inhabitants of the Pen could spit.
77 Posted 03/03/2019 at 18:44:59
78 Posted 04/03/2019 at 09:48:41
I emigrated to Huyton in the 1970s and they're definitely plazzies. The accent is a little softer... rural even! Dovecot baths may only have been a couple of couple of miles from Huyton town centre but go another couple of miles and you start seeing rugby posts in the school playing fields and lots of sheep!!
I made my one and only excursion into the Boy's Pen on a foggy night in January 1959. It was an FA Cup replay against Charlton Athletic and they shut the gates with over 70,000 in the ground. The only gate still open was the dreaded Pen.
It cost me 9d and it was a real scary experience. Next game I was back in Gwladys Street @ 2/-.
79 Posted 05/03/2019 at 02:23:32
I don't remember any horror stories of bullying or the like. My transition to standing in the Goodison Road terraces near the church corner came two years later when we got promotion.
I vividly remember the last home game of the season v Birmingham City, I remember Gilbert Merrick in goal for the visitors, the then England custodian. We won 1-0 and went on to beat Oldham midweek away to clinch promotion.
I recently asked about the old Boys Pen on a trip back to Liverpool from here in Brisbane. Happy memories for some... not all?
80 Posted 05/03/2019 at 09:32:34
81 Posted 15/03/2019 at 20:00:36
4 years later, I got a paper round and started going to every home game, starting in the Park End with my dad and moving to the Gwladys Street when I realised he could hear me swearing at the ref while he was stood with my mum.
As for Huyton, my dad's family where from there and my mum from Page Moss; both would have had something to say if you said they weren't real scousers.
82 Posted 17/03/2019 at 09:24:47
Worried that I must have been a bit of a brute because when we went from our "leafy" estate in Ford (all the families had been bombed out of Bootle, moved to Huyton and then back to Bootle in the early 50s) to the game in the late 50s. I can only ever remember the sheer excitement of the Boys Pen. We were the best supporters in the ground and proud of the high-pitched noise we made. I know I wasn't a bully, nor did I rob anyone, but we never got picked on, so we must've been scruffs!! Ha Ha.
I now sit in the comfort of the Park End. COYB
83 Posted 18/03/2019 at 17:36:44
I remember the Pen starting the chants encouraging the crowd to join in, the pork pies with scalding juices that always caught me out, watching the bigger lads scaling the railings during the match then disappearing into the ground and the way in which the Pen cleared at 3/4 time.
I had some wonderful times there watching the greats... there was always someone in every team worth watching – Jimmy Greaves, Johnny Haynes, Denis Law – legends and they were appreciated but most of all was the thrill of winning that title and the collective spirit within the Pen that day. Unforgettable.
84 Posted 27/03/2019 at 00:45:43
Growing up in Kirkdale, my Saturday ritual consisted of Westminister Road swimming baths in the morning and the Boys Pen in the afternoon. A bag of chips and The Valiant comic in between. 2 shillings (10p?!!) would cover the lot. So I'd still have change out of the proceeds from my paper round. Gloriously innocent happy childhood days. My best mate was a Liverpudlian and occasionally I would join him in their Boys Pen. I recall that although ours left a lot to be desired, it was still a much better view than theirs.
My brother was 11 years older than me. I was overjoyed when he finally allowed me to join him and his mates as a fully fledged Gladwys Street Gladiator. He would sit me on the barrier in our regular spec, halfway between the goal and the church. I would gaze over to the pen now and then, relieved to be transported to this new world and reveling in my new found status. I was truly in heaven! Years later I would sit my own little boy on the same barrier in the same spec. Halcyon days!
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