November 08, 2016
In 1986 Northwich Victoria drew with Conference leaders Maidstone despite including three fans in their starting XI – one of whom had spent the afternoon in the pub
The forgotten story of ... the Pie and Pints match | Rob Smyth
On 8 November 1986, Northwich Victoria drew 1-1 with Maidstone in the GM Vauxhall Conference. That bald information does not suggest an urgent need for an anniversary article, but there was a little more to the story. Northwich were so short of players that their XI included three supporters, rounded up desperately in the hour before kick-off. One of them had already engaged in a different kind of warm-up: he’d been in the pub.
This was not a bit of a laugh during a pre-season friendly, as when Harry Redknapp famously brought on a West Ham supporter at Oxford. It was a match against the league leaders. “It was a tremendous thing but it was a serious thing,” said Derek Nuttall, the chairman of Northwich in 1986. “The club would have been censured if we hadn’t put out a full team.”
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