Footy matches til it got dark – or your mam called you in for your tea

Street footy – ah, the memories!

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 7:18 am
Street football - but what were the rules of the game when you were young?

It didn’t matter if it was nine minutes or 90 minutes. It didn’t matter if it was five-a-side or 15-a-side. Didn’t matter which strip you had.

What mattered was, it was so much fun that no-one wanted to go home even when it got too dark to see the ball.

You could pretend to be any of your Roker heroes in a game of street football.

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We are, of course, talking about the type of football which you played when you were little.

The days of jumpers for goalposts when you could pretend to be your footballing hero on the local playing field - or even down the back lane.

Chris Cordner reports.

‘What rules did you have when you played childhood footy matches in the street?’

We put the question to our Wearside Echoes followers on social media.

And the top of all the answers, of course, was this one ... if it was your ball, you picked the teams!

Thanks for that one, Paul Simpson, and he had another regulation of the game to tell us about.

‘Nee blasters’ said Paul.

There were other popular rules as well such as the ‘jumpers for goalposts’ rule – unless, of course, you had stones, bricks or some other marker.

Which did you have as goalpost markers? Tell us more by emailing [email protected]

For some people, it was ‘game over’ when the owner of the footy took the ball home.

The length of the match was another factor and it certainly was not 45 minutes each way. Brian Higgins remembered games where you played ‘till it’s dark. Or your mam shouts of you to get in.”

Then there were the rules about goals and what counted as a legitimate score.

Graeme Collinson said it ‘doesn’t count if it gans in off the wall’.

Thanks also to Neil Chapman who told us ‘over the post is NOT in’.

Robert Reay had an interesting rule which was that ‘3 corners equal a penalty’. Remember that one? Or how about another one from Paul Simpson who said: “No peggyenders.”

Nick Bonallie also had another one for us. He said: “Ball gans owa the fence, the kicker gans for it.”

Andy James reminded us of the ever-popular ‘Next goal the winner’ regulation.

And in variations on the same theme, we had comments from Micky Heskett, Neil Curtis and Nick Bonallie.

Micky Heskett told us that, even if you were 24-0 down, it was still ‘next goal the winner’.

Neil Curtis said: “Next goal the winner” and Nick reminded us of another regulation. ‘5 half-time 10 the winners’.

As for the position of goalkeeper, there were plenty of regulations for the budding Jimmy Montgomerys among you.

The team which had one less player than the other side could have a ‘rush goalie’ said Neil Chapman.

Keith Middleton suggested: “Keep your eyes on the opposing goalie. He would try and move the jumpers in .”

And Eddie Davison commented: “Back in goalie.”

Eddie had more reminders of street games. “Can you imagine people letting you blast the balls against their gates these days,” he said.

And he also remembered how people would moan because the ball always ended up in their garden.

Eddie also had another rule to tell us of. “Gates, gang up on the best player and get him out first.”.

Of course, not all the rules related to the onfield play.

There were the much-needed guidelines on what happened if you put your shot through someone’s house window.

If your dad had to repair the broken glass, you had no pocket money for a week, James Pipe reminded us. Thanks for that one James.

Kevin Chisholm recalled the most simple rule of street football.

“If we had a ball we had a game.”

And sometimes, he said, you didn’t even need a football to get a match going.

“Kicked tins, an old casey stuffed with what ever” ... pretty much anything could be used to have you pretending to be one of your footballing heroes.

Well, at least until it got dark and your mam shouted you in for your tea.

But what are your memories of footy in the street with jumpers for goalposts?

And can you think of any regulations we haven’t covered?

If you can, get in touch by emailing [email protected]