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WEMBLEY ’79/LED JEDWARD ’09/WEMBLEY ’71

23 November 2009 6,438 views 4 Comments

robert-plant-football

 

 

I’ve never been much good at taking photos as the one above confirms. It may not be in with a shout of greatest sports pic in the world ever, but it’s a genuine all action reminder of a memorable afternoon thirty years ago

My old trusty Olympus trip just about captured the moment R. Plant rounded the advancing goalkeeper Martin Day (sorry West Ham fans!) to net a rather fine goal in his teams 3-1 win over LBC Radio.  The occasion was the Annual Sun/Goaldiggers five a side football tournament at Wembley Arena. The date was Sunday November 25th 1979.

 

Robert was on great post Knebworth form that day. My good friend Tom Locke and I arrived in the early afternoon. The backstage gate was surrounded by fans eager to get a look at the celebrities of the day. The soccer superstars George Best, Bobby Moore, Stan Bowles etc mixing with the likes of actor Patrick Mower, Jasper Carrott and various members of ELO, Darts and Uriah Heep etc who were making up the teams. In the drizzling rain we eyed Robert’s Cherokee jeep as it drove around the car park and we enthusiastically greeted him. ‘’Jump in the back ‘’ said the singer in the greatest band in the world. Well it’s not an offer we could refuse and it was raining!  So we clambered aboard, anxious not to put muddy footprints all over the seats.

Off we swept through the gates, passed the awaiting throng into the backstage area. The rest of the afternoon was a delight. We watched Robert do his stuff on the pitch -his team Power Plant with Ron Atkinson, singer Jess Conrad, the late Dave Dee and Jasper Carrott reached the semi finals.

He chatted with Britt Eckland, and was cheered on by various Swan Song personal who revealed to me Zep had scooped seven awards in the Melody Maker Poll due to be revealed the next Wednesday. Robert wore a tasty Knebworth yellow and black T shirt as worn by the video crew. He also wrote out a very nice insert message to go in the next TBL and took receipt of a fetching pair of blue and yellow Nike trainers (which spurred a mental note to self: get down to the local sports shop and invest in Nike trainers soon as!). Some off the cuff chat revealed his pride for the success of Knebworth and In Through The Out Door (‘’It’s all there in the end’’) and plans ahead (‘’We need to keep working now’’).

When signing autographs one wag shouted out ‘’When yer gonna play Manchester!?’’ Robert replied ‘’I want to play Manchester but it ain’t up to me mate!’’

And then he was off back to the Midlands, box of trainers in hand ready to try them out at next Wednesday’s Poll Awards.

 

I’ve have had worse afternoons! I found that pic and a few others from the occasion in the loft recently. Great days from a time when I literally lived and breathed Led Zeppelin –with a bit of W.H.Smith retail frenzy, a few beers and a Wallbanger football match in between.  

 

Last Saturday the tiny village of Haynes in Bedfordshire duly rocked to the sound of tribute band Led Zep Too. Gary Foy stayed over and it was good to see ace ticket collector Cliff Hilliard (1,000 tickets collected and counting!) and the aforementioned Tom plus Jez and Michaela .

Before departing with the good lady driving, we blasted out a bit of the Vultures album – at Spinal Tap up to 11 volume – That scared the neighbours for sure. Haynes Village Concert Hall turned out to be a very nice venue. The fish and chip van did good business, the TBL word was spread and Led Zep Too kept the very good turn out rocking for three hours. And I think singer Ollie forgave me for cheekily introducing them as Led Jedward  (UK readers will know what that’s about – Non UK readers: it’s a reference to one of the acts on the current X Factor TV series) as they came back for an encore.

Here a pic 002

 Cliff the man with a thousand tickets, DL the man with a dodgy rib and Tom Locke

await the arrival of Led Zep Too at Haynes November 14 2009  

 

Still not 100% after my tumble last week and the old rib cage is well sore (I fear yet another trip to the Docs – I seem to be in there more than the pub now –that can’t be right!) but getting on with it. Took time out from TBL 25 text last night to walk down with the good lady to see the annual Christmas lights switch on and fireworks at the Embankment in Bedford (just across from where you stayed here Larry B). Most impressive it was too.

 

The weather here has taken a turn here with driving wind and rain – this of course appropriately jogs my memory back to a perishing cold English November night in 1971.  ‘’Are yer cold’’ said the singer from the stage of Wembley Empire Pool back in 1971.  I’ll certainly be playing that tape and remembering the remarkable night of November 21st when I first witnessed Led Zeppelin live on stage all of 38 years ago this weekend . As I gazed in wonder at the stage, I certainly did not envisage that nine years later, I’d be outside the very same venue travelling in the back of Robert Plant’s car about to watch him play football.

These stories and so many more will need to be in the DL memoirs when I get around to it…       

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments »

  • Olli said:

    Ha ha, I didn’t hear you say Led Jedward, or at least I don’t recall. I’m not sure I would have forgiven you for that!! LOL

    Glad you had a good time, it was definitely one of our best, most enjoyable gigs this year. Although it would be hard to top Evron or Tours in France for sheer magic.

    We got some emphatic positives from Cliff Hilliard by email, as well, so plenty to put in our quotes section.

    Keep up the good work Dave. Hope to see you again.

  • Lorraine LuvRobplant said:

    WOW – backseat of the man’s car????? I didnt know about that one Dave – you lucky lucky man you !!!!!!!!!!!jealous as hell but I still loveyamadly xxx

  • Dave Linwood said:

    Mervyn Day Dave..not Martin!

  • Jez Firth said:

    Hurry up and get round to those memoirs. Has to be a best seller in there somewhere!!
    Good to see you you and the rest of the gang in Haynes, thought the band were excellent. Mick and I hope to see you soon.

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