When the name Plymouth Argyle is ever mentioned I am transported back in time to Barlby High School 1984-1989. The reason for this unlikely connection is down to one man Mr Alan Hake, who was my form tutor in years 1,4 and 5. Alan or Mr Hake as he was known to me back then was an ardent Argyle fan living and working in North Yorkshire. I remember my first day at Barlby, being in a class with a new teacher who was wearing a maroon v neck pullover with a Plymouth Argyle embroyded badge on it. Now as a fan of a lowley football team like York City I have been subject to oh so many negative comments about York over the years. I think it's par for the course for all lower league teams. The thing is that when I started at School, Plymouth who were in the old 3rd division at the time were still basking in their glory of an FA Cup Semi Final appearance from that April. Alan was walking tall and feeling proud as punch with his teams deeds and fair play to him, I am sure people from York were doing the same after our semi final heroics. When I left school we kept in touch and whenever Plymouth played at York, Alan would always get his fellow fans to come to Barlby and play a group of York fans from the area. Then it was a dash to York and a pre match pint before the game. This arrangement came to and end as one of the teams decided to have a spell in non league for some reason. This season we did meet in the Exebition for a quick catch up and it was great to see him for the first time in years.
As for Plymouth Away days, I have only been once way back in 1996 on the first day of the season on August 17th. The ground as seen in the picture above, was a long way of the stadium of today. Open terraces in the away end was the order of the day, and in this certain day it was red hot, in fact one of the hottest days I have ever experienced watching City. A Nigel Pepper penalty was our only reward on this long trip as we lost 2-1 in front of just over a respectable 9000. One thing I took from Plymouth was to be able to use chopsticks. This comes from going to a Chinese restaurant who had a house rule of chopsticks only. Still once you learn, you never go back to using a knife and fork again.