Royce Franklin takes a nostalgic look back at how football has changed in the 67 years since he watched his first live match.
BRENTFORD WERE relegated from the first tier of English football at the end of the first season after the Second World War – 1946-7. They were followed a year later by Grimsby Town. Neither has returned to such exalted heights.
All 22 of the other teams in those two seasons, who were in the top tier, have either retained the status or have returned at a later date.
Currently Brentford are well-situated in the middle of the Championship whereas Grimsby are battling to get out of the National League. This is their sixth season out of League football.
When Division Three was formed in 1920/21 season it was essentially a Third Division South. The most northerly club was Grimsby and they were the only team to become part of the newly-formed Third Division North the following season.
As I write, Latics are having a very poor season. Without doubt they face an uphill struggle to survive in League One. In my view it is the worst team Oldham have had since I came to the town in 1974.
Gone are the days when they would chose, if the toss allowed, to play down the slope towards the Chaddy end in the second half. Then it was as if the crowd played their part in drawing the ball into the net.
Today not only is there less of a slope but the Chaddy end now houses away supporters. Instead the support is dispersed over the remaining three sides of the ground. This scattering of support merely adds to the relative lack of atmosphere.
There is just no concentration of Latics support in one area.
As I write only one win at home does not make good reading. Until the Southend game on Tuesday, November 24, Latics had not scored at the Chaddy end since the home game against Fleetwood on August 15. In those exactly 100 days no less than 19 managers of the 92 league sides had lost their job. Such is football.