I had been to the Lane a couple of times when I was a nipper, with my Dad, but I can't remember them very well. My first hero was Martin Chivers and I remember cheering him on in my squeeky little voice. But the first game I actually remember was when we beat Bristol City 1-0 with John Pratt scoring a late winner.
It might have been when we were in Div 2 but I have a feeling it was the year after we had been promoted. The thing I remember about it most was how green the grass was (does everyone remember that bit?). Another early memory was Terry Gibson's debut v Stoke City, I remember
Mike Doyle was marking him and he ripped his shirt trying to catch him.
Obviously the early 80's team were absolute Gods to me. I went to the Final replay in 81 when we beat Man City. Archibald and Ardiles were my two favourite players, and my Mum was absolutely in love with Garth Crooks and used to get hysterical if anyone fouled him.
But I was still a bit young to go regularly, and then I moved to Ireland when I was 14. Biggest regret being that I missed out on the 87 team on a regular basis, I saw a few games at the end of that season. The semi against Watford being the high point.
So it wasn't until the Gazza team of 89-92 that I had a season ticket when I returned to London. Gazza was something special over those few years. Remember how he used to hit the linesman every week from the half way line, when he was checking the nets. Plus he came up trumps in every round of the cup win. Especially the goal against the Gooners. Genius.
I actually think the best football we ever played was the season when Anderton, Sheringham and Barmby were up front. It's good to see two of them in the current team.