Search

Leyton Orient blog: Two kicks from the championship, two minutes from oblivion

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 June 2017

Leyton Orient fans storm onto the Brisbane Road pitch to protest against chairman Francesco Becchetti

Leyton Orient fans storm onto the Brisbane Road pitch to protest against chairman Francesco Becchetti

07958 573219 simon.oconnor@virgin.net

O’s fan Keith Crossman discusses his relationship with the Brisbane Road club and the recent disappointing years

This is for my Dad, Mum, family and the regiment of Leyton Orient Supporters. My name is Keith Crossman and I am 62-and-a-half.

I was born in East London, Hackney on 1 August 1954. My mum wanted to name me Cara Mia after the big song at the time, and my dad wanted to name me Tommy after Tommy Johnston or Frank after Frank Neary, two of Leyton Orient’s legends.

It must have been one good party at the christening, because I ended up Keith, how do you work that out?

My Grandad, Dad, Mum, Uncles , Aunties and cousins have always been massive Leyton Orient supporters. I remember being dropped off at my Nans on a Saturday and while we played in the garden at Ainsworth Road, Hackney, the grownups would go and support the fabulous O’s.

It’s funny looking back but I was always dressed in blue but not baby blue it was like a sailor blue, yes you’ve guessed it - Leyton Orient colours. And so I had been injected with the Leyton Orient blood, and forever and ever I would be an O’s fan.

My first game was on 16 March 1963 in the cup against Leicester. We lost 0-1, and my second game in the same season was a league match on 20 April 1963. We drew 1-1 against Blackburn but I will always remember the noise thrill and excitement when we equalised.

During my love affair at Leyton Orient, I have been fortunate to meet many players and friends who I still know now. I was honoured to be a member of the Monday Club which was a club organised for young supporters.

In 1965, I was chosen to be a programme ‘giver outer’ - this was when programmes were included in admission and were given out on entry inside the turnstile. I was given a pass to the ground (which I still have) and asked to be at the ground by 1pm.

I could have floated to the O’s on 26 November 1966 when we beat Lowestoft in the cup 2-1. They were little white square programmes (I still have them), and this was my first official game as a staff member.

Whilst supporting my beloved club, I have had so many memories and emotions. I have cried and I have laughed. I have met friends and I have met people who I will remember forever.

I have been to Wembley, Cardiff, New Wembley and travelled to many parts of the country that I would never have been. There are friends who are no longer with me, but I am proud to say that I was part of their life and they will be with me forever.

When I was young and living in Hackney, times were very hard, but my Mum always said that as a family we might not have a lot but we are a family and we have one another and above all we have respect.

It costs nothing to say please, thank you, and to open a door for someone. We have 2 ears and 1 mouth so listen to more than you say. (Oh and to be honest - I forgot that one!)

I have never written anything like this before (I’ve just learnt how to write an email), but I feel so strongly that the pen is greater than the sword so here is my point.

During the last couple of years my team Leyton Orient, who were founded in 1881, are being dragged into extinction by an Italian owner and his friends who have no care, love or history into my great club.

I will not mention his name or the name of his companions who are not willing to see the evil which is happening. It reminds me of the bully at school, who was bad and nasty but would always have the hangers on. That is until things go wrong. I have been at the O’s on relegation days and promotion days, and I know what I prefer.

All I want to say to the owners is the difference between you and me is that, I do not have your money or power, but I have the memories of my friends and family, some who are not with me anymore but they were loyal, beautiful people.

Those here now put up with me and we love supporting the O’s and our time together on a match day. What laughs we have.

I have the memories imbedded in me of the games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Oxford, Leicester, Fulham and my best ever game, which is always the next one.

I have witnessed so many players that it is almost rude to mention a few but I’m going to anyway: Peter Allen, Peter Kitchen, Lawrie Cunningham, Dean Cox, John Chiedozie, John Jackson, Micky Bullock I could bore you for hours.

I will always be here ever since I got injected by the Leyton Orient jab, unfortunately I cannot say that about you (Francesco Becchetti).

Finally, for some strange reason it was important to write this not only for me but for my Dad, Mum, and family. They taught me to be sincere, have fun, but above all to treat everyone with respect. I think it’s a shame that you never met my Mum and Dad.

Related articles

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 18:12

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has made his second signing of the summer with defender Issa Diop joining the club from French side Toulouse for an undisclosed fee.

Yesterday, 15:30

Essex turn their focus back on the red-ball game with back-to-back home matches in the Specsavers County Championship.

Yesterday, 13:00

England’s captain led from the front to score twice and hand Gareth Southgate’s team a win in their World Cup opener

Yesterday, 12:00

Harry Kane dug England out of a hole and secured a last-gasp 2-1 win over Tunisia in their World Cup opener.

Yesterday, 11:00

Two players with links to Leyton Orient lined up on opposite teams on Monday evening in a 2018 World Cup match

Yesterday, 10:00

Read our World Cup blog which will be featuring over the coming weeks. Ned Keating looks back at the big game on day five of the competition.

Yesterday, 07:58

Gareth Southgate was proud of his players’ spirit, togetherness and composure on a night when the England manager felt his side got a raw deal from the officials.

Mon, 21:15

Harry Kane dug England out of a hole and secured a last-gasp 2-1 win over Tunisia in their World Cup opener.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now