I just read David's update on the rail seating being installed in the Matthew Harding and it reminded me of the last time I sat there, before I moved to the West Stand Lower.
I had a season ticket in the Matthew Harding Lower, (or North Stand as it was then) two rows behind Damon Albarn. It was the last home game of the season. From memory it was a dull scoreless draw against Leeds, but we didn't care because in a couple of weeks we'd be off to Wembley for an FA Cup final against Boro.
The game stuttered on to a less than thrilling end. When the final whistle went, the squad were doing a walk around the pitch clapping the fans. Some bright spark in the old West Stand decided that as it was the last home game of the season and the stand was being torn down and rebuilt, they would take their numbered seat home as a souvenir. Before long half of the stand got the same idea and people were jumping up and down on the plastic seats trying to break them off the metal struts.
We were sat in the North Stand laughing at the carnage. It didn't seem to matter as they were going to tear it down anyway.
The laughter got louder when suddenly there was a panicked announcement over the tannoy. "Will the fans who are breaking up the West Stand please stop. We have an American football game here next week and need the seats." As part of Ken Bates' attempts to keep the club afloat he had leased out the ground post-season.
As we were walking out for a quick one in the Rose we could see hundreds of fans streaming out of the West Stand with their seats tucked up their shirts. Happy days...