The first football match I ever saw - 56 years ago, as far as I can make out - was Huddersfield Town against Leyton Orient. That was in the old Second Division (the equivalent of the Championship) and Town won 2-1. Town is my team, that hasn't changed ... but I've always had a soft spot for Orient. They are London's least fashionable club. But on occasions down the years, I've gone to watch them - they have a nice, compact ground and you can always get tickets.
Mind you, it's seven years since I last popped round to Brisbane Road ... Huddersfield Town were in town, and they won convincingly. That was back in the day when young Jordan Rhodes was playing - and scoring - for Huddersfield.
Orient have had a rough time recently. Two years ago they slipped out of the Football League altogether. Last season, hugely against the odds, they won promotion back to League Two. Today was their first game back - against Cheltenham.
But over the summer, their much loved head coach Justin Edinburgh - the man behind Orient's dramatic bounce back in footballing fortunes - died after a heart attack. So it was a bitter sweet match today for Orient's players and supporters.
Well over 6,000 fans squeezed into Orient's stadium - not far off capacity, I suspect - and stood in silence for a minute in Justin Edinburgh's memory. The cover of the match programme was also devoted to him. Two banners commemorating him were paraded around the ground. In a particularly generous touch, one had been funded by donations from Cheltenham supporters' groups. There are moments when football makes you proud.
And the game? Scrappy. Cheltenham had the upper hand in the first half. Orient were much better in the second-half and managed to score, if in rather undistinguished fashion, Two minutes later, there was a double sending off ... with a difference! Both those shown the red card were Cheltenham players.
In spite of that rather serious setback, Cheltenham remained threatening and Orient failed to get a second goal. But at least they are back in the Football League and have a victory to cheer them on their way.
Orient, the team from the East, are rising again.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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