From the stats I've seen I thought we never really pushed 30000 even in the 70s and early 80s?
You may well be right about the 80's but a little bit out in the late 70's.
As other posters said in the 60's & then 70's our max was 45,000. When you knew we had a full house the Express & Star and Sports Argus would say estimated attendance 25,000?
When you went regular you could usually guess the REAL attendance. I would say to my self after reading est 25,000 'could we get another 20,000 in the ground?' the answer was of course no! We all felt it was to do with tax?
Early 70;s we played Ipswich on a bank holiday Monday. It said our attendance was est 12,000! (if true there were more on Dudley Zoo that day) Impossible but that was what it was like in those days.
The Legend team of late 70's we had so many games, were not only the Brummie Road was packed so you couldn't move but the rest of the ground was full, no seats vacant Smethwick packed and yet est attendance 25,000ish???
When we beat Man Utd 6-3 in 68. People where on the roof, up to the touch line around the pitch and hundreds on the floodlight pylons. Est attendance 45,000! I kid you not there must have been 70,000!
I know things are different now. As one person said I can remember, when I was a kid, squeezing in with my mate through the turnstile and the man pocketing the money or infact, once hearing you didn't have enough money would let you for free.
I also remember that they would open the gates about 30 Min's after k.o for anyone who would want to leave & sometimes because my pocket money had run out I would wait and see 60 Min's, better than seeing nothing!
The Woodman was also a great place to climb into the ground. The toilets were outside so easy to get over wall.
I only did these things when broke. I always wanted to give my money to the club!
To compare costs today. When I started as a apprentice at the Bean in Tipton, my first wage was £5 -13 shillings and 9 pence (about £5.65 now) My mum, God bless her said I could keep my first wage. We got payed on the Friday, I was 15, on the Saturday we played away at Blackpool.
With my first wage, I payed for my coach (Kendricks Coaches from Tipton) to Blackpool. Payed into the ground, had food & a few beers (I know?) bought a packet of Players No.6. & went on the fun fair! I came home with money left!
Good days, bad days doesn't matter but then things weren't so strict.