Blitz touched down in town

Members of the Blitz at the opening of the pub named in their honour.
Members of the Blitz at the opening of the pub named in their honour.

American Football. Well, it’s just rugby for wimps isn’t it?
I mean, they wear helmets and all that padding don’t they?

If we each had a nickel for every time we’ve heard that said over the years, then we’d all be able to buy the Dallas Cowboys.

But in 1986 gridiron fever well and truly touched down in Lincolnshire.

And with it came the Boston Blitz, this town’s very own ‘franchise’, in the loosest sense of the word.

In May of that year, the Blitz made history twice in one day as they faced the experienced Leicester Huntsmen.

Nowadays, people may think the Fridge was what you have in your kitchen, and OJ is a fruit drink you store inside.

But 27 years ago, more than 1,000 spectators turrned up at Boston United’s York Stret ground to cheer on the Blitz as they played their first-ever full-kit match.

And despite coming up against highly-experienced opposition, Boston’s own team became the first side ever to score points against the Huntsmen.

Yes, the score may have been 75-0 in Leicester’s favour when that touchdown came, but that didn’t stop the home support going wild.

Quarter-back Lee Siddons provided the inch-perfect pass for Stuart Johnson to collect, before he ran into the the endzone.

“The crowd cheered like the time Boston United reached Wembley,” The Standard wrote of that touchdown.

Perhaps there was a little hyperbole there, but Boston was in the middle of Blitz mania.

The town-centre’s Falcon pub was temporarily named the Boston Blitz in honour of the team (it is now Argos).

The final score may have been 99-14 in Leicester’s favour, but Bostonians were gripped, albeit temporarily.

And as for gridiron being rugby for wimps?

Well, Richard Cammack’s debut resulted in his wrist being broken in two places, with doctors advising he never played again, and Leicester’s captain tore his knee ligaments.