“The Shed” at Gloucester Rugby’s Kingsholm Stadium was once known as the “Popular Enclosure”. But then,so the story goes, a London reporter referred to Gloucester’s facilities as being “no better than a shed”-and the name stuck. Chelsea Football Club had the infamous “Shed End,”which housed their hooligan element, and Peter Ford, a Gloucester legend,and one-time club President,is said to have gone bananas at the connotation.
Brian Moore tells a story about the Shed from his days as a Nottingham player. During one game,whenever he threw in from the lineout in front of the notorious terrace of Gloucester fans,a voices amid the standing masses would shout:”Moore,you’re a wanker.” Moore stewed over this abuse on the bus journey home and,indeed, for much of the year that separated him from his next visit to Kingsholm. On this occasion, the abuse resumed much as before. But this time Moore was ready. Turning to his accused he replied:”Yes, but at least I have to hold mine in both hands.” The response was allegedly so cutting and offensive that suffice to say Moore was left speechless once again, and his misery was complete.
On my visit last Saturday, London Wasps were the opponents. In days gone by their captain Lawrence Dallaglio would take his men to warm up in front of The Shed to feed off the hostility. It wasn’t unknown for him to give the Shedheads the V-sign. Perhaps today it was the awful weather. Perhaps it was simply that the glory days of Dallaglio’s Wasps are firmly in the past. But from the relative comfort of the JS Stand the Shed noise levels appeared subdued. What anger there was was directed at their own team who let a late, narrow lead disappear due to their own mistakes.