Wolves won. Dey dey, dey dey? Perfect sense to a person from the Black Country. An inhabitants that us Brummies are lumped with. It’s not that we don’t particularly like them. It’s just, that we ain’t them. Both us Brummies and the folk from the Black Country, wish the rest of the country would get it right. It was a 12 o’clock kick off again. Another fixture ruined. Another fixture made difficult for all those attending. I was on the 8:15 bus into town. I wouldn’t be the only one doing this to try and make a day of it. I got my train tickets when it was quieter, so I didn’t have the hassle of it later. As a veteran of this inconvenience now, I’ve discovered, this is the best way of doing it. No queues. No Ol Bill, deliberately slowing you down, so you are caught up in an escort. Going under the radar, is very much, the order of the day. Trying to act as a normal person. A human being. A sports fan. Not tarred with the same brush as the rest. The unruly, the “Football problem.” Jinksy text me, he was already in The Square Peg. I joined him in there. There was a smattering of Blues fans in there. Jinksy had had his breakfast and was nursing a pint of coke before the pub was allowed to serve alcohol. I ordered a bacon sandwich and a J2O, even if I hadn’t got a clue what flavours they did. I settled on a red one. We talked Scottish football, as seems to be usual and cheating in football. We’ve gone passed the stage where a fine will suffice. There’s that much money at the top level, that a fine has become obsolete. It just isn’t a deterrent anymore. Only a points deduction will do. Even a ban, isn’t enough. The only way to negate cheating, is to deduct points. Especially points gained through cheating. It’ll stop it dead. It’ll never happen, because money not only talks, it screams as loud as it wants. I went up for a second pint and one of the usual away lads came up to me. Paul had heard that I’d had a fall after Brentford. Word had certainly got around. I had felt like an interloper at Cardiff, yet here, I felt like one of the usuals again. I spotted a face, I hadn’t seen for a while. Mickey O’Brien, a blast from the past. He’d managed to get a ticket. One that was going spare from someone who couldn’t make the game after all. On the way to The Wellington, we bumped into one of the most recognised Blues regulars, Barry Wood. He was on his way to the Square Peg, as The Briar Rose had run out of Carling. He’d have been better off with a J2O. Any flavour. We were joined pretty soon after by J.K., Darrell and Steve and not too long after, by Mikey. We chatted about the non league scene. Solihull Moors had turned it round and now looked safe and Hereford were touching distance of promotion. It meant that the chances of Hereford playing the Moors next season had all been extinguished, but it won’t be long before they’ll be playing each other. Probably on Hereford’s march back to the league. We went for the train. The train was not surprisingly rammed with us fans heading for the game. Darrell somehow, found a seat. The rest of us stood. Me and Mikey talked about the cricket fixtures and which ones we were likely to do. I didn’t manage any last season. Something I intend to rectify, this season. I won’t be doing any of the 20/20 though. I’ll be leaving that up to the Carling brigade. We got off in Wolverhampton with enough time for a quick one in The Great Western. Most of its clientele were going the other way to be part of the celebrations at the ground. The pub was virtually empty when we got in, so getting served wasn’t a problem.
The Great Western is a fantastic pub. A bit of a Wolverhampton secret. Because of its position, if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t know it was there. It’s one of those great places, you’d like to take everywhere with you. It’s my favourite in Wolverhampton and one of my favourites in whole country. I know it’s a particular favourite of J.K.s too. Not a too shabby accolade. We went off to the ground.
Wolves have been the best side of the division by far. I would have gladly taken a boring Rowett 0:0. I started counting the minutes down from kick off. It wasn’t ever going to be. They scored. I couldn’t see how we were going to equalise. I couldn’t see how we were even going to keep the score down.
The South Bank no more. If this monstrosity hasn’t been renamed after a company, it will be.
They might have only just been promoted, but they were already practicing for next season. They spent a lot of the time rolling around the floor claiming for free kicks. Unless it was genuine, the referee to his credit, ignored it. They had still got a couple of games to go, before the Premier league circus. Halftime and I went to see who I could see. Si Noonan was the first face. I knew he’d be there, as Wolves was actually, his closest game. It had once been mine. I spotted Martin, a long term friend and then an even older friend in Daz. He pointed George out. I hadn’t seen George in months. After his parents had gone, he hadn’t been much. I saw Rob and Leo. They had told me that Justin had wanted to get there early. Ten minutes is too early for me. Early in the second half, and the job was made even harder. We went down to 10 men. A straight red, Harlee Dean. The strange thing is, we actually made better chances. Probably should have scored. Ruddy is not the goal keeper for the team of the season, for nothing. The second was put away and it was cue to leave.
We made the train back to Brum and got off at the Jewelry Quarter. Mikey stayed on to Brum for the cricket. We headed off down to The Lord Clifden to meet the rest and watch the Football. The Celtic v Rangers Scottish Cup semi-final. Rangers were rubbish and Celtic weren’t. J.k. celebrated both Celtic goals. The pub was starting to get stuffy, so I moved outside to the beer garden to meet up with Badger and Russell. I was starting to feel a bit fragile, so said T’ra after a chat. The rain had started to come down as I left. Luckily for once, I’d timed it just right, as the bus was coming.