I had a phone call off L.J., he was that ‘wired’ about the game, he’d been up since 5 o’clock. At his age, I was the same, but not anymore, in fact, I’d set the alarm on my phone, due to the ridiculous kick-off time, and I had felt like chucking it against the wall, when it had woken me up. For me, it’s just an opportunity to go ground hopping. I made it into town, and after buying my train ticket so I didn’t have to waste time trying to get it, right before actually having to get the train, I stood waiting for his train from Coventry to actually turn up.
“Eye catching poignancy”
It gave the bored constables on duty, something to look at, before having to herd us around when the time came. Once landed, the Square Peg was thankfully serving alcohol, when we got in there. The place was already busy with both sets of fans keeping their distances, in truth, we’ve got very little in common anyway, I spotted Justin, and we joined him, Steph and an ever developing, Seeley. The little lads speech is coming on quicker and better than mine is. A now, disciplined health wise, Big Dave joined us, It won’t be long untill It’ll be thin Dave, and before it was time to head for opening at The Wellington, Rob and Leo turned up, after a quick acknowledgement, we headed there, Mikey, J.K. and surprisingly Steve, I half wondered if he wanted his ticket back, I did however, pay Mikey for the computer printout, complete with the squiggle square, that would get me in for the Moors v Blackpool game, it’s not the first time I’ve had a printout for a ticket, and it won’t be the last, but it will never feel right, to me. Going back to the ticket for the days game, I had managed to get one for the upper tier, the other one was for the bottom, as football fans, we’re irrational, we’ll cling on to superstitions and look for omens, since it’s been all seater, I’d never been in the upper tier, I also hadn’t seen us win there either, I was hoping this was an omen, and my luck would change, however, as previously stated, his ticket was his birthday present, I gave him a blind choice of tickets, and couldn’t hide my delight, when he chose lower. Paul Mason came in, and a closer friend to Carol and Jeff, shared how the funeral had gone, I was pleased to hear that Spoons had made it with Jude, and that Jeff is going to carry on coming up from Bournemouth. Time indicated, it was time to move for the train, which was duly packed, and crawled to Witton.
Even with my explanations of the policing at these games, L.J. was still amazed at how it is, as per usual, kick-off was missed.
We were looking the better side, in the opening exchanges, and were rewarded with the first goal, que total bedlam, I hadn’t seen Blues take the lead away in B6, since 1987, I wasn’t the only one who fell over seats in the celebration, we hit the post, and then the game went back to script, maybe it’s just an inferior complex, maybe it is actually reality, but chances always seem to fall for them, with us Blues fans still shaking our heads at almost taking a 2:0 lead, they not only equalised, but the 40 million Lira man got his greasy mop on the end of a floaty cross that seemed to take half an hour, to get to him. There just doesn’t seem to be any justice. The referee found a fat brown envelope, stuffed with money, waiting for him in his dressing room, and he proceeded to give every decision to them, in the second half, including a penalty, when he missed a blatant push on the Blues defender, leading to it. We pulled it back to 3:2, and then allowed a player who should’ve, and didn’t get booked again, waltz through us. Even then, I felt like we could pull it back and grab the equaliser, it had been one of those games, the type that gets lapped up by the neutral, watching it on telly. Had We, I’m sure the referee would’ve found an extremely flimsy excuse to disallow it, with time running out, I cut my losses, to get the first train back into town.
Mikey, J.K., and Darrell, had had the same idea. Darrell lives as close as I do, to the ground, but I can’t bring myself to just go straight to the game like him, Darrell would’ve left his house at 5 minutes to midday, and got to the ground at 10 to 12. I phoned L.K. to see where he was, he’d had too much stuffing knocked out of him, and deflated, was heading back to Coventry. As planned, we joined Paul and then Steve in an empty Post Office Vaults, we shared more information on away trips, and discussed the list of pubs that had been compiled for the Camra Birmingham pub of the year. I’m looking forward to going to get my voting form stamped at them all.
“Advertising I agree with”
We decamped to The Pint Shop, with the understated sign. With the city supossingly being ‘theirs’, there wasn’t any of them claiming their victory, anywhere in town, where had they all gone? It was only my second visit to the Pint Shop, and I’m just as impressed as the first time. Spoons and Jude always go in The White Swan on a Sunday, so we joined them, Jude’s opinion is the only one, in my opinion, that isn’t viewed through claret tinted glasses, either hanging around us Bluenoses, is really rubbing off, or she had just watched, what I’d seen, as she agreed that the penalty should’ve been pulled up previous, and that the referee had been horrendous, especially in the second half. Spoons showed me the order of Carol’s funeral, it was sobering seeing her photo on the front, knowing that none of us will see her again, I thanked them both for getting down to Dorset for it. Mikey’s Brother Steve and his other half Kay came in, and after mulling over the game, relaxed into conversation on music, the disappointment slowly evaporating, after all, it’s what we do, us Bluenoses bounce back quick. As we all took turns in putting tracks on the jukebox, the mood was very reminiscent of the Anchor before the ambience was destroyed, it was the first time I’d felt that cosy ‘Cheers’ type feeling, I used to get in there. I floated away from the place, and with fancying something from K.F.C., found myself trying to work out what I actually wanted, these places are not for me anymore, the marketers, are always trying to jazz up how the brand appears and appeals to a young clientele, the thing is, the product itself has never changed, and never will, nor will how it’s prepared and cooked, so please people, just keep it simple, admit that fast food, isn’t all that fast, and stop trying to complicate things, with all new singing and dancing rubbish. I enjoyed the food, and I’d finished it before getting off the bus, depositing the wrapping in the bin at the stop, but as I get more and more marginalised, and a visit to one of those places becomes more and more traumatic, I can’t see myself going in many more times.