Sunday, September 12, 2004


Day 17

I woke up with that match day feeling and spent an awful long time over breakfast. I had the feeling that most of my input this day would be liquid and I wanted to be prepared. The Frog did the usual ferrying of pork products and our Gert practiced drumming her fingers on the table. She’s really getting quite good at it.

It was a sunny morning, thank the gods. I couldn’t imagine leaving the girls in the car while I hit the poncy lagers in the Sheaf View so I hoped it would last. We took the Frog into Endcliffe Park and I had a flashback to lazy summer days spent playing football or cricket, games of which would be hazed by that rather sweet scent that emanates from some of the more laid back sections of BDTBL on match days. I also seemed to recall being under the influence of far too much Lucy and thinking it would be a good idea to take two of my mate’s canoes out on the small lake at the Oakbrook Road end.

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So, back to the Hotel for a spot of lunch and call a cab. Next stop, the Sheaf View. Driving through Nether Edge was wonderful…at least one area of Sheffield hasn’t changed at all…but the other side of Abbeydale Road was a complete mystery to me.

We arrived and went straight for the kiddies’ area round the back. I turned the corner and, I jive you not, the first person I saw was Lamps. I was astounded that he recognized me. Hail and well met. He handed over a message from Jess and I made for the bar. Mmmm. Weissbier! And so it began.

I could see no sign of a fat guy with a beard and I think Lamps thought I was looking for Dinky and not Weggie so that didn’t help but the mistake was rectified and I was eventually introduced to Weggie and Weggie senior. Well met again.

The three of us were at the bar awaiting a change of Weissbier barrels when Weggie made his big mistake. It would appear that text messages had been winging back and forth across the Atlantic and Weggie was under orders to, “Give him a big kiss on the lips from me.” His mistake was to tell me. Lamps turned discreetly away and ever since then, Weggie has referred to me as gay boy. Hah! He doesn’t fool me.

Was it three, four, five? I do not recall but Zsuzsi informed me it was half past two and hadn’t we better get off to the match?


We were walking down Bramall Lane in sight of the ground when the teams were announced over the tannoy. Our seats were at the other end of John Street so I upped the pace. The Frog was getting really excited because of all the noise and when we emerged from beneath the stand to view the hallowed turf bathed in brilliant sunshine, she looked around in wonder and let rip with a huge, “Wow!”

Someone was sitting in our seats which I hoped was not an omen but there were plenty free in the row behind so we took these. Right behind us was a gang way which was great as I could climb over the back of the seat and under the railings whenever I needed a piss, but also bad as I could only squeeze off three shots before a steward informed me that taking photos was an ejectable offence.

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What can I say about the game? Not a lot. It seemed a lot of players were playing out of position and despite a lot of huff and puff, there was very little creativity, discernible formation or even tactics. We had most of the possession but created few, if any, chances. They had one, and they scored from it. I will only get to one game this season and the Blades do it to me again. Oh, well. At least Monty wasn’t playing.


Right. Now, where was it? Ah, yes, the Nelson. In Arundel Gate, opposite where Redgates used to be, yeah? Well, yes. And no. It was closed. Hmmmm. Into a shop to cadge a phone book. Aha. The LORD Nelson, Arundel STREET. So we head in a thataways direction and notice a crowd outside what appears to be a pub in the middle distance. Zsuzsi starts making noises of a, “I hope it’s not that one” variety and I worry I won’t recognize them.

I had seen pictures of the motley crew that is the MBB and, as I approached, I saw a chappie that might or might not have been Uncy, but I walked past, checked the rest of the crowd and then came back. My original identification proved correct. I introduced myself by asking him if he had been responsible for the poisonous gas leak in Wakefield reported on the news the previous day and when he informed me that there had indeed been a blowout in the bottom area but it had since been plugged, I knew I had my man.

So, good company, draught Stella, lots of laughs. What more could a man want? Too good in fact as I am afraid I rather neglected my family, drank far too much beer and when The Frog and Dragon left to go for what they later assured me was just a walk, I made my farewells and chased off, rather meanderingly it has to be said, after them. Thanks to…
Uncy…purveyor of fine cakes extraordinaire who, despite being rather under the weather, was still on good form.
Big Mart…whose theory about Monty was quite blown out of the water that afternoon.
Latters…to whom I am afraid I was rather rude, hitting him with the rather blatant Kan-style, “Who the fuck are you?”
BHK…a gem. An all round good egg.
Kirsty…whom, if she were any thinner, I could have rolled around a good pinch of Drum and smoked.

Oh, and thanks to the Nelson for the Stella glasses. I’ll bring them back next year. Honest.

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