Well, the drama started the night before really.
I collected Jim’s ticket from Daz, and gave my daughter a lift on my way back.
As she got in the car, she picked up the ticket and said “Arsenal v Spurs, when was that?”
“DON’T TOUCH IT!” I screamed, but alas it was already too late….
She had torn the stub off.
I completely over reacted, and soon had a sobbing daughter as well as two part ticket.
Jim was far more sensible, and said that it shouldn’t be a problem.
I still lost sleep that night, thinking he may be refused entry….
Up with the lark, no need to make any more ticker tape (loads left over from Stevenage).
I am due to meet Jason and Kuntz at 9.00am in the Wood Green Wetherspoons for breakfast and a beer.
The 7.27am bus to Surbiton should put us nicely on track for that.
Now I had prudently ducked a mental mad piss up on the Saturday night, but Jim…….
Jim had ignored my advice, and was massively hungover.
We only just made the bus, but did have to run.
Running was probably not the best thing for Jim (or me), and he is looking decidedly green around the gills.
He makes an urgent dash for the back of the bus, (which is mercifully empty at that time of day on a Sunday), and discharges the contents of his stomach all over the seats.
In the brilliant sunshine, the train journey was full of exchanges on Facebook, Twitter, texts etc. as everybody seemed as excited as me about the day ahead.
Everybody except Jim that is, who was looking even worse, and muttering that it was ridiculous to be going this early.
We got to Wood Green at around 8.45am, and were obviously Wetherspoons’ 1st customers of the day.
I order a big breakfast, but Jim could only manage a sausage roll….
I plead for a couple of beers, but have to wait the 12mins or so before I am allowed that beautiful thing:
The 1st beer of the day!
Jason and Kuntz arrive about the same time as our food, followed soon after by Unused Sub, the pub starts to fill up, and the atmosphere begins to build…..
Scimmino turns up for a beer with us, despite having no match ticket, fine effort, good man!
At long last, hours after everybody else, ‘Mr Cool’ Toxic arrives.
We sing and drink until about 12.30pm, and then head off gameward (is that a word?).
The train was full of orderly Gooners sitting meekly with their little hats and scarves on.
We blew into the train like hurricane ‘Katrina’, singing long and loud, and banging the roof.
I was also, obviously chucking ticker tape (it is such a good effect).
Jim (whose day was marred by constant misfortune) banged the roof hard directly under a vent of some sort, and was covered in black dust.
He looked like a coal miner!
I don’t really remember much more about the journey, but we did somehow get to the ground.
At the turnstile Jim’s 2 part ticket was no problem.
I took my place next to Neil’s mates in the Platinum section, and even people that I see regularly seemed a bit stressy to me.
I was properly pissed though…..
Most of my remaining ticker tape, and most of my remaining energy was used up as we scored twice in the 1st half.
To be honest, I didn’t think we ever looked comfortable, and it wasn’t really a surprise that they leveled before the break.
At half-time I meet up with Jim and decide to stand with him for the 2nd half (and annoy some other people).
We were right on the barrier next to the home fans (by choice of course).
They score, and obviously give us a bit of larrup.
I single out one particularly verbose Gooner, and point at him mouthing “YOU! I’m coming for YOU!” in the most menacing style that I can manage…
I glare at him constantly, and it got to him so much, that when their 4th and 5th goals went in he wouldn’t even look at me, let alone give me stick!
After the game he left without so much as a glance, dead funny.
The plod nearest us came and spoke to me as the game ended, he said that he had been watching my silent intimidation all half, and he thought it was funny too!
Sadly, not many Spurs fans stayed to the end.
For me, it is a point of principal, leaving early is a surrender, an humiliation, a dereliction of duty.
The players need to know that our support is unconditional, and not just for when we win.
Anyway, that just meant that the Spurs support leaving the ground was diluted further, almost to the point of being invisible.
Jim and I, (both still drunk of course) wandered about, hoping that one of the streams of celebrating scum would eventually lead us to the station.
After getting a few ‘bum steers’ (Could that have been deliberate? Do Gooners have a sense of humour?), we end of going past the old stadium, along with about 200 of them.
A little group in front of us start to sing something derogatory to Spurs, can’t recall what is was now, but it was too much for me and Jim.
We scream ‘YID ARMY!!’ and tell them to ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP!’ unbelievably, they comply, and start hiding their scarves….
I am under no illusions at all.
That was a stupid and reckless thing to do, not clever, but very funny.
Somehow we got to The Dolphin unscathed, and met up with Rob, Jay, Kat, Jason, Kuntz, Toxic etc.
We sing, play the ‘let’s pretend we scored a goal’ game, chuck all remaining ticker tape, and get even more wankered.
As I write (Tuesday), I can still taste the JD.
My recollections get very patchy from here on, but apparently we got a cab to Waterloo, and in the time it took me to pay the driver and get out of the cab, Jim had caused an argument with 2 scousers, had a fight, and they had fled into the night.
He has a black eye, and a bashed up nose.
We got off the bus from Surbiton at The Chessington Oak, had some more JD, and walked home sometime between 1.00and 2.00am.
Woke everybody up at home, fired volleys of abuse to all and sundry.
Went to bed.
A sad ending to a sad day.
Sometimes it’s more swings than roundabouts……..
Well, the drama started the night before really.