Kipper Tie anyone? or Noddy Holder's greatest hits ...

Posted by john_mac on May 10, 2004, 10:04:35 PM

Alright, out of retirement and ready to tell a tale or two about Saturday’s trip to Brum.

Twelve bells start from Scotty on one of the two coaches sorted by the enterprising Mr Wilcox, and into the first tinny before we'd hit Islington. Now that’s the way to start the day. Birmingham has never been one my favourite grounds so I thought a few cans may make the haze a bit clearer.

The talk soon stretched back to ’86 when Brummie meat heads were chasing us all around the olla behind the old away end, then onto the Cup game where they sat up the lads on the train surrounding ‘Bennie from Crossroads’ alehouse, before we had to be escorted out by the boys in blue.

The general consensus of opinion was that after two wins we were likely to blow this, which made it even more important than the Newcastle game next week, just when was the last time we won four on the bounce? Anyhow we headed for Edgbaston but that was like trying to go for a bevvy in Childwall - a complete waste of time unless your into screaming kids and Brewers Fayres, so fuck it, right into the centre of town, Broad Street!

The ale was soon flowing and a few intrepid undercover agents shot off to replenish the stocks on the bus. Well done lads. Surprisingly not a Brum fan was to be seen all afternoon. The girl in the alehouse complimented us on our behaviour and told us abut Mancs wrecking the same boozer a few weeks earlier, then as the results started to come in it was soon clear that it was to be our day. “The Toffees are losing” cracked one wag, “That’ll cost them six hundred grand” ...... “they won’t be able to afford Carlton Palmer now!”

4.50 and time to head the game. There soon enough but the knob bizzies took us straight into the coach-park and wouldn’t let me back out with me mate's tickets. The lad was travelling up from Bournemouth. Eventually I slipped through the gates, and when you’re my size it's hard to slip anywhere, only for heavy-handed plod to go way over the top. I thought I was gonna get nicked for giving me mate his ticket, anyhow eventually the lovely PC was binned.

Waiting outside the gates, soon met a couple of the usual suspects, then a crew of about 200 urchins turned up, a nasty mob they looked indeed, surrounded by about twice as many bizzies marching them straight into the ground. Birmingham has always been a naughty place to go but their fans inside and outside the ground seemed more like they were going to Disneyland than to the match, strange days indeed. It's amazing what a couple of seasons in the Sky Premiership can do.

Once in the ground it was immediately visible exactly what a bargain £38 was for the privilege of visiting this shithole. A decrepit monument to 1970s football stadiums where they have replaced shitheap terraces by putting seats in to make them shitheap stands with no thought at all for the fan, except thay will take as much money out of our bins as possible. “Thirty Eight Pounds You’re Having a Laugh”- fuckin' right they are.

On the pitch the Reds surprised us all, passing the ball, moving; one turn and through ball from Heskey was the best thing he’s done all season, only for the amazed Owen to mis-control it. The first period was the best Heskey has performed in ages, mind you we are approaching the end of the season.

We played well, but Stevey G in the second half was beyond excellent. The lad has carried us all season, and this just served to illustrate what the team could achieve if he were to be given the support he deserves. I dread to think what will happen if and when a Chelsea or a Madrid come in with a realistic bid for him. Chelsea were reputed to have offered £45 Million last summer, so god knows what he is worth now after the season he has had. A true legend in the making. Carra, in the meantime showed exactly what he is worth to Liverpool Football Club. How anyone has the balls to criticise this lad is beyond me.

My mate Dave was 50 last week and he hasn’t taken to old age that well, consequently he was looking a trifle worse for wear as we sat in the away end, making all sorts of gestures towards the home fans. Anyhow I gave a nudge and asked him what he was up to, being a granddad and all that, ya’d expect better. Bemused he looked straight back at me “It’s not me, its those Arsenal fans, they’re winding me up”- need I say more?

The second half performance was excellent - passing, movement, running, breaking, shooting and scoring. What more could we ask for, even against a Birmingham team that was a shadow of what I had expected. Then as Stevey magnificently finished of the day with a fine third effort, the coaches resident author, Mr Allt, decided to push for a bit of extra publicity for his book. With it firmly tucked under his arm, he legged onto the pitch to congratulate Stevey. I’m sure he just wanted to get a copy signed. Anyhow Nicky was soon detained at Her Majesties Pleasure and I’m sure it’ll make a chapter of its own should “Boys from the Mersey” get a second edition.

Back on the coach and it was time for the end of season party, minus Mr Allt. It was soon in full swing. Singing, dancing - the Clash, the Jam, Lenny Woods 'n' all. Phil Mac got up to give his traditional end of season speech, thanking everyone for their attendance during the season and promising that “We’d meet again”, ahhh great days. Back in the Holt in Kenny for half nine to have a bit of a sing song along with the best jukey in Liverpool and then into town, ya can’t beat it.

Next was Ned Kelly’s to meet up with a couple of the lads who were out on a fortieth birthday bash, a couple of bottles of bud later and its over to Henry’s bar. The friendly doorman promptly informed us that it was a private party as they barred the doorway, only for me auld mucker to drop the manager's name, when we were promptly allowed in. Arghh what it is to be “in the know”.

Picture the scene four forty-odds, and young me, three bald as coots walking into this private party which was for ..... Iron Maiden, hilarious. Hippies, groupies and bladdered scousers what more dya want out of life, well I thought it was funny.

The rest of the night was academic - running into a mate on a first date in the Havana (I guess it’ll be the last), The Rubber Soul and Boogie Nights, madness at its best, bouncing off walls and eventually tucked up in Kirkby. I can’t wait to get this season over so that we can get back to the good times and enjoying going the match ... yeah!

© john_mac 2004

View Comments | Post Comment

More