Rocking All Over The World in Leverksuen

Posted by Olly on March 15, 2005, 10:44:38 AM

Let me begin by saying that this was up there with one of the best away trips I've ever done. Absolutely brilliant!

The trip starts at 5 am on Saturday as Nick and I get up to catch our flight to Cologne. We land just in time to hop aboard a train and an hour later we arrive at Moenchengladbach, our first port of call. Over the next few days we watch Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Wolfsburg (thanks to Jonny and Tower from the RAOTL forum and Liverpool-Borussia Friendship Projekt) before getting bladdered in the town, watch Hertha Berlin play Kaiserslauten at the huge Olympic Stadium in Berlin, get drunk in Berlin, visit the Holocaust Memorial and the incredible Check-Point Charlie near the old Berlin Wall, get incredibly drunk again, and almost miss our train to Cologne. What a trip so far - surely it can't get better than this?!

We wake up in blind panic on the Tuesday in some Berlin hotel. My alarm clock says 10.28. My drunken mind had obviously tried to set the alarm for 9, and I'd just given up! Having 20 minutes to get the train to Cologne, we leap around the room grabbing all our stuff and more, fly out the door, jump in front of a taxi and somehow make the train. Exhausted we slump in our seats with a beer and watch Germany hurtle past at 200 kph and four and a half hours later and we fall out of the train and in to Cologne.

We drop off our bags in a hotel full of reds, and head back out to wolf down some much needed food. We find Aidan looking lost near the cathedral, grab him and head down to a large square with pubs on each side. Wandering into a place called Papa Joes, we turn round to find the ugliest looking puppet band I've ever seen behind the bar (I've just realised that this may be the only puppet band I've ever seen, but never mind). You know those big scary clowns that you used to have nightmares of as a kid? Well they were like that.

We get a few beers, and settle down to watch the football on a TV channel that changes games every time a goal is scored - highly entertaining but you never actually get to see any of the goals, as by the time the station has changed games, you just see the player wheel off celebrating. After a bit of an interview for some lad from a German radio station, Pete, Helen and Mark turn up, shortly followed by the rest of our motley crew - Dave, Plum, Bucharest John and Carl. Put in the simplest way possible, we all then proceed to get bladdered. Unfortunately Rafa decided not to visit our bar, but from those who did see him he got an incredible reception, and made time for everyone. What a bloke. Around midnight we jump on a tram to Rudolphplatz and find a jazz bar. Now Plum, with his musical talents, find this place incredible, and so to the annoyance of the bar staff we proceed to drink the place dry of beer whilst singing Liverpool songs along with the odd 'New York New York' thrown in to keep the jazz band happy. Thank you to whoever got me home that night.

Upon waking on Wednesday, and in desperate need of both food and water, we head out into town. By now big Steve has joined us, and we find a small restaurant just off the main shopping street. I head off to find a camera card, and when I return a few minutes later find 7 lads sat round a table all just staring at the bar maid. Fair enough I think - I'll take a gander at that. Now, a lot of you will probably have heard this before, but I'm deadly serious here. This girl is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Her chest is incredible. I'm sure she smiles at me.

Wandering down towards the square after dinner, it's filling up nicely with reds and banners. We find a quiet place just off the square to have a few beers in what seems to be some bloke's huge front room. Drinking pipettes of beer lounging about in large chairs we feel quite sophisticated until we start ordering 16 at a time, and the bar man has to bring them over in a large round carry case. Not wanting to get bladdered before the game, we head to the Bayer Arena fairly early, get our banner out behind the goal, and venture to the back to watch one of the best and funniest games I've seen. To be 3-0 up away at Leverkusen is some feat, and the noise reverberating round the away end was incredible. Everybody is bouncing up and down, old songs are being sung, new songs are being belted out (We all dream of a team of Carraghers) and the team keep driving on. Exactly what European nights are all about. Fair play to the Leverkusen fans as they keep singing throughout the game, and towards the end we see the awesome sight of them all bounce up and down to one of their songs.

Nearing the final whistle they score to pull the game back to 3-1. Our end goes quiet for a few seconds, as the Leverkusen fans cheer. Then something happens that I've never seen before. Status Quo's "Rocking all over the World" gets played over the loudspeakers. Simultaneously, every red looks round, and then starts jumping up and down belting out "and I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it, I la la la like it, la la li, here we go…. Rocking all over the World!" over and over again. Absolutely superb. This goes on for ages, as Leverkusen pile forward. Dudek makes a great save on a one on one, and we all boo in jest, just so we can sing that song again. And that was it - the start of one of the funniest nights of my life.

Getting back to Cologne, after Bungle pushed us all off the train a stop early stating that he knew where we were going, whilst everybody else on board looked at us laughing inside, we find our jazz bar again. As we all walk in, the manager opens up the upstairs area in the hope that we won't disturb the other customers. We all stand there with a beer content in what we'd seen, and then the jazz band call up and ask us where we're from. That's it - we're off again. We start singing to their songs, belting out Status Quo every time they end a song until eventually they play it. Cue, 16 of us all dancing about like nutters upstairs with huge beers in our hands, bread baskets on our heads whilst singing away.

Someone finds a large measuring stick, and so decides to set up an impromptu drunken version of long jump, whilst Aidan find us all some spoons to play along to the band with. One of the funniest sights I've ever seen is turning round whilst at the bar to find Aidan prancing around behind the saxophonist, playing the spoons to some jazz number. Even Steve Cram is laughing at the bar. We're laughing all night - I've never laughed so much. At one stage Nick is struggling to keep the beer in his mouth, I'm so close to pissing myself, and Aidan is in serious pain as his sides hurt. The bar closes at 5, and so we all pile next door to a pizza restaurant for early morning pizza's and beer. We're in that mood where you never want to stop drinking - never want the night to end. Singing starts up again, the jokes are flying, and the dancing to Status Quo continues. Incredible.

Waking up feeling terrible, but with a huge grin on my face we struggle out of the hotel. Dave and Aidan head off to make their way back home, whilst me, Plum, Nick, Carl and Bucharest John find our way back to the ground to pick up some scarves. Noticing that one of the gates is open we sneak in, to find ourselves stood right next to the pitch. We wander into the executive lounge (and very nice it is too), wander round the turf and test the comfiness of the dug outs. Taking no notice of a grounds man shouting at us, we wander into the tunnel trying to find the dressing rooms.

We find ourselves in the press conference room, and then try a couple of other doors. One leads down a corridor where we find a load of Bundesliga balls and training tops. Plum grabs a training top, and I try and grab a ball. Unfortunately, after 40 minutes of wandering round doing as we like we get spotted as Carsten Ramelow jumps out of the massage room to ask us what we're up to. With Plum sh*tting it as he has a training top up his jumper, we cheekily ask if he can let us in to the dressing room. This goes down like a lead balloon as Ramelow calls us 'zee craze eengleesh fools', and asks us to leave. We'll make our own way out thanks mate!

Getting back to Cologne, we decide on a short trip to the Cathedral. As we enter Plum is forced to take his cap off, causing all sorts of anguish. "F*cking Jesus didn't wear a f*cking hat then did he? Who's he think he is anyway? P*ssing God?!" We all stand there looking at him, before he goes "Oh sh*t, probably shouldn't swear in here eh?" With our 8 euro each we decide on some scran before we head home. As we walk into a café, German stew seems to fit the bill. "5 of them please love". This turns out to cabbage soup - no that's not right either. It's actually water with bits of cabbage in it, and is one of the most revolting things I've ever tasted. The flatulence on the way home stank as well.

When I eventually get home knackered, I empty my bag. Two spoons fall out. And I'm laughing again!

As I said at the start this was one of the best trips I've ever had. I've never laughed so much as I did on the Wednesday night, and have been laughing pretty much since. I still find myself sat here laughing to myself like some deranged idiot. As always, a huge thanks to our hosts, but also a huge thanks to the lads and lasses we were with. I honestly can't remember when I've laughed so much. Listen out for Status Quo at the next away game.

© Olly 2005

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