....to the Spurs that is....
Today I’ve done something so shocking I still can’t believe it happened! I went (voluntarily) to Stamford Bridge and supported Chelsea in their match against Stuttgart in the Champions League. How will I ever hold my head up in the Bell and Hare again?
Last time I went to Stamford Bridge, it was a birthday treat on my 10th birthday on 20th August 1970. My parents had taken us to The London Dolphinarium in Oxford Street in the heart of London. For those who don’t know London, Oxford Street is one of the main shopping areas in Central London so a Dolphinarium there was bizarre even in those un-enlightened days of asking captive dolphins to perform tricks. Not only were there a large number of dolphins there but also a Killer Whale too. I suspect that now I would be appalled but at the time it was a great treat.
After the Dolphinarium we were taken to Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea play Man Utd (as a ten year old Daddy’s girl, I supported my Dad’s team in those days…..before being enlightened in 1976). For some reason my memory tells me it was an evening game though I don’t know why I think that other than I seem to remember it being dark. Whatever, I expect Jan, my sister will put me right when she looks at this.
I think the final score was Chelsea 2 Man Utd 3 and I’m fairly certain Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law and George Best scored and that George Best got sent off. What a remarkable trio to have on your score sheet – just about the most famous players ever. I remember it being a really happy, exciting day out for us all.
These days I rarely go to Spurs away games – difficult to get tickets and the time investment make it difficult to justify so I’ve never seen the Spurs there.
This evening was a ‘thank you’ and a ‘so long for now’ to a client and good friend, Jon (right of photo). Jon is leaving his job because his company is relocating and he decided it was time for a change. We don’t know when or if we’ll bump into him again so I suggested we go out for a ‘pie and a pint’ to wish him well. He suggested a trip to the footie and, as Chris and I are both big footie fans, we thought that was a splendid idea.
The whole evening was strange but really good fun. We had a couple of drinks in a pub in the centre of Fulham where the police were completely happy to let Stuttgart fans mingle with Chelsea fans – I’m not sure that would have happened at ‘the Lane’. The atmosphere was really good, the Stuttgart fans were singing, the Chelsea fans were singing and everyone was getting on famously. Just as it should be.
Chris (pictured left) and I met Jon’s parents, I don’t think I’ve ever met a client’s parents before! I had actually had some dealings with his Mum shortly before Christmas when Jon and I (on behalf of TNS) each donated some money to a charity that she’s involved with to provide an entertainer for a party for disadvantaged and disabled children in High Wycombe. I was pleased to support it because my folks live and work in the area. Jon’s Mum was delighted and so it was good to meet her and put a face to the voice I’ve talked to on the phone.
We went off to the game and boy it was cold. It was bitterly cold, trying to snow and generally real brass monkeys weather. The game itself was a fairly turgid 0-0 draw but Chelsea have gone through because they won the away leg. Stamford Bridge, like all footie grounds has changed considerably in the last 30 years although I prefer WHL – it’s easier to see the action from our seats there than it was at the Bridge.
After the game we had a bite to eat in a Cypriot café on the Fulham Palace Road – that was great – Keo beer, Halloumi and warmth. Aaaahhhhh.
What a good night out even though it was all very weird being at the Bridge and supporting Chelsea.
Good luck to Jon – we hope to see him again soon!