1 Leg On The Cup @ Queens Park Rangers v Chelsea
Throughout this season Tony 1 Leg and Johnny the Rhino have embarked on their own personal “Road to Wembley”. They’ve been blogging throughout and you can read all about their adventures right here on The Football Pubcast website. This week takes us to Loftus Road and all there pre-match build up to the much anticipated London derby…
So this game was going to be a major panic when it comes to getting tickets! As soon as we got back from our trip to Loftus Rd. i went to work on trying to secure tickets for this West that London derby.
No one was coming forward with any sort of help for us and by the time the weekend had come around we were still nowhere nearer getting tickets with less than a week to go! To make matters even worse the Vauxhall exocet was off the road needing a new flux capacitor or something, so we had to do this game on the train, and in order to get cheap tickets you have to book in advance & they’re non-refundable! So until we got tickets i wasn’t spending any money on trains and all the seats on sensibly timed trains were going fast. But all i can say is….. THANK GOD PAT BUTCHER IS DEAD!
A somewhat strange statement i know, but at the reading of her last will & testament, it seems the good-ole’ Walford battleaxe had left us a bucket load of shite earrings and 2 tickets to any QPR game of our choosing! So naturally, we chose the home tie with Chelsea in the 4th round of the cup. Once i know the tickets are in the bag i get back online to book the trains, not too bad as it goes, just over 2 hours to get to Euston and £50 return plus a £7 day pass for the tube, only problem was the seat allocation was getting a bit thin and the only train left for the outward journey was at 06.55! this did not impress the big fella at all as he told me “this is more of a getting home time on a Friday rather than a setting off time on a Saturday!” pointing at the station clock displaying the time.
We left on time and this was a far cry from the last time i was on a train going to a football match! I think i paid £3.50 for a ‘football special’ return to Leeds back in the early 80’s & it was like a cattle truck with hard wooden benches instead of this ‘aircraft-like’ cabin that sped along at 70mph or so & banked into the corners too! In fact it was such a smooth ride i decided to catch up on a bit of kip, this prompted the big fella into his new found hobby of photographing me while i’m asleep & tweeting it to the world!
It was about 9.15 in the morning & we were stood on Euston tube station platform! “this may well be the future for any more trips to that London” the big fella tells me as the tube train pulls up, he had a point as well, a couple of hours on a train & a tube ticket that lets you get on as many trains as you want in a day. Probably a good thing as we was bound to get on the wrong one at some point! Amazingly i get a that London person to take his head phones out & actually talk to us! “excuse me mate, can you take a quick photo of us? We’re newlyweds just starting out on our honeymoon” Absolutely NO reaction what-so-ever from this Dick Van Dyke sound-a-like from what i had just told him…. “yeah sure” he said, took the pic & handed the camera back to me!
One change at Oxford Circus, off at White City and we’re walking down the road looking at the QPR main entrance. It was only about 3 hours ago i was coming out of my front door! I was quite impressed by this. Although i wasn’t impressed by the dentist surgery just outside the ground, i know dentists usually wear masks but not with little pointed ears on them! Still who am i to comment? It might be a way of keeping kids calm when they’re drilling! But this was the place we were meeting Stuart, one of the Football Pubcast guys, well not the dentists it was the pub next door we was meeting him at, but we couldn’t get in without the QPR mad podcaster as it was ‘season ticket holders only’ to get in.
Once inside the place was filling up with the home faithful and the songs & chants had already started. It was all very anti-Chelsea but this was a west that London derby & the Rangers fans were telling me this was the biggest fixture of the season so far for them. Lee, who follows QPR home & away and never misses a game, picked up on our Northern (or normal) accents and asked the question we were asked many times that day, “if you’re from Manchester, why are you here if Liverpool are playing Man. U today as well?” after explaining what we were doing we were soon welcomed by the R’s and Lee even bought us a pint! Top Geezer! We even lost Stuart while we were mingling with the home fans which was a pretty hard thing to do as the bloke is huge!
With the early 12 o’clock kick off time approaching, we make the short walk to the ground. There was a definite buzz all around the place a very different atmosphere to that when we was here for the MK Dons game. Of course the added ‘spice’ to this eagerly awaited game was the John Terry / Anton Ferdinand situation and everyone was wondering the same thing… would they shake hands at the start of the game? Everyone was being searched on the way into the ground which reminded me of the last time this happened to me…. about 30 years ago at Anfield! God i’m old! lol lol
We had good seats for the game but there’s not a lot of leg room even for a bloke like me with only one leg! it was even worse for the big fella but fortunately for him there was a young lad sat next to him who didn’t take up that much room lol lol not so fortunate for the lad though!
No Handshakes! Both teams jogged out of the tunnel & peeled off into opposite half’s of the field…. another throwback to old school footy! I was having quite a nostalgic, memory lane sort of a day, i suddenly burst into song! “oh Rodney-Rodney…. Rodney-Rodney-Rodney-Rodney-Rodney Marsh!” well it was the day for it! the big fella tugs on my sleeve like a kid in a sweet shop to pull me back into my seat saying “shut up you clown! What you singing a song about a cricket player for???” The R’s also didn’t join in with my 70’s rendition but we’re in full voice about who owns west that London and were aiming this song at the Chelsea fans who were disputing the R’s statement with a similar song of their own! They were also quite close & to our right.