Didn’t quite work out how you planned did it Robbie Simpson?
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On Show #74, available for your listening pleasure from Thursday, I made reference to the reaction of Roy Hodgson after West Brom conceded a goal to Newcastle United at the weekend. The Albion were wearing black armbands in memory of club legend Ray Barlow during Sunday’s 3-1 defeat, but in his anger and frustration Roy certainly got caught in the moment…
Barlow, who made 482 appearances for Albion between 1944 and 1960, passed away earlier this month at the age of 85. Hodgson has also since apologised bless him
Now this is a team talk!
Forget your Fergie hair-dryer treatment; this is John Sitton on a documentary for Channel 4. The programme highlighted Sitton’s well-known passionate language and managerial style, and featured a half-time team talk given on 7 February 1995, after his Leyton Orient team had fallen 1–0 down in a league match at home to Blackpool. It left 1 player sacked and saw numerous others offered outside for a fist fight. Lovely
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.
An explosive return for the Pubcast this week – as the guys settled down for an impromptu firework display at Henry Addington’s in Canary Wharf. This week Jim suffers a seizure, Sean’s girlfriend hooks up with Ron Jeremy and Mike comments on Africa’s macroeconomic policies. Also making a bang in another fun-filled show…
• ‘Arry’s great escape
• Performance of the week
• The gloves are off at Norwich City
• Home baking with Ronaldo
• Melbourne Heart update
• FA Cup 5th Round ties
• Free fish at Horsham
• Kevin Phillips
• The danger of White Tip Spiders!
• plus much more
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 all the way up to the 4th Round Proper…
I left you last time with us planning our trip to Milton Keynes for our first overnighter of the season. Nantwich Town had been drawn away to the Dons in the 1st round proper for the first time in their history and we were planning a bender just in case we witnessed a cup upset.
The week building up to the game I get the fantastic news that we have been picked from thousands of entries to be on an FA panel that nominates a player of the round from each FA Cup weekend. My girlfriend had entered us into this Facebook competition & hadn’t told me! Also on the panel are Jim Munro from The Sun, Nigel Adderley from BBC Radio 5 Live, David Barber The FA’s historian & Jim Rosenthal from ITV. In addition to being on this panel, and more importantly, we get 2 tickets with full hospitality from Budweiser to the cup final with entry to the FA club lounge! Me & the Rhino in with the prawn sandwich brigade on free beer!
We took full advantage of our new found power & nominated 16y old George Williams who came on for the last 10 minutes in the Dons v Nantwich game. Within 2 minutes of being on the field he got a yellow card for a forearm smash on Dabbers centre half Mat Bailey then with the last kick of the game he rounded the keeper to net the Dons 6th & final goal. We could sense something at the time that this was a special goal by the reaction of the crowd and after talking to a few of the fans after the game we got the full story of this up & coming young school boy. We spent the rest of the night in Milton Keynes & were surprised by how friendly the Dons fans were as we had been told nobody likes them!
Step 8 for us was the Dons away at Barnet FC for the 2nd round proper and another overnight trip for us. Still feeling quite proud of winning a competition that I hadn’t even entered I sent Barnet an email telling them who we were & why we were coming. They sent me an email back telling me we would be given admission & access to the press room after the game as guests of the club helping us on our quest! By the time match day came around I was accumulating Dons fans by the shed load & we met a few of them before the game in the pub.
We sit in the press area for the first half but it was very tight & a couple of big lads like us didn’t fit that well so we moved round to the open air stand at Underhill for the second 45. The game was a comfortable 3-1 win for the Dons but it was all about the press room afterwards for us. Lawrie Sanchez must of had the same questions fired at him for more than 20 years about the 88 cup final & there we were ready to ask him about ‘that goal’ once again! The Rhino spotting this then quite brilliantly changed the question at the very last second… “Lawrie, in the 88 final when you were 33/1 underdogs against a mighty Liverpool team, can you tell me where you were stood when Dave Beasant saved the penalty?” a great ice breaker that even had Sanchez laughing.
Step 9, the big boys are in the hat for what’s probably the best round of the FA Cup. The 3rd round is infamous for throwing up minnows against giants & we were hoping for just such a draw, QPR at home for the Dons, not a giant killing as such but definitely a cup upset with a Prem team at StadiumMK. Even though me & the big fella are avid Droylsden FC fans in Manchester, the MK Dons had by this time adopted us as their Northern branch of their support and we were told that we are now Droyls-DON fans! Mentioning this and how well Barnet had looked after us in an email to MK, we were once again on the invite list with access to the media room.
We very nearly got the upset we wanted as well, with 2 minutes left & QPR down to 10 men when Faurlin went off injured after all 3 subs had been used, there was a crazy defensive mix-up and Helguson slotted the equaliser home. 1-1 at full time and our first replay of the tour would be at Loftus Rd on a Tuesday night. We went off to the press room and were looking forward to what Neil Warnock would have to say after his team had got out of jail but he never showed! (obvious now lol) Karl Robinson was there of course & once again took time out for a chat with us as he had done at Barnet when he told us about his brother playing for Droylsden.
Step 10, nearly up to speed now. The 3rd Round replay, QPR v MK Dons. Mark Hughes is now in charge of the R’s and after a little persuading we’re in the press box courtesy of QPR and we’re told we can ask Sparky 1 question after the game at the press conference. Not knowing what to ask the guy we thought it would be a good idea to wait for the result on the night before deciding on what to ask but I was leaving it to the Rhino anyway. During the night we meet a couple of people who want to have a photo with us, the first was a guy called Bob.
After a goalless first half we wanted this to go all the way to penalties! Well if you’re going to do a replay you might as well make the most of it but Daniel Gabbidon dashed this idea when his headed goal turned out to be QPR’s winner with 20 minutes left. Knowing that Chelsea would be the next opponents at home for the R’s we’re told that tickets will be impossible to get hold of but we’re off to the press room & hopefully I will find Ian, the guy who sorted us out with the hospitality for this game & he would be able to do the same for the Chelsea game. We didn’t find him but we did find another bloke called Ian who wanted his picture taken with the Rhino!
Once inside the press room all the real journo’s were asking all the real questions and I was worried about my beer monster friend asking some stupid question about the xbox or PS3! We bid farewell to, now mate of ours, Karl Robinson after his interview & he thanked us for our support and wished us good luck for the rest of the journey, next up Sparky. All the usual questions were being fired at him about plans for the future & possible transfers coming in and the Rhino was poised ready to strike. I had no need to be worried in the end because the big man had the perfect question & when prompted asked… “Yeah, Mark.. with the recent return of Thierry Henry & Paul Scholes… I was wondering if you still had your boots & if they still fit?” Hughes cracked a half smile and told us he still had his boots but they were very dusty!
So that’s more or less it, a quick round up of 8 monster blogs from 1 Leg On The Cup. Our next game was QPR at home to Chelsea & i’m sending Jim the full blog for that game over the weekend with a bit more about what a couple of Northern Monkeys get up to before & after the game. So we’ll be up to date before the 5th round game on the 18th Feb…. worth a read? I think so…. worth writing a book about? lol Anyone know of someone who will ????
The National TV Awards and The Golden Globes have passed, whilst the Oscar nominations have already been submitted. So someone needs to tell this fella he was wasting his time