We were in the Royal George outside Euston by now & the reds had won 2-1, we had tried to meet up with Dave, (a fellow blogger who was on his own cup run from the extra prelim’s) earlier on in the day at Thirsty Eddies but the police had put a stop to that shutting the pubs but he made it to the George for the ‘hands across the country’ moment when 1 Leg On The Cup met 3 Men & A Trophy! I still don’t know how he managed it but he got tickets for his game and we wasn’t really supposed to meet until the final if you follow both of our routes
I didn’t even hear Treacle get mentioned in the National but the George was packed by the end of the race & we joined in with the confetti style throwing of unwanted betting slips into the air! Happy reds & sad blues were all over the place without even a hint at any sort of trouble, but i was flagging fast by now & when the big fella suggested we should get a carry-out and go back to the flop to watch the boxing i couldn’t agree quickly enough
I managed to stay awake just long enough to see Tyson Fury win although i was somewhat confused by the fact he seemed to be fighting left handed? I did ask the Rhino a couple of times about this but the only answer i seemed to be getting was him thrusting a phone at me saying ”what’s that?” as he had about 10 different games of ‘draw something’ going at once on his mobile! He did however have the time to take the photo of me as i finally burnt out, i knew he would get revenge from the train earlier that morning!
Sunday! & i’m up in time for the Grand Prix on the 32” TV at the foot of my bed, and after a quick scout round the room, the big fella has “done me a favour” by drinking ALL the beer left over from the night before! “it’s less for you to carry later on” is the actual words he used, what a nice, thoughtful chap
Breakfast was spot on at the hotel as once again my faith in the almighty is restored with his most wonderful of creations…… Bacon! A buffet style breakfast where you can serve yourself as many times as you want & after my 3rd trip i was finally full. I was contemplating knicking some marmalade from the table as we were off to Paddington later & i might meet a certain little bear from my childhood? A very stern looking Rhino looks at me…. “going to be one of those days with you is it?”
Showered, teeth brushed & half a pint of mouth wash we’re off out into that London again. The plan for today is to meet up with Chidge & the Chelsea podcast guys in the Victoria pub, Paddington but the Rhino has talked me out of the marmalade idea with the promise of a magic trick at the first McDonald’s we come across! mmmm, not the best trick i’ve ever seen sending me to the counter with 1 sticker short to get 2 free coffees even though it worked. Although the big fella did give out relationship advice while we were in there, after over-hearing a conversation between 2 girls & one of them complaining about her boyfriend not treating her well, as we were leaving he stopped & said “look darlin’, just ditch him – Love is like a fart, if you have to force it then it’s Shit!” lol lol lol just brilliant! The guy should have his own TV show lol lol.
The Vic was easy to find & we were there nice and early which isn’t great when it’s £3.90 a pint but there was a good crowd building up and everyone was nervous about the game & no one wanted to predict a score. There was even talk about the Champions League semi being more important & people would rather take a win over Barca’ than Spurs if they had to choose!? All we wanted was for it to be all done in 90 minutes! With a Chelsea win of course
Chidge finally turned up about half 2 and told everyone that a Chelsea win was a definite because i was there & i’m their latest & newest good luck charm! “me, really? A bloke with a leg missing is your good luck charm?” “yeah good point…. don’t worry everyone, the Rhino is here, he’s our latest & newest good luck charm!”
Leaving the Chelsea boys in the Vic, we head off a little earlier that them for Wembley & this time we have tickets for the game! Same deal as yesterday, off the tube at Wembley Central and the main difference between today & yesterday is the amount of police. Yesterday they were all over the place & today there’s not even half of the amount of our high-vis friends?
Surely today was more of a threat for crowd trouble? Chelsea & Spurs are supposedly bitter rivals and we had heard the word ‘hatred’ used on more than one occasion by both sets of fans over the last couple of days, still i’m sure the police know what they’re doing, it’s not like they’re going to leave themselves open to ridicule in any way is it?
We walk up Wembley way & the last time i did this was 20 years ago in 1992 to watch Man. U beat Forrest 1-0 in the Rumbelows League Cup final.! God i’m old! lol lol i’ve been to Wembley 3 times in my lifetime, the 1981 cup final replay when Ricky Villa had me going back to Manchester on a very quiet train and my first time when Alan Sunderland had the same effect on the train back with the reds.
“well it’s changed a bit since 92” i tell the big fella as we walk around to find entrance ‘B’ “in fact, it’s changed a lot! What’s happened to the twin towers?” not wanting to get involved the Rhino muttered something about euthanasia and headed for the gate. “i wonder if they’ve kept anything from the old Wembley?” i’m still going on with myself “ a turnstile ,a clock, a staircase or the smell of piss?”
Well what can i say…. Wembley is magnificent! It’s really impressive & so are the seats we’ve been given, a perfect view of the pitch with a sea of white shirts, scarves & banners to our left & the blues to our right. We were pretty much right on the segregation on the halfway line opposite the prawn sandwich brigade seats where we’ll be for the final.
A fantastic atmosphere with over 80,000 people buzzing about the place it really was breath taking for me. Pockets of people getting songs going & of course the mad ‘hello mum’ type banners were popping up all over the formalities are over, the teams are ready and at 6 o’clock me & the big fella do our ritual of wetting one finger for a mythical ‘strike one’ in the air meaning we can cross “Step 15” off the list…… and we’re off!
A nice evenly contested first half with the stand out moments for me being; how easy is it to spot Assou Ekotto these days – seriously, how quick is Gareth Bale and have Tottenham really only got one song? This seemed to be Chelsea’s chant back at the Spurs when they had finished singing their slow rendition of ‘oh when the spurs go marching in’. Now i’m a lover of songs from the terraces but mainly the amusing ones where something or someone is instructed to be shoved up someone else’s arse! But i have to admit that when around 40,000 people sing this & they are all on their feet with arms spread wide it is impressive.
With the first half coming to an end the Rhino is more than a little concerned about his pie report, there was some sort of mix-up or miss understanding as we arrived at Wembley that resulted in him possibly being evicted! In true friend fashion i fled the scene leaving him to deal with whatever the problem was
“are you coming with me this time shit bag?” the big fella asks me as he stands up… “hang on a minute” BOOOOM! Drogba smashes in the opener on 43 minutes away to our left & we quickly move in for a pie as everyone else runs for the TV screens! The big fella did get his hands on a Wembley pie & it is reviewed as ever on our pie-ometer page