Probably like most people parting with my membership fee for the Supporters Club each season usually means two things, one, it’s cost me £5, the other, I’ll be asked to nominate a Player of the Season towards the middle of April. So, when browsing the famous trestle tables recently for some club memorabilia, I was given the opportunity to try something new and perhaps slightly dangerous. “The supporter’s club are sponsoring the Tamworth game and would you like to be part of it?” Having exchanged glances with Megaphone Man who was standing with me and recognising the fear in his eyes, I politely gave a tenuous response along the lines of I need to speak the lads but we’ll let you know. Later that afternoon it was all sorted; four of us were up for it whilst Megaphone Man would stick with his usual match day routine and guard our seats in the East Stand. I don’t know why he thinks anyone else would want sit next to him anyway!
Arriving at the ground about 12:45 we were soon booked in and in the bar enjoying a complimentary drink whilst keeping an eye on the live TV match on the big screens. With three large round tables set aside for the Supporters Club in the banqueting suite, it was apparent that everyone sitting with us were just the usual faces you see week in week out. You may not know their names but you’ve said hello to them most weeks up and down the country. Soon after, we were joined by one of the Club’s Directors, Stuart Peacock, who talked us through the organisation of match days. The atmosphere in the room was completely relaxed, everyone socialised in the same area, directors, players, match officials and everyday fans, bet that doesn’t happen in the football league!
Bang on 1:30 the first course arrived at our tables. Melon and Parma Ham with that funny green stuff, rocket I think it’s called, that’s obligatory now that normal lettuce is illegal. Soon after, the main course arrived; it’s fair to say it was a proper sized football fan’s lunch. Roast pork with apple sauce and help yourself to as many vegetables as you wish, even then our table couldn’t reach the bottom of the supply.
One of the most nerve wrecking parts of the day’s experience is watching the clock ticking down to 3.00 pm. Usually sitting in my seat by 2:15, it’s now 2:30 and we’ve just finished the main course. Will we make it for kick off? Jon Worthington is soon in the room and being interviewed on the progress of the team before a monster chocolate desert appears, followed by coffee and mints. Bang on time, just as the teams are coming out, we’re directed to seats high above the halfway line. Tempting as it may be, we head off down the stand to join the usual bonkers group of Megaphone Man, Political Nick and the Bookmaker for a Saturday of banter with the opposition manager. We did take advantage and retreat to banqueting suite for half time tea and biscuits though, too good to miss on a March afternoon.
With Megaphone Man under strict instructions to be home for his tea, we declined the opportunity for more tea and biscuits with the players for the Man of the Match presentations. However, spotting Danny Lowe at the traffic lights was far too much of an open invitation for Megaphone man as Hipperholme lights became the latest venue for some high volume serenading! Credit to Danny for acknowledging us – above and beyond the call of duty.
All in all, a great day out, enjoyable food, good result and all for less than it would cost for a standard ticket for the Premier League.
Next stop back on the road, cold pie and peas in sunny Hyde…..
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