Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! at full volume was our last ditch attempt to find the Merry Shayman. Ten minutes after we should have set off and refusing to answer his phone, there was still no sign of him at the usual meeting point so it was time to send the boys round. We weren’t really sure which house it was but we knew we had the right street. The racket did the trick and we were soon on our way. Apologies to his neighbours, but football is more important than residential bliss. On the positive side, it did have Trainspotter John in a flap he thought we had forgotten him, he was next on the pick up list and was standing impatiently on the street waiting with the Wetherspoons guide under his arm (good of you to join us this week John!)
Glamorous away days don’t get much better than a day out in Wrexham. Only 90 minutes after finally setting off and we’re passing the Welsh border, passports ready, but there was only a police speed camera on a bridge to welcome us. With the less than athletic passengers weighing the car down, I don’t think I could have speeded up even if I had wanted too! Once parked up we engaged a group of stewards regarding the club shop and the ground opening times. A few minutes later and we’re welcomed for an early look round the oldest international stadium in the world.
One end of the ground is dominated by a condemned ‘Kop’ terrace with weeds and decay starting to get the better of the old structure. To the left is an impressive new lottery funded stand complete with executive boxes. The other side has a full length older stand and behind the other goal is another big stand all of which are fully seated. The whole ground has that good old fashioned feel with four traditional floodlight pylons looking down.
Back outside an impromptu solo from Megaphone man serenading the team bus on its arrival soon resulted in the chief steward approaching to explain the merits of tranquillity and leaving his toys at home. As much as we tried, we couldn’t get him banned from the ground though!
The goalless draw was a great result and one that we would all have accepted at the start of the day. A close decision to rule out a winner could have made the day even better but who’s complaining? Four points from two games against Wrexham is an excellent return.
On the way home we discussed plans for the rest of the weekend and discovered that the Merry Shayman has a new interest, Bingo! This admission may only have come about based on the amount of alcohol he had consumed but I think it’s important to remember that a problem shared is a problem doubled! He’s also confessed to winding up pensioners by falsely claiming ‘house’ during the game just to generate some bad language. I’m not sure how Mrs Merry Shayman puts up with him!
Happy with our international grand day out we decide it’s appropriate to celebrate with the early evening pedestrians and pub goers of Sowerby Bridge. Driving along Wharfe Street we ended the day as we started it with windows down volume up and a prolonged blast of Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!
Next stop is the longest remaining trip of the season, Aldershot.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist