Fleet John Premier League Match Report Thread 2021/22

sonofabee

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After just 3.5 hours sleep the alarm went off at 05:30, it was match day again, the blank canvass of Birmingham awaited. By 06:00 I was out walking the dogs at Tiddenfoot Country park before heading home for Breakfast at 06:45. With Frankie of Frankie’s café on holiday with his family thus his café being closed and my back-up of the Route 66 diner not opening until 09:00, Mrs Fleet was on breakfast duty. I knew it was going to be a long day, so I opted for:
  • 6 Bacon
  • 4 Sausage (Marks & Spencer Pork and Apple)
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • 2 Tomato
  • 2 Black Pudding
  • 2 Fried Eggs
  • Beans
  • Bread & Butter
  • Tea
It was a stunning effort and one I could enjoy without the constant worry of spilling HP source down my casual clobber as I was still wearing my dog walking gear. Breakfast done, I stuck on my football playlist and went and had a bath and put on my clobber for the day, namely:
  • Sergio Tacchini Bucket Hat
  • Fila Polo Shirt
  • Aquascutum Shorts
  • Adidas SL80 Runners
I was in two minds about topping the look off with my mirrored Ray-Ban Aviators, but after consulting BBC Weather (when have they ever been wrong….) with the exception of sunny intervals between 08:00 and 10:00, the forecast for Brum was cloudy all day, so I thought better of it and decided to leave them at home. With two cold #cans in a carrier bag, I was picked up at 08:20 by Leighton Buzzard Taxi’s and whisked away to the station. I was due to catch the 08:47 Southern train to Milton Keynes but jumped on the London North Western Railway’s 08:40 service, as Southern services are often cancelled and getting to Brum late was obviously not an option. I landed in Milton Keynes at 08:50 and went to the waiting room on Platform 6 to sit down. Whilst in the waiting room at 09:06 I opened my first can of Strongbow and then caught my train the 09:17 to Birmingham New Street.

The train was absolutely packed, so I ended up standing the whole way to Birmingham in the section between the carriages by the toilets. The sooner they get on with opening HS2 the better in my book. All the people that moan about it are never the ones impacted by actually having to use the overcrowded, over capacity northwest main line. Anyway, the train journey up was relatively quiet – I half kept an eye out for any Herd, Headhunters or 6:57 as Arsenal, Chelsea and Pompey were all playing in the north west and Awaysocks had already messaged that there was a decent old school Chelsea turnout at Euston, but I managed to miss all three. The train stopped at Coventry but there were no Legion to be seen on their way to QPR – they must have left already. Two #cans later at 10:06 the train pulled into Birmingham New Street and I exited the station via the Howard Street exit, with the barriers being left open – I asked myself the point of buying a ticket as my ticket was not checked there and back all day and the barriers were open – its no wonder our rail system is in the mess that it is.

Once out the station with Kool & The Gang’s Get down on it being played at full blast through my Apple AirPods I purposefully strolled towards the first pub of the day, The Bull Ring Tavern. To get there you have to walk through the Bull Ring Market, as the pub came into view the excitement of the day was really kicking in and I can honestly say that there would have been no place I would rather have been in the world. Despite this, part of the casual way of life is to ooze distain wherever you go, so despite how I was actually feeling, I did my best to put an expression on my face of utter exasperation at having to venture into such a sh*t hole to go and watch my team play, as if the middle of Birmingham was the last place I would like to be, as if it was somehow beneath me. With this expression plastered over my face, clobbered up, and a toned-down Liam Gallagher walk perfected, I hope in someway I upset one or two locals.

Anyway, despite it only being 10:15 in the morning the pub was doing a roaring trade. Druggie and Nick Logan were holding court with Bill Benn and after paying just £2.90 for a Strongbow I joined them. The Bull Ring Tavern is quite a strange boozer in so much that it is located right on the edge of the Irish working class area of Birmingham. So if you look out the front you overlook the redeveloped part of Birmingham City Centre, but anything behind the pub onwards is an absolute hell hole and really rough and run down. I know its only a matter of time before this great pub gets condemned and turned into a luxury block of flats, hence making the most of it whilst its still here. At 10:45 a train load of BYE descended on the pub so we were over 40 handed in Birmingham City Centre before 11:00, with no Old Bill to be seen and no Villa either – some people would call that an off the pitch result in the world of the chap.

I would have been quite happy to stay in this fine establishment for the whole of the pre match build up but everyone else wanted to head to Snobs near the station so after a couple of pints with the time nearing 11:00 we all walked back through the market to Snobs.

By just gone 11:00 we were all holed up in Snobs and the cider was once again flowing – Aspalls sadly as they did not do Strongbow. At 11:30 we were joined by Sir Dave of Davestings and Awaysocks, and then Goodminton and a couple of his mates arrived too. Myself and Awaysocks talked about our favorite football hooligan films, namely the original firm, the 2009 Firm remake, ID and Football Factory. We also discussed the chances of Awaysocks getting into the ground as his Mrs had ripped his ticket up after he stayed out on the session last week so he had to sellotape it together – I said I thought he would be ok. For the next couple of hours this bar became the place to be seen for anyone who runs in the chap circles on matchday. By about 13:00 a few dozy Villa had entered the place. The BYE were singing songs about Jack Grealish leaving Villa due to the poor quality of the Villa team. One funny moment when I was having a piss in the loo was when one of these Villa lads mistook Druggie for also being Villa and started moaning to him about disrespectful cockneys, as Druggie was explaining that he was actually Brentford, about 6 BYE bundled into the loo and the Brummie lad very quickly went quiet and made a hasty retreat.

By now the time was getting on for 13:30 and I had consumed 5 pints of Aspalls so was starting to feel pretty chilled. However, the drink and testosterone filled pub was now full of lads from both Villa and Brentford and was probably a powder keg waiting to explode. Knowing that the BYE could quietly easily deal with their Villa counterparts in there, myself, Nick Logan, Druggie and someone else but I can’t remember who, jumped in a taxi and headed to the Whitton Arms.

We got out the cab and paid our two quid to enter the Whitton Arms. In there we met Pointy and a non GPG TW8 along with Northampton Bee. I think Northampton Bee was pretty merry as he told the TW8’s about how he was going to knock out his daughter’s boyfriend despite not knowing the bloke, or the bloke doing anything wrong. We consumed another two pints in this pretty decent away fans only pub before making our way to Villa Park.

The sun was beating down and the streets were packed with football fans – the deserted streets of Covid 2020 seemed like a distant memory as we made our way to Villa Park. And what a stadium it is, like Brentford, being located in the heart of the community. After a thorough search, the steward making empty literally everything from my pockets (so unnecessary) we were in. We were immediately greeted by Dave Lane and Billy of Beesotted who kindly introduced me to his daughter and we all spoke a bit of football, all collectively feeling pretty bullish of our on the pitch chances. Then it was time to make our way to our seats. With the away end being pretty much sold out I went and sat in my designated seat which was next to left Wing Ben, but after consuming 9 pints and 2 cans pre match, my reading skills were not what they should have been and I got my row wrong, so had to move a few rows forward just before kick-off. I found myself about 3 rows behind Harry Potter so made a point of saying Hello when I went to the loo after 15 minutes. The highlight of the first half was Sonofabee thinking that Harry Potter was singing sit down shut up to him when he was actually directing the chant at the home end, it was funny if you were there watching this exchange play out.

I cursed how useless BBC weather was as the sun beat down on us all through the match wishing I had my sunglasses. I must say it was an absolute privilege watching Brentford play at Villa Park. An amazing stadium, packed to the rafters and the noise they made celebrating their goal was impressive. With the ground filled to capacity, the sun beating down on us and the away end in full voice, it was a really stunning backdrop to watch a game of football.

After 35 minutes I noticed all the chaps were congregated to the far right of the lower tier of the away end, right near all the Villa lads, including Ambrose 1889, Oddbod, Paulo Bee, Pointy, Nick Logan, Druggie, Posh George and Bracknell_Bee18 who’s hand I shook as I made my way to the seats in that part of the ground. Nick Logan looked like he had taken on a bus load of Villa Hardcore in my absence with a swollen eye and blood all over his face, but it turned out he had simply fallen over during the Brentford goal celebrations, an occupational hazard of the chap lifestyle.

Being that Villa are one of the few clubs to serve Strongbow in the ground I made my way down to get a pint at halftime. I chatted to Nocoat and his lad before getting in the queue to help Nick Logan who was on halftime pint duty. Whilst in the queue I had a good chat with Voice From the Breamar and we both agreed that Millwall and Portsmouth are two of our favorite non Brentford clubs, that tick the boxes of high quality and quantity of chaps. Regrettably the service was slow so the second half had already started by the time I had started my halftime beer. I was not really that fussed though as I was enjoying having a good chat with westwing about when we played Cheltenham away and the CVF turned up throwing flares at the pub after the match – that was quite a day and they even had a small turnout at our place later that season as well with Ken and co having to be on their a game to keep the warring factions apart.

By 16:20 I was back in my seat next to Pointy watching the second half. Well, more watching the Villa fans behind the goal. They were up to their normal tricks of goading the away fans and pointing at everyone and basically behaving like absolute children. There was one bloke in a gray stone island jumper and glasses that was particularly annoying, thinking he was the next Steven Fowler (Villa Hardcore’s top face from back in the day) or something. It always makes me laugh at Villa as the lads behind the goal spend the entire match gesticulating and telling you how your going to get beaten up, sliced up or killed immediately after the match, only to completely disappear into thin air as soon as they leave the ground, it really is strange behavior and I am sure the real Villa lads (who are very decent btw) must cringe at these utter Muppets.

Once the final whistle went, we all clapped the team off and without trying to sound like some kind of scarfer, I really love Thomas Frank and this team really makes me so proud of what we have achieved. I also made sure I shook hands with some of the Villa stewards who on the whole seemed like a decent bunch who let us stand up all game and just left us to it, its nice when common sense prevails.

After the final whistle myself, Druggie and Sir Nick all made our way to the off license by Whitton Station. Whist in the queue we saw Banana wondering around like a lost soul so said hello. We also sadly witnessed a Lacoste clad Villa bully who must have been in his mid 40’s, i.e. old enough to know better have a go at a replica shirt clad Brentford fan who was waiting in the queue with his Mrs telling him to watch himself as he was on his manor in that awful Birmingham accent. Needless to say, this clown did not have the balls to say anything to myself, Druggie or Nick, and I was tempted to give this joker a piece of my mind, but as things did not escalate I figured this was not a battle worth having, regardless another Villa muppet embarrassing himself unfortunately and had things escalated we would quite a happily sorted this chap out as no one likes a bully, especially when its aggression against one of our own.

#cans secured (the full pint variety and cold so definitely worth the wait) and with the queue for Whitton station looking massive and the roads grid locked we made our way to the unfortunately named Yew Tree pub. We wondered into the garden and sat on a table with a family of Villa scarfers (Dad, Mum, Son, Daughter). The son looked like a cross between John Stones and Christian Norgaard and was wearing and England Shirt. We spent the next hour chatting football with them, proving that there are some decent Villa types out there. The pub was decent too, full of a mixture of chaps and scarfs from both clubs but no hint of problems, they also subscribed to our eating’s cheating mantra. I had a good chat with a Villa lad about Sergio Tacchini and the drink was flowing – we stayed here for about 90 minutes in the end as it took nearly 50 minutes to get a taxi. The taxi eventually dropped us off at Moor Street station and with Nick still struggling with mobility after his goal celebrations we decided to knock it on the head.

I went into the station for a quick piss as I really like this station. Having a Grandad who worked for the Great Western (Western Region) in Birmingham as a fireman on the trains makes me feel like I have an affinity to this station as opposed to the bland shopping centre that is New Street. Moor street retains its historic charm even to this day – think Marylebone compared to the concreate monstrosity of Euston in London.

Station admired and bladder emptied I walked to New Street and bought the last #can of Strongbow from WH Smith in the station and two #cans of dark fruit before making my way onto the train. As I was travelling alone, I spent £2.49 to rent ID on my iphone and minded my own business watching that and drinking Strongbow all the way home, thinking how amazing the Rock looked as a football boozer with Bob the landlord as the friendly local publican – it reminded my of the Zoo in its heyday.

3 #cans later I was back in Leighton Buzzard where I went to Kebab Ye for a large Lamb Shish kebab with salad and chili sauce. I got a taxi home and walked through the door at about 22:20.

How good is it to have awaydays back – answer very very good. I can’t do Wolves so West Ham is up next. Although I am going to Manchester with No Surrender bloke next weekend to watch Blackgrape play their hometown. I may well knock up a report for that as well as music and football are all closely linked in the casual world, especially a band of working class Mancs.

Unbeaten into the international break, where do we go from here…………

View attachment 27343View attachment 27344View attachment 27350View attachment 27351View attachment 27352View attachment 27353View attachment 27354
FJ, I salute you but the bar is very high and I think you have your work cut out to better this report this season.
Good luck my friend
 

Simon C

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For the record I was researching out to get out of that hellhole the fastest way possible!
Is that you pondering how to get home in one of FJs photos?

I had my own celeb spotting moment around Witton Station afterwards. FJ and Druggie showing a typical casual disregard for home supporters queueing outside the offy when getting their train #cans
 

PLE

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"myself, Nick Logan, Druggie and someone else but I can’t remember who, jumped in a taxi and headed to the Whitton Arms."
For the record it was me :wave:
 

Banana

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Is that you pondering how to get home in one of FJs photos?

I had my own celeb spotting moment around Witton Station afterwards. FJ and Druggie showing a typical casual disregard for home supporters queueing outside the offy when getting their train #cans
Which photo?

Yep, the offy queue is when they shouted out to me. Begging me to join them #casual
 

Lewbeelou

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After just 3.5 hours sleep the alarm went off at 05:30, it was match day again, the blank canvass of Birmingham awaited. By 06:00 I was out walking the dogs at Tiddenfoot Country park before heading home for Breakfast at 06:45. With Frankie of Frankie’s café on holiday with his family thus his café being closed and my back-up of the Route 66 diner not opening until 09:00, Mrs Fleet was on breakfast duty. I knew it was going to be a long day, so I opted for:
  • 6 Bacon
  • 4 Sausage (Marks & Spencer Pork and Apple)
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • 2 Tomato
  • 2 Black Pudding
  • 2 Fried Eggs
  • Beans
  • Bread & Butter
  • Tea
It was a stunning effort and one I could enjoy without the constant worry of spilling HP source down my casual clobber as I was still wearing my dog walking gear. Breakfast done, I stuck on my football playlist and went and had a bath and put on my clobber for the day, namely:
  • Sergio Tacchini Bucket Hat
  • Fila Polo Shirt
  • Aquascutum Shorts
  • Adidas SL80 Runners
I was in two minds about topping the look off with my mirrored Ray-Ban Aviators, but after consulting BBC Weather (when have they ever been wrong….) with the exception of sunny intervals between 08:00 and 10:00, the forecast for Brum was cloudy all day, so I thought better of it and decided to leave them at home. With two cold #cans in a carrier bag, I was picked up at 08:20 by Leighton Buzzard Taxi’s and whisked away to the station. I was due to catch the 08:47 Southern train to Milton Keynes but jumped on the London North Western Railway’s 08:40 service, as Southern services are often cancelled and getting to Brum late was obviously not an option. I landed in Milton Keynes at 08:50 and went to the waiting room on Platform 6 to sit down. Whilst in the waiting room at 09:06 I opened my first can of Strongbow and then caught my train the 09:17 to Birmingham New Street.

The train was absolutely packed, so I ended up standing the whole way to Birmingham in the section between the carriages by the toilets. The sooner they get on with opening HS2 the better in my book. All the people that moan about it are never the ones impacted by actually having to use the overcrowded, over capacity northwest main line. Anyway, the train journey up was relatively quiet – I half kept an eye out for any Herd, Headhunters or 6:57 as Arsenal, Chelsea and Pompey were all playing in the north west and Awaysocks had already messaged that there was a decent old school Chelsea turnout at Euston, but I managed to miss all three. The train stopped at Coventry but there were no Legion to be seen on their way to QPR – they must have left already. Two #cans later at 10:06 the train pulled into Birmingham New Street and I exited the station via the Howard Street exit, with the barriers being left open – I asked myself the point of buying a ticket as my ticket was not checked there and back all day and the barriers were open – its no wonder our rail system is in the mess that it is.

Once out the station with Kool & The Gang’s Get down on it being played at full blast through my Apple AirPods I purposefully strolled towards the first pub of the day, The Bull Ring Tavern. To get there you have to walk through the Bull Ring Market, as the pub came into view the excitement of the day was really kicking in and I can honestly say that there would have been no place I would rather have been in the world. Despite this, part of the casual way of life is to ooze distain wherever you go, so despite how I was actually feeling, I did my best to put an expression on my face of utter exasperation at having to venture into such a sh*t hole to go and watch my team play, as if the middle of Birmingham was the last place I would like to be, as if it was somehow beneath me. With this expression plastered over my face, clobbered up, and a toned-down Liam Gallagher walk perfected, I hope in someway I upset one or two locals.

Anyway, despite it only being 10:15 in the morning the pub was doing a roaring trade. Druggie and Nick Logan were holding court with Bill Benn and after paying just £2.90 for a Strongbow I joined them. The Bull Ring Tavern is quite a strange boozer in so much that it is located right on the edge of the Irish working class area of Birmingham. So if you look out the front you overlook the redeveloped part of Birmingham City Centre, but anything behind the pub onwards is an absolute hell hole and really rough and run down. I know its only a matter of time before this great pub gets condemned and turned into a luxury block of flats, hence making the most of it whilst its still here. At 10:45 a train load of BYE descended on the pub so we were over 40 handed in Birmingham City Centre before 11:00, with no Old Bill to be seen and no Villa either – some people would call that an off the pitch result in the world of the chap.

I would have been quite happy to stay in this fine establishment for the whole of the pre match build up but everyone else wanted to head to Snobs near the station so after a couple of pints with the time nearing 11:00 we all walked back through the market to Snobs.

By just gone 11:00 we were all holed up in Snobs and the cider was once again flowing – Aspalls sadly as they did not do Strongbow. At 11:30 we were joined by Sir Dave of Davestings and Awaysocks, and then Goodminton and a couple of his mates arrived too. Myself and Awaysocks talked about our favorite football hooligan films, namely the original firm, the 2009 Firm remake, ID and Football Factory. We also discussed the chances of Awaysocks getting into the ground as his Mrs had ripped his ticket up after he stayed out on the session last week so he had to sellotape it together – I said I thought he would be ok. For the next couple of hours this bar became the place to be seen for anyone who runs in the chap circles on matchday. By about 13:00 a few dozy Villa had entered the place. The BYE were singing songs about Jack Grealish leaving Villa due to the poor quality of the Villa team. One funny moment when I was having a piss in the loo was when one of these Villa lads mistook Druggie for also being Villa and started moaning to him about disrespectful cockneys, as Druggie was explaining that he was actually Brentford, about 6 BYE bundled into the loo and the Brummie lad very quickly went quiet and made a hasty retreat.

By now the time was getting on for 13:30 and I had consumed 5 pints of Aspalls so was starting to feel pretty chilled. However, the drink and testosterone filled pub was now full of lads from both Villa and Brentford and was probably a powder keg waiting to explode. Knowing that the BYE could quietly easily deal with their Villa counterparts in there, myself, Nick Logan, Druggie and someone else but I can’t remember who, jumped in a taxi and headed to the Whitton Arms.

We got out the cab and paid our two quid to enter the Whitton Arms. In there we met Pointy and a non GPG TW8 along with Northampton Bee. I think Northampton Bee was pretty merry as he told the TW8’s about how he was going to knock out his daughter’s boyfriend despite not knowing the bloke, or the bloke doing anything wrong. We consumed another two pints in this pretty decent away fans only pub before making our way to Villa Park.

The sun was beating down and the streets were packed with football fans – the deserted streets of Covid 2020 seemed like a distant memory as we made our way to Villa Park. And what a stadium it is, like Brentford, being located in the heart of the community. After a thorough search, the steward making empty literally everything from my pockets (so unnecessary) we were in. We were immediately greeted by Dave Lane and Billy of Beesotted who kindly introduced me to his daughter and we all spoke a bit of football, all collectively feeling pretty bullish of our on the pitch chances. Then it was time to make our way to our seats. With the away end being pretty much sold out I went and sat in my designated seat which was next to left Wing Ben, but after consuming 9 pints and 2 cans pre match, my reading skills were not what they should have been and I got my row wrong, so had to move a few rows forward just before kick-off. I found myself about 3 rows behind Harry Potter so made a point of saying Hello when I went to the loo after 15 minutes. The highlight of the first half was Sonofabee thinking that Harry Potter was singing sit down shut up to him when he was actually directing the chant at the home end, it was funny if you were there watching this exchange play out.

I cursed how useless BBC weather was as the sun beat down on us all through the match wishing I had my sunglasses. I must say it was an absolute privilege watching Brentford play at Villa Park. An amazing stadium, packed to the rafters and the noise they made celebrating their goal was impressive. With the ground filled to capacity, the sun beating down on us and the away end in full voice, it was a really stunning backdrop to watch a game of football.

After 35 minutes I noticed all the chaps were congregated to the far right of the lower tier of the away end, right near all the Villa lads, including Ambrose 1889, Oddbod, Paulo Bee, Pointy, Nick Logan, Druggie, Posh George and Bracknell_Bee18 who’s hand I shook as I made my way to the seats in that part of the ground. Nick Logan looked like he had taken on a bus load of Villa Hardcore in my absence with a swollen eye and blood all over his face, but it turned out he had simply fallen over during the Brentford goal celebrations, an occupational hazard of the chap lifestyle.

Being that Villa are one of the few clubs to serve Strongbow in the ground I made my way down to get a pint at halftime. I chatted to Nocoat and his lad before getting in the queue to help Nick Logan who was on halftime pint duty. Whilst in the queue I had a good chat with Voice From the Breamar and we both agreed that Millwall and Portsmouth are two of our favorite non Brentford clubs, that tick the boxes of high quality and quantity of chaps. Regrettably the service was slow so the second half had already started by the time I had started my halftime beer. I was not really that fussed though as I was enjoying having a good chat with westwing about when we played Cheltenham away and the CVF turned up throwing flares at the pub after the match – that was quite a day and they even had a small turnout at our place later that season as well with Ken and co having to be on their a game to keep the warring factions apart.

By 16:20 I was back in my seat next to Pointy watching the second half. Well, more watching the Villa fans behind the goal. They were up to their normal tricks of goading the away fans and pointing at everyone and basically behaving like absolute children. There was one bloke in a gray stone island jumper and glasses that was particularly annoying, thinking he was the next Steven Fowler (Villa Hardcore’s top face from back in the day) or something. It always makes me laugh at Villa as the lads behind the goal spend the entire match gesticulating and telling you how your going to get beaten up, sliced up or killed immediately after the match, only to completely disappear into thin air as soon as they leave the ground, it really is strange behavior and I am sure the real Villa lads (who are very decent btw) must cringe at these utter Muppets.

Once the final whistle went, we all clapped the team off and without trying to sound like some kind of scarfer, I really love Thomas Frank and this team really makes me so proud of what we have achieved. I also made sure I shook hands with some of the Villa stewards who on the whole seemed like a decent bunch who let us stand up all game and just left us to it, its nice when common sense prevails.

After the final whistle myself, Druggie and Sir Nick all made our way to the off license by Whitton Station. Whist in the queue we saw Banana wondering around like a lost soul so said hello. We also sadly witnessed a Lacoste clad Villa bully who must have been in his mid 40’s, i.e. old enough to know better have a go at a replica shirt clad Brentford fan who was waiting in the queue with his Mrs telling him to watch himself as he was on his manor in that awful Birmingham accent. Needless to say, this clown did not have the balls to say anything to myself, Druggie or Nick, and I was tempted to give this joker a piece of my mind, but as things did not escalate I figured this was not a battle worth having, regardless another Villa muppet embarrassing himself unfortunately and had things escalated we would quite a happily sorted this chap out as no one likes a bully, especially when its aggression against one of our own.

#cans secured (the full pint variety and cold so definitely worth the wait) and with the queue for Whitton station looking massive and the roads grid locked we made our way to the unfortunately named Yew Tree pub. We wondered into the garden and sat on a table with a family of Villa scarfers (Dad, Mum, Son, Daughter). The son looked like a cross between John Stones and Christian Norgaard and was wearing and England Shirt. We spent the next hour chatting football with them, proving that there are some decent Villa types out there. The pub was decent too, full of a mixture of chaps and scarfs from both clubs but no hint of problems, they also subscribed to our eating’s cheating mantra. I had a good chat with a Villa lad about Sergio Tacchini and the drink was flowing – we stayed here for about 90 minutes in the end as it took nearly 50 minutes to get a taxi. The taxi eventually dropped us off at Moor Street station and with Nick still struggling with mobility after his goal celebrations we decided to knock it on the head.

I went into the station for a quick piss as I really like this station. Having a Grandad who worked for the Great Western (Western Region) in Birmingham as a fireman on the trains makes me feel like I have an affinity to this station as opposed to the bland shopping centre that is New Street. Moor street retains its historic charm even to this day – think Marylebone compared to the concreate monstrosity of Euston in London.

Station admired and bladder emptied I walked to New Street and bought the last #can of Strongbow from WH Smith in the station and two #cans of dark fruit before making my way onto the train. As I was travelling alone, I spent £2.49 to rent ID on my iphone and minded my own business watching that and drinking Strongbow all the way home, thinking how amazing the Rock looked as a football boozer with Bob the landlord as the friendly local publican – it reminded my of the Zoo in its heyday.

3 #cans later I was back in Leighton Buzzard where I went to Kebab Ye for a large Lamb Shish kebab with salad and chili sauce. I got a taxi home and walked through the door at about 22:20.

How good is it to have awaydays back – answer very very good. I can’t do Wolves so West Ham is up next. Although I am going to Manchester with No Surrender bloke next weekend to watch Blackgrape play their hometown. I may well knock up a report for that as well as music and football are all closely linked in the casual world, especially a band of working class Mancs.

Unbeaten into the international break, where do we go from here…………

View attachment 27343View attachment 27344View attachment 27350View attachment 27351View attachment 27352View attachment 27353View attachment 27354
‘Station admired and bladder emptied’. Quality
 

sonofabee

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After just 3.5 hours sleep the alarm went off at 05:30, it was match day again, the blank canvass of Birmingham awaited. By 06:00 I was out walking the dogs at Tiddenfoot Country park before heading home for Breakfast at 06:45. With Frankie of Frankie’s café on holiday with his family thus his café being closed and my back-up of the Route 66 diner not opening until 09:00, Mrs Fleet was on breakfast duty. I knew it was going to be a long day, so I opted for:
  • 6 Bacon
  • 4 Sausage (Marks & Spencer Pork and Apple)
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • 2 Tomato
  • 2 Black Pudding
  • 2 Fried Eggs
  • Beans
  • Bread & Butter
  • Tea
It was a stunning effort and one I could enjoy without the constant worry of spilling HP source down my casual clobber as I was still wearing my dog walking gear. Breakfast done, I stuck on my football playlist and went and had a bath and put on my clobber for the day, namely:
  • Sergio Tacchini Bucket Hat
  • Fila Polo Shirt
  • Aquascutum Shorts
  • Adidas SL80 Runners
I was in two minds about topping the look off with my mirrored Ray-Ban Aviators, but after consulting BBC Weather (when have they ever been wrong….) with the exception of sunny intervals between 08:00 and 10:00, the forecast for Brum was cloudy all day, so I thought better of it and decided to leave them at home. With two cold #cans in a carrier bag, I was picked up at 08:20 by Leighton Buzzard Taxi’s and whisked away to the station. I was due to catch the 08:47 Southern train to Milton Keynes but jumped on the London North Western Railway’s 08:40 service, as Southern services are often cancelled and getting to Brum late was obviously not an option. I landed in Milton Keynes at 08:50 and went to the waiting room on Platform 6 to sit down. Whilst in the waiting room at 09:06 I opened my first can of Strongbow and then caught my train the 09:17 to Birmingham New Street.

The train was absolutely packed, so I ended up standing the whole way to Birmingham in the section between the carriages by the toilets. The sooner they get on with opening HS2 the better in my book. All the people that moan about it are never the ones impacted by actually having to use the overcrowded, over capacity northwest main line. Anyway, the train journey up was relatively quiet – I half kept an eye out for any Herd, Headhunters or 6:57 as Arsenal, Chelsea and Pompey were all playing in the north west and Awaysocks had already messaged that there was a decent old school Chelsea turnout at Euston, but I managed to miss all three. The train stopped at Coventry but there were no Legion to be seen on their way to QPR – they must have left already. Two #cans later at 10:06 the train pulled into Birmingham New Street and I exited the station via the Howard Street exit, with the barriers being left open – I asked myself the point of buying a ticket as my ticket was not checked there and back all day and the barriers were open – its no wonder our rail system is in the mess that it is.

Once out the station with Kool & The Gang’s Get down on it being played at full blast through my Apple AirPods I purposefully strolled towards the first pub of the day, The Bull Ring Tavern. To get there you have to walk through the Bull Ring Market, as the pub came into view the excitement of the day was really kicking in and I can honestly say that there would have been no place I would rather have been in the world. Despite this, part of the casual way of life is to ooze distain wherever you go, so despite how I was actually feeling, I did my best to put an expression on my face of utter exasperation at having to venture into such a sh*t hole to go and watch my team play, as if the middle of Birmingham was the last place I would like to be, as if it was somehow beneath me. With this expression plastered over my face, clobbered up, and a toned-down Liam Gallagher walk perfected, I hope in someway I upset one or two locals.

Anyway, despite it only being 10:15 in the morning the pub was doing a roaring trade. Druggie and Nick Logan were holding court with Bill Benn and after paying just £2.90 for a Strongbow I joined them. The Bull Ring Tavern is quite a strange boozer in so much that it is located right on the edge of the Irish working class area of Birmingham. So if you look out the front you overlook the redeveloped part of Birmingham City Centre, but anything behind the pub onwards is an absolute hell hole and really rough and run down. I know its only a matter of time before this great pub gets condemned and turned into a luxury block of flats, hence making the most of it whilst its still here. At 10:45 a train load of BYE descended on the pub so we were over 40 handed in Birmingham City Centre before 11:00, with no Old Bill to be seen and no Villa either – some people would call that an off the pitch result in the world of the chap.

I would have been quite happy to stay in this fine establishment for the whole of the pre match build up but everyone else wanted to head to Snobs near the station so after a couple of pints with the time nearing 11:00 we all walked back through the market to Snobs.

By just gone 11:00 we were all holed up in Snobs and the cider was once again flowing – Aspalls sadly as they did not do Strongbow. At 11:30 we were joined by Sir Dave of Davestings and Awaysocks, and then Goodminton and a couple of his mates arrived too. Myself and Awaysocks talked about our favorite football hooligan films, namely the original firm, the 2009 Firm remake, ID and Football Factory. We also discussed the chances of Awaysocks getting into the ground as his Mrs had ripped his ticket up after he stayed out on the session last week so he had to sellotape it together – I said I thought he would be ok. For the next couple of hours this bar became the place to be seen for anyone who runs in the chap circles on matchday. By about 13:00 a few dozy Villa had entered the place. The BYE were singing songs about Jack Grealish leaving Villa due to the poor quality of the Villa team. One funny moment when I was having a piss in the loo was when one of these Villa lads mistook Druggie for also being Villa and started moaning to him about disrespectful cockneys, as Druggie was explaining that he was actually Brentford, about 6 BYE bundled into the loo and the Brummie lad very quickly went quiet and made a hasty retreat.

By now the time was getting on for 13:30 and I had consumed 5 pints of Aspalls so was starting to feel pretty chilled. However, the drink and testosterone filled pub was now full of lads from both Villa and Brentford and was probably a powder keg waiting to explode. Knowing that the BYE could quietly easily deal with their Villa counterparts in there, myself, Nick Logan, Druggie and someone else but I can’t remember who, jumped in a taxi and headed to the Whitton Arms.

We got out the cab and paid our two quid to enter the Whitton Arms. In there we met Pointy and a non GPG TW8 along with Northampton Bee. I think Northampton Bee was pretty merry as he told the TW8’s about how he was going to knock out his daughter’s boyfriend despite not knowing the bloke, or the bloke doing anything wrong. We consumed another two pints in this pretty decent away fans only pub before making our way to Villa Park.

The sun was beating down and the streets were packed with football fans – the deserted streets of Covid 2020 seemed like a distant memory as we made our way to Villa Park. And what a stadium it is, like Brentford, being located in the heart of the community. After a thorough search, the steward making empty literally everything from my pockets (so unnecessary) we were in. We were immediately greeted by Dave Lane and Billy of Beesotted who kindly introduced me to his daughter and we all spoke a bit of football, all collectively feeling pretty bullish of our on the pitch chances. Then it was time to make our way to our seats. With the away end being pretty much sold out I went and sat in my designated seat which was next to left Wing Ben, but after consuming 9 pints and 2 cans pre match, my reading skills were not what they should have been and I got my row wrong, so had to move a few rows forward just before kick-off. I found myself about 3 rows behind Harry Potter so made a point of saying Hello when I went to the loo after 15 minutes. The highlight of the first half was Sonofabee thinking that Harry Potter was singing sit down shut up to him when he was actually directing the chant at the home end, it was funny if you were there watching this exchange play out.

I cursed how useless BBC weather was as the sun beat down on us all through the match wishing I had my sunglasses. I must say it was an absolute privilege watching Brentford play at Villa Park. An amazing stadium, packed to the rafters and the noise they made celebrating their goal was impressive. With the ground filled to capacity, the sun beating down on us and the away end in full voice, it was a really stunning backdrop to watch a game of football.

After 35 minutes I noticed all the chaps were congregated to the far right of the lower tier of the away end, right near all the Villa lads, including Ambrose 1889, Oddbod, Paulo Bee, Pointy, Nick Logan, Druggie, Posh George and Bracknell_Bee18 who’s hand I shook as I made my way to the seats in that part of the ground. Nick Logan looked like he had taken on a bus load of Villa Hardcore in my absence with a swollen eye and blood all over his face, but it turned out he had simply fallen over during the Brentford goal celebrations, an occupational hazard of the chap lifestyle.

Being that Villa are one of the few clubs to serve Strongbow in the ground I made my way down to get a pint at halftime. I chatted to Nocoat and his lad before getting in the queue to help Nick Logan who was on halftime pint duty. Whilst in the queue I had a good chat with Voice From the Breamar and we both agreed that Millwall and Portsmouth are two of our favorite non Brentford clubs, that tick the boxes of high quality and quantity of chaps. Regrettably the service was slow so the second half had already started by the time I had started my halftime beer. I was not really that fussed though as I was enjoying having a good chat with westwing about when we played Cheltenham away and the CVF turned up throwing flares at the pub after the match – that was quite a day and they even had a small turnout at our place later that season as well with Ken and co having to be on their a game to keep the warring factions apart.

By 16:20 I was back in my seat next to Pointy watching the second half. Well, more watching the Villa fans behind the goal. They were up to their normal tricks of goading the away fans and pointing at everyone and basically behaving like absolute children. There was one bloke in a gray stone island jumper and glasses that was particularly annoying, thinking he was the next Steven Fowler (Villa Hardcore’s top face from back in the day) or something. It always makes me laugh at Villa as the lads behind the goal spend the entire match gesticulating and telling you how your going to get beaten up, sliced up or killed immediately after the match, only to completely disappear into thin air as soon as they leave the ground, it really is strange behavior and I am sure the real Villa lads (who are very decent btw) must cringe at these utter Muppets.

Once the final whistle went, we all clapped the team off and without trying to sound like some kind of scarfer, I really love Thomas Frank and this team really makes me so proud of what we have achieved. I also made sure I shook hands with some of the Villa stewards who on the whole seemed like a decent bunch who let us stand up all game and just left us to it, its nice when common sense prevails.

After the final whistle myself, Druggie and Sir Nick all made our way to the off license by Whitton Station. Whist in the queue we saw Banana wondering around like a lost soul so said hello. We also sadly witnessed a Lacoste clad Villa bully who must have been in his mid 40’s, i.e. old enough to know better have a go at a replica shirt clad Brentford fan who was waiting in the queue with his Mrs telling him to watch himself as he was on his manor in that awful Birmingham accent. Needless to say, this clown did not have the balls to say anything to myself, Druggie or Nick, and I was tempted to give this joker a piece of my mind, but as things did not escalate I figured this was not a battle worth having, regardless another Villa muppet embarrassing himself unfortunately and had things escalated we would quite a happily sorted this chap out as no one likes a bully, especially when its aggression against one of our own.

#cans secured (the full pint variety and cold so definitely worth the wait) and with the queue for Whitton station looking massive and the roads grid locked we made our way to the unfortunately named Yew Tree pub. We wondered into the garden and sat on a table with a family of Villa scarfers (Dad, Mum, Son, Daughter). The son looked like a cross between John Stones and Christian Norgaard and was wearing and England Shirt. We spent the next hour chatting football with them, proving that there are some decent Villa types out there. The pub was decent too, full of a mixture of chaps and scarfs from both clubs but no hint of problems, they also subscribed to our eating’s cheating mantra. I had a good chat with a Villa lad about Sergio Tacchini and the drink was flowing – we stayed here for about 90 minutes in the end as it took nearly 50 minutes to get a taxi. The taxi eventually dropped us off at Moor Street station and with Nick still struggling with mobility after his goal celebrations we decided to knock it on the head.

I went into the station for a quick piss as I really like this station. Having a Grandad who worked for the Great Western (Western Region) in Birmingham as a fireman on the trains makes me feel like I have an affinity to this station as opposed to the bland shopping centre that is New Street. Moor street retains its historic charm even to this day – think Marylebone compared to the concreate monstrosity of Euston in London.

Station admired and bladder emptied I walked to New Street and bought the last #can of Strongbow from WH Smith in the station and two #cans of dark fruit before making my way onto the train. As I was travelling alone, I spent £2.49 to rent ID on my iphone and minded my own business watching that and drinking Strongbow all the way home, thinking how amazing the Rock looked as a football boozer with Bob the landlord as the friendly local publican – it reminded my of the Zoo in its heyday.

3 #cans later I was back in Leighton Buzzard where I went to Kebab Ye for a large Lamb Shish kebab with salad and chili sauce. I got a taxi home and walked through the door at about 22:20.

How good is it to have awaydays back – answer very very good. I can’t do Wolves so West Ham is up next. Although I am going to Manchester with No Surrender bloke next weekend to watch Blackgrape play their hometown. I may well knock up a report for that as well as music and football are all closely linked in the casual world, especially a band of working class Mancs.

Unbeaten into the international break, where do we go from here…………

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I’d only just been shouted at by an old boy behind to sit down and told him until others to our left sat down I’d be standing, Potters’ timing was perfect or terrible and he caught me at the wrong time. All good 😀😀😀
 

Jay Bee

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Once out the station with Kool & The Gang’s Get down on it being played at full blast through my Apple AirPods I purposefully strolled towards the first pub of the day, The Bull Ring Tavern.
When this thread is adapted in to Fleet John: The Movie, I like to think this song and accompanying strolling will be a key part of the trailer.

Kudos on the breakfast too.
 

Ambrose_1889

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Another cracking write up of a great day. As much as being stood next to the home fans was a consideration for being positioned in the corner, it was also the only shaded part of the lower tier! :D

Someone ought to index these in the first post to ensure they are easy to access forever more.
 

Mick.C

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Great fill in effort by Mrs FJ for Frankies cafe with the breakfast - with the six bacon and 4 M&S Sausages setting you up for the day.
Quality report.
There will be calls for one away day this season - a video diary from the 3.45am start with the dog walk to midnight at the kebab house with a day in the life of…I reckon that would get as watched as much as the after match highlights!
Good work FJ.
 

JPince

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Great fill in effort by Mrs FJ for Frankies cafe with the breakfast - with the six bacon and 4 M&S Sausages setting you up for the day.
Quality report.
There will be calls for one away day this season - a video diary from the 3.45am start with the dog walk to midnight at the kebab house with a day in the life of…I reckon that would get as watched as much as the after match highlights!
Good work FJ.
If only we had someone with a drone
 

AB

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Great fill in effort by Mrs FJ for Frankies cafe with the breakfast - with the six bacon and 4 M&S Sausages setting you up for the day.
Quality report.
There will be calls for one away day this season - a video diary from the 3.45am start with the dog walk to midnight at the kebab house with a day in the life of…I reckon that would get as watched as much as the after match highlights!
Good work FJ.
Mrs FJ is the long standing true hero in each of our protagonist’s adventures. Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote.
 

Simon C

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Great views of the bucket hat in Beesotted's Villa video

 

marvelous007

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FJ, I salute you but the bar is very high and I think you have your work cut out to better this report this season.
Good luck my friend

I also really enjoyed reading that report. Thank you FJ. Serouisly, you should consider publishing some of them in a book, as I have not read anything (Bees related) as funny since "silk scarves and Chomp Bars".

COYB.
 

Doovster

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Excellent report as usual FJ. It was a boozy day all round. I had the pleasure of Moor St and Chiltern Railways topped off by having a few bottles of Stella on the train home with my mate Ben, Westwing, one of the Westwing Juniors and a Bee chap from Hazlemere who I can't recall his name but if he reads the GPG it was nice to meet you 👍🏻
 

Hullbee

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I’d only just been shouted at by an old boy behind to sit down and told him until others to our left sat down I’d be standing, Potters’ timing was perfect or terrible and he caught me at the wrong time. All good 😀😀😀
I believe a similar thing happened as a result of you standing at Swindon away about 7-8 years a ago
 

The Joker

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Mrs FJ is the long standing true hero in each of our protagonist’s adventures.
I wonder what Mrs FJ gets up to in her spare time and how @Fleet John supports her away from football? 🤔

I'd imagine there a few stories there too...
 

AB

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I wonder what Mrs FJ gets up to in her spare time and how @Fleet John supports her away from football? 🤔

I'd imagine there a few stories there too...
Lets keep the mystique rather than get her milkshake ducked when we discover she takes the opportunity to watch QPR home and away safe in the knowledge FJ will never know.
 

Voice from the Braemar

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top report FJ.......read it twice as it was that good ;) lol
i top trumped you on the 'refreshments' stakes though....first can at 8am dead on and last one at 10.30pm and had my own supply for during the game too ;) lmbo


tremendous day and even walking all the way back from the ground to moor st station was cool with a offy stop en route through gangland central ! some of the BYE gave up half way and got an uber....they need more resiliance ! lol

great turnout at Snobs but only 1 or 2 bar staff so went to dragons inn 'spoons round the corner which is always good.....good chat with some villa lads in there who were most happy to get a point in advance seeing as our record against them was so good recently :)
love going to villa as such a great ground and a day out in brum is always fun......one of the best aways of the season ;)
 

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I think Northampton Bee was pretty merry as he told the TW8’s about how he was going to knock out his daughter’s boyfriend despite not knowing the bloke, or the bloke doing anything wrong

Properly made me laugh that!
 

AB

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Did @Fleet John make it to Wolves?
Wolves is about as far away from an overnight at a shabby seaside resort known for its cheap B&Bs with generous breakfasts , bargain pub prices and early hour kebab availability as you can get so no surprise that no report.
 

sonofabee

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Wolves is about as far away from an overnight at a shabby seaside resort known for its cheap B&Bs with generous breakfasts , bargain pub prices and early hour kebab availability as you can get so no surprise that no report.
I suspect like most of us, he got in and out of that midlands sh*thole as quickly as possible.

Every pub that we walked past was Home fans only and had door staff, the place is an absolute khazi with people who talk like Jasper Carrott on speed. It’s got nothing to attract fans on an away day to spend anytime there.
 

Isleworth_Bee

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I suspect like most of us, he got in and out of that midlands sh*thole as quickly as possible.

Every pub that we walked past was Home fans only and had door staff, the place is an absolute khazi with people who talk like Jasper Carrott on speed. It’s got nothing to attract fans on an away day to spend anytime there.

Agree. Awful away day experience.
 

AB

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I suspect like most of us, he got in and out of that midlands sh*thole as quickly as possible.

Every pub that we walked past was Home fans only and had door staff, the place is an absolute khazi with people who talk like Jasper Carrott on speed. It’s got nothing to attract fans on an away day to spend anytime there.

I thought the city centre had been quite nicely cleaned up and every Wolves fan I met was very friendly and chatty both before and after the game. Far worse and more unwelcoming places to go away to (eg Rotherham at Millmoor).
 

sonofabee

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I thought the city centre had been quite nicely cleaned up and every Wolves fan I met was very friendly and chatty both before and after the game. Far worse and more unwelcoming places to go away to (eg Rotherham at Millmoor).
You can have that, Rotherham is worse but at least you can get a beer in the pubs
 
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After just four hours sleep my alarm was ringing and it was time for chap duty – 04:00 on a Sunday morning. By 04:40 I found myself in a pitch black Tiddenfoot Country park walking the dogs and contemplating coming up against some of the country’s finest chaps from East London – the Irons, aptly named as they have a history of ironing out any chap that lets his guard down for too long the wrong side of the city walls – needless to say I was looking forward to another great day out following Brentford on the frontline. Dogs walked and bath done I donned my finest clobber for the day – namely:
  • Benetton Rugby Shirt
  • Lois Jeans
  • Adidas SL80’s
  • Ray-Ban Mirrored Aviators
The taxi picked me up at 06:25 and after asking where I was off to for the day the driver proceeded to give me a lecture about how much he hated the England fans that tarnished our name at the Euros. I was too tired to argue the toss so just nodded and grunted in agreement. I arrived at Leighton Buzzard station at 06:40 in plenty of time for the first train of the day – the 06:50 into London Euston. The train journey to London was uneventful. I arrived at Euston at 07:50, walked to Euston Square and jumped on the circle line to Liverpool Street and headed straight to the Polo Bar. The café was doing a roaring trade with some hipsters still on a night out getting shots in and a few transport police having a breakfast. I kept myself to myself and ordered their Traditional Breakfast which consisted of:
  • 2 toast
  • Tea
  • Black Pudding
  • Bacon
  • Tomato
  • Mushrooms
  • Fried Egg
  • Sausage
  • Beans
  • Brown Sauce
Breakfast consumed I walked out the station, ignored the about 50 riot police outside and headed to Liverpool Street underground before boarding a tube to Mile End and then changing onto the Hammersmith & City line and getting the tube to Barking. I arrived at Barking at 09:05. Choosing Barking as our pre match meeting point proved to be a masterstroke with everything the average chap could possibly want in spitting distance of the station. I walked up the steps onto the tired concourse. The station concourse was the sort of place that would have looked a sh*thole when it was originally built in the 60’s, no doubt designed by some spotty kid straight out of University – the past 40 years left it feeling like something straight out the roughest and most deprived areas of the Eastern block with abandoned shop fronts, boarded up windows where the local vandals had done their worse and a general air of despondency – the exact best place to arrive clobbered up with a swagger and air of confidence on a Sunday morning. I briefly enjoyed the moment, clocking the off license opposite before walking into the pub immediately next door to the station the Barking Dog (Weatherspoons).

I not a fan of all Weatherspoons but this one was one of the good ones. I was the first TW8 to arrive and crowned the moment of personal achievement by ordering a Strongbow. It was not long before I was joined by Jambo and Nick Logan and shortly after by Druggie and Motherwell Bee. Strongbow was flowing and I could not think of a better way of spending a Sunday morning than worshiping at the home of the chap (the pub). About three pints in we were also joined by Lionheart as well. We watched the world go by from our position in the pub and I have to say Barking on a Sunday offers some great entertainment for the average chap. The highlight of which was someone being so drunk that his mate had to give him a firemans lift home – well I think it was his mate anyway – who knows.

As soon as 12:00 rolled around we drank our 6th pint and walked 30 seconds to the next pub – the Spotted Dog – which again was our kind of pub, proper old school east end. We stayed here for another couple of pints and enjoyed the sun in the garden on Barking high street. Randomly there were three old school Hibs fans at the bar, all in their 50’s and all built like Mike Tyson, we left them alone throughout our hour long stay but did give them a little Rangers song as a parting gift before heading over the road at 13:00 to the off license for #can for the journey to the London Stadium.

Our journey there was relatively uneventful, we got the C2C to West Ham and then the tube to Stratford. What amazed me was that despite being one of the most densely populated cities in the word, somehow West Ham have gone from having a ground in the heart of the local community to the middle of nowhere – it blows my mind how a once proud club can be reduced to a plastic laughing stock in the space of six years. The walk from Stratford tube station was as boring as it comes, having to go through a searching perimeter was a new and sad experience for a match day at Brentford. Checkpoint negotiated we finally got to the ground and went in.

Whilst the London Stadium is massive, it really is soulless and the bubble machines are the height of cringe. Despite leaving for the game with an hour to spare by the time we had made it to the ground it was 10 minutes into the 1st half. Having consumed just shy of 9 pints we had no inclination of sitting in our own seats so made our way to the very top of the stand and stood in the aisle with the 30 or so like minded Brentford chaps. I contemplated my lifestyle as I walked up to the top, a walk to rival St James Park in terms of steepness, duration and length from the pitch.

Once I had finally got to the top it was not long before the fun police turned up ushering everyone into seats and generally doing their best to ruin everyone’s day out for no reason – it blows my mind what rock these people crawl out from every match day. We all know what happened in the match so I wont dwell on the game too much. At halftime I had an overpriced non strongbow cider in a plastic cup. I bumped into a few of the other Brentford chap element including Voice and we had a chat about casual clobber from the 83/84 era (the casual golden age). 15 minutes into the second half I went for a piss and ended up bumping into an old school pal (literally known him since I was 5) who was sat on his own right next to the West Ham fans on the left of the away end as you look at the pitch. I ended up staying there for the rest of the second half which gave me the perfect vantage point to study the West Ham chaps up close. What a sorry disappointment they were. A far cry from their 80 – 86 heyday with Cass, Swallow and Bill Gardener leading designer clad chaps of the highest caliber into battle anywhere from Millwall to Middlesbrough, only to be replaced by 15 year old wannabes and gobby idiots who thought they were straight out of Rise of the Foot solider – their lack of class was an embarrassment to the once proud reputation of the West Ham chap element and only reinforced what a joke outfit they have become since leaving Upton Park – a shame as I know a few of their proper chaps quite well who are as game as they come.

Anyway with 5 minutes to go, I said goodbye to my pal and headed back to the back of the stand to meet the rest of the chaps. I watched the end of the game in the no mans land behind the back row of seats. This gave me the perfect stage to celebrate our winner with as much gusto as is physically possible, running around like a demented imbecile with a goal celebration that was up there with the best of them – maybe the best ever, although Huddersfield away on a Tuesday about 20 years ago has to be up there too – when we equalized in the last minute.

Given my vantage point I was one of the last people to leave the round which gave me the perfect time to shake hands with strangers and take in how far we had come, I left the ground sinning about flying Ryanair or easyJet to Napoli next season and really enjoyed the moment.

Regrettably all good things must come to an end and I now had to contend with a painful trip back to Stratford tube. The only saving grace was that they let all the home and away fans mix which gave the average chap the perfect opportunity to wind up the West Ham fans in the immediate vicinity. I said to a few of the other lads deadly seriously that we will be playing our reserves here next season whilst we use the first team to focus on our Champions League campaign. I was of course talking complete nonsense but I know it must have wound up any irons that were around us.

Myself, Jambo and Druggie arrived at Stratford tube together and after saying our goodbyes to Davestings and Awaysocks we jumped on the tube one stop to Stratford talking a bit of football with some of the West Ham fans on there before getting the C2C at Stratford all the way to Upminster to celebrate the win behind enemy lines. It was about 17:15 by the time we finally made it to Upminster but the journey was worth it as we were straight off the train and straight into the Junction Pub to meet No Surrender Bloke for a beer. No Surrender Bloke was home and away with West Ham for over 10 years but since they moved grounds has vowed never to go again. He was more than happy to host us in this cracking football pub which was doing a roaring trade on a Sunday afternoon. We were soon joined by Nick Logan and Motherwell who had stopped at a restaurant for a beer on route (but no food) and the six of us spent the next couple of hours toasting the win and having a good time – even No Surrender bloke was in good spirits despite the result. Anyway, we knocked back another four pints before knocking it on the head at 19:30. Nick Logan and Jambo headed back to Essex, Druggie stayed in the pub with No Surrender Bloke and myself and Motherwell got the train to Fenchurch Street via the off license for another couple of #cans.

We then got the circle line to Euston Square and Paddington respectively – the same tube. You can imagine our surprise when we noticed we were back in the heart of East London again at Stepney and had somehow caught the wrong train. After our unplanned diversion we changed tubes and eventually ended up at our desired locations. I got an uneventful 21:31 train home to Leighton Buzzard with Mrs Fleet picking me up at 22:16. Mrs Fleet drove me to the Tesco car park where she watched me walk to the Kebab shop punching the air celebrating the win (both arms btw). I ordered an Extra-Large Lamb Shish and Doner mix kebab with red cabbage, lettuce, onions and chili sauce took it back to the car and we finally walked through the door shortly before 23:00, eating the kebab was the perfect end to the perfect day. Does football get any better than this I pondered as the kebab was consumed shortly after walking through the front door. With 20 of us at Blackpool at the end of the month and a practically sold out away end there is still plenty to look forward to this season was the conclusion I reached :sorted:

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Untouchable

Once called a bastard by a Judge
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I walked up the steps onto the tired concourse. The station concourse was the sort of place that would have looked a sh*thole when it was originally built in the 60’s, no doubt designed by some spotty kid straight out of University – the past 40 years left it feeling like something straight out the roughest and most deprived areas of the Eastern block with abandoned shop fronts, boarded up windows where the local vandals had done their worse and a general air of despondency – the exact best place to arrive clobbered up with a swagger and air of confidence on a Sunday morning.
Ken Loach has just retired. He knows he can’t compete with this.
 

badgerbee

Mafeking Avenue........gets you there!!!!
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“We were soon joined by Nick Logan and Motherwell who had stopped at a restaurant for a beer on route (but no food)”
😁

Eating’s cheating!!
😄
 

RT

The Mobile man
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I don't know how you do it. I had 7 pints last night and I was all over the place and today is a write off
 
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