Geezers on Sale
The ever-growing band of hard-core away supporters met up on a Friday afternoon in Manchester for a few bevvies prior to the game. Having booked into a Hotel in the City Centre, one brainy (or sober) suggestion was to buy our tram ticket to get to the ground and then get something to eat. For a small group of Geezers, who had spent a significant amount of the afternoon boozing (they set out to discover the architectural delights of Manc, only to get as far as the pub on the corner), this was no easy task. First, find a ticket machine. Second, find out how it works (duh?). Third, argue for 10 minutes over the cheapest way of buying a ticket for 6 people. Fourth, go for the most expensive option and chuck as much small change in the machine as possible, all at once, whilst squealing , shouting and pushing each out of the way shouting. Five, say sod-it, thatll do, wheres that Italian restaurant. Six, apologise profusely to the line of bemused commuters queuing behind them.
Having met up with other travelling geezers, the party now numbered 10 and MrsB convinced the owner of the restaurant into believing that we were well-behaved, sober and upright rugby supporters. With an hour or so to spare, the consensus was the set menu with lots of garlic things to avert RBs spells, washed down by copious amounts of Italian lager, served in champagne flutes (well, we are the Quins, Dahhling). MrsB settled the bill on one of her best shopping credit cards, and notes flew across the table as we realised that we didnt have long until kick off and we still had to get to Sale.
The tram was interesting. Two young lads were smoking pot, Terry was singing dock of the bay and the geezers attempted mass tram-trewsering. Arriving at the stop, Andy said follow me chaps and promptly set off in the wrong direction. Common sense dictated that we follow some Sale supporters and this successfully led us to the ground, where we waited ages to be served in the bar (you think that the East stand is slow).
Beer levels topped up up, we invaded the Birtles stand and practised a few warm up toots with Terry manfully wearing the incredibly heavy horned helmet. Innuendo Andy had a field day with horns, helmets, knobs, presses etc. There were 19 or so Quins supporters in the Birtles and, as soon as the noise started, Sale supporters looked around in alarm. Whats this? Quins supporters? - making a noise? - With their reputation? - but its Friday night! As Sale ran onto the pitch there was what we thought a firework display to welcome them on with a bang, but on thinking about it, it was probably some Manchester yobs setting fire to a local chip shop. A steady barrage of noise assailed the home support throughout the first half until they realised that perhaps they should try and drown us out. MrsBs ears pricked up as hundreds of voices droned Say-ull, Say-ull. Her shoppers instinct kicked in; Sale? Where? Any bargains? However, the noise soon died down to be replaced with another earth shattering and unending chorus of Toot, too-oo-oot, tut (Terry hadnt quite got the hang of it yet) Har-le-quins. Throughout this din, Binky frantically tried to take notes under a constant barrage of heckling and did you get that. Innuendo kindly pointed out that Prof would have done a pad by now and a bottle of vodka. Another suggestion was that the Quins management should prime Lou with 5 or 6 pints before the game as she had become the vocal equivalent of a battalion of banshee, sending the local Sale supporters running for cover. Say-ull, Say-ull they droned Its not Sale, somebody pointed out Its now Sharks. At one point the contingent burst into The Referees a Lander, much to the amusement of Spreaders, who will undoubtedly tell his colleague of the incident. Half time came and Innuendo very kindly sent a text to MrsB, who was standing next to him, with the score.
Second half, and despite the Sharks fightback, the support continued as vigorously as ever. Terry decided that Melvin had over-horned the helmet, expressed concern over Melvins electrical ability, and offered it to Lou for a while. The combination of helmet and Lou was too much for even the Quins support to bear and the helmet was returned to its rightful, if temporary, owner. In the meantime, Terry thought that he would chant a la Smiler Chum Ern Huwa Quinsahhh he bellowed, as the Sale support wondered what the hell he was shouting.
The game ended too soon and through the gloom Binky scuttled away to find food in the pressroom. Eagerly he waited, pen and sandwiches in hand, whilst Evs and Scotty gave an in-depth interview to the rest of the Quins contingent in the stand DOH! Innuendo Andy asked if being in the press box was like being in RBs box, but we wont go there.
Game ended priority one became Beer! To the bar and a very warm welcome from the Sale supporters (great club, great supporters). Terry started chatting to a very nice young lady (yes, I said young!) and was really chuffed to get her mobile number. A Sale supporter demonstrated how to balance a pint of beer on ones head (an impersonation of Salaries Fez Heads, only these were Fizz Heads). IA tried it, but couldnt stop giggling and Terry and Baldrick attempt a duet, only Terrys head was obviously shaking too much from the weight of his helmet and he nearly spilt beer all over the barmaids.
It was great to meet 15UP and Major Bloodnock at the game and a few Geezer cards were distributed, including a number to the Quins Royal Bank of Scotland sponsors, who were present in force and very polite. Lou decided that Jason Robinson needed geezering. She ordered a reluctant and complaining Binky to escort her with camera (these Geezerettes are soooo forceful). When on approaching Jason he asked if she wanted his autograph, she said, almost sneeringly, No, I just want a photo, hold this card now!. A nearby Sale supporter offered to take the photo and a bemused and worried looking Jason Robinson, posed between Lou and Binky. Lou then spent the rest of the evening showing the whole of the bar, the local neighbourhood and the whole of Manchester her photo!
The bar closed at about 11pm and, last out, the hardcore Quins supporters who were staying the night headed for the tram and find more beer in Manchester. Ignoring IAs directions, they found the station and headed for town. Binky tried to make sense of his notes and began typing up the match report. Terry was quiet and looking pensive. He sought advice from his fellows; Should I give her a ring (speaking of the young lady he was talking to earlier). Send her a text offered IA. Terry sat down and tried to focus on his phone. Then, panic, trembling and fear set in. Had he forgotten the words to Dock of the Bay? Had he lost his wallet? Had he left he beloved trews at the ground? No he had entered her name in the phone, but not her number!!!!!! Heartbroken and inconsolable, he fell weeping to the floor. The first girl he had managed to chat up that had a full set of teeth and was under 50 and he had lost her number!!
Arriving in St Peters Square the group decided that they needed beer tokens and set about asking anybody passing where the nearest cash point was. Terry soon forgot his distress as he saw how many scantily clad young ladies were wandering around Manchester at gone Midnight and he asked as many as possible for directions, totally ignoring what they said to him in reply. Outside the Town Hall, he asked another set of Mancunians, only to find that the chap who was accompanying the party recognised Baldrick from the Lions tour to Australia. Coincidence or what! After a long chat about all the places they had visited together in Aus, he gave us clear directions to the cashpoint and a few bars. We had hardly gone 50 yards when a young, very attractive blonde threw herself at Baldrick. Rick she cried, its so good to see you. Its not often that geezers are lost for words, but they stood there, open mouthed, as Baldrick was smothered in hugs and kisses. This was more than coincidence. Terry was nearly weeping again at this stage.
Baldricks friend took pity on our sorry group and led them to a downstairs bar, whereby the geezers got steadily even more drunk. This bar had a brilliant live DJ who went through the Geezer songlist, apart from the Mighty Quin, but we sang that anyway. It was just like being back in the good old East Stand, especially when a very large (obese) drunk Mancunian decided that he would cuddle us all and took rather a fancy to both Lou and Binky. All good things come to and eventually hoards of bouncers moved in to clear the bar. Typically, the geezers were last out. Gone 2am and the street of Manchester were teeming with people. Terry was like a Labrador puppy, not knowing where to sniff next, and we had problems tracking him down. At one stage, he headed off in one direction, Lou and Mrs B in another to look for him and Baldrick, Binky and IA standing by the kerb wondering where everybody else had gone? Eventually, the group gave up looking for Terry, who we assumed was heading for the local Darby and Joan club, and went back to the hotel.
In the foyer, the group found an ice cream machine. Fascinated by its mechanism, they purchased loads of ice cream and sat there at gone 3am, like a bunch of schoolkids, giggling and licking ice cream. It would appear that Terry did eventually return, but the only bird he pulled was a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Having eaten this appetising feast, he promptly fell asleep on the bog.
Asleep at 0330hours (with our reputation early night then!) many of the party were awoken at 0700hrs by a dustcart outside the window emptying bin after bin of empty glass bottles. With headaches that would have killed lesser beings, the group, less MrsB, headed for breakfast. Binky tried in vain to get a fans eye view of the game, but alright, good and dun well dont make for good news script. Binky gave up and consoled himself that MrsBs hangover would prevent her from going shopping. Once everybody had consumed sufficient coffee to ensure that they would stay awake for the long, long journey home, they set off heading South.
If all this happened in one night, what will Caerphilly be like? Watch this space.