From the latest chapter of “FAW’s organisational brilliance. The Wilderness Years”
Eastgate St, Cardiff. 6th September 2008.
That well known Cardiff literary creation Willy Wonka could not have planned a finer afternoon. It’s 2:10 and a queue of thousands snakes down the thoroughfare. The gently fuming horde were on a quest, a quest for that elusive piece of cardboard known as a “ticket”.
It was such a mind-blowing situation that all of the organisational staff were thrown in to inaction. One steward managed to collect his thoughts enough to inform us that they’d sold out in one office next to the ground, which was extremely helpful.
My first attempt to obtain a “ticket” met with failure. On Tuesday I asked for one to be put to aside so I may pick it up before the game, I was willing to pay and everything. This wasn’t possible because when a booking is made using a card they absolutely have to send out the “tickets” by post, it’s the rules or suffink. Of course this little thing incurs a small delivery charge of £5.75 (plus an entirely reasonable booking fee of £1.50). After much thought and guided by the testimonial of my personal telesales operative; “Just turn up on Saturday, you’ll get one no probs” I resolved to wait until before the match.
Anyway I digress. It’s 2:40 and in order to amuse the queue FAW bigwig David Collins made it rain. One of the five stewards guarding the VIP entrance against another potential terrorist atrocity informed us that the game couldn’t be delayed due to the blessed Rupert, praise him!! At 3:27 I had a “ticket”. The delivery from the counter to my hand, a whole 9 inches, incurred the very reasonable charge of £1.50.
The match action escaped my attention in the quarter full national stadium. I mostly recall a general sense of annoyance with the human race; bloody stewards standing there in their bloody fluorescent coats doing bugger all, bloody stewards standing there in their bloody fluorescent coats ordering the hoi polloi around in their best jobsworth “you can’t sit there, it’s the wrong side of the steps” attitudes (It must be a health and safety issue to herd everyone in the same sectors while leaving 3/4 of the ground unoccupied), children blowing those bastard horns, Jason fucking Koumas striding nonchalantly forward to miss a penalty.
I can’t wait for January when we sign some new players.
Then I went and paid £16 to watch the professional egg-chasing next door. It was crap as well but the stewards were less work shy and actually friendly. 2 tries, one due to a cock up. As the guy said at the start “Only one team can be the winner tonight!!” It ended 16-16.Neath Athletic 0 Bangor City 1 Welsh Premier League
Due to the rain this match was under threat but a quick phone cleared up the confusion. The game was in the Gnoll, home of the local eggchasers. The shops were shut, the clouds were low, the mood subdued. Neath looked fabulous, the Gnoll was fabulous, the stewards was fabulous, the head of safety was fabulous, the football was fabulous, the post were fabulously hit several times, Sarge’s free kick was fabulously Rivelino-esque, the coach ride home was fabulous.