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My Other West Brom Adventure

The cup semi-final with West Brom promises to be a great adventure for both sets of fans; it should be a great day, with an electric atmosphere.

But this isn't my first big adventure regarding West Brom.

It was towards the end of the 1987-88 season. Alan Ball's Pompey were pushing for promotion to Division 1. I was a modern languages student on my 'sandwich' year, and was staying in Mainz, Germany. But through the ancient technology of the day, i.e. the BBC world service and the availability of English newspapers, I was still in touch with all things Pompey.

I can't tell you the exact date now, I think it was a mid-week game but I'm not even sure of that now. But what I do know is that if Pompey won their match at West Brom and another result or 2 went their way, they'd be promoted.

I couldn't bear to miss it. Missing it was not an option. I had to go. So I got the train to Frankfurt airport. I paid a small fortune (especially for a student) for an air ticket to Heathrow. (I think it was about 300). Then I got on a train to Birmingham.

I had no real idea exactly where West Brom's ground was in relation to central Birmingham. I bought a cup of tea and some chips in the main shopping centre, the Bull Ring, then asked directions to the bus station. When I got to the bus station, I asked again. It seems I was in the wrong bus station, for the wrong bus company. I will never forget the kindness of the man who walked with me to the correct bus station, and due to him, I managed to catch a bus out into the suburbs to the Hawthorns.

Amazingly, as I approached the away end and the turnstile (very few matches were all ticket in those days) I saw one of my friends just going through, they'd just got off the supporter's coach. I hadn't actually told anybody, my friends, my parents, anybody that I was going. So they were a little surprised to see me, to say the least.

Of course, typical Pompey (of back then, anyway) they lost the match and didn't go up that day. They did go up later that season and it happened when Shrewsbury won a midweek game, when we weren't playing, meaning their opponents couldn't catch us.

I was able to get a seat on a supporters coach back to Pompey and then rang my Mum when I got to Cosham, to say 'guess where I am'.

So now you all know how completely barking mad I am, I'll just say I hope our next meeting with the Baggies is as much of an adventure, but obviously hope for a better result this time! I certainly had not a small amount of luck on my side the last time, even if that day it didn't translate onto the pitch. This time I'm sure it will.

Written by tracyc.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 2 2008

Time: 11:23PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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now that was some adventure tracy, this will be an adventure this weekend but thankfully - at least i would hope so - abit easier to navigate!
Report Abuse
02/04/2008 23:25:00

see, I told ya, shrewsbury every week!!!
Report Abuse
02/04/2008 23:53:00

Bizarre, but my memory of that year was de-frosting the freezer listening to Shrewsbury play Oldham(?) The commentator came out with the classic line of "Dare I say it? Scummers here we come!"
Report Abuse
03/04/2008 07:36:00

Yes, remember listening to bits of the Shrewsbury-Oldham on a car radio. A really stragnge feeling to hear we had been promoted after the pain of missing out on the two previous seasons. That's 20 years of my life from then to now!
Report Abuse
03/04/2008 09:27:00

Nice one tracy I was there that night and it was a very disappointing display too. it was at the end of the 1986/87 season actually (29th April to be precise) Great story though!!
Report Abuse
03/04/2008 09:28:00

Last time I went to the hawthorns back in the late 80's I went for 4 on a 'Persil' train ticket and got up there only to find the game had been postponed due to snow. Needless to say i got very drunk.
The Rabbi
Report Abuse
03/04/2008 11:29:00

sadley, if we loose this, i dont think we will win the fa cup anway...
Report Abuse
03/04/2008 14:05:00

Saturday's West Brom adventure is going to be very very different!
Report Abuse
03/04/2008 20:01:00

TC brings it all back! Although no way near TC's devotion to duty I had a business meeting in Nottingham that I deliberately arranged for the 29th Apr so I could go to the Hawthorns! Quick change on an M1 service station and in the stands for a match we thought we'd win as WBA were in the bottom half. Goal for the Baggies after 18mins but we couldn't reply. The 3 points we got at home to Millwall on the Sat saw us though - thanks to Shrewsbury. Amazing its 21 years ago!
FP Dec 16th 1972
Report Abuse
03/04/2008 21:18:00

FP I thought the goal was 16 mins (lol) but it was an awful performance. And so was the Curry we had in Henley-in-Arden on the way home.
Report Abuse
04/04/2008 13:34:00


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