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Matt & Friends on a European Tour

With an average age of 40, we had all waited for this moment & there was no way we would not go. My best mate Dave & Jes decided to look into the options of going independently. It wasn't just about the money; it was we wanted to be free of the crowd. As it turned out the saving were some 250.00 per person, so there was no argument. I did pass the information on in the Vital forum & Rug & his mates did the same road trip.

We left Portsmouth on Thursday morning at 4.30am. 2 hour drive to Stansted airport. 2 hour flight to Valladolid in northern Spain. Then a 4 hour car drive to our host city in Portugal. By the time we checked into our lovely hotel it was 4.30pm. 12 hours from A to B.

A quick shower & change & into the city. 5 hours until kick off. Lots of hooting cars from the local Portuguese as we strolled down the street in our Pompey shirts, but all in good spirit. We soon met a dozen Pompey supporters, so we joined them for a beer. We had a quick look around the beautiful medieval city & were soon approaching the market square. We had invaded. A good 1,000 supporters were there. The noise was fantastic. We had flags all over the walls. Lots of beer & singing. An experience none of us had ever had before & we were all going to enjoy every minute. We had a lovely meal with a few bottles of wine, then back into the square for more beer & singing. Then off to the match, army style, marching, singing & no trouble.

We had all paid good money & certainly a lot of effort to get here & we so desperately wanted to qualify for the group stages.

We started badly & it got worse. 2 down after 35 minutes & we were in shock. A realism that we could be going home & our little European dream was over. We held out to half time with the aggregate scores level. But if we could score then... but it was a big but as we looked poor. The second half started & all of sudden it was us looking good & they were looking scared. We dominated but couldn't score. Extra time came & we carried on where had left off & then that moment we had waited for. Peter Crouch scored & we all went mad. We knew that was it, they had to score twice now & we knew they hadn't the fight anymore. Then Crouch scored again & we all went mad again. By now the game that had started on Thursday night, was into Friday morning. We didn't care; we had done what we had came to do. We walked back to our hotel & by now it was 1am.

The alarm went off at 4.45am so quick wash & dress, we checked out, too early for breakfast & left at 5.30am. 4 hour drive to the airport, 2 hour flight back & back in Portsmouth for 5.30pm. 12 hours from B to A.

Home, exhausted & emotionally drained. Can we do it again please???!!!

Matt European

Written by storagematt.

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:Sunday October 5 2008

Time: 9:23AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
nice one matt, was good to see you over there - even if 'over there' was only in spain :-) altho i did speak to you on the phone in portugal...
thanks for sharing with us, im sorting mine to add this week, up to 3 pages already tho...
Report Abuse
05/10/2008 09:25:00

Hi Rug, yep good to see you & friends. Thanks for putting the article on. Hope to do it again soon.
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05/10/2008 09:28:00

PS. I hope the picture doesn't put you off your Sunday lunch!!!! You can always use it to scare off the kids at Halloween. LOL.
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05/10/2008 09:36:00

Great stuff Matt just received Pompey4me and UKTony's photos - just 100 of them!! Everyone sure enjoyed themselves.
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05/10/2008 10:27:00

Nice one Matt; sounds as though Guimares was livelier than our tour rep told us. Nothing there (err....wrong) and no alcohol (err...very wrong). A great experience all round though, however you went.
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05/10/2008 10:59:00

What a nice read that was, Matt. But what a marathon! We could hear you all from the minute the match started. The camera kept panning across you all and yu looked as if you were all having a great time. When it panned after 40 minutes, it was a different story though. But it all came good, I was sat on the edge of my chair, it was fantastic! You lucky old toofs, all of you who went. I'm glad it turned out to be worth it for you all!
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05/10/2008 11:09:00

Good article Matt - my article's still in my head at the moment. Porto was pretty lively as well. It was a completely amazing experience none of us will ever forget!
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05/10/2008 11:44:00

Yes it was just briil. Looking forward to hearing the other stories.
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05/10/2008 21:01:00

Nice one Matt. Lots of driving, but you seem to have got over that ok. I simply loved the whole experience. If I get time I'll pen my memoirs soon!
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05/10/2008 22:39:00

Wow sounded great. What a fab 36 hours!
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06/10/2008 15:27:00

Nice one Matt, hope your friends driving didn't keep you from enjoying your sleep in the back of the car,as we found out Sunday Ha! Ha!
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06/10/2008 20:02:00

nearly finished mine now... nearly :-)
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06/10/2008 21:05:00

Here's hoping for a good draw today & we can have another adventure or two.
Report Abuse
07/10/2008 09:56:00


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