Story of the 2011/12 season - West Ham (a)
The day began with a lazy morning at home. Danny Baker on 5Live is arguably the best start to any Saturday morning. I was educated about listeners' experiences in rivers of the world and other such interesting facts.
Mrs Tim took an age to get ready and the plan of getting the 11:08 to Waterloo bit the dust. We ended up getting the 11:38, and to our disgust found that we couldn't get a beer on the train as the buffet car was closed.
However, despite this traumatic experience we were not put off. We got to Waterloo & the sun came out. Pompey fans were singing in the main area of the station, causing a lot of people to look very confused. I'm not sure what the Japanese tourists that we saw made of the whole "Blue Army" thing.
We decided to walk over the river to Embankment to get the district line, and got side-tracked by a food market on the south bank. A kofta and some home-brew later and we were on our way.
We arrived at Upton Park tube in good time. We checked to see if Rug & Co were about for a beer, but apparently they were playing dominos at a branch of the Royal British Legion that Ken knows.
We tried to get a beer at the staunchly West Ham "Boleyn", but decided that a) it was far too busy and b) it was probably not a great idea to drink in "enemy territory".
Instead we opted to go for possibly the largest hot dog you'll ever see from a "hole in the wall" hot dog shop (every town has one) and drink in the bar in the stand.
I was shown up by Mrs Tim as she necked 3 beers in the time it took me to get started on my 2nd! We saw a few familiar faces & after my 3rd beer I decided it was a good idea to put money on Pompey (I don't do such crazy things when sober - honest). My bet of 2-1 Pompey, Benjani to score first, wasn't ever going to allow me to retire.
The match started really well. 2 goals almost from the off. Shame that Matt Taylor decided to celebrate so fervently. I had him up almost as high as Primus, but now he is down with the likes of Defoe. Such a shame. Matty, you blew it.
Not long after we saw someone being escorted out (this became relevant later). At half time I opted to get more beer but so had half of the Pompey fans too. An awesome atmosphere with lots of "disco" action made the long queue almost acceptable. When about 4 from the front a chap shouted "Tim!" I had no idea who he was, but he seemed to be shouting at me. He shouted again and asked what I wanted to drink. I still had no idea but asked for 2 Carlsberg. He handed them to me & I still was none the wiser. We spoke for a few mins & still I didn't know this guy. Turns out that he is a friend of my sister (stay calm Chixy!) AND was the guy who got thrown out (but then got let back in). He is actually a complete legend, and a good laugh. By this time the match had restarted & we heard West Ham score. At this time Ritchie appeared too. Unfortunately whilst trying to sup our beers Benji (or was it Norris?) scored and we all decided to head back to our seats.
We went and stood with Rug & Co for the rest of the half and saw a brave fight end up in defeat.
Afterwards we grabbed a Chinese at a doubtful looking place outside the ground until the crowds subsided, before heading over to Hyde Park for "Proms in the Park" which was superb - you have to love Katherine Jenkins. Sir Terry of Wogan was good fun too.
A long, but very enjoyable day concluded at 2am, when we finally made it back home. You have to love Pompey away days!Written by Pompeytim
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