A day out at the football, and it was Clare’s idea. She sits there looking rather amused at the boisterous but harmless fellow Morecambe FC fans who took over The Leopard pub near Doncaster station at lunchtime. The stencil of Pelé, to the right, also sets the tone. Sadly, no one was feeling as boisterous after watching a rather tame 1-0 defeat, but that was all still to come.
My latest trip to Ewood Park, this time to see Morecambe FC (still buoyed up by their recent win at Wembley) play Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup. The stewards had plenty of visiting Morecambe fans to deal with but not, it has to be said, a great many Blackburnians. Perhaps this was because they knew the result was fated, as I was in attendance. This was my fifth visit to the ground as far as I can ascertain, and Blackburn Rovers have now lost every one of them: a 1-2 defeat to the mighty Shrimps this evening continuing the run. I won’t be back for a little while, guys, I promise.
No apologies today for adding the second football-related celebration of the weekend. At the start of this ravaged season — just one aspect of our emptied recent lives — there were many reasons to not anticipate that it would end at Wembley stadium, but here we are. The final whistle has just gone and those fans of Morecambe FC that were permitted to enter, as part of an attendance of 9,083, still greatly below the capacity of this fine ground, celebrate the 1-0 win (with thanks to an admittedly outrageous penalty) over Newport County that takes them up to the third level of English football for the first time in their history. And thanks to Clare (who was also present, of course) — I could be there. A poor game, yes, but a great day out.
And this is also the 100th London pic to appear on the blog, meaning the capital turns up about once every five weeks, on average.
Morecambe FC’s impressive season continues but even though fans have been graciously allowed to return to grounds thanks to the decrees of Our Glorious Leaders, this is in arbitrarily low numbers, so no chance of getting tickets for the play-off semi-final this lunchtime. A hunt around the local hostelries ended up with Clare (the real MFC fan) and I (the hanger-on) watching it in Halifax. The effort was worth it; they will be at Wembley on the 31st. Go Shrimps…!
Saturdays are football days…. still just about. But while we might potentially have been in attendance at Morecambe FC today for their FA Cup tie with Solihull, this is declared ‘unsafe’ by Our Glorious Leaders at this present time, so like the other interested hundreds we had to make do with TV. The local mug and, in the background, Clare’s scarf offered totems of support. But it’s unreal, fake somehow. The trouble is that no one in ‘authority’ really gives a toss.
2018 doesn’t get off to the greatest start, as our attempt to see a second football match in three days was thwarted by the weather; Accrington Stanley versus Morecambe being abandoned at half-time due to the rain. Although my suspicion is that the referee had a New Year’s hangover and just got pissed off with being drenched so couldn’t be bothered any more. During the half-time-interval-that-wasn’t, it in fact stopped raining. We, however, had paid £55 in total for two adult and one child’s entrance fees, so I make that £1.22/minute to watch some fourth-tier football that is now meaningless. They also suggest we should now pay another £25 to watch the replay. Previous positive feelings I had towards Accrington Stanley FC largely evaporated today.
Our Clare can occasionally be aroused by football, which is why Morecambe FC (currently of League Two) have featured more than once on the blog in the past. There she is in her MFC kit watching them lose — undeservedly I would add — to the supposedly far superior Newcastle United in tonight’s televised match.
That’s an illusion going on with Joe by the way. He’s not really got a pint of beer in front of him with a straw in it.
I’ve never heard a satisfactory explanation for why we call it Boxing Day. Whatever it means historically, these days it usually means, for me, attending a football match if there’s one in the vicinity. Today therefore becomes the Globe Arena’s second appearance on this site (after September 23rd). We did this one rather differently, however; our Christmas present for Carol & Dave, our in-laws, was to sample the full matchday hospitality package, with dinner in the suite under the main stand. Interesting experience.
This lady appears today for no other reason than I think she looks good in this photo. She becomes, begging her pardon, the oldest person so far on this blog.
Continuing the football theme… This is Carol, my mother-in-law, and yes, it is quite fun to have a mother-in-law with whom I can go to the football. Joe is still responding reasonably well to the family campaign to turn him into a supporter of approved clubs, and credit to him for still claiming to be a Morecambe and Brighton fan (Family United 1, Peer Pressure City 0).
I think Carol was still smiling a second after this shot, by the way. Not so happy at the end of the day however: Morecambe 2, Bristol Rovers 3.