MY HEAD HURTS. Friday night was The Tea Street Band at Camp and Furnace. Afterwards some impossibly good DJs came on and I danced round Coats with Kyle Percy and his missus until there was no one else there.
I don’t know what time I got in but it wasn’t long enough before I woke up. People are ringing me about tickets already and I can’t cope. I’m pretty far from match fit. Even my wife is hungover and that never happens. She’s only recently started getting them and is struggling to cope with this very unwelcome development in her life. It’s the only thing making me feel slightly better. She used to be awfully smug.
I stand in the shower motionless trying to plan my day. I work out it is going to have to involve getting to Anfield sooner than I wanted. My dad was picking me up, but this changes to a train and a bus. Luckily my mates are in the pub already because they are all alcoholics. There is a game on. An important one. I’ll head there.
It takes too long because buses are full and life is sent to test you. I’m in the pub for half-time though and people are ensuring me that Burnley are playing well and Manchester City are “rubbish”. Sound. Bottle of Peroni there, lads.
I meet Tom Hatfield from Go The Game With Gibbo fame, who apparently won a competition to get tickets off me for the rest of his life. Nice work if you can get it. He’s getting a spare off Russell from Belfast and I’m just the person who puts people together. Russell tells me how drunk I was in Belfast. I think about how hungover I am right now and how many hangovers I’ve had since Belfast and re-evaluate my life a bit while they arrange a meeting point for after the game. They go with the exact point they are standing in. Seems reasonable.
It’s still fairly early so it is back to The Stanley/Glenbuck Arms to do some shouting for Burnley. Lloydy manages to walk past me both ways as he realises he has left his ticket in the car. There goes his pre-match pint. Lewis is in there with his daughter, Chloe. It’s her first game which really warms my heart. She looks so excited.
They are in the £9 seats in the Main Stand. They are exactly the kind of people the tickets should be going to. They live a stone’s throw from the ground, just down the hill. I’m sure the sales of these ‘local tickets’ haven’t been perfect and some have been left frustrated. But you can’t argue with a young girl from Anfield and her dad going to her first game, can you?
Manchester City win the game with the most ridiculous goal I have ever seen. Burnley defended like lions against us and now they are LITERALLY FALLING OVER THEMSELVES to let Sergio Aguero score. Cheers boys. Never mind. Just need the Reds to do the business.
The Reds don’t exactly do the business in a way we would like. It’s hard going for a while, isn’t it? But then Divock Origi, he’s my baby. Limbs all over the show. Have you ever known an opening goal against Sunderland celebrated so much? We were halfway out the ground at that point last year!
The Reds are solid for the rest and add a second through James Milner’s nerves of steel. Two-nil. Sound. Normality. My dad goes back to moaning about Ed Balls and me and Callum go back to winding him up. Then it’s back to the pub to hope for some dropped points in London. Long days these title charges.
A couple of girls have come from the North East for the footy that we met on holiday. They are the best company. You certainly know they are there. They gradually bully everyone into staying out. Not that we need much encouragement.
But the football…Chelsea get battered for a while which pleases me. Then they don’t. Then they win. Bloody Vic Moses scores the winner. I’m starting to worry. Are Chelsea going to win forever? Are they and their European-less footy and hair transplant-led manager going to triumph over us with our European-less footy and hair transplant-led manager?
I spend the rest of the night asking people if Chelsea are going to win the league. Ben Johnno tells me not to be soft. Walshy tells me he hasn’t watched any of the game but they are probably shit. The woman in the Chinese just looks at me blankly. I can’t be reassured.
I end up old school drunk. The type where you are falling over and staggering about. I’ve drank all the Moretti and ask all the questions about Chelsea until I can’t take any more of either. Home time. Twenty-five more to go. Long days these title charges.
Up the first game Reds.