HERE are some funny things that happened on Saturday:
1) I’d been quite sensible on Friday night. I went to a brilliant gig, with Dream Wife being supported by Her’s and Haarm, but was tucked up in bed by 12am. It’s still a rush for a 12.30pm kick-off though, isn’t it? No matter how early you get up you still manage to suddenly realise you have about 10 minutes to do everything you need to.
It wasn’t helped by the fact I got a call at 10:30am from a mate asking if I could shift a ticket for him. I put it on our Whatsapp group and found a taker fairly quickly, but my mate was then asking if I could go and pick it up. Sound. That meant I had to drive, even though I wasn’t going to.
I arrived at my mates to find him in his pyjamas. I assumed he’d got flu and couldn’t face it. Either that or a bad hangover. He invited me in to grab the ticket and I went into the living room to find two of my other mates, standing like statues, completely stark naked. I soon realised the reason my mate couldn’t go the game was because he’d been drinking for 15 hours. Not sure how I hadn’t noticed when he rang me. Maybe it was because I was rushed.
They tried to get me to party with them. I pointed out that for most of us it was the actual day, and that if I didn’t go we would have two tickets to sort. I left them to it wondering how long their Friday night would last. I wonder how they are getting on today.
2) Fun home game ticket nonsense commenced. I had Gav’s from the Manchester City game after he sorted my sister-in-law because he had a gig. That was easy enough, we met on time at the Main Stand, passed it over, had a cuddle and got off. Clockwork.
The others were predictably more complicated. I’d sorted two out for an old mate Sam who I used to play trumpet with. He is now studying music in London and had brought his girlfriend up with him, a Kiwi called Viva who is studying dance, for her first trip to Anfield. Mick Clarke has their tickets. Mick said he’d be at The Glenbuck at 11:30. Mick wasn’t. Uncle Albert shocked face.
At the same time, the ticket I’d sorted that morning predictably turned out to be for a friend of a friend of a friend. I was getting calls from people I don’t know saying other people I don’t know would call me in a minute. Eventually the man who was actually having the ticket rung and agreed to come The Glenbuck. He arrived as I was messaging Mick asking where he was. I quickly passed a ticket over and got back in the warm.
When Mick eventually arrived the only people in the pub were people waiting for Mick Clarke. Everyone sorted, we headed up to the ground. I grabbed a quick soup from Homebaked just as they were shutting the doors and went to my seat. On the way I noticed Michael Owen posing for pictures with kids. That was nice of him.
I arrived at the turnstile with too much stuff in my hands. The card wasn’t working. The steward asked if I was upper or lower tier. I said “Listen, mate. I’ve had this season ticket 20 years, I know which turnstile I am,” before I looked at the ticket and realised it was the wrong one. In the ticket mayhem I’d given away my season ticket by mistake. What an idiot.
I found my new seat in the lower centenary. I felt bad on my dad who probably thought I’d sacked him off for a better seat. I texted him to try and explain but he just texted me back laughing. It transpired that he knew the fella from working in a homeless hostel together. So they had a good chat together watching the match while I was stuck on my own in another tier. Well as long as it worked out for some people.
3) After the game I saw Sam and Viva. Viva’s mum had messaged from New Zealand asking if she got goosebumps during You’ll Never Walk Alone. Viva didn’t have the heart to tell her that they missed it because Sam made them stop at William Hill to put a bet on.
4) My friend Michael was in another part of the ground with his son. At one point Michael thought he heard him say “we miss Mane.” Mike went on a big rant about how we shouldn’t be that reliant on one player and that we knew all along we were losing him for a month in January. His son let him finish before saying: “No, I said I miss mummy. I’ve hardly seen her all week.”
So that was Saturday. Well not exactly. After the game I went home for a bit and then headed back into town for Phil Blundell’s birthday. There were loads out. Neil, Sam, Steve and Kate. All Phil’s lads including Kris Walsh. A few boss Reds from around the country like Dave Ricketts, Al and Dave Sutty and Marjo had all stayed over.
We got drunk on cocktails. I realised at some point I knew everyone in the room through footy. That’s nice, isn’t it? A load of lovely people you wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for 11 men kicking a ball about. It makes you all warm and fuzzy inside about watching The Reds.
Which is a good job really. Because the players are a gang of useless bellends.