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Groyne Strain

Manager
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
1,517
Location
The Crane
18 hours of hell, 1 moment of ecstasy .....

4.00pm - get up from bed (I work nights), showered, breakfasted, watch greedy tart crying because she only won a tenner on Deal Or Sod Off, Noel.

5.00pm - can't afford the bus fare to Billericay station, where Chipper is being dropped off from his drama school, so traipse from Whitmore Way, a lovely little 5 mile trek.

7.00pm - Chipper eventually turns up. heigh ho, heigh ho, off to the match we go.

9.40pm - the usual misery. I take Chipper back home.

11.00pm - I head back towards Basildon station. I just can't afford to take the risk of Chipper missing out next week.

11.45pm - get to the ticklet office. A good 50 people already in front of me. Fall in with a decent set of lads, faces I've seen at away games through the 80's and 90's but never put a name to. Big Ginge, now looking not so big but a lot healthier, is in front of us. He already has his ticket but is queueing up for a mate who couldn't make it.

2.00am - queue has extended to the back of the car park and is now coming back on us. It is truly freezing. Burger van doing a good trade but all I have is ticket money. It's useless in any case. I'm shivering so much I can't hold the can of drink or min-box of cereal I had in my bag.

3.00am - guy in front of us gives up. We encourage him to stay, of the ticket he'll miss out on, but he just says "I don't care, I give in." It is by far the coldest night since last winter - and a good deal colder than a lot of those nights too - so I don't blame him. Shivering so much I can't say what I want to, my mouth is just twitching because of the coldness. It's now mind over matter. "I'm not cold, I'm not cold, I'm not cold" I keep thinking to myself.

3.30am - the only place of warmth is the North Bank toilets. The smell of p**s is more than counterbalanced by the warmth. George Michael would think he's in heaven with all the men in there. I take a quick peek of the pitch from the North Bank - it looks quite eerie in the dead of night.

4.30am - now so cold I've lost the feeling in my toes, feet and back. Am shivering involuntarily. I still keep thinking over and over in my mind "It's not cold, it's not cold, it's not cold" and of the look on Chipper's face when the teams come out next week. It works, but barely. It's a fight to keep conscious.

5.30am - We're regaled with tales by one of the older 'boys' of days out in the 70s and 80s - not only when they 'ran' other supporters but also the hidings they received. You can tell he's genuine by the names, places, and honesty - a hoolie wannabe bullsh*tter never talks of getting a beating.

6.30am - Holy Moly, the sun's up! It's now the run-in. By this time the queue is hundreds and hundreds long and increasing minute-by-minute. A lad pushing in just behind us is suitably rebuked, told forcibly of how long we've all queued and of the consequences of him staying where he is. He skulks back down the queue.

7.00am - the radio and media arrive, taking their pics and soundbites. My only comment is "It's not cold, it's not cold, it's not cold ....."

8.30am - ticket staff arrive to loud cheers. Another pusher-in is forcibly ejected by the stewards to a huge roar. Purgatory is nearly over, heaven is upon us. Those arriving now, though, are seeing the queue and turning back.

9.00am - confirmation that it's 2,000 tickets on sale, which casts further doubt as to whether the whole queue will get their tickets. The pre-midnight start now seems nearly worth it - only nearly, mind.

9.30am - OPEN! A feeling of intense joy and relief, shared by all the lads with me. More tales of being surrounded by Nothampton fans, Lincoln skinheads, etc. I can feel my toes again.

10.00am - Heaven is a place on Earth! 2 tickets safely ensconced in my wallet for the West Stand - and positioned so that Chipper will be one of the first in the ground to see the teams come out and therefore give the first ear-splitting yell. I ring back the good news. I almost cry with joy at the prosprect of seeing the happiness in his face.

11.00am - back home, courtesy of a lift from Guy, a fireman who, like me, queued up for his lad's sake. Via Sainsbury's when, tired, hungry and thirsty I buy half the store out. Guy has his car parked at the local fire station so we crawl across the road, crazily waving our tickets, much to the amusement of the passing police van. We even give the Camp Blingers a toot of the car horn.

12 Noon - fed, bathed, tired, weary, body battered but spirit intact, to bed I go. It was Hellish, it almost put me into casualty. It dawns on me the insanity of what I and scores of others have just done. Would I do it all again, knowing now of what I'd have to go through? For me, no way. For Chipper, too bloody right I would.
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
That's quality! First thing that's made me smile about the whole sorry affair.
smile.gif
 

The Big Shrimp

Zone Photographer
Joined
Aug 26, 2006
Messages
5,745
& all that to see the mighty Shrimpers play the red Manc scum reserves!!

I've got my ticket too!! I thought Monday evening was cold, but it sounds positively tropical to all those poor buggers who queued up on Tuesday/Wednesday. My Mum & Dad were that silly too, & my Mum isn't even going!!
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
505
Great story. while i feel sorry for those who did not get there tickets, you have to wonder why they left it till 9 ish and thought they would get a ticket no problem.
 

Xàbia Shrimper

Spanish Shrimpers
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
13,803
Location
Xàbia, España
Who'd be a football fan, eh?

Great story! It may only drop to 18°c here at night this time of year but I felt I could actually feel the cold! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
 

Xàbia Shrimper

Spanish Shrimpers
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
13,803
Location
Xàbia, España
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Shoebury Shrimper @ Nov. 02 2006,04:15)]While i feel sorry for those who did not get there tickets, you have to wonder why they left it till 9 ish and thought they would get a ticket no problem.
Yeah, I wonder that as well. I mean if you really, really wanted to get that ticket, you'd would have been there all night like the others. To breeze up at 9am and expect to get served is madness.
 

Shrimp in a Kilt

Guest
Great read, GS. Perhaps if some of the "Plastic Mancs" could read that they would have a better idea of what supporting a team like SUFC is all about.
 

David Essex

Coach
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
885
Location
Northants
well i was there all night but thought to stay in my car untill the queue starts taking hold and that moment for me came at a miserable 4 am......but i could have only been a few people behind you..... at one point our group were spread betting on this guy who had turned up with a childs plastic seat...but refused to sit on it until........ 06.10 i was an hour out...
 

David Essex

Coach
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Messages
885
Location
Northants
anyone heard of Aberdeen shrimper he was commuting down last i heard......and during the match there was a strong scottish contingence near the front of W block west stand...i wondered if that was him....
 

Csboy

Manager
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Messages
1,599
Great post Groyne Strain I am sure we all have similar stories to tell from yesterdays queueing. The things we do to be able to watch our football team. I think Tilly should have brought the teams down at 5am to see just how passionate we are about the club maybe it would motivate them to play better.

I would still love to know why there was only 2000 tickets available? Heard there were 600 season card holders who didnt buy tickets meaning there should have been around 4000 tickets available? Would love to hear from the club where the other 2000 tickets have gone too.
 
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