Date of this visit: 19th APRIL 2010
HOME PARK, PLYMOUTH
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 (Carroll, Routledge)
Attendance: 13,111 (2,431 Toon fans)
“DON'T MENTION THE VOLCANO!”
Because the trip to Plymouth was so far, we decided to fly instead and booked the flights through ‘Jet2’ to Exeter airport to avoid a 7 hour car/train/jorney for this ridiculous Monday neet 7:45 start, which was live on Sky (wor 18th ! live game of the season so far!)
We’d flown here for the FA Cup tie in January and it anly took an hour, so we were expectin’ a quick ‘hop’ to sunny Devon (wrang!)
The forst inklin’ aa got that anythin’ was wrang was when a bought a copy of the ‘Ronny-Gill’ on the Thorsday before the game and the front page heedline screeemed!-------“FLIGHTS BITE THE DUST!” , and the article went on to say that Toon Airport was closed coz of a volcanic eruption in Iceland?-----WOT! the hells gannin on aa thought?
Aa dashed yem and torned the telly on to ‘Look North’ where the gadgy who replaced Mike Neville gleefully telt us, (tryin’ not to smile too much!) that British airspace was closed and aall the airports were shut because volcanic ash from ----(deep breath!) Moont EYJAFFJALLAJOKEAULL! ◄(hope av spelt that reet?) in deepest Iceland was spewin’ moultin’ ash that was heedin’ wor way and this would damage jet engines and therefore groond aall planes and he smugly telt us that!--- “you arnt gannin anywhere!” (f***** Bar-steward!)
It was still 3 days before we were due to fly so aa wasn’t unduly conconed at this time----however!--- az the days dragged by and the ash spread sooth by the prevailin’ winds it was obvious that we would have to abandon wor plans and gan by car instead!
If yi were John Cleese writin’ the script for a ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode and yi made this story up aboot some Geordies unable to fly to Devon, because Moont EeeitsgottobesomekindoffuЖinjokelike◄(Geordie pronoonciation!) erupts a thoosand miles away in the Arctic Circle, neebody would surely believe that you could write sommik so farfetched ----would they? (not even Basil!)
To hoy a spanner in the works, aa was due to gan to baby Jamie’s christenin’ at ‘one bells’ on the Sunday dinnertime and fly at ‘eight bells’, givin’ iz plenty of time to gan for a ‘gargel’ and some scran afterwards at the Tudor Rose and then heed for Toon Airport-----however! Because we now had to travel by road the lads decided to leave at dinnertime instead as we had a hotel booked in Exeter and they did’nt want to get there too late.
After frantic negotiations on the ‘tellin’ bone’, mee two travellin’ conpanions agreed to leave at three bells instead as they could see my predicament! (“cheers lads!”)
Day One: “JAMIE’S BIG DAY!”
“Hic!---aa got christened ‘Jamie’ on the Sunday!--- Buurrrp!”
“And—hic!-- The Toon got ‘christened ‘Champions’ on the Monday!”
After getting’ dressed up ‘to the nines’ in mee ‘tin flute’ and black ‘n’ white striped tie at ‘12 bells’, it was soon time to heed for the packed church with wor lass for baby Jamie’s christenin’ where proud parents Julie (wor lass’s dawta) and hor 6 foot 2 ‘bigger half’ Steven, took him to the font where he was baptized by the vicar with the holy waata, and the whole ceremony includin’ the blessin’ and hymns etc , surprisingly took less than half an hour from start to finish.
It was then off to the buffet reception at The Tudor Rose, which is handily placed, just roond the corner from where aa live, before ‘sneakin’ off’ at two thorty to get changed into mee futbaall gear and grabbin’ mee owerneet bag in a mad dash for the ‘three bells’ departure to deepest Devon
‘Big Al’ (not! wor record goal scorer!) and ‘The Caped Crusader’ (aye!---that one!) then torned up at mee front door bang on time in a light grey Honda Civic car and the relief was ‘intangible’◄(haven’t got a clue wot it means!?---but it soonds good!)
This was because it wasn’t a ‘jinxed’ RED colour like ‘Sarnie Steve’s’, that broke doon on the way to Swansea (see ground 274 ‘disaster’ report!)
Some considerable time later!, (havin’ read the print off 3 Sunday papers!) we eventually arrived at ‘The Great Western Hotel’ (‘Fawlty Towers’ was full!) which is next to Exeter St Davids train station at ‘half nine’ and the *eastern European hotel receptionist telt us in (very!) broken English that the best place to park was in the train station car park.
At 9 quid a day it wasn’t cheap and as we were here for two neets that was an extra 18 quid we didn’t expect!
*(“Er!”---usin’ my vast knowledge of European languages, aa worked oot that the receptionist was (probably!) ‘Polish’?) (that’s wot shih telt iz, anyway!)
Havin’ parked the car and dumped wor bags in the hotel in was time to gan on the hoy with the little drinkin’ time we had left, and after a swift couple of ‘gargles’ in the hotel bar we heeded ower the road to Shamus O’Donnell’s (an Irish bar would you believe!) but after a quick ‘neb’ through the window we could see that apart from the gadgie behind the coonta there was nebody else inside!
After protracted discussion amongst worsels (aboot 3 seconds!) we decided to heed for the anly other boozer that we could see called The Jolly Porter where John Smith’s and Guinness liquid refreshments were on the ‘menu’
It was a bit more lively than doon the road as the locals torned oot to be a set of west country plonkies who were shoutin’ and baallin’ at the top of their voices for ne apparent reason? (strange folk---theeze yokels!)
WE were clammin’ by this time but there was nowt open apart from a burger bar opposite the station car park caalled ‘Peeps’, which, as we foond oot, was run by a Bulgarian asylum seeker! (whey!—a’m asumin’ he was an asylum seeker?)
So wor ‘evenin’ meal’ consisted of a qwaata poonder cheese borger with onions and a FREE cup of tea which was part of the deal! (wow!)
After this we heeded back to the ‘Great Western’ which was the anly place left open by this time to catch the back end of ‘Match of the Day’, and of course ‘catch’ a couple of more ‘Arthur Scargills’ before retirin’ for the neet-----“ZZZZzzzz!!!!”
Day Two: “THE ICE-IN’ ON THE CAKE!”
A west country ‘Drovers Brekky’ was the order of the day for wor next mornin’ ‘feed’in the hotel restaurant (Er!—that’s: bacon, egg, sausage, beans and hash broons to aall ye ignoramanouseses!) before ‘feedin’ the parkin’ meter as well! with another nine poond coin’s!
It was then time to let the train take the strain for the 50 or so mile jorney to Plymouth which took us the scenic route alang the Devon coastline in the glorious sunshine as it rolled alang at snails pace.
On arrival in Plymith we heeded for ‘The Ho’ on the seafront as there were a canny few drinkin’ dens’ in that part of toon. On the way we past a huge statue of a bearded gadgie lookin’ oot to sea with wot looked like a futbaall in one hand. He was dressed in a pair of bloomers that yi great granny might have worn, but just who the hell he was is anybody’s guess??? (my guess is!---he was probably a famous Argyle centre forward from the late nineteenth century???)
‘Tonsil ticklin’ time’ was upon us once again and the Navy Inn was (appropriately!) wor forst ‘port ‘o’ call’ as we sat on the bar’s terrace, suppin’ wor ice caad ‘liquid refreshments’, as the old ‘current bun’ shon doon upon us! (this is the life!)
Then it was off to ‘The Dolphin’ next door and (the invertible!) ‘Wetherspoons’ which completed the ‘triagle’ of ‘drinkin’ dens’.
In ‘The Dolphin’ there were two drunken cockneys who started taalkin’ to us.
“I follow the best team in Landan!” one of them said, and we procceded to guess the team he was on aboot, gannin’ through nearly aall of them (but not namin’ his!) before he blurted oot that it was!----“MILLWALL!”
It torned oot he was an ex boxer (well! he would be---would’nt he?) and he’d actually fought at a boxin’ club in Waallsend some years ago (judgin’ by his ’three spare tyres physique’, it definateleee was ‘some years ago’!)
We said wor goodbyes (withoot gettin’ a smack in the gob!) and heeded for a waaterin’ hole nearer the groond and foond one which was oot the way caalled ‘The Stoke’ which was threeqwaatas empty-----ideal for getting’ sorved quickly!
However!---wor ‘peace and quiet’ was soon shattered when some teenybopper Toon fans came in and put some ‘hip-hop’ crap on the duke box, which was played at ‘full blast’
This is the kind of ‘music’◄((double inverted commers!)) we cannit f*****’ stand as we are gettin’ on a bit! (thorty five at ther last coont!) (give me The Beatles or Stones any day!)----so! it was soon time to mek ‘A Sharp’ exit and heed for pastures new----namely ‘The Bus Club’ aboot half a mile away. (next to the bus station---would you believe?)
This was wor ‘last liquid lubrication location’ where we bumped into ‘Sarnie Steve’ and Mal from Darlo’ amongst others, before heedin’ for the main event of the day----THE MATCH!
There was a carnival atmosphere in The Toon end as kick off time approached as anly a point was needed to guarantee the Championship trophy, although in truth we’d aaready won it by the virtue of a far superior goal difference to second placed West Brom.
Considerin’ that Argyle were at the other end of the table in exactly the opposite situation to us and that relegation was a mere formality for them, it was a really magnanamous gesture from their fans to carry a banner from the half way line towards the end we were in which read: “’CONGRATULATIONS FROM THE GREEN ARMY’, this brought loud applause from wor fans and it was really appreciated.
The game kicked off and from the start ‘The Toon’ went for the ‘jugular’, gannin close on several occasions with the deadlock bein’ broken in the 20th minute when Danny Guthrie took a corner at the far end from us, which was inch perfect for Andy Carroll’s heed and the taall fella gleefully took the opportunity to power the baall into the unguarded net, to put us one nowt up.
Just 8 minutes later and it was ‘game ower’ and ‘Championship won’ when Joey Barton slotted a through baall to Wayne Routledge and he stabbed it in from a tight angle past the Argyle keeper to double wor lead.
The home side did apply some pressure after this but it was aall in vain as they couldn’t convort their chances and we went in with a 2 goal cushion at the break.
The second half was a case of gannin through the motions and The Toon fans really rubbed it in with chants of : “We’re goin’ to Liverpool!---you’re goin’ to Hartlepool!”, which was a bit unkind considerin’ the welcome they had given us at the start, but that’s futbaall fans for you!
Late sub Leon Best hit the bar and missed an open goal near the end, but it made ne odds as The Toon Army prepared for the 100% certain pitch invasion, as they moved towards the pitch side in preparation for the final whistle
The norvous soondin’ match anooncer pleaded with The Toon fans to stay off the pitch, but this is rather like tellin’ us to sit doon (with the ‘inevitable’ reply of: “Stand up if yi luv The Toon!”)
So! to tell fans not to invade the pitch at the end is (inevitably!) like wavin’ a red mackem flag to a ‘Gremlin’!
“If Shola scores—we’re on the pitch!”, the Toon fans screamed with (“er!”) inevitable results, as the ref put the whistle to his lips for the last time!
(he didn’t score of course , but that made ne difference!)
The playin’ area soon became a wash of black ‘n’ white as the loudspeakers boomed oot: ‘We are the Champions’---‘The Blaydon Races’ and ‘Local Hero’ which was anotha magnanimous gesture from wor hosts---(the best av seen in six decades of travellin’ away!) (am aa reelleee anly thorty five?)
(“Here’s hopin’ yi bounce back in one go, lads!”)
After match we heeded for the toon centre where we ended up in a dodgy lookin’ bar called ‘The Eagle’ whose ‘clientele’? looked like a mixture of plonkies, druggies and dole wallas!
So!, after a swift ‘gargel’ (and withoot gettin’ mugged!) we made for ‘The Union Rooms’ near the train station which was chocker block with celebratin’ Toon fans, before caallin’ ‘time’ and heedin’ back to Exeter.
Day Three: “ASH CLOUD!---WOT ASH CLOUD?”
We left the hotel for the lang jorney yem at preciseleee 9:45 bells but we didn’t get very far before wor forst hold up, when a young lassie aged aboot 18 crashed hor Nissan Micra into the back of a bin lorry that was waitin’ at some traffic lights!
Hor car’s heedlights and bonnet were imbedded into the back of the rubbish crusher (good job it wasn’t workin’ at the time!---eh!?) and the lorry driver was shakin’ his heed in disbelief as he surveyed the damage!
Once past that little hold up it was plane sailin’! (nee pun intended!) up the (deep breath!) A38---M5 (where we passed the ‘Toon’ team bus!)---M42---3 Horse Shoes, Breedon, (a ‘half way there’ ‘liquid lubrication stop’!)---M1 (passin’ the team bus again?)---M18---A1(M)---A1---A“ZZZZZzzzzz!!!!!”
Five and a half hours after getting’ yem from wor 818 mile roond the world road marathon, aa switched on the late news from Loook North .
That gadgie who replaced Mike Neville was readin’ the news again and he telt us with a ‘Gordon Brown style’ half smile on his face, that the ash cloud from Moont ‘yee naa wot!’◄ (mee‘spell cheka’s ‘crashed’!) had disappeared and aall flights from British airspace could now resume immediately!
He would say that!---wouldn’t he!-----“THE B*****D!!!”
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