Tuesday, 26 May 2020

GROUNDHOPPERS ARCHIVE *** MARSEILLE *** UEFA CUP SEMI FINAL MAY 2004

Posted '2:02am bells' Tuesday 26th May 2020

This woz anothaa European trip, this time to the sooth of France to take on Marseille in the semi finals of the UEFA Cup 16 years ago this month!
A match report of this 'ill fated' trip and game iz printed below----Anything that could gan wrang---DID gan wrang!

235 stade velodrome marseille france


(GROUND NUMBER 235)

Date of First Visit: 6th MAY 2004

STADE VELODROME, MARSEILLE, FRANCE


OLIMPIQUE MARSEILLE   2

NEWCASTLE UNITED   0

(Marseille won 2-0 on aggregate) 

UEFA CUP SEMI FINAL 2nd LEG

ATTENDANCE 60,000 (5,000 Toon fans)






WHERE! Div ah start wih this one!----(YES FOLKS!---it waz one of  THEM! trips!)

So here ganz!


 "NO ROOM AT THE INN!"

Chaptaa one:

A’d booked the flights with Easyjet from Luton tih Nice and a hotel in the centre of Marseille through an agent on the internet, for meesel and one of mee ‘sidekicks’ Norman the Cowboy Plumber' who waz gannin’ with iz.

Barrett  Meen Time’s flight from Toon Travel waz nearly three hundred smackerooneez, and because this waz mee seventh trip tih Europe this season alone, ah HAD tih gan the cheapest way ah could az funds were getting’ a bit low in mee piggy bank!

Aaltogether, includin’ the car park and train from Nice tih Marseille it waz gannih cost wih less than two hundred quid each, so that’s why wih went from there.



Ah did the forst stint of drivin’ tih Woodall Sorvices on the ‘M1’ which waz aboot half way tih Luton and Norman drove the rest of the way while ah calmed meesel doon for the flight with a few cans of LCL (az previously mentioned many many times, a’m not the worlds best flyer!)
(Sometime later)

The plane which waz half full of Geordies arrived in Nice bang on time, and the ‘current bun’ came out tih greet us az we disembarked. (A good omen?-----Divvint yee believe it!)

The shuttle bus then took wih tih the train station, where, amid chaotic scenes from the hundred or so Toon Travellers queuein’ at the station kiosks, wih purchased wor ticket for the two and a half hour jorney tih Marseille.



The trip proved tih be uneventful apart from a few Toon fans (who were much the worse for wear!) singin’ to an unfortunate female who waz waalkin’ past them doon the train. And what they sang made me and Norman crindge! 

“GET YOUR T*** OUT FOR THE LADS!”, they sang at hor!----the anly problem waz, shih waz an aad aged biddy, aroond aboot the 70 mark! (The anly plus side waz----shih could’nt understand a word they were singin’---which waz just az well!)

(Pleeze lads!---keep yih traps shut next time---EH!) (Totally oot of order, lads!----totally oot of order!) 


Wih met up with Davy ‘the silver fox’ and hiz better half, Barbara (who had travelled by Eurostar the previous day) at Marseille station and heeded for wor hotel, which waz a few stops on the undergroond and  on route for the match.

However!---on wor arrival at wor hotel we were telt by the receptionist that the hotel waz infact FULL! And that like Jesus, some two thoosand years before hand, they did’nt have a room for us!

(F*****’ BRILLIANT!)

(Aalthough, tih be fair!---Jesus waz torned away from an Inn in Bethlehem and NOT! a hotel in Marseille!)----------(Er?---come tih think of it??---it might’iv been Joseph and Mary who got torned away from an Inn in JERUSALEM???) (Quick!---Pass mee Bible!)



Ah protested that a’d made the bookin’ some time ago ower the ‘net’ but waz telt that the agent who’d booked it for us, had (in othaa words) ‘dropped a bollock’! (Ah wonder if Jesus had booked HIZ room ower the ‘net’!???)



Anyway!---We had nee time tih argue az valuable drinkin’ time waz bein’ wasted!, so we agreed to their offer of anotha hotel ten minutes away, az lang az they paid the taxi fare.

The agreement waz that we dumped wor bags there and pick them up after the game where a taxi would be waitin’ tih whisk wih off tih the other hotel.



“WHERE’S MEE LUCKY SOCKS?”

Chaptaa two:

Wih still had a few hours tih the kick off , SO!, (az yi’d expect!) we were ‘off on the hoy’ (once again!) tih lubricate wor tonsils, which in turn kept wor vocal chords ‘in trim’ for the match! (az yih de!)

Afta a canny few gargels of the local brew  it waz time tih heed for a warehoose next tih the groond  az instructed. (That’s reet----a f*****’ warehoose!)

For that’s where we were telt tih gan by the French Dibbles so we could be fleeced before they let us intih the groond!


And then it suddenly dawned on iz!----a DID’NT have mee ‘lucky’ black ‘n’ white socks 'on' which bore the club crest!---The reason for this of course waz because the hotel waz full and ah did’nt have anywhere tih change mee ‘dickory docks’!

(plus the fact that it had completely slipped mee mind anyway!)

Once inside the groond we heeded for the corner section where the Toon fans were hemmed in, surrounded by high fences and a moat!
Some Toon fans had managed to get tickets for the home sections and with the official followin' on some 3,500 and extra 1,500 were elsewhere in this huge open bowl which held 60,000!

We started off brightly az we attacked the far goal from us, but disaster struck after 19minutes when a Titus Bramble cross woz cleared upfield and Marseille stricker Didier Drogba made nee mistayk az he beat Shay Given in the Toon goal to send the 55,000 home fans into delirium!


"IZ IT THE 5th OF NOVEMBER!?"

Flares were lit and hoyed towards the pitch (and us!) and one set fire to the moat with huge flames and smoke risin' above the home section behind the goal!
The fire woz ragin and it looked to get oot of control before some firemen rushed towards the burnin moat with fire extinguishers  
and finally put the flames oot!

Back on the pitch, NUFC tried in vain to find a way back az this goal woz the forst one scored in the tie, with the forst game at SJP endin' goalless!

We just couldn't match the home side az we huffed and puffed to try and find an equaliser!Worse woz to follow near the end, when a 2nd goal by Drogba in the 82nd minute with a side footed shot from 12yards oot sealed the semi final tie and the dream of a European final for the 2nd time in wor history woz gone!
After the final whistle we were locked in the groond for more than an hour by the riot squad, before finally bein' let oot at 'midneet bells'! (the match had kicked off at '9:00pm bells' local time!)
After we'd finally been let oot onto the streets we heeded back to the hotel for a quick 'gargel' before retirin' to wor room for the neet!
"ZZZZZzzzzz!!!!!"



"LET THE TRAIN PUDDLE YIH BRAIN!"

Chaptaa three:

Next mornin' we heeded for the breakfast room in the hotel for some scran, which woz part of the deal (or so aa thought---read on!) A continental breaky of croutons, toast, and cheese, washed doon with some orange juice and coffee!


The jorney back from Marseille to Nice the next day woz uneventful for the forst part of the jorney, and a'd said to 'Norman the Cowboy Plumber' the trains in France were dead reliable and aalways on time!-----UNTIL!---we got to a place caalled St. Raphael!  
The train stopped----and didn't move again-----we were there for an hour, when the alarm bells started ringin' (in mee heed!) 
We finally got some info that a goods train had derailed forthaa up the line and had brought the power cables doon!---ie: we wornt gannin anywhere fast!----We then got told that the train would be stuck there for at least anothaa 2 hours while repairs were carried oot to the owerheed cables

We got off the train to find that the lift to the street below wasn't workin'?----We foond a way doon some stairs and  heeded for a nearby café bar for sommik to eat and drink---but aall the electric woz off there az well, because the goods train had not anly pulled the trains power lines doon, but aalso the electricity power lines for the region az well!

So they couldn't cook us any food and so we had to make dee with a bottle of the local brew instead!

But worse woz to follow----on retorn to the train station we were told that the damage to the power lines woz substantial and that the train would be stuck there for a lang, lang time!

PANIC STATIONS!----We were now in danger of missin' wor flight from Nice to Luton and so we asked a taxi driver how much he would charge us to get to Nice airport?
"It's 50 kilometres, about 100 euros!", came the reply----luckily there were a couple more Toon fans on wor train and we clubbed together to pay for the taxi----a jorney by road of 1 hour, which gave us more than enough time to catch wor flight!--PANIC OWER!  
It woz then straight to the airport bar to get rid off some more unwanted and unneeded euros! (coz we lost, which brought an end to wor European adventures) 



“Surely nowt else could gan wrang!?---COULD IT!??”-------(“OH yes it COULD!”)

The epilogue: 

Az a’d had mee usual pre flight ‘liquids’ tih calm mee norves (again!) (purely medicinal yi understand!) it meant that Norman had tih drive the whole way back himsel!

Az ah waz tryin’ tih get a bit ‘shut eye’, the final ‘nail in the coffin’ came az  we were fleein’ up the ‘M1’ past Trowell Sorvices.

Mee mobile ‘tellin’ bone’ rang and it waz wor lass on the othaa end.


“Some foreign gadgy’s phoned up and left a message on the answer phone!”

“A FOREIGNER!?”

“YES!---it’s sommik aboot yih breakfast at the hotel yih were stoppin’ in!”

“BREAKFAST!?”

“YES!---Have a listen tih this!”

(Answerphone) “THEES EEZZ ZEE BOOKING AGENT!---ZEE HOTEL YOO STOPPED EEN SAY YOO NO PAY FOR YOUR BREAKFAST WHEN YOO LEEVE THEES SMORNING!----SO! I HAVE TAKEN ZEE MONEY YOO OWE OUT OF YOUR CREDIT CARD!---ZANK YOO!”



“NORMAN!”---“PASS THE PARACETAMOL!”---“AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!” 




Saturday, 23 May 2020

"WEMBLEY!--WEMBLEY!--HERE WE COME!" (OR NOT AZ THE CASE MAY BE!)

Posted '5:00pm bells' Saturday 23rd May 2020
"IZ THERE ANYBODY THERE!?"
"IZ THAT THE TYNE BRIDGE!?"

At this exact moment in time NUFC could have been kickin' off in the FA Cup final at Wembley in front of a 90,000 capacity crowd! (That's assumin' we had beaten Man City in the Qaataa finals and team 'X' in the semis!)

Instead of sittin' in one of the plastic red seats behind one of the goals, I am sittin' on mee black (reeel leather!🤪) settee, watchin' some crap on the telly az (of course) there are nee pubs to gan tee eethaa!
Roll on the end of lockdoon and lockoots!

WEDINZDAY 23rd MAY 2007----A BLACK DAY IN NUFCs HISTORY!

Posted '12:29pm bells' Saturday 23rd May 2020
THE FAT CONTROLLER PROMISED US GLORY
BUT ANLY BROUGHT US DISPEAR!

"A MAN WHO PROMISED SO MUCH, BUT DELIVERED 
SO LITTLE!"

On this day in 2007 a billionaire bought NUFC and PROMISED to torn us into the best team in the Premyaa Leegue! (see 'The Jawnil' headline above, from May 2007!)
At forst we believed him and welcomed him with open arms!---Indeed, he even dressed himself in black n white garb and went to  away games with the fans in the visitors sections, rather than in the home clubs directors boxes!
I remember that at one game away to Aston Villa, somebody said to me that he woz just behind us az we passed through the tornstiles!

I waited til the fat man walked into the concourse and I shook hiz hand and welcomed him to NUFC!

This iz my biggest regret az a Toon fan, az it soon became clear that he WASN'T gannin to bankroll us after aall!---Instead he had a 'skinflint scrooge attitude' which soon had us in trouble at the wrang end of the Premyaaship!  

'COCKNEY MAFIA BANNERS' appeared and chants of: "YOU FAT COCKNEY B*STARD!---GET OUT OF OUR CLUB!" became the main chant from disgruntled fans! (even though he woz born in Waalsaall, in the West Midlands!)
HE HAD A NEW NAME BY THIS TIME! (2009)
'THE FAT CONTROLLER' AZ HE WOZ THE SPITTIN' IMAGE OF 'THE FAT CONTROLLER' IN THE 'THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE' CHILDRENS TELLY PROGRAMME!
ie: HE WOZ 'FAT' AND IN 'CONTROL'
OF THE RUDDERLESS SHIP!

And then relegation followed just 2 years into hiz 'reign' with promises that he would sell the club at the forst opportunity!

He didn't (or couldn't?) and we had to put up with him az we had nee choice!  Idiotic decisions followed, like the appointment of Joke Kinnear az manager!----Anothaa relegation happened after we had bounced back, meanin that he hadn't lorned by hiz misstayks!

He woz like an unwanted 'muthaa in law' who lived with you and who yoo just couldn't get rid of---and by this time he didn't even gan to home games, nevaa mind away!

Today iz the 13th anniversary of hiz takeower and it haz indeed been unlucky for US!---But have we finally!---finally! edged him towards the The Milburn Stand exit doors and onto Barrack Road and got rid of him FOREVER!? 🙏

Friday, 22 May 2020

"THE FOLLY OF THE WALLY WITH THE BROLLY!"

Posted '10:25pm bells' Friday 22nd May 2020

'The Wally with the Brolly' says 'Broken Nose Bruce' 'haz vision' and iz in 'the drivin' seat' to keep his job when/if the new owners finally get the green light to buy wor great club!

*Folly definition: Lack of good sense; foolishness!

"HOW MUCH LANGER MUST WE WAIT---FOR SUCCESS AT GALLOW-GATE?"

Posted 2:36pm bells' Friday 22nd May 2020


Thursday, 21 May 2020

NUFC BREAKING NEWS!

Posted '5:50pm bells' Thorsday 21st May 2020
Toon airport today!
Saudi flag circled!

A Saudi jet has been spotted at Toon airport this evenin'!
Library pic

Read into that wot yoo will!
We make no predictions to wot this meeenz, BUT!🙏🤪

Wot Twitter says!🙏🐪🚦

And finally from the 
finance experts 
FORBES!🐪🚦🙏









Wednesday, 20 May 2020

GEORDIETIMELINE!

Posted '8:20pm bells' Wedinzday 20th May 2020
March 20th 2020---TheLeazes End Club behind SJP
The last pint saloon!

It's now 2 months to the day since 'Boris' shut the boozers!😭

HARD AT WORK!

Posted '3:15pm bells' Wedinzday 20th May 2020
"PASS THE SUN-TAN LOTION PLEEZE!"

After 2 months twiddlin' their fingers and suckin their thumbs the NUFC players are hard at work on the trainin' groond az we speak!

THERE'S A JOKER IN THE PACK!

Posted '2:00am bells' Wedinzday 20th May 2020

"BRUCE'S CRAZY EXCUSES!"


The Toon players returned to trainin yesterday after a two month absence, because of 'the bat out of hell' virus!

And before they'd even started trainin' old 'Broken Nose Bruce' woz comin' oot with probably his most ridiculous excuse to date, when he said that due to the lack of trainin', "The players would faall doon like a pack of cards!", due to their unexpected break!

Howay maan Steev!, these are athletes of the highest order, who have home gyms and very large gardens to exersise and keep fit in, durin their enforced lay off!

And aall the other 19 Premyaa Leegue teams are in 'the same boat' as well, divvint forget!

Reeely!--- we shudint even be even 'fink'-in aboot restarting the Leegue, when there are still hundreds of unfortunate souls dyin' every day!

Stay fit in your gyms lads and aanly retorn when it iz safe to do so!----ie when it's safe for fans to gan back az well--and not before!


Playin in empty stadiums with 'canned' crowd noise, cardboard cut oot fans and blow up sex dolls in the stands, is NOT the answer!

Stay safe lads and resume playin' the remainin' games then!---and not before!

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