Sunday 2 January 2011

110 stadio san nicola bari italy

Date of First Visit: 8th DECEMBER 1992

A.S. BARI  3

ATTENDANCE 1,229 (200 (or so) Toon fans)



(Day One)

Followin' on from wor 'Blue Ridge Moontain' trip tih Lucchese fower weeks orlier in the same competition, again the fans flew with the players, but this time we were booked intih a different hotel tih them? (ah wonder why?) (see groond 109!)
Bari iz in southern Italy and iz situated on the 'heel of the boot' (see a map of Italy!) and their new stadium was built on the site of a shrine tih 'St. Nicholas' (hence the groonds name) on the ootskirts of the city, for the 1990 World Cup.

This time we were kept well oot the way of the official party who had the front of the plane tih themsels and the curtains were draan so we could'nt catch a glimpse of wor heroes!.
Again it cost us the 'tidy' sum of £350 (quite a bit in 1992) for the priverlidge of travellin' with the team but it was worth it just for the experience!

On arrival at Bari airport we were put on seperate coaches and travelled in different directions az wih 'hit' the road for wor respective hotels. (Once bitten twice shy?)
This time there could be nee excuses from the players for not gettin' a good neets kip, especially as the kidda who had caused aall the mayhem in the corridors of wor hotel in Luccese (ie Baaldy Bonce) wasn't on this trip (again---see groond 109!)

In complete contrast to wor 'quiet moontain retreat' in Lucchese this hotel was bang in the middle of the city centre with car horns beepin' and general traffic noise from the mad Italian drivers!
The gadgie behind the reception desk was 'the spit' of Manuel off 'Fawlty Towers', but!---it couldn't have been him of course as this one was of the Italian variety and not Spanish! (and not! as daft---I may add!)
Italians are not big drinkers and this was reflected in the sparse number of places that yi could get a 'gargel' in Bari city centre, which is aboot the same size as 'The Toon'
Ice cream parlours are very popular ower there and a few of them selt beers and lagers as well as the 'Mr Whippy' specials that were the locals favourites--- SO!--- that's where we had to heed for!

Some of the parlours just had bottled lagers but there were a few with beer pumps stuck next to the ice cream taps. A romantic neet oot here is to tek your lass for a 'Ninety Nine special' complete with flakes, wafers and aall the strawberry add ons! And it was a weird 'culture shock' to say the least to see them holdin' hands as they sucked on their 'icy delights' as we supped wor own 'icy delights'---namely! ice caad lagers!

After we'd done 'The Parlour Craall' it was back to the hotel for a few 'night-caps' in the ('ice cream free'!) bar before retirin' to wor rooms for a good neets shut eye! (let's hope the players are deein' the same?—aa thought!) "ZZZZzzzz!!!!"

(Day Two)

The second day was of course 'match day' and after continental 'brekkies' and a few 'ice creams' in the local parlours (not!) it was time to heed for the busses to tek wih to the match. Aa was really lookin' forward to gannin' here as it was a 'state of the art' 60,000 seater stadium which just two years before had hosted England in 'Italia 90' where they lost 2-1 to Italy in the thord place play off in a near capacity crowd.

Like aa say, the groond was a 'canny hike', some six miles away on the ootskirts of Bari and after half an hours drive! in heavy 'horn "beeeeeepin" traffic alang the ooter ring road, we spotted the stadium in the distance and it was an impressive sight---aa can tell yiz! It looked like a huge flyin' saucer from outer space and as we got nearer aa couldn't help wonderin' if a Martian with a ray gun would suddenly appear from a concealed doorway and demand to be taken to wor leader! (these ice cream parlours de have a funny effect on yi brain cells!)

It was built in the middle of newhere with scrubland as a backdrop and like Lucchese the place was deserted as we disembarked from the coaches. However!--- as we surveyed the suroondings we spotted, not a Martian, but some 'Bari Ultras' who were waitin' for the stadium doors to open.

A quick 'chinwag' in broken Italian ("are yi aall reet lads!") broke the ice and aa managed ti swop a Toon badge for a Bari equivalent as aa collected badges at the time.

Like aa say there was nowt there apart from the groond and some scrubland (ne 'ice cream parlours'---NOTHIN'!) so when the gates opened 'in we went' to the bowels of 'the Saucer'

The stadium was a huge bowl with green seats in the lower tier and yellow seats in the upper tier (very strange as Bari play in red and white?) and looked much larger than it's 60,000 capacity
(There aad groond--- incidetleee!---was in the city centre and was used (believe it or not!? >) as a refugee camp for *20,000 Albanians in 1991!) and they anly moved to 'The Flyin' Saucer' in 1990 after the World Cup) (*now that's anotha piece of 'useless information' yi naa now!?)

Again, like Lucchese there were aboot 200 Toon fans who had made the trip and we were situated in the main stand, 'The Ultras' had aboot the same number in 'The Curva Nord' (that's 'The North Stand' by the way!) and are known as 'The Galletti' (Roosters) and they were tryin' their best to mek a racket (with oot much success as the groond was nearly empty!) To wor reet there were some gaps in the upper tier where seats had been ripped oot by rival Roma fans in a previous match (so we were telt) and there were aboot 100 fans dotted aboot the huge 'Curva Sud' (Sooth Corve!)
Opposite the main stand a few hundred others in the centre section made up the 'crowd' on wot looked like 1,000 or so! (That's 59,000 empty seats by my reckonin'!) (The Italians reely took this tournament to their hearts---didn't they!)

We obviously didn't tek the tournament 'to heart' eetha as we put in a dreadful performance and were one-nil doon afta anly 5 minutes when Cappocchiano slotted home. He added a 2nd on the half hour mark to give the 'Roosters' a two-nil lead at the interval with fire crakers bein' set of by The Ultras which echoed around the 'empty' stadium.
We played a little bit better in the second period but with just 2 minutes left a Tovalieri goal put the game beyond doubt to give us a three goal drubbin' and at the end 'The Toon' players looked 'oot on their feet'! (perhaps wor players didn't get any sleep after aall, like in Lucchese?) (But they couldn't blame 'Baaldy Bonce' this time!------could they?)

(Day Three)

It was 'yem time' on wor thord day and we were reunited with players and Keegan 'The Messiah' at Bari Airport where we had to wait for a delayed flight back to 'Toon Airport. 'The Messiah' to his credit came ower and taalked to us for nearly half an hour, mentionin' that 'certain players' who had played would not be in his future plans! (as they signed autographs!)
He would have talked to us for langer but 'the press' wanted some quotes from him and his partin' comment to us was that, "this was the bit he didn't like!" ( ie: taalkin' to the jawnalists, especially after a 3-0 defeat!)

To sum up---it was a fantastic experience to travel with the team again----but NOT! such a fantastic result!

©Fink™ (the mad-sad gr☺undh☺pper!)

No comments:

Post a Comment