Friday, 21 January 2011

255 whaddon road cheltenham


(GROUND NUMBER 255)
Date of First Visit: 28th JANUARY 2006
WHADDON ROAD, CHELTENHAM


CHELTENHAM TOWN 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 (Chopra, Parker)

FA CUP 4th ROUND
ATTENDANCE: 7,022 (1,060 Toon fans)



"EVER DECREASING CIRCLES!"


Whaddon Road was a 'rare' new Leeegue groond for the thoosand and sixty 'Toonhoppers' present, who were lucky enough to get their hands on a 'prized' ticket and it was aalso a 'major milestone' for 'little old me' (Whey!---little a'm not---old aa am!) in mee Newcastle groundhoppin' exploits, as this just happened ti be the 100th groond a'd visited of the 92 teams 'currently' in the League at the time.
Er!---if that soonds a bit 'Irish', aa should explain that that total
includes 24 'bulldozed' groonds that have 'bit the dust', the vast majority of which, have been (shamefully!) torned into supermarkets, business parks and hoosin' complexxxezz!



So!--- aa was 'ecstatic' (ti say the least!) when aa hord the news on Sky Sports that Cheltenham had beaten Chester in their thord roond reply for the right to host The Toon, as a'd aalready been ti Chester before ("GERRRIN!")


Taalkin' aboot 'major milestones', The Toon aalso had a 'nice roond figure' ti celebrate as well, as this was wor 5,000 competitive game in wor history


However!---A twelve thorty televised kick off was not what we wanted, but the 'hoverin' vultures from the 'BEEB' ('bless em'---NOT!) were prayin' that they could have their 'cake and eat it' and that we would be eatin' 'humble pie'!
A 'two am bells' alarm caall therefore was on the cards thanx to 'Motty & Co.'
Mee two travellin' companions for the near six hundred mile roond trip were, namely, 'Tex' "yee haa" Taylor and 'Norman the Cowboy Plumber' who's 'jam jar' we were usin' ti gan doon in


We left at 'three thorty bells' and aa did the forst spell of drivin' doon ti Worcesterhire before havin' ti stop at the motorway services coz aa was absolutely shattered! (a'd anly managed two hours 'shuteye' the neet before)
After a quick 'nosebag' and a very expensive cup of 'Robert Lee', we set off again with 'Cowboy Norman' drivin' the final leg.


A'd done a hand drawn 'Auto Route' map of how ti get ti the groond and aa gave mee instructions oot as we sped doon the 'M5'
"Torn off at junction 10 then left at the big roondaboot next ti 'McDonalds" (etc etc) aa said and we eventually foond the groond with not one wrang tornin', which proved what a good navigator aa was and aa was 'chuffed ti bits' ti say the least that wi'd got there withoot havin' ti ask anybody directions.


But there's one 'tiny detail' a'd forgot aboot!---we had to pick Norman's brother 'Fawlty Towers' up at the train station as he'd been ti Sooth Wales for a couple of days visitin' his 'skin and blisters', Marjorie and Irene
Nuw the anly problem was!---aa had'nt thought of deein' a map ti get from the groond ti the station, so we set off 'blind' in the general direction of the toon centre which was two miles away.
We spotted some signs for the station and of course followed them, but! when we came to a roondaboot near the toon centre the signs suddenly disappeared. "Which way di wi gan nuw?", said 'Norman the Cowboy' as the traffic backed up behind us. Usin' mee 'navigational skills' aa telt him ti torn left and of course it was the wrang way and we got completely lost!


After drivin' aboot aimlessly for twenty minutes we passed the same booza THREE TIMES!, which meant that we were in fact gannin' aroond in CIRCLES! After the next 'circuit' we eventually flagged a postman doon to ask him the way and after dein' a much smaaller 'circle' we arrived at the station some three qwaatas of an hour after leavin' the groond! Of course bein' the 'navigator', aa got the blame for gettin' lost and mee reputation lay 'in tatters'! (the shame!)


We were late and we picked an impatient 'Fawlty' up and attempted to heed back to the groond. Again we got lost (AYE!---we passed that pub again!) so we ended up byin' an 'A to Z of Cheltenham' at a petrol station to find wor way back! (yi could'nt make it up---could yi?)



"HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE!---THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE!"
We (eventually!) parked up in a church car park near the groond (praise the lord!) and heeded for the warmth of 'The Cat and Fiddle' booza, just ower the road as it was aboot 'minus six' by this time. Predictably, bein' the anly booza we could see, it was chocker with Toon and Cheltenham fans.


















"Sanctuary!"


'Match of the Day' was on the telly and they were givin' us a pre match view from inside the groond as the cameras panned towards the Cheltenham fans with their drums, horns and six layers of clothin'!
The cameras then panned to wor end where three rather rotund 'twenty stone plus' Toon fans were standin' bare chested in the arctic conditions with their beer bellies hangin' oot for aall the world to see, as the camera lenses zoomed in! (one for the ladies?)
Alan Hanson, who was one of the commentators, just shook his heed in disbelief, mutterin', "Hard men!---hard men!" (Brilliant!)
A sign on the bar waall pointed the way to 'The Drinkers End', (which just happened to be in the same direction as the visitors section, as we looked oot the window towards the groond) so when it was 'time ti gan', we had ne problems (this time!) findin' the way to 'wor end' of the groond!. (ie: we didn't need the 'A' to 'Z'! this time)




"YI COULD'NT SELL AALL YER BURGERS!"

Cheltenham of course is more famous for the Gold Cup than the FA Cup and their tiny home was packed to the rafters as the game kicked off with chants of *"Souness out!" from some disgruntled Toon fans! (before? the kick off?—"howway lads and lasses, support the team instead!") (*Graeme Souness was wor unpopular manager at the time)
It was a decidedly average performance until 'Chops' heeded into the net from close range in the 41st minute and then 'Scotty' got wor 2nd two minutes later when he got in the way of a defenders clearance and the baall hit him in the 'nether regions' and deflected into the net just inside the post! ("ouch!")
With two goals in three minutes, this effectively sealed 'The Robins' fate to send the Toon fans in raptures. (Chants of "Souness in!" then reverberated around the 1,000 seater away stand!) "Aarrgh!"


Then after the break, 'Big Al' went agonizingly close ti breakin' the club *goal scorin' record when he just failed to toe poke the baall into the net from a yard oot! (*He was equal with 'Wor Jackie' on 200 goals)
Cheltenham goalie Higgs took a load of ribbing with chants of "Higgy for England!" and much worse as the Toon fans took the p***! ----And he 'took the bait', 'hook, line and sinker', by reactin' angrily with hand gestures towards the away section! (NO!—he WASN'T wavin' at us!)
The home side then had two glorious chances to score but (thankfully!) missed them both, the second after Odejayi rounded Shay Given anly to blast the ball into the side nettin' with the goal empty!
(This brought sarcastic chants of "ARE YOU SHOLA IN DISGUISE?" from the Toon fans!)


The highlight of the second half however was when a hamburger seller with a hand written sign sayin', 'ALL FOOD HALF PRICE!' hurried alang the front of the away section to chants of "YI COULD'NT SELL AALL YER BURGERS!", from the Toon wags!
The burger seller was then chased by a rather obese Toon fan who promptly bought THREE! of them!
This brought further chants of, "YOU'RE JUST A FAT GREEDY BURGER!" (or words to that effect!) when he started scoffin' them 'Billy Bunter style'!


By the time the match finished, aa was aalso 'Hank Marvin' and so aa heeded straight for 'The Cheltenham Chippy' (or whatever it was caalled?) next to the away end for a bag of 'jockeys whips' (what else in Cheltenham?) before makin for 'The Cat' once again (ti let the traffic get away yi understand!)


Aa then bumped into a Toon fan caalled 'Kev' who said that we would now be favorites for the Cup! ?
Of course with a 'two thorty bells' finish, he was reet!---as we were the anly ones through ti the last 16 at that stage!
(WHO SAYS WE'RE NOT OPTIMISTS!?)




GEORDIE GLOSSARY OF TERMS

It has come to my attenshun that some fans can't understand what a'm sayin' (Er!---sometimes neetha can aa!) so for this reeeson a'v added an 'A to Z' 'Geordie Glossary of Terms' to help the 'non Geordie reeeders' amongst us!


Aa=I,
Big Al=Alan Shearer
Bells='O' clock
Booza=Public house
Chops=Michael Chopra
De(in)=Do(ing)
Gan(in)=Go(ing)
Gerrrin=Get in
Groundhoppers=Fans who visit new grounds
Hank Marvin=Starving
Howway=come on
Jam jar=Car
Jockeys Whips=Chips
Nosebag=Food (glorious food!)
Qwaata(z)=Quarter(s)
Robert Lee=Tea
Skin and blisters=Sisters
Scotty=Scott Parker
The Toon=Newcastle United FC
Toonhoppers=Newcastle away fans
Whey=Well
Wor=Our
Wor Jackie=Jackie Milburn


Cheers!




©Fink™ (the mad-sad grundhpper!)




PS: Extracts from the above story aalso appeared in the next Newcastle home programme, on the 'Fink The Fan' page

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