Friday, 4 March 2011
166 nou camp barcelona
(GROUND NUMBER 166)
Date of First Visit: 26th NOVEMBER 1997
NOU CAMP, BARCELONA, SPAIN
FC BARCELONA 1
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Group C
ATTENDANCE: 25,000 (8,000 Toon fans)
"THE RAIN IN SPAIN FALLS MAINLY IN 'THE NOU CAMP'!"
"IN THE GHETTO!"
A dream come true for me!----If yi'd asked iz the question of which groond in the world aa would love to gan te the most, then 'this one' would win 'hands doon'!---Aa meeen!--- 'The Toon ' playin' at the mighty 'Nou Camp' stadium against *the best ever supported club in the world IS without doubt a 'groundhoppers utopia'!
(*In the 1947-48 season Newcastle's average gates were a staggerin' 56,299, which at the time was a world record! (and THAT was in the aad Second Division az well!)
This record was broken some years later by Barcelona who averaged a breathtakin' 93,000! (So at least we have somethin' in common!)
Mee mate Davy had travelled ower with his gorlfriend Barbara and had been there a few days to 'suss the joint oot' and when aa asked him on the 'tellin bone' wot the weather was like and would aa need to take 'a 'nanny goat', his reply was sommik like this! ---and I quote!:"Divvint be daft!----It's a heat wave ower here—the temperature iz in the 80's--and there's brilliant sunshine! ---YIH DEFINATLY DIVVINT NEED A COAT!" ◄(famous last words indeed!) (reeed on!)
Barcelona is a massive place as we soon foond oot on wor arrival as wor hotel was f***** miles away from the city centre in the middle of ne where, so!—taxis were the order of the day to get us to 'the main drag' which iz known as 'La Ramblas', (The Rambles) where there were a canny few café/bars to quensh wor thirsts!
We'd met Davy and Barbara on 'La Ramblas' and they telt us that they'd foond a great boozer and took us towards it.
But beware!---this takes you doon some narrow back lanes where the sun suddenly disappears in the shadows and a waalk doon it takes you into a different world with washin' hangin' from high rise slums where the locals live with 'pick pockets' lurkin' doon every ally waitin' for 'victims!' (ie: "US!")
The bar appeared in the distance and on enterin' it we were amased to see it decked oot in REAL MADRID! colours!? There were pennents,photos and framed shirts on the waalls! and this akin to 'The Hotspur' or 'The Newcastle Arms havin' mackem photos on it's waalls ,as everybody knows Barcelona HATE Real Madrid and vise versa!
But the huge framed photo behind the bar coonta was the best of aall! It showed a cartoon of a Real Madrid pig dressed in their aall white strip , screwin' a Barcelona pig dressed in their strip! (wish a'd brought mee camera!) and this divvint forget was reet in Barca's heartland!
The locals (or shud that be 'locos'?) looked a bit 'dodgy' so we drank up and heeded forther into 'the ghetto' to the next 'waaterin' hole' which looked even dodgier! As soon as we waalked through the door everybody stopped taalkin' and looked at us as though we had horns stickin' oot of wor heeds! (ie: it didn't look too clever eetha!) and this 'drinkin' den' aalso had Real Madrid photos on the waalls!? (was this an enclave of Madrid?)
Anyway!---Davy got taalkin' to the owner who spoke broken English and as we were aboot to leave for the next 'dive' he telt us NOT to gan to the next bar deeper into the ghetto. Davy who was 'canny sorved' by now decided to ignore his advice and started waalkin' in the wrang direction. The owner then rushed oot of the bar and said, "NOH!-NOH!-NOH!"-----"CCCCCCHHHHHHH!!!!", and did a 'cuttin' motion' across his face and throat with his index finger!
"Davy!"---aa said as aa grabbed hold of him---"wih gannin THAT WAY!"---and pointed in the direction of La Ramblas! (and safety!)
Wih thanked the owner for his advice and did a 'U' turn for the 'main drag' for (yet!) some more 'liquid refreshments' before heedin' back to wor oot of toon hotel for the neet!
"IZ THIS GATESHEED IN DISGUISE!"
Next day was match day, an' the sky looked a bit black, but it was still canny waam. Wih heeded back to La Ramblas where wih aall had to meet up tih get the busses tih the groond under police escort. Wi'd been telt to meet up three hours before the game and that we had tih gan with the escort or wih WOULDN'T get in!
So we set off in the convoy and arrived at The Nou Camp two and threeqwaata hours before the kick off and by this time the weather had torned a bit inclement to say the least as the heavens opened and before lang it was 'chuckin' it doon'!
Mee forst impression on seein' the Nou Camp for the forst time was that the concrete structure and slopin' ramps looked remarkably like the ootside of 'The Get Carter' car park in Gatesheed toon centre
Aa took mee place at the back of the huge open terrace which was aboot 6 miles above pitch level!, cursin' the fact that aa hadn't brung mee coat, brolly or telescope with iz!, as there was ne cover at this side of the stadium, an' aall had tih keep iz dry was mee faithful black 'n' white top! (Mee mate Davy's got a lot to answer to-as of course he telt me that aa wouldn't NEED a f*****' coat!)
By the time the match kicked off aa was like a half drowned rat alang with the other *8,000 Toon fans who'd made the 'pilgrimage', which amazingly was almost one thord of the crowd. (We would have had double that number ,but they wouldn't give us any more tickets!)
Aanly *25,000 were inside when the game started an' there were huge gaps on the terraces, which meant that there ower 70,000 empty seats, which was very disappointin'. This was due entirely to the fact that 'Barca' couldn't qualify for the next roond of 'The Champions League'
From mee standin' place in row ZZZZZZZ! the players were like tiny specs on the field below, an' aa could hardly make the team oot!
The forst game at St James' had ended 3-2 to The Toon (after leadin' 3-0!) two month's orlier and a notable absentee for this game was Tino Asprilla who had scored a hat-trick in that game and this was to prove decisive in this one.
"WHERE'S THE FLAG!?"
Anyway!--- John Beresford had a 35yard shot that went well wide in the 10th minute to be followed moments later by John Barnes, who's 25 yard effort went just inches past the post to huge gasps from the *8,000 soakin' wet travellin' hoards. (*accordin' to 'The Sporting Life')
However!---the deadlock was broken in the 17th minute by the home side when Brazilian ace Giovanni chipped Shaka Hislop in The Toon goal to muted roars from the 17,000 Barca fans present .
Jon Dahl Tomasson then hit the bar for us in the 35th minute which brought more huge gasps (of despair!) from The Toon fans and that was the closest we came to scorin' durin' the forst half.
Durin' the match a'd kept lookin' roond to see where the giant Toon Army flag was as 'Barrett meen time' (the flags eternal gardian!) said the previous week that he was bringin' it ower on 'The Toon Army Travel' flight----but!—where the hell was it?—(or him for that matter!) (we would find oot next day!)
Then!---as the second half started the few 'Barca' fans present could be seen fightin' amongst themsels in the lower reaches of the stand behind the left hand goal as many of The Toon fans stripped off their soakin' wet tops, wrang them oot and twirled them aroond their heeds as the torrential doonpour saw ne sign of lettin' up (Er!---mine was stuck to my magnificent 17 stone torso---by the way!)
On the otha hand the action on the pitch was less than a damp squid with the anly plus point from us was when a great chance fell to Stevie Watson just before the end, but he heeded wide when it would have been easier to score!
That was the last chance we had and the defeat meant that like Barca ,we were oot the Champions League as well (so!---that's sommik else we had in common with them!?)
We'd 'dryed oot' a bit by the time we got back to La Ramblas where we 'drowned' wor sorrows (sic!) before mekin' the marathon trek back to wor oot of toon hotel---"ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz!"
"TOON ARMY FLAG R.I.P!"
We finally bumped into 'Barrett meen time' the next day and the forst question aa asked him was--- "Where was the f*****' flag at the match?"
His answer 'shocked me to the core!'----Before the match they got the flag, which was was in their hotel, handily placed next to the groond, and aboot 20 Toon 'foot soldiers'helped tih carry it to the tornstiles. The local 'Dibble', obviously frightened that the flag was aboot to 'attack them', decided to 'baton charge' the 'said' flag which weighs aroot 'a ton' (especially when it's soken wet!)
'The flag' (unable to defend itsel!) was left unceremonisly ootside as 'The Dibble' refused to let it in and it sadly 'missed the game'!
In the mornin' they went back to the groond to pick it up---but!---it had mysteriousleee disappeared!?
Aa meeeen!---how the hell can yi LOOOSE sommik THAT BIG?
(Aa can just see the advort in the 'lost and foond' column of 'The Barcelona Times'------Lost: TOON ARMY FLAG!---Colours: BLACK & WHITE STRIPES!---Size: 120 FEET by 80 FEET WITH TWO 50 FEET MAGPIES ON EITHER SIDE & A BIG BLUE STAR IN THE MIDDLE!----ANSWERS TO THE NAMES OF 'NEWCASTLE UNITED' & 'HOWAY THE LADS'! WHICH IS WRITTEN ON THE TOP & BOTTOM OF THE FLAG!----Reward: A CRATE OF BROON ALE TO THE LUCKY FINDER! )
Futher enquiries revealeded that the Barcelona Refuse Department had hoyed it into a f*****' bin lorry, carted it away and dumped it on the local tip!!!!
So!---if yi'd ever wondered what had happened to the giant flag---WELL!---NUW YI NAA!
Epitaph: 'TOON ARMY FLAG R.I.P. BARCELONA 1997!'
"A'V LOST MEE JOB!---WOR LASS HAS LET IZ!---WOT ELSE CAN GAN WRANG!?"
One Toon fan who shall remain anonymous (for good reason!) got more than he bargained for
when he visited the Catalan capital. After checkin' in to his hotel he decided to phone his lass tih tell hor that he'd arrived safely.
She told him that his boss had been on the phone and that he'd been sacked for takin' time off to gan to the match! She aalso told him that she'd had enough of him gannin' to the matches and was waalkin' oot on him for good!
Devistated!—he decided to 'drown his sorrows' and have a few 'gargels' doon 'La Ramblas' and in between bars he got his pockets 'dipped' and somebody nicked his wallet!, so he had to gan back to his hotel to get some more 'lowwy' which he'd left in his room. He went back on 'the hoy' and as he was waalkin' doon a back lane a local pulled a knife on him and he got mugged again!
Once more he heeded back to his hotel for yet more 'lowwy' but this time he decided to stay off the drink and find a local 'scally' instead. He foond one and she took him doon a back alley to give him a g***le! He tried to gan a bit further and unzipped hor dress and got his 'hand away', anly to find that 'she' ---was really a 'HE'!!!.
Panickin'!---and with his strides still roond his ankles, he legged it 'sharpish' doon the alley!
Next day he went to 'The Nou Camp' for the match and of course The Toon lost! On his arrival back at Barcelona airport (mortal drunk by this time!) he started shoutin' at the top of his voice and tellin' the whole world aboot his problems!
"A'v lost mee job!"---he cried---"Wor lass has left iz!"-"A'v been mugged twice!"-"The Toon got
F*****' beat!"-"An' a'v had a g***le of a transvestite!"—What else can gan wrang???"------"BASTARDS!"---SOMEBODY'S NICKED MEE WATCH AS WELL!!!!!!"
Footnote: *Some reports gave the crowd as 20,000 and the Toon support as 7,000 and some 25,000 and 8,000 respectively (it was hard to tell which was reet in the 98,000 capacity stadium!)
Geordie Glossary of Terms and Phrases (for the benefit of 'non Geordie' readers)
(in the order that they appear)
Groundhopper=someone who visits different football grounds
Suss the joint=have alook around
The main drag=the main thoroughfare
mackem photo=s/land team photo
Screwin'=(go to bottom of page for answer!)
Canny sorved=very drunk!
Chuckin' it doon=raining very heavily
Gatesheed=the town of Gateshead
Barrett meen time=name for Toon fan who has his own time zone as he's always late! (as opposed to Greenwich mean time)
Toon Army Travel=the tour operator (Barrett meen time)who took many fans to Barcelona
Howay the lads=come on the boys
Broon ale=Newcastle Brown Ale
Nuw yi naa=now you know
The hoy=going for a few drinks of alcoholic beverage!
G**ble=(work it out!)(see below)▼
Hand away=(if yi don't know the answer then ask your mammy and daddy!)
©Fink™(the mad-sad gr☺undh☺pper!)
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