Thursday 24 May 2018

158 olympic/respublikansky stadion kiev


Date of First Visit: 1st OCTOBER 1997




NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 (John Beresford 2)


ATTENDANCE 100,000  (400 Toon fans, plus ME in the Kiev End!)



The club had organised a day trip tih the Ukrainian capital for the princely sum of aroond aboot £320!.

‘The Caped Crusader’ (as usual!) was panickin' because he does'nt like travellin' on the day of the match in case somethin' gans wrang like delays by fog or bad weather for example and AH was panickin' (as usual!) coz the flight took fower hours.

(As far as a'm concerned, that's fower hours for sommik tih gan wrang, like the propellers faallin off or the engine blaa'in up!)

So it was a nervous duo who entered Newcastle Airport that mornin'! tih check in for wor 'said' 'day trip!'.

Needless tih say!, the flight torned oot tih be uneventful and we arrived at Kiev airport in one piece AND on time!.

The anly problem was that it took another two f***** hours tih get through customs, as the local 'secret police' double checked wor visas and passports.

The one that checked mine (a little c*** in a big hat!) just gave iz one of those:

'YOU LOOK LIKE AN AMERICAN SECRET AGENT TO ME', looks!, and aa half expected tih be 'carted off' tih the nearest Siberian salt mine for ten years hard labour!.

After aboot two minutes and a word in the 'shell like' of a fellow 'comrade' he finally gave iz the 'aall clear' and lerriz through, much tih my relief! as ah did'nt care too much for a 'boiled grass 'n' sheeps eyes soup' diet!, in a concentration camp tih see iz intih the new millennium!.

(Boiled grass waz the staple diet of Siberian Concentration camps az there waz ne taste to it!)

The city of Kiev torned oot tih be just as bleak as the airport reception and as yi'd expect it was f***** freezin' caad. A road sweeper with an improvised brush made of twigs was sweepin’ the autumn leaves  up into a heap and settin’ them on fire in the middle of the road!

The thing that struck me the most though, were the amoont of beggars on the streets and one fat roond faced woman in particular near a subway station, waz dressed in rags with a shawl aroond hor heed and she waz holdin’ a baaby under hor left  arm, with a beggin’ bowl in hor right hand and sayin’ sommik in Russian, which, (usin’ my vast knowledge of international languages!)---(Er!-fluent Geordie & broken English!)  aa deciphered to be----“HAVE YI GOT ANY SPARE BIT, HINNY!?”

Most of the few cars were the standard 'Trabent rust buckets', the busses looked like the ones yi’d normally see in a scrapyard and nearly aall  the locals were waalkin' aboot in Cossack style hats 'n' shabby sheepskin coats. (most of which looked aboot twenty years aad!)

The amazin' thing when wih went on the 'hoy' was that there were quite a few cafe style bars with customers sittin' oot in the open with the temperature bearly above freezin' point.

(Definitely another place that yih could send yih mother 'n' law for hor summer holidays!)

As wih waalked the streets wih came across the Ukranian equivelent of 'Kentucky Fried Chicken' with the logo of the gadgie in specs and white beard on the front! and what I assume was K.F.C. written in Russian? (sommik like! â„Ķ ± !)

There were massive queues tih get in and it was hardly surprizin' as the rest of the scran shops looked a bit 'dodgy' tih say the least. We were 'Hank Marvin' by nuw, so wih (wisely!) decided tih get some 'Desperate Dan' there before headin' for the stadium which was in the city centre.

In a boozer near the 100,000 capacity stadium we bumped into ‘Bill Quay Kev’ who waz sittin’ at a table with a very large vodka in front of him!

“IT’S BEAUTIFUL ‘FINK’---BEAUTIFUL!”, he said to me, slurrin’ hiz words az he stared at the FULL pint glass! (I kid yoo not!)

“THERE’S NE OPTIC MEASURES HERE!”---“THEY JUST POUR IT FROM THE BOTTLE!”, he added az he gulped some more doon hiz ‘Gregory Peck’!

Anotha trip to the bar for Kev saw the barman pour him anotha vodka cocktail and indeed he did pour aboot half a pint of the stuff into the glass before addin’ some coke and ice!

After a few BEERS with Kev (there waz NE WAY aa waz gannih be ‘comotosed’ like him before the game!) we said wor goodbyes az he sat at the table lookin’ absoluteleee ‘cattle trucked’ with the drink!

Then a while later and half an hour before kick off, aa lost the rest of the lads in the crowds outside and had to mek mee aan way to the huge stadium, which had fower massive floodlights with aboot a hundred bulbs in each one! and aall the tornstile entrance signs were in Russian!, which of course aa couldn’t understand!

To be honest aa was a bit p*st meesel and with time getting’ on aa panicked that aa would miss the start and just went with the flo of the crowd to the nearest entrance.

A gadgie mumbled sommik in Russian and tore the ticket stub off and aa waz in the ground.

There were ne tool sheds az such and if yi wanted a ‘gypsies’ yi had ti gan behind some trees on the concourse to get a slash!

Hundreds were standin’ there in a row with their w*llies hangin’ oot, az ‘the secret police dibbles’ looked on! (f**kin’ perverts!)

It waz then onto the steep terraces where broken wooden benches aligned them az far az the eye could see!---Aa looked to see if aa could get to the ‘Toon End’ of the stadium but aa waz on the highest level and the pocket of Toon fans were below in a paddock on the opposite side of the pitch, which waz impossible to get te from where aa waz!

Aa thought aboot askin one of the ‘secret police dibbles’ who were smokin’ tabs in the alleyways, if aa could get to the Toon section, but had second thoughts az they MIGHT just hoy me oot instead and a’d miss the match!---so aa stayed put and kept ‘dumb’ and plonked meesel doon on one of the broken benches with 99,600 screamin’ Ukrainians in every direction aroond iz! (help!)

Many fans were drinkin’ beer in their seats which they’d bought from the kiosks in the concourses---a strange sight which of course isn’t allowed back home!

Just before the match kicked off an ugly woman with a wart on the end of hor nose and wearin’ a heedscarf , came up to me and looked at the seat and said sommik in Russian to me. Thinkin’ she waz tellin’ me that aa waz sittin’ in hor seat aa said sommik in gibberish so az not to give the game away and just shrugged mee shoulders, az she looked on in puzzlement!

She than waalked off cursin’ sommik under hor breath and (thankfully!) went somewhere else!---Phew!---it waz a close caall—but a’d gettin’ away with it!

The game kick off and Kiev started off the brightest and took the lead after just fower minutes when Shay Given waz beaten by Redrov to put the home side one up!

This resulted in the entire crowd jumpin’ up and celebratin’ wildly!---apart from me!---Who just stood there with arms folded, hopin’ that nebody would ‘suss me oot’!?

At aboot the midpoint of the half it waz 2-0 to Kiev when a mistake by Darren Peackock let in Shevchenko who fired in from a tight angle. (More celebrations from the locals and more arm foldin’ from me!)

We picked up the pace a bit in the second half and then with just 12 minutes to gan when a weak shot from John Beresford went through the legs of the Kiev keeper to give us hope of a comeback!

Again aa stood with arms folded, but under baited breath aa was sayin’---“gerrin gerrin!”

And then within seven minutes we were level when ‘savior’ Beresford struck a fine shot which richoshaded off Kiev defender Golovko’s boot and ower the keepers heed to send the small pocket of Toon Army travellers on the other side of the pitch crazy!

Aa tried not to react, but aa had a huge smile on mee face  and then aa got a tap on the shoulder from behind off a Kiev fan who said in broken English---“Yoo Newcastle?”  Aa hesitated for a second but realised a’d ‘been rumbled’----“YES!” aa said sheepishly and unbelieviblee he handed me a pint of beer to drink and shook mee hand!

At last!---“WELCOME TO KIEV!”

But hang on a minute!---wot if he waz a two faced b*****d and had hockled in the beer?

The broon stuff DID look a little too frothy after aall!?---So aa tipped the contents doon a crack in the concrete terraces!--- Aa wasn’t takin’ ANY chances! (hope there waz nebody sittin’ below!???)(ha!-ha!)

A few minutes later the ref blew for full time and we’d got a valuable point to show for it and aa made me way incognito to the nearest exit!

After the match it waz back to a meetin’ point in the main square where we had time for a few ‘liquid refreshments before climbin’ back onto the bus to take us back to Kiev airport and another meetin’ with ‘the secret police dibbles’!

‘Bill Quay Kev’ waz there (Bill Quay iz a village on the banks ‘o’ the Tyne near Pelaw!) and he looked absolutlee knackered with the drink!---“I’M DEVESTATED, FINK!”, he said to me—“AA DIDN’T GET IN ‘TIL HALF TIME AND THEN AA FELL ASLEEP AND MISSED THE MATCH!”---he added az he held his heed in hiz hands! (the demon drink had taken it’s toll!)---


It waz then back on the plane afta anotha two hour or so wait (to let the Toon players ‘jump the queue’ and board their flight yem!) and fower and a half hours later wor ‘day trip to Kiev’ waz complete! 

A memorable day aall roond! (apart from ‘Bill Quay Kev’ that iz!---AALL THAT WAY FOR NOWT!)

Footnote: On mee next visit to Kiev five years later aa actually went in the AWAY END for a change and my claim to fame iz!---a’m the ANLY Toon fan to have been in the Dynamo Kiev HOME AND AWAY END!

It shud aalso be noted that there were NE beggars to be seen on the streets on wor second visit!?---perhaps they were sent to the salt mines!?

©Fink™ (the mad-sad groundhopper!)

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