Monday 9 July 2012







ATTENDANCE: 23,078 (100 Sampdoria fans)


Just five hours from getting’ back from the away friendly at Hull, it was time to get up again and heed for the airport for The Toon’s next game against Sampdoria in Newcastle, via Amsterdam!

Before yi think that a’v gone completeleee ‘off it’---lerriz explain!

At wor last home game of the previous season, ‘Biffa the Bear’ (the one from Whitley Bay , not! ‘The Beano’) had telt iz that The Toon had been invited to play in the Amsterdam Tournament in August, but that it had’nt been ‘cast in stone’ yet!

He said that he’d ‘took a chance’ and aalready booked up, so that was good enough for me!, especially when aa foond oot later that Sky telly were runnin’ adverts sayin’ that they were coverin’ it and that The Toon were one of the participatin’ teams.

As the tournament was ower three days aa asked wor lass if she fancied gannin and she said: “AYE!”

AND SO! (as yi de!) aa went straight onto the KLM website to book two cheap seats to ‘The Seedy City’.

Wor lass’s son Craig then decided that he fancied gannin as well and so aa booked anotha couple of seats for him and his fiancée Vicky. (---so far so good!)

Me and wor lass then went on a short break to Ibiza and when we got back Craig telt us some devastatin’ news!------NO!---not that anybody had taken seriously ill or died!, but much worse than that!-----The Toon had ‘pulled the plug’ and WERE’NT playin’ in the Amsterdam Tournament after aall!

Aa was absolootleee devastated!---Aa meeen!----if they wee’nt gannin to Amsterdam, then where the f*** were they gannin???

Aa hung on for a few weeks before aa booked the hotel, just in case The Toon were playin’  somewhere else when we were in Holland.

The above mentioned away friendly against Hull was arranged for the forst of August. We were flyin’ on the second so aa’d got away with that one!

HOWEVER!----the next friendly was at home to Sampdoria the followin’ Sunday at ‘three bells’----the day we were due to fly back!

A quick look at the flight schedule conformed mee worst fears as the plane from Amsterdam was due to land at Toon Airport at half time!

And the fact that it sometimes teks ages to get through customs and a replacement bus sorvice for the Metro was on for that weekend, (just to hoy a spanner in the works!) meant that aa would miss the whole match unless!  aa changed mee flight time!

A (very!) quick discussion with wor lass then followed and it was decided that aa would just book meesel on an orlier flight and leave hor to catch the original flight back with Craig and Vicky!

It cost iz eighty quid extra to book a seat on the ‘ten to nine bells’ flight—but of course it meant that aa would’nt miss the match after aall! (a smaall? price to pay to see The Toon!???)

And so!---here we foond worsels at Toon Airport in the orly hours of thorsday mornin’ with fower seats to Amsterdam and ne matches to gan te!

To mek matters worse, we could’nt find any hotels in the centre of ‘The Seedy City’ for less than a hundred quid a neet!

and in any case they were aall full anyway!

We had ne option but to find a hotel near to the airport and ended up on the ootskirts of a toon caalled Hoofdorf which was some twenty miles from the city centre!

The hotel was in the middle of an industrial estate just to add to the ‘shambles’!

We decided to sample the delights of Hoofdorf for the forst day of the three, and heed for Amsterdam for the remainin’ two.

The hotel receptionist telt wih that it was a fifteen minute waalk to the toon centre and as it was a nice sunny day, ‘off we set’!

Some FORTY! minutes later we arrived in the toon centre for the afternoon ‘session’ and a bit ‘mosey’ aroond the shops.  (they must be (very!) fast waalkers aroond these parts!)

The shops were quite busy and we foond a café bar in the centre and plonked worsels on the seats ootside for some ‘Desperate Dan’ and a few ‘liquids’.

The village idiot, who in this case was a ‘scraggily haired’ road sweeper with a wheelie bin attached to the front of his bike, (would you believe?) was wearin’ a pair of ‘Elton John style’ sunglasses which had the number ‘2000’ attached to the front, with the middle two ‘00’s’ actin’ as the eye lenses!

He was taalkin’ away to himself as he swept the path and was totally oblivious to anyone starin’ at him as he peddled aroond in circles lookin’ aimlessly for some rubbish to sweep up!

It was soon time to ‘move on’ and after a couple more ‘liquid lubrication stops’ we heeded back on the ‘marathon trek’ back to the hotel for a ‘wash n brush up’ before the evenin’ session.


We decided to tek a taxi back to Hoofdorf as we’d done enough waalkin’ for a week! and when aa asked one of the locals in the hotel bar just what the nightlife was like in Hoofdorf he just laughed! (we soon foond oot why!)

We asked wor taxi driver, who went by the name of Jeffrey to tek us to the ‘nightlife’! and he dropped us off ootside a bar in a deserted street?

We had a few ‘gargels’ and decided to move on to the next ‘drinkin den’----the anly problem was!----we could’nt find any others open!

Eventually after wanderin’ the empty streets for twenty minutes we foond (what torned oot to be!) the anly otha booza open in the whole of Hoofdorf toon centre! (now renamed ‘Ghostowndorf’!)

An ‘enforced’ stay then ensued (aa meeen---where else was there to gan?) before we heeded back to the forst ‘waaterin hole’ for ‘last orders’

We were a bit p****d off by now and tried to find a taxi to tek us back to the hotel, but!----there was’nt a one to be seen!

Luckily  ‘Jeffrey’ had given Craig a card with his number on so we gave him ‘a bell’ to pick us up.

We went back to the hotel where, ironically, the Amsterdam Tournament was live on the telly. (the soul reason we had come here!)


Next day it was off to Amsterdam itself on the train to sample the delights of Dam Square and ‘The Red Light District’, which was a real ‘eye opener’ for Vicky, the anly one of us who had’nt been here before!.

‘The Seedy City’ is a very expensive place with prices aroond aboot double of that back home and several hours later (and several euros lighter!) we heeded back to the train station for the ‘ten bells’ train back to the airport.

From there we were to catch the free shuttle bus back to the hotel and the last one was at ‘qwaata past eleven bells’.

However!---after half an hour into the journey we realized that there was sommik wrang as the journey time was anly twenty minutes. The train then stopped at ‘Den Haag’ (The Hague) and aa realized that we had got on the wrang train at the wrang time!

By the time we’d got back to the airport (via Amsterdam once again!) we’d missed the last shuttle bus back to the hotel and had to folk oot the equivalent of thirty quid for a taxi to get us back!  (What else could gan wrang???------reeed on!)


Day three of the ‘Sampdoria sortie’ was soon underway and we decided to kill some time by tekin’ a cruse aroond the canals after we’d had ‘luncheon’ near to Dam Square.

And at 60 euros (£40) for fower omelet and chips and two roonds of drinks, it was’nt cheap!

It was then time to gan on wor ‘canal croooze’ (“er!” via the ‘sex museum’!) The boat was full on wor departure and a tape recordin’ telt us (in fower languages!) that there were ower a thousand bridges in Amsterdam and aboot five hundred kilometers of canals! (now that’s anotha bit of useless information that aa naa!)

After aboot half an hour we rounded a bend on one of the main canals to be confronted with hundreds of boats playin’ very loud music and they were packed to the rafters with people in pink garlands and shirts dancin’ to the rhythm of the beat.

They aall had messages on their shirts which said  sommik like, ‘AMSTERDAM GAAYE PRID WEIKEND’, and aa used mee vast knowledge of international languages (fluid Geordie and broken English!) to decipher that it actually said, ‘AMSTERDAM GAY PRIDE WEEKEND’!!!

Then it suddenly hirr-iz!---this was the reel reason that we could’nt get any hotel places in the centre of ‘The Seedy City’, as aall the, “I’m Freeee!”- ‘Gay Gordons’ and ‘Butch Bimbos’ had booked them, in what was the biggest ‘Gay Day’ in mainland Europe!

After we got off the boat we wandered the streets which was packed with them, in their leather jeans, chains, kinky leather boots and ‘Austrian style’ (very!) tight leather shorts, that left little to the imagination!----ie:----IT was time to make A SHARP exit!

We made for the other side of the train station where it was a lot quieter and ‘leather free!’ and we finished off the evenin’ session there, before heedin’ back to the airport once again (this time on the reet! train!) and then onto wor hotel.

It had certainly been an eventful weekend so far!

Aa, of course had to get up orly the next mornin’ (Sunday) to catch the ‘ten to nine bells’ flight back to Toon Airport for the Sampdoria match and aa said mee ‘goodbyes’ to wor lass at ‘qwaata to five bells’ and caught the forst shuttle bus to Schipol.

“PANIC STATIONS! (for a split second!)

When aa got to the airport terminal mee ‘tellin’ bone’ rang and it was a text message reportedly from KLM Airlines. It said: ‘Due to industrial action all flight will be severely disrupted!”

For a split second aa went into ‘panic station mode!’

But mee suspicions were raised when aa realized that a’d neva gave them mee mobile number in the first place? (ie: “aa smelt a rat!”)

A quick check to just who had sent it revealed that mee mate Davy had been tryin’ to wind me up!---panic ower!

The flight was bang on time and aa arrived back in the Toon at precisely ‘ten bells’ (five hours to kick off!---wots the panic???)

Forst stop was ‘The Three Bulls Knackers’ where Alan the manager was unboltin’ the doors (very good timin’!) and (as yi’d expect!) aa ordered a ‘Billy Bunter Brekky’, washed doon with a pint of ‘extra caad Smiths’!-----aa was nuw ready for ‘the off’! (so to speak!)

A few more liquids with ‘Grumpy Stumpy’, ‘Norman the Cowboy Plumber’ and the rest of the crew in ‘The Newcastle Arms’ and ‘The Labour Club’ and it was time to gan to the match!

The groond was less than half full as the game kicked off with ‘Level 7’ completely empty.

Sampdoria had brung aroond a hundred fans who were situated in the lower tier of ‘The Leazes’ and they were makin’ quite a racket, considerin’ their smaall numbers.

Both Alan Smith and Mark Vaduka who were both makin’ their debuts and went close at The Leazes End in the forst half.

The second period produced two goals from Smith, the forst one was disallowed for offside in the 51st minute, (it was’nt!) but ‘justice was done’ 20 mins later when he heeded in at close range from a Geremi corner.


Considerin’ that this was the forst time a’d flew to a HOME game (aa live aboot two miles from the groond!) and a’d actually been ‘on the hoy’ at Amsterdam airport at ‘six bells’, some NINE hours before kick off! (normally it’s three hours!) aa was a little bit ineebreeated! to say the least!

Wor lass’s flight was bang on time and me ‘din dins’ was waitin’ for iz as aa staggered in the hoose sometime later!

An eventful weekend???---your not f*****’ kiddin’!

©Fink™ (the mad-sad groundhopper!)

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