Date of First Visit: 11th March 2003
San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy
Inter Milan 2
Newcastle United 2 (Alan Shearer, 2)
Champions League, Group 'A' (2nd phase)
Attendance: 53,459 (12,000 Toon fans)
"THE TALE OF VAN GOFF'Z LUG!"
A SELF POITRAIT OF VINCENT VAN 'GOFF' (GOGH) WITH
HIZ LUG BANDAGED UP, AFTER HE CHOPPED IT OFF!
"A DREAM COME TRUE!"---After the Nou Camp, Barcelona, this woz the next best groond aa wanted to visit in the whole wide world---and mee dream came true when we drew Inter Milan in the group stage of The Champions Leegue!
At last!---after a thorty three year wait ah would finally visit the one stadium in the world that a'v aalways wanted tih see the Toon play in, alang with The Nou Camp in Barcelonaa.
The last time wih played there in 1970 in the aad European Fairs Cup, ah was a mere 'slip of a lad' aged sixteen and simply could'nt afford it. (Aa meen---aa didn't even have a passport!)
(At the time ah was workin' in mee forst ever job az an apprentice fitter and turner on the Team Valley for the 'princely' sum of £5 a week!)
Ever since then ah dreamed of watchin' the Toon in one of the worlds best stadium--- and so!--- here ah was a thord of a century later (woz it really THAT! lang ago?) ready tih forfill mee dream!.
Az ever wih met up at the airport and made straight for wor 'rondiveuz' (sorree aboot thi spelin!) point in the bar!
(This had the added effect of preventin' anybody jumpin' the queue, az they could'nt get past him!)
In total this was mee seventh Champions League jaunt from Newcastle Airport that season, AND!---'ah kid you not'---a'd been here that many times, that the barmaid recognised izz and was pourin' mee drink oot even before ah asked for it! (honest!)
Aalso, ah had mee usual table (within hocklin' distance of the coonta!) so it was'nt too far for iz tih gan for the next 'Arthur Scargills'!(Gargels).
It was at this point that ah spotted 'Frainy' who was standin' in the 'coffee queue'!---tih be honest ah could'nt believe it!---a fellow Toon plonky of some thorty years standin' was in the---- COFFEE QUEUE!!??
Ah had tih rub mee 'mincers' tih mek sure it was true and 'Stumpy', not wantin' tih miss a photo oppotunity unzipped his case and hurriedly got his camera oot!.
He focused it on 'Frainy' and clicked the button---BUT!---the f***** flash did'nt gan off!
"MEE BASTARD CAMRAZ NOT WORKIN!", said the frustrated photographer, az he undid the back tih see what was wrang!.
"THE BATTERIES ARE IN THE WRANG WAY ROOND YIH DAFT C**T!", ah said, az 'Frainy' clocked wih from the queue!.
Quick az a flash he moved tih the 'beer queue', claimin' that he'd joined the wrang queue by mistake, (a likely story!) but of course it was TOO late and the 'said' 'photo oppotunity' was missed!---"AAAARRRR"!!!
'Stumpy' sheepishly mumbled sommik aboot the batteries bein' dud---and hoyed it back in his case!-----
(but, WE! naa different!)---(DIVVINT WIH?)
Afta a few more 'liquid lubrications' (purely for medicinal purposes yi'll understand!) it was time tih catch wor flight tih Milano.
The airport, az yi'd expect was 'choka' with Toon fans (which was a far cry from the previous trip tih Jawmany) and an estimated 12,000 were said tih be mekin' the pilgrimage tih 'spaghettiland'!
Wor hotel was a top of the range 'plush' 5 star job' in the suborbs and was aboot five miles from the centre of Milan and was caalled the 'Leonardo Da Vinci' afta the famous painter. (Ah NAA mee history yih naa!)
"YIH DAFT BASTARD!", came the reply, "IT WAS VAN GOFF WHO CUT HIS F***** LUG OFF!"
(Like ah said---ah was NEVAA! nee good at history!)
But bein' 'street wise' we heeded for the back alleys away from the bright lights where the 'gargels' were half the price in the 'dingy bars'!
She woz a 'wheel barrow' job and shih 'hoyed up' aall ower the floor az we looked on in amazement!----Hor mates then dragged hor to the lift and up to hor room to 'sleep it off'! (A 'propaa' Geordie lass!)
|"MARBLE FLOORS---AND AALL THAT!"|
In the meantime a very well dressed posh lookin' lady walked into the hotel wearin a very expensive fur coat and long throw scarf to match.
She had a pair of leather knee length boots on, but didn't notice the spew aall ower the marble floor!---She walked straight into it az she heeded for the reception desk and slipped, az hor boot heels made contact!---She fell backwards and straight into the 'said' spew, which covered hor fur coat!----Me and 'Norman the Cowboy Plumber' just couldn't believe wot we saw and were in stitches az a porter rushed to hor assistance and helped hor to hor feet, az shih screamed sommik in Italian, az we looked on in amazement!
Anyway!---It woz soon the day of the match and we excitedly made wor way to San Siro, the district of Milan where the stadium iz named after, but not before several 'liquid lubrication location' stops on the way!
We eventually arrived and I woz dumbstruck with the huge stadium az it appeared on the skyline, aall lit up!
After bein' hassled by the local 'Dibble' we were eventually allowed into the groond where 12,000 Toon fans were assembled behind one of the goals!
Inside the stadium woz less impressive than the outside however, az it woz full of faded bucket seats on 3 tiers!
My seat woz on the lower tier underneath the overhang of 2nd tier, where the Inter Milan fans were hoyin missiles and bottles plastic cups full of p*ss from, into wor section----so it woz just az well that aa woz in a covered sheltered section of the stand! (Welcome to the San Siro?)
|"CAN YOO SPOT ME UNDERNEATH THE OVERHANG?"|
Az the game kicked off there were loads of empty seats in the home sections of this 80,000 capacity stadium, which looked half full!
We gave az good az we got and sensationaly took the lead 3 minutes before half time when Craig Bellamy went past 2 Milan defenders and hiz pinpoint cross foond Alan Shearer who sidefooted home from 2 yards oot to send the 12,000 faithful wild with delight! The Inter fans in response hoyed more cup of p*ss and othaa object from the upper decks!
However!---within just 2 minutes of the restart the home side equalised when Vieri heeded home to send the I-ties into a frenzy!
But it didn't take lang for us to retake the lead when a fumble by the Milan goalie fell nicely to Shearer and he made nee misstayk from 5 yards oot to again send the travellin' fans into ecstasy!
This time the home fans became more sinister and flares were hoyed into the Toon sections and one hit a lad and it bornt straight through hiz t shirt and onto hiz chest! Luckily the burn wasn't too severe and he remained on the terraces!
He woz the son of one of the lads on wor trip caalled Bernie and he later telt us that hiz son woz actually half ITALIAN az that's where hiz mam came from!---Ironic to say the least!
Anyway!---We battled on and dreams of actually winnin away in this iconic stadium came to mind!
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be az Inter equalised on the hour mark through anothaa heeder, this time from Coroba, who rose above wor defence to send hiz powerful nod past Shay Given, actually got a finger tip to it, but woz unable to keep it oot!
2-2 the final score and we were (of course!) locked in for a good hour after the game had finished to allow the Inter fans to disperse!
|"TOON!--TOON!---BLACK 'N' WHITE ARMY!"|
It woz then back to central Milan to enjoy several 'gargels' before retirin' back to wor hotel for the neet, before catchin the flight yem the next mornin'!
"THE BIG SLEEP!"----"ZZZzzzz!!!!"
In the afternoon before the game, one of wor party had decided to have an 'afternoon nap' after a heavy session! (FATAL!)
No one knew where he had gone tee and hiz mate couldn't find him!? On hiz retorn to the hotel after the match, hiz mate went to hiz room to find him asleep on the bed! He woke up and uttered the fateful words!
"IZ IT TIME TO GAN TO THE MATCH, YET?"----Hiz mate could hardly contain himself----"YI DAFT C**T!---We've BEEN to the match---we drew 2-2, Shearer got both wor goals!"---"AAAaaaaggghhh!"