Never Growing Tired
Wednesday 9th August 2017
All of a sudden there seems to be a 70s music vibe surrounding sport in this country. Swedish sensations ABBA are now associated with a penalty shoot out and after we successfully negotiated this new format, Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ is now, apparently, a fitting way for us to celebrate picking up some silverware! All very odd.
This is a Proper sporting week for me. Watching England’s cricketers complete a series win over South Africa has been viewed on a small screen in the corner of my PC whilst trying hard to concentrate on my work and witnessing Mo Farah’s victory on Friday night was quite special, even if athletics is not really my thing. I don’t think West Ham’s ground has seen anything that good since Alexis slammed in a hat-trick! 😉
Two other evening sessions in Stratford, full of emotion, drama and controversy, sandwiched our latest relaxing trip down Wembley Way on Sunday afternoon.
A thoroughly enjoyable few hours was on the cards whatever happened on the day but it was pleasing to see a competitive game, lots of incident, a decent performance from our team and ultimately another bit of silverware on the shelf.
With a number of key players missing I thought we acquitted ourselves really well, particularly in the first and last half hour periods.
Being the better side in 2/3rds of the game would have made a defeat a little cruel. A draw was the very least we deserved and Sead’s far post header made sure we got that.
Even without the penalties I would have been quite happy with that. But the fact i’d kind of resigned myself to probably losing given Pete Cech’s strangely unsuccessful penalty record doesn’t take away any victory is sweet.
Fun in the sun then and we start our league season next on Friday night. January 1977 seems a long time ago but being the first time I saw my team play this is my 42nd season. I might be wrong but I think this is the first where our opening game has been on that day of the week. Not the first time overall of course, numerous games spring to mind, none more so than the 26th May 1989.
Come May next year it would be nice to think we could be top of the pile once again. Positivity, that’s the name of the game!
Sunday was a good day. It ended for me personally back at the athletics. And as events drew to a close Neil Diamond was blaring out once again! What is going on!?
Leicester at home brings specific memories back for me personally. Way back in April 1984 saw an incident packed game where Charlie Nicholas and a Leicester player (maybe Andy Peake?) had an altercation that resulted in them both being sent off. At that time there were 5 minutes to go and we were 1 nil down, a result that would seriously dent our chase for a UEFA Cup spot. But late late goals from Paul Davis and Tony Woodcock saw us turn it around and win 2-1.
The personal side to all that was I, along with my team mates, were waiting to enter the field of play whilst this was all going on. Having won the Junior Gunners Easter Five-a-Side Tournament in the JVC centre behind the Clock End a few days earlier, we were to play a ‘decider’ against the winners of the Christmas Tournament. My memories of the whole affair are mixed to say the least. It was nothing short of fantastic to be running out onto the pitch as the crowd were still celebrating our late victory and to almost mingle with the players as they left the field. But fresh from being genuinely chuffed at finishing top scorer in the indoor tournament I remember the pitch (understandably) being in a shocking state, completely snapping my groin when turning to have a strike on goal and to top it all off we lost 1 nil!!
Thirty-three years on and its time to dust off your colours boys and girls, that rollercoaster awaits.
Come on you mighty reds!