Date 22nd March 2015, time 07.30. Taxi has just turned up to take us over to Brownhills, to the Hussey Arms, to catch a coach to Wembley!. Why a double? you may be wondering!. Well our family have always supported Walsall FC. and no one from the Older Generations Have ever visited the place. Well why would They? Walsall have never got to play there, so there was no need to go. The younger ones have been to see England play there and will be back for the next Englaand Game. Arrive at the car park, pay the driver the fare and await the arrival of both the family and the coach.. While waiting, a lot of the vehicles going by have Walsall flags flying on the side windows , and Blowing their horns in support! Waiting 5 mins a coach comes along an a lardge group of people come out from their motors on the car park, get onto the coach and off they went. As we stood there another coach comes up from Cannock on the way, then another, then one turns down Pelsall road, it looks like there are plenty on the way.
The family arrive and within 5 mins coach arrives, names checked in, and off we go! First stop along the Chester Road. Full coachload now and off we go proper.! It seems to be a long slow journey, but eventually we are within sight of Wembley.
Not a very good picture! but it was taken on a moblie phone through the window of the coach. Closer and closer we get! Excitement rising! Round and round, right by the stadium now! Go onto Yellow car park. Driver issues orders for return journey. Win! No hurry to get back as the others will be leaving first Draw extra time, penalties, if we win still don’t hurry back. Lose, then please get back as soon as possible, so we may leave. Off we go (look at time it’s not yet 11.30). The youngsters go off to the pubs, us older’s take a walk, have something to eat and drink. Stadium opening time getting closer!
13.40 we head to ‘L’ section gates, insert ticket into reader, turnstile is set free enter the stadium. What a difference from the outside! Where the outside is now dull and grimey, the interior is clean and bright. Go to enter to where our seats are, search of the ladies bags. Find a can of Coke! You can’t take that in with you. But i’m diabetic, and must have something in case sugar drops. I can put in a plastic glass.Okay we say. This he does. we move on to the next stage, Another security man says you can’t takee that with you. Why Not? I ask. Because it’s not in a paper cup. Well the other Security took it from the tin and put it in this glass. Sorry he says you will have to wait here while I go and change it to a paper cup. Okay then. He goes and changes the cup and brings back the drink. So good at their job these people that they missed the obvious. I know your thinking what’s that. Well I was carrying a carrier bag in which I had got all of the programmes for the game, but also in that bag was another three cans of Coke.
Take seats, the prematch entertainment is already underway. Don’t know what we missed before we got in. There were television cameras, the big screens at both sides were showing people in the crowd. Games were played, The camera panned around as people were to pretend to play the Bongo’s and then the music would stop and the person on the big screen was the winner of 125 pounds (Bristol City fans first then Walsall second) Walsall fan who won was a man dressed as a nun, but he was enjoying himself, hope he enjoyed spending the winning’s.
Then there was a a 6 a side football game between two sides made up of Johnson Paints employees (Aqua v’s 125 something) kick off, 125 hit them with 2 goals before Aqua had time to do anything. The game ended 4 or 5 to 125 and Aqua 2, not a classic game but every one seemed to enjoy it. As the goals were being packed up after the game the sprinkler system came on and wet everyone.
Walsall players came out for their pre game warm up. They looked nervous (I’m thinking that the occassion has got to them) watch them, and they seem to relax a little! Bristol players came out getting on for 10 minutes after us, They seemed really relaxed as they went about their routine. I am so hopeing that my thoughts are wrong. The teams leave, the field is watered, it’s getting close now. Red carpet is down! Both teams enter the field of play. Stand and are introduced to the Johnstones people etc. Good that’s over, now let’s see where we are going.
Kick off, we are on the backfoot right from the start! Five minutes gone and I turned to the nephew. Theyve not turned up, were going to lose this. Things get no better eventually the Ball comes over from another corner and no one gets close to the Bristol man, Goal! Bristol 1-0. Walsall manage to kepp it at that score. Can’t wait untill half time. Deano will get them sorted in his talk, Wrong,
Half time entertainment icluded the Johnstones paint challenge, the winner was to get 125pounds for their charity. However the announcer rules it a draw of two all even though it was apparent to everyone that the Walsall player had scored 3 against City’s 2. Again as things are being cleared up the sprinkler system comes on wetting the people clearing up, but by now they are used to it.
Second half starts, City are all over us and a few mintues in it’s 2-0 another case of giving the city player freedom, Richard saves the first shot, but the ball rebounds and the City playrer bang’s it into the net. Well thats it! Then they make it 3, but linesman rules for a foul or offside hard to tell from our position, but it don’t count.
Walsall make a substitution, Tom goes off and young Jordy comes on. All of a sudden theres a player on the field running around, getting space, away from the defenders. Shouting for the ball and pointing to where he wants it . But it falls on deaf ears, What a shame! if Jordy had been fed then we may have been able to get at least a goal. When crosses were hit into the field they were to long or never got into the centre. 2 more subs for us, 3 for City. Walsall, to late are showing some balls and getting stuck in. Board goes up 4 mins additional time. Post hit by Walsall and that’s about it for the game. Whistle Blows and 30,000 Walsall fans leave the Stadium leaving City and their fans to celebrate. No doubt about it they wanted it more than us and they were the better team.
What was so good about this game was that we never saw any trouble between fans, I would call this the Friendly final. People from City were taking photos for Walsal Fans and Families and vice versa. They were talking to one another, it was a lot more friendly than either of the two league games between the teams. Both sets of fans enjoyed the whole experience. Our first final was a loss, but at least the club will or should be safe and maybe we may have some quality bought into the team, to help what good players we have. 500 grand should helpthe finances (That’s what the Sun said the club would get) And after all that it was the biggest crowd in the United Kingdom this weekend, thats some thing for a club that struggles to get 4000 gates every home game, but maybe better days are around the corner.
Back to the park, on the coach and away from the ground by 18.05. Really slow getting away from Wembley, lots of coaches full of Walsall fans, cars vans and buses 16 seats and less. Everyone, without exception, had, had a wonderfull day out.
Problem on the way home, traffic at a standstill, around the Luton Airport area, due to an accident. By 9 o’clock we were back in Brownhills, however we did not have to get off there, the coach was going to drop us off in Bloxwich, so we could catch the bus home.
A really good and enjoyable day, shame that some of the players didn’t show up, but that’s what happens at these games sometimes!