Middlesbrough v Sheffield United, Tuesday 8th March 2022, 7.45pm

With Harry getting more enthusiastic by the week about going to the Boro games I thought I’d take him down to Bramall Lane for the Sheff United match. The easiest way was to go on the official supporters coach, and I booked two seats online when I ordered the match tickets. It’s a long time since I’ve been on the bus to a game, official or otherwise and I’d forgotten just how noisy it all is. There were two lads sat directly behind us who sang Boro songs throughout most of the journey. Harry enjoyed that part of it, as you do when you’re eleven, but to me, it was just unwanted racket. I rarely even listen to the radio in the car these days in order to avoid other people’s noise.

The journey took longer than it should have done due to the difficulty in parking the coach. Cars had been abandoned on double yellows on each side of the road to the parking area and it meant a lot of manoeuvring for the drivers. I’d have deliberately knocked their wing mirrors off if I were driving.

We were greeted by a sniffer dog whilst queuing for the turnstiles. He reminded me of the ones that they had in Korea at Incheon Airport. I would regularly arrive with a cold bag in my suitcase packed full of frozen sausages, bacon and lamb burgers from Blackwell’s and the sniffer dogs would ignore it as they were trained for Class A’s only. That’s some discipline. I doubt the beagle could manage it.

Once inside the concourse area was packed. We struggled to get something to eat as young lads bounced about going ‘fuckin’ mental’. As so often at away games it looked as if they were extending their drinking capacity by topping up with coke, presumably before they reached the sniffer dog, although the extent of the queues for the toilet cubicles suggested that some had been successful in bringing extra supplies into the ground.

Our seats were in the back row of the lower tier, bang in the middle. The overhang meant that I couldn’t see much of Bramall Lane but it’s a ground that I’ve been to plenty of times in the past. Mind you, the Sheffield trip I remember the most is one where I didn’t see any of the game as a consequence of my son Tom getting hit by a car on the way to the game. I spent that afternoon and night at a Sheffield Hospital as they operated on his broken collar bone.

The evening got worse as the game went on. We didn’t really compete and relied too much on lumping the ball forward. It was as if Warnock was back in charge and Sheff Utd were well worth their four-one victory. In a final act of fuckwittery someone threw a brick at our bus on the way out breaking the outer pane of a double-glazed window. If it had smashed the inner pane, we’d have had to wait for a replacement bus which is not what you want when you are already scheduled to get back at around midnight. Still, I suppose I should be grateful that neither of us were ran over.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: