A Vines’ Day out at Wembley
Saturday 17th May 2014
We set off at 8am from Nottingham to make sure of getting to Moons in plenty of time to become completely incoherent by 5pm. Arriving at our Beaconsfield ‘budget’ hotel at just after 10am gave us plenty of time to get a car park sticker (too early to check in), walk to the bus stop for a short trip to Beaconsfield railway station and catch the 10.26 bus. The sun was already beating down and sun cream had been applied to all exposed parts. Getting to the bus stop, we found out the boggers had changed the bus times a week earlier without letting us know! (Ant was gutted that the chance for a swift one at the ‘Spoons alongside the hotel had been forsaken)
A month earlier we had got the same bus and the bus driver had been a chav who said that the price for Gooners was 5 pounds, so when the bus finally came, Ant thought it was the same driver and asked what the fare was for Arsenal supporters. The foreign bus driver wondered why two fools dressed in red were talking to him as if they knew him. He tried to charge us more than last time but we negotiated the same price as before. Ant posted the following photo to Facepalm with the caption “Bus wankers” after a sketch from The Inbetweeners.
We received an update from the Croydon branch of the Vines Gooners and discovered we were all wearing different Arsenal tops. Unforgiveable in Micky’s eyes for grown men to wear replica shirts but, come on, we had to wear red to Wembley even those of us that weren’t attending the stadium!
By the time we got to Moons the Bus wankers photo had 12 likes. Jon and Matt arrived at the pub soon after us and Jon revealed his creation for the match. She Wore was sung with gusto and a few lucky Gooners had the opportunity to have their photo taken with the banner.
The atmosphere at Moons was lacking some vibrancy so we decamped for The Green Man. The banner was tied up alongside the same burger van as we’d been in front of with the puffing giant from Norfolk at the semi and provided lots more photo opportunities for munching Gooners. Dennis knows what this chap had found in his burger!
Ant managed to catch about 15 seconds of the AwayBoyz (sorry lads). More photos galore and the odd pint followed. Ant asked this chap what the hair piece was all about and he replied that it was a Niklas Bendtner tribute.
The fence alongside us was being used as an extra toilet and Ant proceeded to take a few snaps of a few fans in the act.
We had a bet on the nationality of the girl in the shorts below, some swearing blind that she wouldn’t be from North London, others wondering why not. Turns out she was Croatian!
Matt had produced an American themed packed lunch. Jon was distinctly unimpressed with the peanut butter and jelly roll! I remember eating Mesut’s Buffalo Chicken Wingers and Karbassiyoon’s Chicago Style Pizza, but can’t for the life of me remember Stan’s Thanksgiving buffet.
One last photo in front of the banner and it was off to the ground.
I do remember receiving a phone call from Micky just as we were leaving the pub but the man was talking such absolute gibberish, I had to cut him off. J The journey up from Devon with the plastic sheet must have taken it out of him.
When we arrived, the ground looked very red apart from a small gold and black section. This just had to be our day and it turned out that it was, as Rambo’s goal saved us from having to endure a win on spawny penalties.
We went back to The Green Man for a few liveners. Much needed at this juncture and then went back to the curry house we’d been to a month previously at the semi-final.
The train journey back was not particularly pleasant with one lad (not a football supporter) slumped over a waste paper bin being sick (luckily there was a plastic bin liner present). His mate was dancing by himself to some shite music on his phone. When he started grabbing at Ant’s bag, “you’re not messing with my flags” quickly put him in his place.
We phoned for a luxury Merc taxi back to hotel to get back for the highlights. The poor chap on the check-in desk got some abuse when he couldn’t get the card machine to accept payment straightaway. Well we may have been missing the start of the programme! We loved watching all the goals go in for the first time on a small screen and Ant swears I was snoring before the analysis section.
Football always has that capacity for the most extreme memorable highs. Thankfully this was one of them.
FA Cup Winners 2014 and what a belting day, bliss.
A lovely contribution by chas and his family