A short diversion from chronology, though I only now need to bring you up to date with my “Birthday Bonanza” in Cumbria and Manchester, which will probably only take me three weeks with a bit of discipline.
Having failed to make it to the Ruislip micro pub on Christmas Day due to the in-laws prior claim, I did at least get to a pub on Boxing Day.
And a football match. 40 years ago my Dad would bring me to see Cambridge’s team of stars on Boxing Day. The haircuts on Walsall fans in 1977 (2-1) still cause nightmares.
It’s a more subdued Abbey these days after several seasons of energetic dross following an overdue return to the League, and gloom was in the air as they sat in 22nd place, just above the League 2 relegation places that lead back to obscurity (aka the stuff Duncan watches).
But they still managed to attract 4,601 (away: 121) today for a “local derby” v Crawley Droners, a team a mere 4 counties & 2 hours away. I presume the 121 came for the pubs.
The tunes you heard back in the ’80s and ’90s are still the ones you struggle to hear over the £20 Amstrad P.A. “A Town Called Malice“, “Whole of the Moon” and the obligatory “Life of Riley“.
The pies are of the same vintage, so I save myself for the Tesco Deli Selection at home. No Cloudwater was spotted on my visit (there’s GK IPA underneath the main stand).
The Supporters Club Bar (top) shouts “Craft“, doesn’t it ?
Read the match report here. I’ve rarely seen two halves of football as contrasting. Cambridge hoofing to the big guy, Crawley playing out from defence like a Gatwick Barca for 45 minutes, then practically roles reversed to the 90th.
A deserved last minute winner greeted with what passes for euphoria in the Fens.
I stayed to sing along to “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts“, only played when United win. On this actual HiFi.
Feeling weirdly sentimental I then popped over the bridge for a pint in the Green Dragon.
Not what it was, as I noted in 2016, but a post-match atmosphere still lingers.
“What was the score ?” asked the Old Boys watching the King George VI at Kempton.
Almost like the internet and radios hadn’t reached Chesterton yet.
I’d overtaken the younger laggards over the bridge, so had first choice at the bar. With the nose on Rocking Rudolph reinstated, there was only one choice.
Not bad at all, an easy NBSS 3, which would put it in the Beer Guide in 95% of Scotland (105% of Fife).
Then the scarves came in. What did the matchday regulars discuss ? The referee ? The penalty decision reversed ? The White Stripes track ?
“What did you get for Christmas, anything nice ?”