No pubs on my Wednesday stop in Sheffield, which seems a bit of a national scandal. Just a long drive back from The (true) North with a veggie curry, a hot chocolate and an 1-0 win in the Cup.
When you see it like that, it doesn’t seem very far to deepest Scotland. Only 7hrs 24.
To be fair, the motorways are holding up fairly well at the moment; I just wish there was an alternative to Starbucks (17 on the A1 alone) and McDonalds.
I had a couple of hours to admire Sheffield before heading off to Hillsborough. Mrs RM is contemplating retirement there now, rather than Preston or Stockport. Women are so decisive.
So I parked up at the Meadowhall Park & Ride and hopped on the tram, which is a good and original name for a beer festival that you’re free to use.
I popped in the Institute of Arts and the Graves Gallery.
and became the FIRST ever person to spot the goblin in the tree in the Botanic Garden.
As the clouds cleared to acknowledge my arrival, the Town Hall shone.
James is coping with the University Lecturer strike at the moment. Can he tell the difference ? you ask. Apparently yes.
There’s a craft beer section in Kommune but I stuck to posh water from Mansfield, and we decided to walk the 2 miles out to Hillsborough to avoid coming into contact with ill people from Ranmoor and Stockport on the tram.
A few days before the Old Codgers trip to the home of craft brewing, it was good to see some targeted advertising.
I’d promised James pudding in the Spoons closest to Hillsborough but it was standing room only. So we took in the local views of broken flood defences and sunset over Malin Bridge, one of the bits of Sheff without much GBG action over the years.
James is one of the few people on earth who can keep up with my walking pace. Stafford Paul is the other one; James at least stops for cars.
So despite stretching our walk to 4 miles we arrived at Hillsborough with 40 minutes to kick-off and joined a queue for hot chocolate (hipsters).
Reader, we never made it. 5,000 City fans behind the goal, staffing seemingly planned for 50.
Handwritten menus, folk trying to borrow bottle openers, pies sold out at 7:30. James has seen football in some of our top stadia; the Etihad, the Emirates, Anfield, Walkers Stadium, Goodison, Rushden & Diamonds. He was shocked.
When they were younger the lads were indignant about having to stand at City away matches (US readers- home fans sit, away fans stand in front of their seats), but he’s all grown up now.
Here’s the match highlight. See if you can spot Peter Hook in the photo.
A well-placed smoke bomb after Aguero’s goal that South Yorkshire Police blissfully ignored. That’s how little the FA Cup matters these days. Unless we win it.