Saturday. Cup Final Day. When I was 14 this would mean a whole 9 hours in front of the telly on the biggest sporting day of the year.
Now the FA Cup has been ruined by Manchester United (2000 absence), 5.15 kick-offs, Prem games before and after, £6, 330ml bottles of Budweiser, soap stars singing “Abide with me” and a lack of cup final songs.
Could Leicester City make the FA Cup magic again ? I went to Melton Mowbray to find out.
Actually, I went to Melton Mowbray for two speculative GBG ticks, that’s how much I care about football.
But Round Corner Brewing, who’d said I might be able to have a table if I was nice, had set up a TV in the cattle market (ha !) that is their beer garden and so I felt obliged to watch some of it with the rest of the fanatical Foxes.
Joking, of course. Melton is a rugger and dominoes town (not at the same time) and most of the youngish crowd were more interested in their dogs, edible or otherwise, and a soundtrack of “Hotel California” and “Psycho Killer”, which sounds like a soundtrack compiled by a disturbed man.
I actually passed this place 18 months ago when it was full of daytrippers were seeing how beer is made, amid the pungent smell of cow. I thought I’d be back, even though there’s no obvious cask on (who cares about cask in 2021 ?).
Talking of cows, the burger from the van was hot, expensive and sloppy, a bit like Melton.
And the beer in keg and can was just chilled like Chilwell. But it was tasty and went well with the beef, so what do I know ?
It was all rather 2019 when these communal events were quite normal.
I went for a wee, admiring the subtle advertising above the urinals.
A giant “Ooooo” filled the Gents, an “Ooooo” of surprise, of wonderment.
What was occurring ? Had Keith from Kirby Bellars drunk the whole 4 pint jug of Fuggling Helles ?
No, the Foxes had scored, a wonder goal.
But you wouldn’t have known. No cheers, no embraces, no rattles shaken.
The magic of the cup, as magic as a brewpub in a Leicestershire cattle market.