Thursday, 24 March 2016

Patgod went all "la-di-da"

Were you interested how Patgod's afternoon rubbing shoulders with the great and good went when we were in the sponsor's lounge at the weekend?  No?  Tough!

A pint in the bar and Mein Host Martin Bellamy took us upstairs to the room where the guys sponsoring the match itself were already ensconced.  The two young lads representing the ball sponsors were running behind, so we nobly ploughed on regardless with drinks orders tucked into our starters.  Ken Samuels also popped by to catch-up and make sure all was OK.  Food, drink, Poppies-talk?  Seemed fine to us!

We were well into the main course when the ball sponsors arrived and jumped straight into their lasagne.  By this time Marcus had fulfilled his managerial obligation of putting his head around the door for a chat about the team that day, what was happening behind the scenes, and thoughts about both the afternoon and the season.  

Of course, having practically sole access to Marcus we couldn't resist chatting about his past association when we were all at Rockingham Road, as well as his dealings with a certain Asian Chairman, who shall remain nameless.  I think Marcus enjoyed the chat too as he seemed to overrun and suddenly had to make his excuses in order to go and give the team their pre-match bollocking.

Sufficiently fed and watered we took our places in the small BPWFC stand for the first half.  At the end of the pretty forgettable first 45 minutes the Missus was invited by Mick Coe to draw the winning Klondike number.  For once in my life I didn't want to win the bloody thing.  How would it look if she drew out my number?  What kind of reaction would that get?  A lynching?  Scarily the number drew shared my first three digits, but I was 10 out.  Phew!  And, bugger!

It was then straight back to the lounge for hot drinks and the dessert we didn't have time for before the game started.  I soon learned that a 15 minute half time break is precious long enough to enjoy a few more moments hospitality, as we had barely got back to our seats before they scored, and scarcely made ourselves comfortable before we had scored too.  

Like most people, I have watched England games on television, where we join with the commentators in slagging off the people in the posh-knobs enclosure who aren't back from hospitality for the start of the second half.  Rich, non-footballing bastards!  If they can't be arsed to get back to their heated, soft, ergonomically formed seats, they shouldn't be in the ground in the first place!  Well, I'm inclined to be a little more understanding now.  I barely managed to get 10 yards to and from pitch side at Latimer Park in the allotted 15 minutes.  God knows how you'd be expected to walk the half mile at Wembley up a thousand steps, munch a prawn sandwich, slurp a glass of fizz, and still get back in time to see England scrape past such fearsome international foes as Estonia and San Marino.

But we did manage to see the whole second half, pausing only to confirm to the two late coming ball sponsors that, being late again, they'd missed the only two goals in the game!

At the final whistle it was back once again to the hospitality area for another warming brew and pose for photographs with Man of the Match Gary Mulligan handing us a team-signed, framed copy of the match programme - a nice touch.

All in all a very enjoyable experience, and one heartily recommended.  We all know that every penny we spend on admittance, Klondikes, beer and sponsorship is vital in keeping our club going, and it was warming, with a few spare bob in our pockets, to help out a little more.

And don't worry - by the next game, when you are back to being one of the plebs, you will be happily ignored by all the people who couldn't do enough for you the game before!  Phew What a relief!

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