Filed under: Match Report | Tags: diarrhoea, Leeds fans, Scampi, small fat balls, Whitby
It was a sad but possibly fitting end to the day. 3am in Salford and I was hugging the porcelain unsure whether to vomit or shit in to it. It would be easy to blame the Whitby scampi for the sudden and unwelcome onslaught of the screaming ab dabs, but I’ve never claimed to be anything other than that. As my stomach tightened, and my ring twitched, I began to wonder just how the fuck I could cope with the two hour train journey back to London the following day. That I did so without soiling myself and carriage E of the 0935 London Euston service was testament to my mental (and possibly anal) fortitude.
But you haven’t come here to read about my terrible sickness and diarrhoea, a curse that continues to burn within me 48 hours on from the game. Or maybe you have, this is the internet after all. But it would seem a shame to ignore what was a great day out, and an even better result in favour of stories of scat and nausea.
Whitby is a fine looking town with many excellent pubs. It’s the sort of seaside town that smashes the shit out of the image of the decaying, miserable resort that Morrissey et al go on about. And while it stops short of being vibrant, or exciting, it manages to be exactly the sort of place you would want to visit on a day trip to watch your football team. Or hell, maybe even to take your loved one on a long weekend away to. The harbour is picture-perfect, and drinking outside in the pleasingly mild evening, lights twinkling in the distance, you couldn’t help but think that there were worse ways to spend your time, and much worse places to spend it in. In every possible sense Whitby is the anti-Frickley.
Not everything was perfect, however. We had caught the bus from Scarborough to Whitby, and stopped half way at a place called the Flask Inn, a pub and caravan park, to empty our bladders, then work on refilling them again. There was a large Leeds United badge on an interior door of the pub. There was a Leeds United clock above the bar. The landlady, who managed to be the least accommodating person to have ever worked in the service industry, continually called us scum having found out we were FC United. All of which wouldn’t matter, except the ale was fucking horrible. The Black Sheep tasted and smelled like vinegar, and even the Carlsberg tasted exactly how you would expect it to had you been storing decomposing sheep carcasses in the keg. Imagine being the poor fucking soul who booked a two week stay in that shithole. Looking back I should have done the humane thing and set fire to the large collection of gas cannisters stored out back. Studying the face of the regulars at the bar it is now clear to me they were willing and wishing me to do it. To them, dying in a terrible inferno was preferable to spending any more time whatsoever in that backwards, miserable hostelry. As they ran out of the blaze, clothes melted on to skin, hair burning, unfeeling of pain due to nerve endings being burned away, they would have screamed “THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR ENDING THIS TORTURE!” And the fact I missed this opportunity makes me less of a man, I think.
We had met at Piccadilly station at quarter to ten. Drinking commenced not long after. Despite initial pleas to pace our intake, things snowballed horribly out of control. By the time kick off approached, and we had ensconced ourselves in the Middle Earth Tavern, listening to fucking Metallica, the jagermeister and beers were flowing like shit out of my arse – wild and free. At half time at the game, one of our party text his Dad to inform him the score was 2-2. Quite where he had conjured up four goals from in a half that saw nothing more than midfield skirmishes is a mystery, but we haven’t seen such creativity since Josh Howard and Rory Patterson wore the shirt.
Eventually the deadlock was broken, with Michael Norton prodding home at the near post following a corner. Or maybe a cross. It’s difficult to remember. In the dying seconds, Whitby had a glorious chance to equalise, their number seven heading wastefully over after Sam Ashton had parried the ball back out in to the middle of the area. But fuck it. He missed, we won, and now we find ourselves in fifth place, finally breaking in to the play-off zone after our incredible run.
The journey home managed to be one of the most uncomfortable few hours of my life. With the first murmurings of discontent from my gut coupled with the minibus being officially the coldest place on the planet according to BBC weatherman John Kettley. But fuck it. After a day like the one we’d just had, a little bit of misery was always needed to counterbalance things.
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