Twas the day after Christmas (Boxing Day), and all was quiet on Rylands Lane corner as the SDS Minibus approached at 6:42 in the morning. Bob had organised pick up timings on a par to tee off times at the British Open Golf (6:53, 7:07, 7:42 etc.). Brief moments of satisfaction as each collection was completed.
We moved steadily along, winding our way through the Dorset countryside. Some sleepy post Christmas meal indulgence. Others enjoying a straight whiskey from a glass tumbler, probably gifted from a friend/relative. First electrical gremlin strikes as DJ Bob’s Spotify goes into a ‘failure to load’ meltdown. Tunes restricted but not the standard.
Final pick up completed at Burley and we move onward. Text received from Punjabi Josh looking forward to catching up with SDS and requesting a collective toast to Spurs, Christmas, friends and the impending New Year. Why are we slowing down?
Music lowered, we collectively look forward to the front of the bus. Engine Management System decides to illuminate a small light on the drivers dashboard and trip the engine into limp mode. Multiple exits and re-starts from motorway hard shoulder follow. We make it to Winchester services, then on to Fleet. All decide its too dangerous to proceed as smart motorway and the M25 lay ahead.
The AA called, we decide to wait. Very few showing their hand during the early stages. Non-wanting to leave the sinking ship and collectively knowing full well that everyone is desperate to get to the match. In the spirit of women and children first (ok maybe not), Ralphie, Tony, Modders and the Admiral decide to hitch a lift with some builders from Weymouth. The AA man arrives and a combination of shaking of heads and sucking through teeth ensues.
As time ticked by the AA van next to our Mini bus seemed to attract Spurs followers in cars like a distress flare with more offers of assistance. Slowly but surely the group ebbed away. This included the ladies who quite rightly should have gone first. Then there were five …Bob, Nathan, Nigel, Ian and Jase. All steadfast and refusing to leave the bus.
Now in the spirit of the story i’d like to say I stayed. Alas, my ‘i’ve got to get to the game’ instinct kicked in and after an approach to a nearby driver I found myself in a family car heading towards London and Wembley Stadium. We parked a fifteen minute walk from the ground and arrived just in time for ‘the flick, the trick, the 30 yard free kick’ opening sequence via the jumbo screens.
As we all know it was a fantastic display by the team. Harry broke multiple records and even Dele had a descent game for once. The heroes of the day though are those that offered their help to our Members and transported them far and wide (personal thank you to John). Without question our thoughts and thanks mainly go to Bob, Nige, Nathan and Ian who’s selfless commitment ensured that others made the match. We are all pleased that you made it home safe.