Wednesday evening a few of us met up to watch the Spurs take on Rochdale in the FA Cup. The pitch was snow white, the lines blue and a surprising number of hardy supporters made their way to Wembley Stadium to witness the team score six against a resilient lower league team. As we watched on, most had one eye on the TV and one on the weather outside. This was an important week for the Supporters Club, with Paul Stewart arriving with a special guest on the Friday and a trip to Wembley to watch Spurs v Huddersfield Town on the Saturday.
12 Noon on Thursday snow- meggedon hit Dorset. Now for those of you that know the geography of this place you can appreciate the major logistic nightmare that ensues when a snow flake hits the floor. Under normal circumstances, it takes an hour to get to Bournemouth on the train, an hour to the nearest motorway and we are surrounded by countless hills. So as the snow fell and the ice began to form, all plans started to rapidly dissolve.
By 07:30 Friday morning, the call was made to cancel the Legends Evening. Our guest would have had to brave the roads all the way from the North West of England and with that our friends and hosts at Punjabi Spurs also made the call to cancel. Instead of heading to Dorset; making a be-line, via the only remaining working part of the rail network, to Wembley – with emergency supplies of beers to hand.
But there was hope. The weather forecast predicted milder weather and there was still a chance our trip to Wembley would go ahead. So as the day progressed our emergency travel arrangements were developed by Bob from the secure bunker that is the Lodmor Country Pub. To complicate matters further, our regular van rental company wouldn’t release a large minibus. We now had a 15 Seater that could not be moved due to the black ice and the only alternative was a 9. People would need to drive, be collected, dropped off and taken by someone else (aaaaagghhhh total mare). Between midday and 22:30 hrs, as people dropped out and replacement people stepped forward, the plan must have changed a 1000 times. By late evening, he final plan was put into place. We would go no matter what and get to the match.
When Saturday came the minibus was ready and my car was packed. I say packed because i had a snow shovel, hot flask, warm clothes, camel pack, First Aid Kit and emergency rations. The minibus had lots of beer, Billy Woodhouse and a large speaker!
My guest for the day in my car was not only experiencing a potentially hazardous trip but this was her first ever football match. So as we as we headed towards Gerrard’s Cross her two cans of Gin and Tonic were quickly replaced by a beer from somewhere in the Czech Republic. The route was surprisingly clear and fears expressed by traveler’s wives and children about the journey (please daddy don’t go) were quickly put to rest. Nothing to worry about – all roads clear and trains running – relief all round!
So after all the doubt, worrying, drop outs and planning over a cold one at the Lodmor we made the game. We won 2-0 against a well supported Huddersfield Town side. My guest enjoyed her first ever match day experience (although having cold feet wasn’t to pleasant) and the ‘we are determined to get there’ box was well and truly ticked.