Sunday, 15 April 2012

First Trip to St Andrews on Match Day

The first trip to St Andrews on matchday.

Saturday 14 April 2012 and Birmingham City drew 2 v 2 with Bristol City. Not a particularly remarkable match but the first game I had been to with my boy, and at one point in the game when we equalised a game that left me with a lump in my throat.

Earlier in the week it dawned on me that I could take D to the football, Dad was on holiday and so his ticket was available, so having checked with Mum I broached the subject with D, his reply amazed me, "I had always hoped you would ask me" he can be cute at times but this was superb.

Building up to the match was exciting, announcing the fact I would take D to Stans for the first time on Facebook offered threats of NSPCC tip offs but Saturday rolled round.

After Ben Gardner's party at the Wacky, I was a little concerned D would be tired but armed with a bag full of provisions we went to town. Parking at my office (due to repeated smashed windows when parking on the streets) i realised the first challenge, the Blues is 2 miles from work, a bit knackering for me and Dad, a marathon for a 5 year old, so we potted through town, passed the building made of Smarties as D noted it and to the bus stop.

We caught the Bus from the back of Selfridges, and were off up to the ground. We jumped off to early, following blokes off to their local, but followed the small crowds early walking the final bit up to the ground. D spent the last bit of the walk on my shoulders (he's getting a bit heavy) spotting Blues shirts and telling me the numbers on the back.

We bought a programme and a matchday badge souvenir (£3 each) and then navigated the turnstiles, sitting down in our seats at 2:15. It was then I realised that I had 45 minutes to entertain D before the teams even came out, but luckily Beau Brummie came out, with his girl friend and was meeting kids at the side of the pitch, perfect I thought, D would you like to meet Beau? No. Really come on let's, no! Ok then let's just go and watch, and then ok says D.

Getting down the front and always one for a photo opportunity, I used a bit of pleading to get D to have his picture taken which came out as a brilliant snap. We then had a little wander round the ground, sat back in our seats and got out the Birthday pressie Nintendo 3DS which turned out to have no charge! At this point I did panic a little, as that was to have been the main method to entertain D in moments of blandness in the game, which historically at Stans have been many and frequent.

As a last resort we bought some snacks, bottle of squash and a wisps, £2.85. And importantly due to the serious security hazard a bottle of squash can provide we weren't allowed a lid. This drink got us to kick off, the teams came out and we cheered the mighty Blues on against the reds.

I could have written the script, the Blues came out looking knackered from the exertions of a 3 all away draw to promotion rivals Wetspam and promptly lost the marmitey Fahey to injury. Quick as a flash Blues then went 2 nil down, Bristols only 2 attacks, although luckily D didn't really notice, being fascinated by Wispas and smarties and his whoopee cushion from his party bag.

He did know about the game a minute before half time, the ball worked to Marlon 'he scores goals Millord' King who's deflected shot crept in at the far end of the pitch, We leapt to our feet and D was launched into the air (I just about managed to keep hold) and we bounced together to celebrate Blues coming to life. Then half time came.

We popped down to see cousin Nige and kids, Faith, Holly and Charlie were all there and we had a catch up whilst D squirted everyone with his whoopee cushion. Bumped into Will to to discuss kids. This was definitely a half time of being a proud Dad.

The second half kicked off, Blues kicking towards us and I must admit there were only a handful of things I remembered, a phenomenal nutmeg in the box by right back Ramage and Burke (Burke will tear you apart again) getting into the box and squaring to Zigic (who had been useless all match) to score from a yard out and again launching D into the air to celebrate the equaliser. This really was an amazing moment, the way D looked at me when we were bouncing together was amazing, a really happy smiley brilliant moment.

The biggest highlight of the second half for everyone round me though was D's none stop playing with his whoopee cushion, whether sitting on it, squirting it in my face (there is nothing in the world that smells like the rubbery whoopee cushion spit of a small child) and lots of smiling and comments arose.

We nicked off in injury time to miss a bit of the crush to get out with the game finishing in a draw, 2 2, just like it was when my Dad took me in 1980.

So the trip back to the car was undertaken with D riding high on my shoulders all the way back, that was a long 2 miles. When I arrived in the office my cheeks were bright red and I had a sweat on.

So was it a success, yes, I am chuffed to bits that D got to come to the Blues with me and start the 3rd generation at Stans.

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