In the almost thirty years that I have graced this planet, my father has handed down a series of principles to live my life by - you know, those treasured pieces of wisdom passed on from father to son, generation to generation, a wise head to youthful exuberance.
You know what I’m talking about - like how you never drink beer from the bottle because dogs piss on them, if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast simply microwave a few eggs in a cup or that jazz or any form of teleathon is crap. You know, those normal things.
While many of these pieces of advice can be taken with a scintillating dollop of salt, the old man does have a point about one thing - you never leave a football match early. No matter how bad it is, no matter how many goals you are losing by, no matter what point in the match it is - you never leave. You don’t want to be that person who managed to miss that comeback that all your mates are positively beaming about.
There are those tales of Liverpool fans leaving the Ataturk Stadium at half time and being caught up in Istanbul traffic while their side lifted the European Cup. Then, of course, there’ll be Manchester United fans who decided they really wanted a pint outside the Nou Camp before Teddy Sheringham slammed in the equaliser. Even our deluded neighbours will have given up before Cheick Tiote wellied in the fourth against Arsenal all them years ago - not that they’d celebrate a draw, mind. They’re much better than that.
And this all leads on very nicely to our day out in Bristol.
If you didn’t know already, the West Country is a bloody long way away so this called for a delightful weekend of cider, pasties and cider. Feed me a CrossCountry service from Manchester Piccadilly, feed me a hostel which is hosting a techno rave, feed me a day of incessant rain and you better believe you’re feeding me a six-hour Megabus home.
The whole gang were in town as we perused the establishments of King Street attempting to stifle the laughter at the locals’ adorable accents. While the beverages were being willfully ingested, Ashton Gate was calling and an expected drubbing was on the cards.
In that regard, the Lads certainly didn’t let us down being an impressive 3-0 down at half time - I mean, that’s good going even by our standards. Naturally, with a mood so despondent and apathetic many did choose to retreat to the fine watering holes of Bristol but, like the chump I am (or devoted supporter of the bloody Lads), I traipsed back to my seat to laugh at these losers for another 45 minutes.
Bristol City and their supporters were having a lovely time. Doing a few ole’s, posting all those funny GIFs, missing sitters - oh, how they laughed. Then for maximum (and unexpected banter) our fearless leader Lee Cattermole rose majestically to crash a header off the bar and one of their useless jobbers backheeled into his own net.
Then Aiden McGeady scored from an incredibly well worked free-kick from big dawg Catts. Hmmm, getting more interesting this. Oh look, Bristol City have missed another sitter. Could be on this. Kazenga LuaLua has pinged one from 30 yards, the keeper has spilled it and our centre forward is about to score. This is it. We’re going to do it.
Oh, wait, he’s missed. That was the moment - you tend to only get one.
Hang on, though. That little lad Joel Asoro has skinned that full-back for the millionth time. Good ball in. Oh my word, it’s gone in. How wonderful. This is nice. This is an excellent feeling. I am quite content. Good. Good for him.
Excuse me a moment.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. GET IN YOU ABSOLUTE MUGS. WHERE’S YOUR FUNNY GIFS NOW EH LADS?! YER HAVING THAT MATE YER HAVING THAT MATE. CAN’T PUT AWAY THE WORST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE LADS. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HAVE THAT JOHNSON. TRYING TO PLAY FOOTBALL IN THE RIGHT WAY WERE YER? TRYING TO SCORE SOME MORE GOALS WERE YER? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. WHO’S THE GREATEST CLUB IN THE WORLD? NEVER MIND ANYONE ELSE. SHOVE IT UP YER AR…
Sorry, I don’t know what came over me.
As we retired to the cider boat of King Street, sipping a delight 8% drop of Old Bristolian we basked in being able to witness such a stirring comeback. Except our mate Ben, who left at half-time (lol @ u).
You never leave a game early. Thanks Dad.
*oh a final side note/gripe with the good people of Bristol. How come to you the thought of melting cheese on a portion chips is completely alien? I mean it’s a relatively minor issue, but it still grates (THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT).