At last, the promised Gretna FC blogpost – and a brief summary of the super adventure to bonnie Scotland, and the football related shenanigans we shared there.
Offering myself as the lucky driver (idiot – never again…) Bank Holiday Saturday saw us wend our way inexorably through the difficult M6, past a monkey forest (the things they have up north!) and finally, accompanied with a bottle of chicken bones (well – you can’t chuck them out of the window eh), grand designs on chatting to all and sundry who had ever been linked with the good ship Gretna FC (recently gone into admin) – we arrived in the little border town.
First thing we noted (as we embarked on a mammoth 3 drinking establishment pub crawl), was the size of the town – and the fact that not only were Gretna players not roaming about the streets looking for friendly Alcopop types, no fucker was. Undeterred, we strode to the Gretna FC social, stopping only at the local convenience shop to purchase a ticket for the match (true!) – and relaxed amongst the 4 very quiet old men grumpily sitting with their pints, clutching them as I would Rocky the Rooster’s extended wing (more of him later).
Still, we’d paid 50p to sign in, and we weren’t going to be deterred, eventually crashing a 40 year old’s birthday party (filled with an unbelievable amount of teen short skirt and a Gretna player from the ‘50s named Tommy Reiley) – drinking shots till we fell and our pal Rich needed to head back to the hotel to rest and recuperate in a profound manner. Handsome brute eh!
Then it was on to Livingston’s Almondvale ground with around 1,500 Gretna faithful and one very handsome rooster. We locked eyes, shook hands and embraced – and quickly considered fleeing back to the Green to get married, but upon my guilty admission of love for KFC, we realised it could never be – and thus I crashed him 8p for his ‘Save our Club’ bucket, and joined in heartily with the “There’s only one Gavin Skelton” chants, until my favourite Scottish club had crashed to an undeserved 3-0 defeat to Celtic. Very unfortunate.
And then finally we set off to complete our rubber-hungry journey with a detour to Edinburgh – Scotland’s finest city (so I hear) and home of fine Austrians and cheap metal clubs. Smashing back £1 shots, pints and anything else we could get our hands on, we danced to rockin’ pop hits (including Cotton Eye Joe), became quite the club charmers with our effervescent banter (which in the cold light of day may have not been quite so charismatic as we thought at the time) and ended the night with Rich once again showing who was boss by collapsing outside his hotel room vomiting – “it’s OK though” he cried, “it was all watery so I didn’t even have to rub any chunks in!”
It’s unlikely Alcopop will be invited back with open arms anytime soon…