Part 5


Somewhere in a North Yorkshire pub, a Welshman is nervous. He’s surrounded by Englishmen so he has every right to be, and the teams are out;

The anthems come, I don’t sing too loudly, stay under the radar for a bit longer, I think, let’s not alert the whole pub yet. The English meekly sang their anthem – the Bale comments regarding a lack of passion seemingly reflected here.

During the game I can’t hold back my patriotic and passionate views, biased views, as always. The banter between me and seemingly 200 Englishmen ensured that the pub was full of laughter as well as the usual noises associated with watching a game with a few pints. The “ooohhh’s” and “aahhhh’s” as well as expletives, of course.

I’m becoming the entertainment now with my quick witted retorts to whatever they threw at me, like a seasoned comedian, Chanting, singing and winding them up as England kept failing to make the most of their chances. I’m louder than the lot of them – one man standing alone against all these Englishmen!

We get a free kick….. everyone is telling me it’s going in, I am adamant it’s too far out…. then……


Heard across the whole pub and down the street no doubt. My voice booming in contrast to the silence of the rest of the pub. The half time banter now in full force as people come up to me to chat about the game, about Bale and, with more animation, about Hart.

The second half is the worst of my life!! From the moment the clock started I’m screaming at them to take it to the flag. TO THE FLAG!!! Everyone around me is laughing but mostly nervous about the game and the desperate three points England needed.

When the first goal goes in I’m convinced it was offside, it looked offside. I was drowned though by the noise that the English FINALLY made. They showed passion but only when they scored. I’m lifted in the air, beer going everywhere! I need another drink, there is a feeling now this is going to be a battle on the big screen and a “battle” in the pub.

Towards the end, England are missing opportunities – could Wales hang on like they did against Belgium twice….. could they get that point they so desperately need to qualify to the next round?

And then.


OH NO….. a last minute goal was the LAST thing I needed here.The pub goes wild, I don’t even know who scored, I don’t care. I rest my head on the bar and I feel it being patted, hair ruffled, joyful sounds from the England fans scratching my ear drums like a spike has been inserted.  Mobile phones are out and filming the celebrations in the pub and my pain.

Bar staff come up to me to console me, telling me I was excellent entertainment and that I took it all well. A lot of of the lads in the pub, some I knew and a lot that I didn’t, all coming up to me afterwards to shake my hand and pat my shoulder. Their messages were all the similar which started with a “haha we won” followed by congratulating me on making it a brilliant atmosphere and that I was a legend in the bar. A small condolence for the last minute loss but condolences nonetheless. Should I have gone or should I have watched it on my own without all that fuss to endure at the end? I think my little write up has answered that, to have been alone at home and witnessed that last minute goal would have been depressing. At least my attendance at the pub, the 1 against 200 (ish), gave me something to enjoy and something to talk about.

No Welshman was harmed during the production of this blog

Cheers to Taffinoski follow him @taffinoski – Wales continue on their own journey and this week mine with England came to an abrupt end. I didn’t see the game, you could say my journey went off road. Very much so in fact. Have you ever been to Byker? It’s an interesting place where interesting people live. I couldn’t ask anyone the score, lets just say… the television show Byker Grove was full of shit. It lied to me. Geoff Keegan lied to me!

Part 6 will come when I stop moving. Thanks again to Taff, for now for both England and Wales the journey continues. See you down the road.


Part 4


A person has plenty of time to think about things when they are clamped in the front seat space of a mega bus heading to Newcastle. It’s early in the morning, too early to be jovial with passengers who either stare at you and pretend they aren’t, or a driver who doesn’t know how to put you and your wheelchair in the wheelchair space so he just keeps tutting. I CAN HEAR HIM!

I’m sat here wearing more restraints than a law abiding citezen should expect. I mean seriously, if the dude tells me the safeword he can have it and we’ll all go home.

In the days since the last blog, England yobbishness made the headlines and people have become genuinely worried about Wales beating us. England should have got the job done in their opening match, it’s still hilarious to me that they didn’t. They have impressive and exciting players, perhaps against Wales Woy will let them do their thing (or at least bring them off the bench soon enough for them to rescue us).

Life is about goals, having then and reaching them so here are mine ahead of the game with Wales;

Marcus Rashford continues to rule the world.

Vardy gets given a chance. He will score

I still really want Stirling and Hart to play abysmally, they are Liverpool and City players after all… I’m only human and the journey is long. I know I know, yay England… we all love everyone in the summer don’t we?
My mind wanders…. what if Bale scores a hatrick against England and each goal is the fault of some ABU half wit like Hart. I’d allow myself a smile.

It turns out that not everyone is as confident in Wales’ ability to beat England as some in England are. Taffinoski is somewhere in a pub in North Yorkshire, he’s there like a cornflake in a bowl of rice krispies, the only Welshman amongst the English … I can only imagine the horror / joy that will come from his experience of this match.

You, dear reader, don’t have to imagine. I’m on a Metro heading for toon but I can still find a pub before kick off … Taff takes up the rest of the story

I’m already nervous and my prediction was a 2-0 defeat, something which I was trying to mentally prepare for. I was advised not to wear my lucky retro Wales top, this was not going to bode well! A certain defeat was in the offing.

I arrive at the pub an hour before kick off, plenty of time to get a few drinks down and enjoy some banter with friends, some that I hadn’t seen for a while. Everyone was in good spirits as the pub become more and more full. I was rather surprised at the lack of songs being sung by the English fans and I did my best to keep my nationality to myself for the time being.

My friends, a lovely bunch, had kindly spread the word to other patrons that I was Welsh! Cue a few sheep sounds and some light abuse about Wales in general. My retort? I reminded them that I was in Yorkshire and that they were also fond of sheep. 


Part 3


Why in all God do they put Harry Kane on the set pieces and why isn’t Jamie Vardy on yet? They are going to lose this I swear and it will be because Woy doesn’t have the balls to make the changes when they are necessary. United just sacked a manager for reasons like that.
England go a goal up thanks to a free kick dripping in quality and it sparks up England fans there and here. Eric Dier, 22 years old, take a bloody long bow. Wayne Rooney playing in the withdrawn position bothers me but in the run up to the free kick he was faultless. England deserved to have the edge and they eventually do.

Rooney departs for Arsenal sicknote Jack Wilshire. That’s a fucking ballsy move, taking your captain off in the first game of a tournament when you are only a goal up with minutes to go.

I’m ready for everyone to tell me that this England Victory has been built in North London. Harry Kane falls, draws the free kick and heads the ball on the ground all in one moment. There’s a moment Brazil would have been happy with, a sexy pass and move which sadly went nowhere but goes to confirm that England are more than worthy winners here. A second goal would put the cherry on the icing on the cake.

Stirling tries to make it happen, just as I get another tap on my shoulder… one of our lot is wobbling and for some reason he’s apologising. The sound comes back on on the second big television just in time to hear the national anthem belted out by the fans in the stadium. Even I am impressed.

They leave out the verse about scattering our enemies though, naturally.

Minutes to go and the England I know and for the most part ignore, come out to play. They concede, Russia get a point and England have given a load of people hope only to see it snatched away. Again, I can identify with those emotions.

The DJ starts with the England song Vindaloo and Glenn rewrites the lyrics for us:



Wales top the group. That’s funny.

I’m happy for this blog to chart the journey from Lapsed England fan to once again believer. I want to be the same England fan that cried his heart out when we bottled it in Italia 90, the same lad that idolised Gazza despite the Spurs and later Lazio shirt on his back.

At the end of Day one though, the feeling is mostly laughter: at the disappointment of the England fans who had us winning the competition when Dier scored that free kick. So the journey to rekindle love for the England national side starts from a rather bleh place.