My Day at the Match, Norwich City (H), Feb 19th 2022

My Day at the Match, Norwich City (H), Feb 19th 2022
February 21, 2022 Chris Rowland

 

1 – By TTT Tash/Taskin:

The Norwich game was chosen because it fell between my own 50th (in early March) and that of two of my friends (early Feb).  Also because it looked like a mundane home-banker, was relatively easy to get tickets for (provided we were prepared to pay silly prices) and was unlikely to get moved for TV coverage.

There were seven of us in total.  Three had Season Tickets and so were already set. Given the remaining four all wanted to sit together we had no choice but to go for Hospitality tickets. So it was that we each paid a paltry 300 quid per ticket for what are arguably the worst seats available (the back of the Anfield Rd stand, upper tier), albeit including a ‘free’ meal at The Sandon and a ‘free’ match day programme. After waiting the obligatory 5-6 weeks prior to matchday to make sure the date and time was secured I booked the four tickets for us non-regulars, got my flights and coaches, made arrangements to meet the other three (being TTTer Dowdy and his two sons) and booked a hotel. We finally opted for a ‘know what you’re getting’ (ie clean and reasonably priced) Premier Inn in nearby Rainhill as opposed to the original choice of The King Harry in Anfield, which it’s fair to say looked a bit rough and ready and offered us a communal room for eight.

My plan was:

Friday: Barcelona-Heathrow-Swindon.

Saturday: Swindon-Liverpool.

Sunday: Liverpool-Swindon.

Monday: Swindon-Heathrow-Barcelona.

The weeks and days were all slowly ticked off, although we had some scares. One of my friends got Covid the week before, but then got the all clear. Then we started hearing about a storm brewing. I was travelling on Friday morning and by Thursday it was evident that this was the real deal. It was all over the news and then Thursday afternoon I got a mail from National Express to confirm that my coach from Heathrow to Swindon was cancelled due to a Red Weather Warning – the first around Heathrow in years, if not ever. I tried not to read too much about it and ignored my brain questioning how safe it is for a plane if it’s deemed unsafe for a coach. If it were anything else I might have changed my plans, but I felt too invested – both emotionally and financially – to consider backing out. There was nothing else to do but take the flight and work out what to do when I got there. Dowdy had already confirmed that he’d come and get me if we ended up going on to Birmingham, Manchester or wherever. Thankfully that wasn’t necessary, but it tells you a lot about him.  I just needed to find what to do assuming we landed where we were meant to.

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