Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Last night's Blackpool v Manchester United match was just too tantilising to miss  so my football-mad buddy Vic and I arranged to meet up after work for a meal and some pub footy. We met up in posh Lytham St Annes and had a great meal before heading over to the Ship and Royal which by 7pm was full to the rafters of tangerine-shirted footy fans. I'd forgotten how great pub football really is. Years ago it was small screen in the vaults and you were lucky if you hear any of the  commentary. Nowadays, selected pubs have several projector style screens with surround sound and if you're really lucky, Sky very kindly broadcast some of the matches in 3D. It's like being in a Buddy Holly convention - only everyone's drunk. 
Don't ask me how, but Vic and I managed to get right to the front, and leaning on the bar like a couple of ladettes and drinks in hand, we settled ourselves in for ringside viewing. The match started and suddenly Blackpool scored, and then they scored again. The pub erupted, drinks flew all over the place and people began hugging. Now bear with me here because this might seem a bit strange. I absolutely love Blackpool FC and how well they've done this season. Their presence in the premier league has been outstanding and fully deserved. Vic and I travelled to Wembley and saw them win the play-offs and no-one cheered harder than us two that hot and barmy May afternoon. But last night, when my home club scored against Manchester United and made them look very ordinary, it hurt like mad. My head tells me my loyalty is to my beloved Blackpool, but my heart belongs to Old Trafford. I received a million texts from mates reminding me just how crap United were and how the mighty Blackpool were killing them at Bloomfield Road and I had to agree. Then suddenly the second half started and United scored, scored again, then stole it at the end with a Berbatov winner. The pub went crazy and I went quiet. Sad for Blackpool that they made it such a great match and nearly won it, but secretly delighted United got through and are five points clear at the top of the Prem.  
And as for pub football... Love it and can't wait for the next Euro championship and England's participation and ultimate downfall in the penalty shoot-outs. Now that's enough to drive you to alcohol.. 

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