England 1 Paraguay 0

Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, June 11, 2006

Quote of the Moment

"I met a girl who sang the blues, and I asked her for some happy news" - American Pie... German television sank to new lows last night as they televised our rendition of the Don McLean anthem.

The photos will tell the story a lot better than I can, but since this Internet Cafe is air-conditioned, you get both.

An amazing day. I was wrong about the Paraguay fans being on the other bank of the river - there were only two of them. The England fans dominated both banks of the river, filling just about every bit of space from the stands they erected to the streets above and the bridges at either side.

Every shop in Frankfurt became an off-license. Little souvenir stalls that had until now only sold snow globes and tea towels suddenly started stocking beers by the hundreds. We had hooked up with our chums from back home for the day - Wilko, Baz, Gray and Matt, and were buying beers by the crate. Well actually I should mention that they were buying beers by the crate, refusing to let me and Vinny chip in so much as a Euro - bless them.

We were behind the away stand under the shade of a few trees which, considering the bright skin tones adopted by everyone else, was a bloody good idea. The first people we absorbed into our collective were two German lads, who had decided to come along and support England for the day.

There was a little bother at one point when a drunken Geordie decided that a German in Germany having a beer with English people and wishing them well was against the law, but while we (and twenty other England fans) circled the wagons Vinny (peacekeeping legend) explained to him that things were just fine thank you very much.

The match itself was, of course, pretty poor. After what looked to be a great start (an own goal then their keeper going off in five minutes!) things just got boring. But no worries. Our group grew in size as we met a German who looked EXACTLY like Vinny, and then a big group of Ozzies.

We had got through 3 crates of beer by this point, and things were getting interesting. The football had finished by this point, but we were still stood in the same place when the Sweden game started a couple of hours later.

Then we decided it was time to rejoin the main celebrations, so we headed back to the main square where the England fans were forgetting the fact that the victory was pretty poor, and loving the fact that Sweden only drew against Trinidad. Again, check the photos out for the actual scenes, and some of them have got little stories under them so look at that too. I don't think you can if you view as a slideshow though - click on view photo album then bask in my narrative wit.

I think the main points that are worth making are these - the majority of the England fans behaved well. By well I mean they were loud, drunk and rowdy but they didn't break things or hit people. It was only a minority giving it large with the racist chants... On that subject by the way, there's nothing quite as odd as listening to two thousand people sing "No Surrender, no surrender, no surrender to the IRA". It seems to me that we require a slightly updated version. My idea of "No surrender to the IRA all those years ago, then the Real IRA for a bit and then although things have been pretty peaceful for quite a few years we'd like to keep making the point to make it impossible to forget about and move on", didn't go down well.

It's the German people who need the biggest congratulations though. Things may change if we face them in the fourth round, but we found them without exception to be polite, friendly, and completely happy that we were taking over their city. They joined in the fun with us, congratulated us, ignored the German Bombers chant (considering half of Frankfurt was destroyed in the war this shows impressive restraint).

The police as well were cracking. There were probably a thousand or more coppers about, but they just stood back and watched our unique approach to celebration.

In conclusion, a great day. Moment of beauty was thirty people, including many Germans, singing the Notts County anthem "I had a wheelbarrow, the wheel fell off, I had a wheelbarrow, the wheel fell off". And those are the only words.

Finally a massive thank you to Baz, Wilko, Gray and Matt for buying us beers all day then letting us sleep in their hotel room last night - in their beds too! These men are legends. Oh, but one more thing... Matt, I was joking about that Australian girl fancying you - she fancied me.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

marielouise
marielouise on

By the way...
...that lucky conker you mention in 'No spoon' has now - added to some of the countries on your European tour -spent time in: Sweden, South Africa (twice), Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Britain, short stops on the airports of Amsterdam and Denmark, and last trip was to Kenya when I sent it with a close friend of mine... I'm quite sure it's now the most well travelled conker all times! It's starting to break, but I've wrapped it in some plastic to keep it safe. In a few months it will be going to Norway, unless we meet again. Then I'll give it to you to bring it around the world! But you must swear to keep it safe, and give it back for my next journey...

foolsgold
foolsgold on

Ah, but.....
You forgot Malaysia!!!

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