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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Bonds’

WHUFC vs Newcastle United 02/03/2019 – EPL2018/2019

March 5, 2019 Leave a comment

Very late as is becoming the norm, and I know I’ve missed a couple of games, but Fulham at home was just that. Fulham at home. Despite their early lead, as soon as it went to 1-1 they really didn’t want to know. Since then their manager has been sacked and former hammers favourite Scott Parker has been installed, so good luck to him , he will need it.

Newcastle arrived on a decent run and were likely to be a better test than when we beat them at their place earlier in the season.

Actually, stuff that. The Geordies were also devoid of ideas and even their fans were (for them) a little quiet. Today was all about a real club legend. Billy Bonds. Six foot two, eyes of blue and all that.

The stand I usually sit in was being renamed after him, and he now sits alongside Bobby Moore and Trevor Brooking in getting this honour. This led to Gary Lineker winding up twitter suggesting the remaining stand was becoming the Mark Noble Stand. Although a little premature I think that would be better than what it probably will be. The Lycamobile stand ? The Betway ? The Kens Cafe ?

Anyway I say the stand I usually sit in, as for the first time since we moved I sat elsewhere for the game. In the prawn sandwich seats no less. Not quite a box, but very corporate. We (me and @mrsmackay) were kindly hosted by a supplier of hers to enjoy the game in a different atmosphere. This involved getting there considerably early and me seeing the “dark side” of the stadium I have never been around to that side, not even for other events.

Its very much what you would expect if you have been in the Club England section at Wembley. Lots of escalators and people knowing where they are going (except for you). We ended up in a lounge called the Forge for our lunch. Whilst munching, we enjoyed an interview, on a stage about 10ft away, about Mr Bonds, from some ex players. Namely, Alvin Martin, Ray Stewart, Stuart Slater, Pat Holland and Kenny Brown (jnr). Being the game was against Newcastle, Alvin was given the liberty of retelling his historic hatrick against the magpies (again!).

Food was 7/10. Entertainment was 8/10. Half time was interesting , listening to a guy on an acoustic guitar, playing Jump Around by House of Pain. Different, but he just about got away with it. Service was as you would expect, polite.

Don’t get this in Block 232

Anyway we filtered out early , as Bonzo was getting his presentation 20 mins before kick off. We were greeted by a great sight.

Billy was led out though an honour guard of ex players

And then was interviewed by Alvin Martin

Billy and Alvin

And then cut his ribbon, to open the stand. During his lap of honour there was not a dry eye in the house, especially from the man himself. as he made his way around the stadium a tribute played on the screens.

Billy Bonds is after you !
Bill finishing his standing ovation.

All parties have to end, and if you know where to look you can see my empty seat !

Then there was the little matter of the game. Mark Noble is the closest we have to a Billy these days, and we are all hoping that the mantle will be taken up by Declan Rice in the future. He did himself no harm by netting a header after 7 minutes, much to the consternation of @mrsmackay who wanted a bet on him to score the first goal only to be dissuaded by yours truly! From then on there was only one winner and a mistimed tackle on Hernandez gave us a pen just before half time. Ably converted by Mr Noble. The second half was only notable for me for 2 reasons. One, Longstaff at Newcastle is being touted as better than Rice, and was hooked at half time while Declan was picking up another MOTM and more plaudits. Secondly, and more interesting was Marko entering the fray (mystery illness from Wednesday cleared up). Clearly not happy at being a sub and not the darling of the fans anymore, outside of 2 runs it was Marko pre Moyes of sulking and and waving arms. He needs to sort himself out or the manager has no option but to start him from the bench every game, which actually is doing peak Marko a disservice and could actually cost us points along the way.

So, another good day at a stadium that is slowly (very slowly) becoming home. Not sure if I could do corporate every game but it has its advantages.

Handy to be able to watch replays in real time !
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Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders NFL 28/09/2014

September 29, 2014 11 comments

Time for a new sport, not unhappy with the old one (s) , just fancied seeing something different. We managed to pick up tickets for the NFL International Series at Wembley. This was useful, as I’d wanted to try an NFL game, but didn’t want to waste a days holiday if it was rubbish.

A couple of train tickets and less than an hour later we are in Wembley, and we are at the home of Real Football ™ to watch a different kind of football.

The place was rammed, unlike a football game, there were people there from 11am for a 6pm kick off (punt off?). Anyway, it was busy as you like and full of fanzones and food trucks, and people and cheerleaders, and people (did I mention the amount of people ?). And lots of fancy dress.

Now I struggle to watch a sport of if don’t have someone to cheer for, but I don’t have a team, so i needed one quick. I had decided during the week, that if the Raiders were good enough for Public Enemy and NWA back in the day, then its good enough for me. So, a quick trip to the merch area to kit out and we are good to go.

The main fanpark shut early, so we wandered into the stadium, to see whats going on. First thing was, because it wasn’t a real football game, you could get a beer without too much hassle, and everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there. Odd I know, but hey sports fans, thats how it happens over “there”. This was an hour before kick off and the teams come out to warm up to boos and cheers, and the Cheerleaders were in full flow. And you can take beer to your seat. WIN

Then I noticed some trucks being wheeled on while the warm up is on. ??? Turns out it is a stage, so that Def Leppard (yep?) can knock out 4 hits in what is known as pre-game “entertainment”. As has been mentioned elsewhere, Motorhead would of been better, but it passed the time.

Then we get national anthems? WTF? For an international yes, not for what is a league game in all but location. Anyway, we finish spangling banners and saving queens, and then the main event begins. And do you know what? I enjoyed it, especially as the Raiders scored from the get go. RAAAAAAIIIIIIIDERRRRRSSSSSS.

At this stage, I have a new team, they are good, they are not West Ham, they are not the Knicks, they are not England (or Scotland), they are not even Ebbsfleet, they are winners. Needless to say, they then went backwards at a rate that stunned I think even seasoned watchers of the game. They were 24 – 7 down at half time, and 38 – 7 down at the end of the 3rd.

I don’t think they made 20 yrds in any of their possessions. McFadden tries to carry the team on his own, and struggles. Carr, the young Raiders QB, was woeful with his passing, and his replacement McGloin wasn’t up to much either after fumbling a snap, and giving the ball away for the 4th Miami Touchdown.

The 2 minute warning goes and its time to leave, safe in the knowledge I have picked yet again another team with great support, and some good years ahead, interspersed with some shockers.

The Wembley tubes home were as disorganised as usual, just to remind us that we were in London NW, not Oakland CA.

Would I go again, yes, but only to see the Raiders, I really cannot handle non partisan sport.

Enjoy the photos: