Prior to my bought of illness I did manage to get out and watch England take on Sweden here in Stockholm. The game itself was quite special as it was first game to be played at the new national stadium 'The Friends Arena'. Tickets were like gold dust and I couldn't manage to get hold of one so I did the next best thing.......................I went to The Dubliner!! Beforehand though I arranged to meet to up with my pal Tom for a few frames of bowling at a place just up the road. On the way there we passed many England supporters in the streets, some of whom we dressed in medieval attire! The game itself did not quite go to plan as we eventually lost the game 4-2. This was mainly down to a certain Swede called Zlatan Ibrahimovic (or Ibra-cadabra as he is known here), who scored all four goals for Sweden.....................one of which was out of this world! Although it would be fair to say they were all a little bit special! Zlatan is something of a god in Sweden and had never really rated him as a player until I saw him play against England during Euro 2012. The guy is so strong! No English player could get near him! I hear that the English press went nuts for him after that game as well!!
The 24th November was the date of the end of season dinner dance for The Tudor Arms. This was a special occasion as it marked the 40th anniversary of the club and many of the former players were in attendance. It was a cracking night and one which will be remembered for the hilarious anecdotes shared by those who played back in the day................anecdotes which would never happen today! My personal favourite was a tale about when the team went on tour to Helsinki during the late 70's. The England national team, with the likes of Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking in the ranks, were playing Finland in a friendly whilst the guys were there, so naturally the plan was to watch the game then head to a club afterwards. Unfortunately the club they wanted to go to was very exclusive and would only let in people of celebrity or higher stature................so there was only one thing they could do.......................pose as the England football team!! Luckily one of the players had a permed barnet and was able pass himself off as Kevin Keegan, whilst the other guys assigned themselves other player names in case of interrogation! Apparently they had the night of their lives!!
The night itself was a real success. There were awards handed out for player of the year and for services to the club. I unfortunately did not win anything although I was voted 2nd in the poll for player of the year for the Vets team. I'm not sure if it would have been right if I had won however, as I'm only 31 and you need to be 35 or over to play in the Vets!! Our central defender Yani won the award and rightly so as he had a tremendous season...................plus I voted for him! The only thing missing from the night was a league trophy on display. We came so close and it would have been great to have won it in my first season, and the 40th for the club, but it wasn't meant to be. After the meal and presentations, it was onto the dance floor and that when the real party began!!
|Me with Barry, The Gaffa!|
|Me and Yani.............Player of the Year!|
The location and theme of the party was not shared with anyone until the party began. The plan was to meet in the office at 4:30pm for drinks and there we would be told about the nights entertainment. It was the best kept secret ever!! No-one had a clue where we were going except those who organised it!! Eventually we were taken to a nearby restaurant where it was explained that the theme of the evening was Rock'n'Roll and we would be split into teams..................and each team was to perform a rock song to the whole group, with the team with the loudest cheer being declared the winner! Not one to shy away from a sing song, I was up for the challenge however I was not the vocalist in the ranks. Our team had a former rock singer in the shape of Lars so the responsibility of being the frontman fell on his shoulders whilst I took up the post of drummer! Just so I'm clear, I am not a drummer nor have I ever drummed before however this was no ordinary performance...............this was to be done through the medium of XBox and Guitar Hero!
The drums are operated in the same way as the guitar, in that you watch the computer screen then tap the relevant coloured drum when prompted................I was somewhat of a natural and took to it like a duck to water! When it came to perform, we were dressed in appropriate rock gear, complete with wigs and hair bands. Those of us who were not in the band were groupies. Their job was to make banners, cheer and generally worship the band. The song of choice was 'Rockin In The Free World' by Neil Young...............not my choice but a belter none the less! I wanted 'Welcome To The Jungle' by Guns'n'Roses but my request fell on deaf ears! Still never mind, we gave it a good go and eventually finished 3rd in the competition...................I would have performed better but the hair from wig kept getting in my eyes preventing me from seeing the screen!!
After that, the dance floor opened up, and like at most British functions I expected it to take a while for the dance floor to fill up...............not here! As soon as the DJ pressed play most of the party shot straight onto the dance floor to bust a move!! I love to boogie but normally I would wait until a few people get up before I make my move.....................I don't wanna look like a loser dancing on my own! No such problem here though!! I managed to get a few pictures from the evening in between doing my thang.....................please forgive my Olly Murs impression!!
|The 'DreamTeam'! Me with Jose|
That night I got in around 2:30am and had to be in the office at 8am! Suffice to say my day was not very productive.....................but I wasn't the only one!
We are in December now and I have lots more to tell........................but that can wait until next time! I hope you all have a nice Christmas and a great new year!