I was at the pub earlier on and met a mate. He’s a huge IFK Göteborg fan, travelled to 21 of the away games last season, 4 cup games away, and loads of other. Obviously saw all the home games. He’s also a huge Manchester United fan, has been to many games there. Follows Sweden, and, surprise, surprise, Croatia.
He told me about a trip he made to England, to watch Sweden play England. It was him and a mate. I have a vague recollection of this game, it ended 1-1 and Håkan Mild scored our goal. It was played in West Bromwich, I believe.
They were staying in Birmingham. Taking the train to the game, they enter one packed with bulldog looking English wearing the white shirt. My mate and his wing-man were clad in our yellow. He said he’d never been so scared in his life. They sat down and the opposite seats remained empty, all the time, for several stations, with plenty of stares from the crowd they were in the midst of. At one station, a man and his young daughter entered, neither wearing an England shirt or colours. They sat down, and the four had a nice chat until they reached the final destination.
After the game, my mate and his wing-man took too the closest pub they could find. It was packed with nowt but English supporters, of course. He told me that as soon as they entered, they were treated as royalty. People would approach them to chat, buy them drinks, they were given a table where drink after drink, beer after beer, shot after shot would be placed. Someone would approach and tell them: “what are you having, I’ll buy you a drink?”. My friend said that he would motion across the table, a dozen full glasses, tell them “no, many thanks but we already have way much more than we can drink”, and then the person would take off and buy something anyway.
The greatest thing, he said, was: 1) They had to get back to Birmingham with the train, but there was a group who had travelled from there in a bus, who took them on their bus instead. They were singing the whole way back, and my mate with his wing-man had to perform a Swedish song or two. 2) Back in Birmingham, they continued to party at some pub, and when the English lads found out that my mate stayed somewhere where it would cost him about £50 to get there with a cab, they started to collect money and got it covered.
My mate said he felt well uncomfortable, but that it’s one of his greatest memories, and he’s been to many away games. He had the money to pay for everything himself, drinks, cab, everything. But he said the English simply refused to have him spend a dime. At one point, he was about to order a pint, and a bloke comes running, rushing from the other side to tell him: “no way you’re paying for that one, it’s on me”
I’m not really giving this a proper go, but then it’s not mine to have experienced, I was only told about it.
Posts: 19677 | From: San Siro | Registered: Nov 2003
| IP: Logged |