Thursday, 3 September 2009

HNT: Out with the Boys

Despite the disgraceful scenes of crowd violence at my local claret and blue-clad football team earlier in the week, I was still very excited when one of Ruf's friends called up to say there was a spare ticket for the match at the West Midlands wearers of similar colours that weekend.

As many of you know, I have long held an inappropriate crush on Martin O'Neill, football pundit extraordinare so when he returned to club management in Birmingham, I was thrilled.

Aston Villa Football Club are one of Ruf's three great loves and I know my own place in the pecking order, which means that I am always very excited when it is possible to be included in the 'boys' day out.

Ruf took me to my first ever football match there two years ago for my birthday and every time I reach the top of the stairs and look down onto the pitch, I still get the same thrill as that first time. Villa Park is a very pretty football ground. Surrounded on all four sides by claret and blue painted stands and the legend at the far end written across the hoarding reminding us of Peter Withe's famous goal that won them the European Cup in 1982. I've just been told off by Ruf for calling it a small ground because it holds 40,000 or so fans. But, to me, it is compact and incredibly pretty with the pitch a verdant, striped green rectangle in the middle and the brightly coloured shirts of the players making it very reminiscent of a Subbuteo game.

I may just have been very lucky, but I have never felt frightened at Villa Park and there are always a lot of children with their parents, despite the expletive-ridden cheering, jeering and vocalisation... and that's just Ruf!

Undeterred by the rain, before and at the end, we were totally sheltered and very snug in our seats right behind the goal in the Holte End. The singing was fabulous, although I cannot approve of some of the songs which are really very impolite when they refer to their 'blue-nosed' neighbours at Birmingham City. It must be absolutely uplifting for the players on the pitch to hear their names sung to their own particular tunes with such fervour. Especially 'Jon Carew, Carew, He's bigger than me and you' as he warmed up on the touchline. Followed by the instruction to 'Get your tits out for Carew' a reference to an earlier indiscretion where he was in big trouble for getting caught on camera out at a strip club the night before a match. His waved response was very amusing.

The most amazing moment was when the crowd spotted Martin Larsson, last season's captain who was forced to retire through an injury, seated in the Sky commentary box. To a man the entire Holte End stood and pointed, shouting his name and demanding that he 'give us a wave'. He had to interrupt his own punditry in order to accede to their entreaties and acknowledge their waves.

Goal number one came within the first couple of minutes from an Aston Villa corner and the second was a fabulous solo effort by the same player, Gabriel Agbonlahor, to huge acclaim.

A win always puts Ruf in an extremely good mood and things could only be improved by my later insistence that he photograph me in the lovely outfit sent to me by the people at Sexy Girls Lingerie to launch their new website. More on that next week, but Ruf certainly enjoyed the aftermath of the photoshoot.



HNTbutton

12 comments:

Southern Sage said...

I ain't much on soccer but hot chicks in sexy lingerie do it for me everytime!

13messages said...

Here's to good moods after nice wins. Cool click.

nitebyrd said...

Lovely. Just lovely.

Happy HNT!

2 Dollar Productions said...

When did the last score take place? Ha. Glad to hear the game went well & that everyone made out in the end. Happy HNT.

the eternal list said...

sublime clicky

we don't get "real" football in the states, i mean we have becks and the mls, so...yeah...

Osbasso said...

It's interesting as an American to read your description!

Glad Ruf was a happy camper!

Tom Allen said...

What, was there some kind of game on? I didn't really notice...

Nolens Volens said...

So, you can yell "Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!" afterwards in your own home... ;) HHNT!

Gorilla Bananas said...

So has he dressed you up in the Villa strip yet?

Joanna Cake said...

LOL, Had I known that some of you would want an indepth description of the run of play, Id have been more precise!

As to wearing the teamstrip, I often don one of his Villa tops to wear around the house instead of a dressing gown :)

Ms Scarlett said...

As a lifelong player, and general footie fanatic, I am completely jealous that you got to go to a game!!

Gorgeous clickie!

HHNT!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Oh, to be that arm.... ;-)