Day 27 of 32 – Saturday 27 April – Just 5 minutes, the Devil in Wakefield

Today is Saturday and for many of the good people of TGC that means one thing – FOOTBALL. As well as being the birth place of Jesus Christ Blackpool is also famous for inventing Baby Jesus’ favourite game football or soccer-ball as it’s known in Genesis.

Today Matthew, we are playing promotion chasing Barnsley in the soft undulating landscape of deepest South Yorkshire. We have coaches arranged which are leaving BRUNSWICK WARD at 9.00 with the intention of getting to the outskirts of Barnsley for about 11.00.  It should be an interesting game as Barnsley are jostling for top spot with Luton Town, who at one stage were well clear but after a run of poor form are now looking nervously over their shoulder. In other fixtures third and fourth place are playing each other so it’s game on at the top of the table.

As for the Mighty Seasiders they well out of it now as any vague hopes of the play-offs were dashed at the home defeat to Peterborough. So today might see us play with a little more freedom and as these end of season games often throw up some unexpected results I fancy us for a draw.

First hitch of the day is one of the coaches is damaged. Apparently it’s being repaired in the yard and will be five minutes late. TBH ‘five minutes’ is one of the most misleading turns of phrase used throughout Christendom, rather like the word ‘just’. Five minutes is never five minutes and in this cases turns out to the 45 minutes rather like just a second is never just a second.

Not too crowded ….

Second hitch is that the latest calculations of 66 starts dropping as numerous little soldiers start texting me with excerpts from the Big Book of Excuses. ‘Sorry bud I’m working’, ‘oh I forgot to mention Aunty Doris is coming over’ compete with ‘sorry I’m too drunk from last night’ as I scratch names from the once respectable looking team sheet.

Coach number two finally limps up Newton Drive and as it does not have a toilet 48 of the group bolt on to that one leaving 4 of us to populate a very roomy coach number two. As we alight our executive coach the driver is shaking his head, cursing in a broad Geordie accent whilst wiping his oily hands.

At 9.50 we set off on our South Yorkshire odyssey pick up some latecomers at the No.10 Alehouse on Whitegate Drive and head away from the entertainments capital of the Northern hemisphere to Yorkshire.

The trip is always good value, the traffic is light and the banter is hilarious. I even threw in a bit of free entertainment performing tracks 1-5 off the new album. Track number 2 ‘Again and Again’ which is about spiritual reconnections through the prism of a student party in Manchester seems to get the best reaction – or maybe they were all taking the proverbial Michael ??? 

This is what an away ticket at BFC looks like – found it whilst cleaning the stand with the BST volunteers last week after the FTFC fixture

Rox Tours’ free entertainment draws to a close as we reach our lunchtime destination of Wakefield. We hop off at a Wetherspoons ‘The Six Chimneys’ for a libation. As it’s just after midday we send out some pilgrims in search of pubs showing the Spurs v West Ham game. Coming from the birthplace of God’s game we show reverence to God by watching each and every episode of his finest creation. Wetherspoons is now as big as Microsoft and is obviously backed by the Devil and the illuminati as it does not show football.

But the pilgrims return empty handed so we send out a bigger search party. In God’s Town (TGC) it is divine law that ALL pubs (except where the devil resides) HAVE to broadcast football but we soon realise the Devil lives in Wakefield as all 4 pubs we visit are not showing the game. We amble back to ‘The Six Chimneys’ and God showers us in rain as the pilgrims failed their task – sorry we let you down Baby Jesus.

As we trudge up to the coaches our driver is shaking his head once again as there has been some trouble with a couple of the locals. A storm in a teacup really so we shepherd the seaside flock back onto the coaches and head out.

We drive straight to the ground and are absolutely underwhelmed to find out that The People’s Republic of South Yorkshire has succumbed to the bright lights of rampant consumer capitalism and charges each coach £20 for parking. Maybe God is still punishing us for missing his 12:30 broadcast … 

By hook and by crook we get into the ground. Been here many times before, once on Nottingham Tours to a cup game if I’m nit mistaken. Today’s crowd is 14,500 with just over 500 from TGC. The winds gust changing clouds and rain over the rolling hills creating a digital sun that pulses intermittently so we almost experience four seasons of weather in one day. 

Pool take the lead on 17 minutes through Kirkby. It’s a deflected goal after a good move. Pool are looking quite good so the Barnsley faithful are probably fearing the worst. They equalise and we go in 1-1 at half time.

Blog postponed at 8:50 as I need to get weaving and down to the No.4 for leafleting …. Rox returns at 1:30pm … what a great few hours leafleting BRUNSWICK WARD today … but more of that later. Back to Saturday’s adventures.

Panel 2 of leaflet 3 – just ne more leaflet to create ….

During yesterday’s second half Barnsley had the majority of possession and went ahead with a good headed goal. Pool didn’t look like pulling it back so the final result means The Tykes are equal top with Luton Town … on present form I think they will won it. TBH during the boycotting years when we leafleted outside Bloomers  I always found the visiting Barnsley supporters friendly and engaging. I know a few Barnsley lads from England games and a work pal Ryan Kenny is a Barnsley lad so good luck to them next week.

It took a while to get our coaches out of Barnsley and much of the way home was talk about how Blackpool supporters need to keep the CAR and IB on their toes. The idea of a holding account and paying monthly keeps power with the fans where it should be. It will then only get released on a monthly basis to keep the CAR and IB and indirectly the EFL to account.

After a ‘fast’-food stop at Heartshead Moor we got back to TGC at 8:30. We popped in to the No.10 ale house for a couple of pints of Farmers Stout. Always a good friendly atmosphere in there and nice to chat with Matty Greenwood and his wife Claire who is well into the local political scene. 

After the long day few of the little soldiers started slowly venturing home but Birthday Boy Pompey Cameron was determined to go into town. I popped up to Scrooge’s with the lad …. lasted one drink and then it was home to Rox Towers

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