Alarm clock started to ring. Suddenly I was up, my moves were controlled by reflexes and nerves I guess, because my brain was dead. Dead. It was very painful and still-killing death. Arrrgh!
‘Leicester! Leicester!’ shouted something in me, but this ‘something’ was really tiny one. Anyway it was big enough to start to beat up this sleepy bastard who is better known for the world as my cousin.
Neil was awake already. We took our stuff, jumped to the car and dissapeared. It was 6.50AM.
We reached to Jarrow about 7.15. Bus-stop point (in front of pub) looked empty, dark and cold, so I made phone call to Steve. Where are you? Of course every single person was inside the pub. So we said thanks and goodbye to Neil (worst goodbye in my life so far, because I was still dead) and moved to the pub.
Shiny happy people, I say! Drinking beer and happy as butterflies! Ready to go and give 110% of them against the evil Leicester! Oh, Lads I wanted to be as you! But…
- One beer…. err…errr. give be a lemonade!
I got my drink (it contained a water in it!!!) and was a bit happy. But I was still very much quite dead.
Our bus arrived. People finished their beers and moved to the bus. Me? Zombie.
I got my seat next to window. It was a good place. Tafka had a lot of trouble with making his seating place a sleeping place. But who cares! Not me. It was about 3 hours of healing-travelling-sleep to the south and I was really thankful for it.
We had a stop in lovely village about 45 minutes travel from Leicester. Jarrow branch had organised one local pub to be ours for 2 hours. So we moved in. First beer. It started to work again! Everything! I noticed familiar faces in crowd. Randle for excample. Top lad! I really hope to say him welcome one day in Estonia. I returned him his season ticket and everything turned much and more OK. After second beer I felt like I can have third and fourth, so everything had it’s place. Bring on Leicester!
We left pub about 1 o’clock. Mojo was back and all minds turned more and more to the Leicester match. Very soon was our next stop.
One big parking place of shopping centre outside Leicester was turned to Sunderland supporters gathering place. Police forces were there, ready to escort us to the stadium. I had had same experience only once in my lifetime when Polish police escorted us, Estonian boot boys, out of Warsaw (it’s quite big town if you know). But we had like 3 buses at this time.
Now, when it started, it was an amazing trip! More than 1000 supporters were escorted in green wave to the stadium, policemen at turnarounds… Maybe it sounds a bit silly to the people who travel every single SAFC away game, but for me it was emotionally the best one so far! Even been almost dead in the morning and getting closer to my 8th attendance at SAFC match in my life I felt like meeting Julio Arca in players lounge before my first SAFC game was nothing compared the feeling I felt when we moved closer and closer to the Walkers stadium. Away games are the best!
No beer! That was our first ‘discovery’ at Walkers stadium. Really bad one. Soft drinks? No thanks!
Away stand was in a feckin’ corner. Ok, view wasn’t too bad but still… It was a feckin’ corner and crappiest of available.
There was a ceremony at the pitch before the match. A wedding ceremony IMO, but not very sure about it. Anyway, it all looked funny!
Match started well for Sunderland. Good moves and few great passes. Leicester was hopeless. It was only matter of time when Sunderland had get their lead, but it didn’t happend. At least after 45 minutes.
Sunderland crowd was noisy. Firstly Sunderland fans sent their best wishes to the people who were equipped Walkers stadium with drinks (‘You can put your soft drinks in your arse!’), then turned their attention to Leicester supporters (‘You can put your Walkers in your arse!’). Did they mean these ugly potato thingies or stadium itself, I’m still not very sure about it, but the fact is Sunderland supporters sounded very loud and my voice was part of the picture. And this picture demanded 3 points!
Leicester fans were pathetic this night. I have seen few restless tribes at Stadium of Light away stands (and respect to them for that), but they have never dominated the match. But in this occassion I think it happened. Sunderland supporters were singing. And when our blue neighbours tried to start something, they were called down very easily: ‘SHUT UP, SIT DOWN!’. And it worked!
About match. David Connoly was the man! But I was impressed our ‘new left back’ Wallace, who made a great job out of his natural position. Sunderland team played great second half and 2:0 (Hysen & Connoly) was a reality!
Flick had arrived from his New Year’s party, sleeping only 3 hours or so. But he was top lad enough to complete his promise to transport us from Leicester to Stansted. We were there! We were nearly completed our tour. Leaving Flick leaving us we were alone at Stanstead airport. Firstly we needed some food and we got it from crappy Irish-like-wannabe pub with Caffrey’s which tasted like… not too good… It was clear. Party was over.
We looked few benches for sleep, but sleep in these Stansted Spanish inquisition benches was awful, so I mainly read a Qunny’s ‘Autobiography’.