Sunday, 18 May 2008

Come on you 'U's

I went to Wembley today to watch Cambridge United play Exeter City in the play-offs to decide who went up. I went with my son, my friend Clive and his sons. On the way in we spotted Will Hill who is head of the Typography MA at Anglia Ruskin University, who was there with his son. We had a chat and split up to go our different ways as we entered the stadium to be frisked (I almost had my bicycle clips confiscated as an offensive weapon). We took our seats to discover Will was sitting next to Clive. What are the chances?

The game was not, it has to be said, of the highest quality though some of the flair was provided by Matt Gill, who played for Exeter (boo, hiss etc). Mattie was my tennis partner many moons ago when I lived in Norfolk and was coached by his brother, Darren, who was also a talented footballer before he turned to tennis coaching.

The stadium was the best thing about the day. The experience of being in such a huge crowd - even a less than capacity one - was fantastic. There was a man a couple of rows behind offering an X-rated commentary on the game and occasionally cheering 'Come on you 'U's'. I thought he was saying 'ewes' as in sheep, but it appears Cambridge United seem to have a capital letter as a nickname.

There were so many incidents off the pitch: a man receiving first aid on the way, having collapsed before he'd got to the entrance, a man being arrested after the game, the stern faced policeman on horseback, a family split up on the tube when one half wasn't quick enough to get off. There was even - much to the boys delight - a streaker. Well - an attempted streaker. He was grabbed by the stewards (if you see what I mean) as he stepped onto the grass and led away looking very crestfallen. There can be few sadder sights than a disappointed streaker.

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