28th May Oh Happy day!
Today is the 28th May, so there could only be one thing we could post today.
Sit back and enjoy the best moment in modern Derby County history.
Now with added Journals!
…and this is how our day went.
The Journals of Derventio – Play-Off Final day
May 29th [written the day after]
The story of Wembley:
We set off from Derby at about half eight in the morning, after half an hour of “Is it too early yet?”, “Is it too early yet?”, “Is it too early yet?”, the first bottles were cracked open somewhere between Loughborough and Leicester.
By the time we reached Toddington Services, we were ready for a stop. The number of Derby fans at the services was unbelievable with the queue for the gents almost filling the atrium. We thought we might as well go somewhere discreet outside and I was pointed to a good spot between some skips. When I glanced up mid-flow, I was being overlooked by one of many Roadriders – so much for privacy. I half expected someone to be waiting with some hand-soap and a splash of Brut when I emerged from the other side.
We reached Wembley, no problem, and had already decided that we’d get in an eatery. The original plan of “a pickle tray and 8 pints please” was abandoned as we were genuinely hungry and ready for the “GurkaValley’s” finest by half eleven. This seemed an especially good call as queues for the pub next door snaked down the road and even had stewards (and it was raining). The food was good and even though the Gurkha curry wasn’t as good as the pre-QPR one (are Gurkhas out of season?), you couldn’t put a price on having waiter service rather than a scrum for a warm pint in a plastic pot.
As I mentioned in previous Journals, two of us were in the Club Wembley seating. There were escalators rather than stairs and the whole scene resembled an airport lounge. After the earlier meal, I never did discover what the “hospitality” entitlement was, although that was as much to do with the number of people queuing as anything else (bearing in mind the section was about a third full, a busy game could be trouble).
There’s been a lot of complaints about the empty Club Wembley seats not being redistributed but to be fair most of the 7,000 scattered around were either Derby or West Brom fans (apart from someone behind me who asked “are you supporting Derby or West Ham?” oops!). Splitting the remaining 10,000 would definitely have caused segregation problems. You need a lot of tolerance if trouble is to be avoided. We had to bite our tongue whilst West Brom fans behind us draped flags on neutrals and muttered “Dirty Rams” every time we made a tackle. On the other hand, they had to watch me and the Jackal having a lengthy man-tangle a yard away when Pearo scored (and at the final whistle of course). By the time the Fratellis came on the West Brom fans were gone.
Everyone was in a buoyant mood for the journey home – all until Billy Davies came on the radio. He moaned about the David Kelly situation, sniped at the fans for being impatient with players and generally put the mockers on things. We slammed The View album on and cracked open our remaining supplies.
As my domestic situation had changed dramatically in the past couple of weeks (a new born baby), it was back home for me but within half an hour I’d received a text from my brother saying “Me and Boab in a man tangle to Chelsea Dagger already” (you can guess what the phrase of the day was). What better way to celebrate?