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31 December 1969

Owls Blog - My Steel City Derby Weekend

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    One of our regular Owls Blogger Rory McAllister, The Southern Owl, is making the trip from 'Down South' 'oop' (as Rory would say) to Sheffield for his first ever Steel City Derby.

    Rory has a lot planned this weekend to make it a special one, let's hope the Owls can make it even more special for him and us all, over to Rory...


    "Dear Wednesdayites!

    Hello again! Where do I start for this blog?! I suppose by saying this weekend is my first Steel City Derby in 20 years! I know! Talk about taking my time to get it sorted! I’m not really quite sure why it’s taken so long? All I know is, I’ve managed to organise it this time – and – get a ticket(!), I know that’s been the hardest part for most fans, so I’m in! Sitting in the North stand – bring it on! I’m bulletproof!

    Before I go on, if you’re new to Wednesdayite, then welcome. There’s a few of us here who wrote blogs, all are worth a read, however there’s a new one that’s come along that (literally) seems to have slammed us all out of the way – the OWL HULK!! Yes, I love him too, how could you not? The bloke’s hilarious with his broken English and straight-talking views on matters. Brilliant! Have a read of his blog if you get a chance! Also, Ricky Charlesworth has completed a great blog this month on the Steel City Wednesday heroes of the Brian Laws era and the ever-popular Twitter parody account of Lord Hillsborough is worth a shout, too.

    So, back to the derby. Am I excited? I suppose so. Am I anxious? Yes! Do I wish we’d had better form going into the game? Yes! However, I’ve been thinking. Is the fact we’ve performed so poorly a great incentive to go out there and smash the Blades off the park? Maybe. I don’t really know what to expect apart from a huge crowd. Normally I’d grow a pair and at least say what I thought. The truth is I think we could lose. Another side of me says we’re gonna do it! It’s a classic case of head over heart! My head says the Blades are doing will turn us over. My heart says we’re fired up, know what we have to put right and can go out there and put on a show. I think we’ll be slightly less ‘showy’ without JJ, mind. It’ll also be interesting to see if this whizz-kid from Reading FC gets a run out, Royals fans down here have said Mikhail Antonio should be a better signing than Bostock. Apparently Antonio has a right big throw on him so perhaps that’ll give us the ‘ol’ Tommy Spurr’ option of the long throw at 20 yards out? Long throws are probably the least of our worries, mind you. A bloomin’ goal or two would be good. And no penalty giveaways. And no late goals conceded. And, and, and!

    Putting all that aside, my Steel City Derby weekend is sorted, bar the result. Hotel is booked, the good ol’ Garrsion Hotel on Penistone Road has come up trumps again. T’Coop, my ex-Sheffield resident mate Paul, is driving us up from Berkshire. We have adjacent rooms at The Garrison, although I doubt there’ll be any parties. T’Coop isn’t the type. He’s more likely to settle down with a Hamlet and an ale or two. But this is what makes it all interesting. We’re both Wednesdayites through and through. T’Coop has 40 years under his belt, I’m about to hit 20 years as an Owl. We’re travelling up to Sheffield for the same reason – to go to the derby (Paul, (T’Coop) was at the famous 4-0 drubbing in 1979). Thing is, we have different agendas. T’Coop is (wisely) going to spend his time catching up with friends in Sheffield whom he doesn’t get to see that often. Me, I’m looking for the nearest boozer to chuck a load of cider down me neck! As well as all this, I’ve got the fiancée on tow. But that’s not an issue, Nic’s happy to go along with everything, she’s very beautiful and gorgeous – and – she sings her heart out at the matches! Nic’s been practising the songs the last few weeks. The air’s been blue in our house.

    So, if it all were to go to a perfect plan, here’s how it’d work out:-

    11am - Leave in T’Coop Mobile and head up to Sheffield from Berkshire.
    1pm-ish - Arrive, after no doubt taking a few wrong turns, getting lost, finding our ourselves on our way to Doncaster only to turn around and head back again.
    1.15pm – dump the bags at The Garrison, or, check into the room if it’s ready. Either way, dump bags!
    1.30pm – Wait for The Boy Davies to rock up and whisk us off to the Wadsley Jack to watch the Six Nations match between England and Wales (I know, us soft Southerners love Union. League? Pah!)
    1.31pm – hang on, forgot to wave cheerio to T’Coop as he goes off to visit his friends! “Si thee later, T’Coop!”
    4pm – Rugby kicks off, first pint. Think about ordering a bowl of chips.
    5.30pm – match finishes, 3 bowls of chips later, hopefully with an English win. Weekend off to a good start.
    6pm – back to the Garrison to get ready to go out
    7pm onwards – out with The Fiancee, The Boy Davies and T’Coop for dinner
    12.37am – still out
    01.13am – think about getting a cab home
    01.17am – stagger out of cab, see the blurry lights of a kebab van still open!
    01.24am – HALLALUJAH! It’s kebab o’clock!!
    02.03am – back to the Garrison, fall asleep with suit on having left The Boy Davies to stagger home and T’Coop cooped up next door akip!

    09.30am – wake up, look in mirror, breathe on palm, check breath. Oh my God. What a sight. What a smell!
    09.31am – stagger to bathroom and brush teeth. Splash face with cold water. 
    09.33am – back in bed for a bonus 10 minutes or so. (Breakfast is calling, otherwise this’d be longer).
    10.02am – stagger to breakfast room hoping we haven’t missed it. Bingo! We’re safe! I love The Garrison! “Dust tha waaant t’werks, duck? Black puddin’ t’lot?!”
    10.29am – back to room, no messing, shower, Wednesday shirt ON.
    10.59am – head to Niagara to meet The Boy Davies and compare notes from the night before. Oh my God! Did we? Keep that quiet. Sweet Jesus.
    Midday-ish – head to Hillsborough for the match
    12.50pm – watch flag go up the Kop
    12.58pm – You’re everywhere and nowhere baby! Da daa da da da daa... (I don’t know the lyrics too well, must learn them!)……when your tyres are flat!…annnnnnnd it’s HI! HO! SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY!
    13.00pm – Peeeeep! Cue heart attack!!
    14.45pm-ish – Well? Who knows!.....................

    If you’re going! See you there! It’s my first derby and I cannot wait! My favourite still has to be watching the 1993 semi-final at Wembley on telly, but that was because it was the hallowed turf, Tottenham and Arsenal had their shot and we deserved ours! And yes, of course, Mr Waddle! My mate, The Boy Davies, has a scar on his right knee where he bashed it as the free kick went in on a tiny Wembley seat – he proudly calls it “The Waddle Scar”! Doesn’t impress the lasses mind you. I’ve seen him try, 2am in a club, trouser rolled up. She’s rolling her eyes! Next time, Davies! Next time!

    Otherwise, as far as Wednesday trips are concerned my plan is to make the Leyton Orient away trip and the Brentford away trip. I’d also like to get up to Hillsborough for the last game of the season – depending on how we go. Although, I’ll probably end up going anyway. My heart’s all Wednesday!

    In the meantime, enjoy the derby if you go, I really hope it goes our way. We’ve all been there before if it goes wrong! Oh, and for the younger readers amongst you, or if you have Wednesdayite kids, grab a copy of this month’s ‘Match of The Day’ magazine. It has a great double spread on the Sheffield Derby – I helped a mate who works at the mag to put it together. I work for the BBC, have contacts, so I used them to grab a bit more exposure! We’re All Wednesday Aren’t We? (WAWAW?!)

    Until next time! Take it easy and remember that life as a Wednesdayite isn’t always roses, it’s mostly manure. But if Wednesday’s in your heart, it’ll be tough to shift it."



    Rory The Southern Owl

    Follow me on Twitter @rory_mcallister


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