I just got back from a trip to England to take in some sights in London and visit our daughter Amy who is getting her Master's Degree at the Birmingham School of Acting. Although I have been overseas a lot it was my first visit to London.....WOW what a city. Truly THE Global Melting Pot. One of the things that I was privileged to experience was an in-depth tour of Parliament given by Lords Faulkner and Rosser (thank you Chuck Korr) both of whom are involved in English Football and both of whom have agreed to contribute something to future newsletters.
Whilst due to scheduling I was unable to attend any matches in person, the thing about the UK is that you are ENGULFED in coverage. It is in all the papers, everywhere you go people are talking about it. Sky Sports is 24/7, not just an occasional hour on Fox Soccer Channel. Of course I'm not telling most of you anything.
I did manage to get down to the area around Stamford Bridge for the Chelsea v Man United match. Essentially I got off a bus and just followed the sounds of the fans in the stadium until I found the Slug...capacity 500 and so packed that people were outside watching the TV's through the pub's windows. I couldn't get in there, but across the street another place let me in (capacity 300--I asked the security guys) when someone left and it was electric. When John Terry scored the place erupted. Hootin', hollerin', high fives, full embraces and singing. In fact I learned a new version of "Glory, Glory Man United"......." Who the F__K is Man United". Please note on the slideshow that everyone is standing, much like the "Mosh Pit" at Barristers. And nobody seems to be eating, which in it's own way is food for thought.
And that is when the Bobbies showed up on the horses and as much as I wanted to see the United fans escorted to their busses I followed the crowds to the tube and headed back to the safety of Belgravia and "our" pub, The Glouscester.
Bottom line, I loved London and can't wait to get back. Next time I'll catch a match and spend MUCH more time in the British Museum, which holds (in the words of Steve Holmes) "all the stuff they stole from everyone". And that is a LOT!
Cheerio... Your friend Tom