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Coca-Cola Championship: Norwich City at Sheffield Wed

29 November 2008 No Comment

The Ultimate Sports Wife and I woke up early Saturday morning in Paris. Our friend, British Mick, who lives in London, is a big Sheffield Wednesday supporter. So with Wednesday playing Saturday afternoon at Hillsborough in Sheffield, we had a big day ahead of us:

1) Take the 8:07 am Eurostar train from Paris to London.
2) British Mick and, his wife, Caroline was planning to pick us up from London St. Pancras when the train arrived in London a little before 10 am.
3) We were driving directly from St. Pancras for three hours straight to Sheffield before eating a famous pork sandwich and meeting Mick’s friends at the usual pre game pub.

The Eurostar was on time. We threw our bags in the car and off we went. England, just as the United States, has travel plazas on the side of the highway, so if you are road tripping in England, you should almost feel as though you are driving in the U.S.

We parked the car for free a few blocks from the stadium around 1:15 pm. With the weather a balmy one degree Celsius, we changed into our Chicago winter clothes and walked to Beres Pork Shop just outside Hillsborough Stadium. The pork sandwich is definitely worth the trip – basically Thanksgiving in a sandwich with pork, apple stuffing and an additional shocker – crunchy pork rhines. The bag even comes with a warning label – “Contents in packet may contain crunchy objects” and boy did it ever.

Obtaining Tickets
As we drove to Sheffield, we discussed how we should buy tickets. Mick said the crowd would be around 17,500 in a 40,000+ stadium. I figured we could buy tickets from a scalper or fans with extra tickets for much less than the 27 pound face value. Mick said there were no scalpers since most fans bought their tickets at the box office anyway. I remembered that I normally do not scalp tickets to minor league baseball games either because a secondary ticket market does not normally exist even though there are empty seats. Thus, rather than trying to “find” a secondary ticket market outside of Hillsborough Stadium; we paid face value from the box office.

Pre Game Pub
We walked about 10 minutes to Mick’s usual pre game pub – Jubilee Sports & Social Club. Since it was a club, we had to pay one pound each to enter. Ideally, we would have had more time in the pub. We walked in at 2:15 pm and had to leave around 2:45 pm to walk the 10 minutes back to the stadium.

The Game
Sheffield Wednesday won a five-goal thriller 3-2. Norwich City took an early 1-0 lead, before Sheffield scored 2 straight, Norwich City equalized and Sheffield scored the winner with 18 minutes left in the game. During the second half, Sheffield Wednesday had a break away and John Kennedy from Norwich City took down Leon Clarke – a straight red card.

Half way through the first half, the fog started to roll over the top of the stadium. Mick mentioned the game could be abandoned if the fog was too thick. The fog never got too thick for the players although we did have a hard time seeing the opposite stand.

Post Game Pub
After the game, we drive to Mick’s mom’s house in Misterton – about 40 miles east of Sheffield. We ate dinner at the house followed by going to the local pub – The Red Hart Inn. If you are looking for a small town with a safe local pub to go to in Northern England, then go to this pub. They may look at you weird at first but say Mick Farmer sent you and you will be treated like family.

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