Dublin Hammers Trip - Hull City - Saturday 28th April 2012

West Ham 2 vs Hull City 1.

It’s difficult to understand why 27 of us made the pilgrimage to Upton Park to see the “last home game of the season”. Was it to hear the President’s “Monkey” joke? Was it to listen to Liamo berating an entire bus full of adults on weekend behaviour? Was it to watch Gary’s unique dancing in O’Grady’s? Nobody is really sure, but there we were gathered in Dublin Airport Bar at 7.00am to get the weekend rolling. Everyone is in high spirits with talk of how we’ll stuff Hull and Coventry will overturn Southampton to see us win the automatic promotion place that Big Sam said was ours!

hull city trip 2012

We land in Stanstead and travel secretary, Josh has gotten it wrong! There are two buses with no Skype connection so half of us never heard Liamo rant!! At least Timmy Lloyd (one of our votes for Travel Sec) had the foresight to buy a case of lager for the long journey to help ease the pain of the rantless trip.

Meanwhile, on the other bus, president Fran makes it known that he is not happy with the current levels of slagging aimed at the players during matches. He introduces his new campaign… S.N.A… Support Not Abuse!

We get to the hotel and its throw the bags in a room time and back on the buses to take us to the ground (well organised Josh – but there were still no breakfast rolls!). It’s a mad dash for those that go to the shop as the queues are out the door. We all meet in the Queens and spend half the morning trying to get a drink – is there any chance of an English pub being organised to deliver service to a large crowd!

hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012

It’s time to head to the ground and spot on Josh, the seats are great. We start brightly and England’s Number 9 Big Carlt gets the opener. I have to say that Hull’s players didn’t really put up much of a fight but you can only play what’s in front of you. News comes through early that Southampton are 2 up against Coventry, Upton Park goes flat… and we’re into the play offs.

Second half is just on when Big Carlt scores a cracker, taking the ball on his chest before volleying it home – we were glad he didn’t have time to think or the ball would have hit us!! We then decide to make a game of it as we gift Hull with a goal that wouldn’t look out of place in the Phoenix Park for bad defending.

Anyway despite our best efforts we win 2-1! Then we head to the Central Bar on Barking Road where again we spend an age trying to order a drink – all except John Thompson who manages to walk up and catch the barmaid’s eye and is served a drink within 2 minutes (I’d been at the bar 15 minutes at that stage!!). The Central is rocking with the OLAS End of Season Party in full flow in the back room. We meet up with the Drogheda Hammers and a good few hours were spent drinking, chatting, singing bubbles, drinking, chatting, all to a background of 60’s SKA music! Who cares if the weather is shite outside! The early start to the game was taking its toll and we head/stagger back to the to the hotel in drips and drabs.

hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012
hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012

Some head straight to bed for a quick kip before the evenings trip to O’Gradys, others congregate in the bar (surprise, surprise) where the banter flowed… at one point there were a group of about 15 dublin hammers sitting around the table, when timmy holland came out with a classic, reducing all assembled into fits of uncontrollable laughter, causing everyone in the restaurant and bar to look round with smiles on there faces. As the evening wore on some of us decided to blank O’Gradys and enjoyed a 3 course meal in the restaurant before stumbling up to bed!

Meanwhile… the hardier members headed to O’Gradys, which was it’s usual self – mad!! Mark Ward and his suit turned up along with JT’s auld fellah. Pints were consumed, we danced, sang and had our photos taken and generally had a ball of a night.

Sunday morning and stories are regaled of missing shoes, people asleep on the bathroom floor and a taxi journey with vile smells and vomiting! The President and a few others head off to visit Bobby Moore’s grave on a dismal day. Tom Jones (another vote for Travel Sec) has arranged for the rest of us to head into a pub in Aldgate East that he used to work in. Liamo (I can’t count) tells the 15 of us assembled that we’ll get three cabs – 5 in each. When they arrive he puts 6 in the first one, 5 in the second and 4 in the last one!!

hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012

The pub, the Aldgate Exchange turns out to be top class, with TVs for all the games on that day and a darts board. Tom earns himself another point in the Travel Sec race with a platter of chips, sausages and onion rings and he also takes us on a short cultural tour of the area. Tom is well versed in the history of Jack the Ripper so we manage to fit in one or two sites. Paddy Rogers heads out and gets a pack of darts (they have the board in the pub but you bring your own) and the games start. Naturally nobody beats Tom Jones who is a complete shark at the game, but loads try their luck.

It’s time to go so we head down to meet the bus. Josh has pulled out all the stops and has the beer and food ready and waiting and along with his staff of Danny ensures that we all get something to eat and drink (several votes for Josh!!). The speeches are made, Liamo congratulates us all on not getting arrested etc. and the sing song starts. It makes the journey whizz by and in no time we are seated in the bar at Stanstead awaiting a boarding call. Another year, another trip and its look forward to the next trip away regardless of what league we’re in!

A magnificent job done by all in arranging everything – in particular Josh Holland who played a blinder! He will be sorely missed when he heads to Germany but thankfully we can all stay with him when the Hammers get into Europe!!

hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012
hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012 hull city trip 2012

Report and photos by Gerry Murtagh and Paul Smith.

<back to top of page>