Dublin Hammers Trip - Southampton - Saturday 20th October 2012

West Ham 4 vs Southampton 1

The first trip with us back in the big time sees us travel to the Southampton game! We arrive in the airport bar in confident mood – unlike the Spurs fans who never seem happy. Refreshments are consumed and seats for the game are allocated by Travel Sec, Josh who has done a tremendous job with copying and highlighting the seat numbers so that nobody can get lost!

Onto the flight and off we go and Galway Eugene is first to sleep – mind you he did have to get the 2.30am bus from Galway to meet us. The bumpy landing wakes him and a few others up and we head off to meet the bus. There is some confusion when a Premier Inn courtesy coach pulls up but it’s not for us, instead we travel in our luxurious 16 seater coach (nice one Josh!).

The bags are dropped in the hotel and it’s off to the Barking Dog for breakfast. Liam and young Alan head to the ground and we worry if young Alan will still support West Ham after spending time with the ever happy Liam!

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Tommy 4 gets asked for ID in the Barking Dog which brings a roar of laughter from us – the rest of us were asked if we were eligible for the pensioner’s pint! After the grub is consumed we are visited by our Ambassadorial team of Eddie Cox and President Fran Ryan who regale us with tales of the fantastic Legends event that they were at the previous night and drop their new BFFs names as often as they can. We head to the shop and snap up the bargains and then meet up in the Queens for pre game drinks.

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The first half of the game was so bad that both teams should have had goals deducted from them. In fact, I heard the quip that the kids that had paid into this 'Kids for a Quid' game were ripped off. Whatever was said at half time did the trick as the Southampton fans hadn’t even taken their seats and they were 2-0 down. Tommy 1 and Mark Napier were happy as they had Noble down as first scorer and it got better for them as he tucked away the peno which meant double the odds! We were a much better team throughout the second half and our superiority was confirmed when Modibo beat three players to score a cracking goal.

It was off to the M&M pub to celebrate a tremendous 4-1 victory which we did in style. Tommy 4 showed us his Robert Green handling skills by clapping his hands while forgetting he was holding a drink. We had a quick meeting in the phone box on the way back to the hotel and we sort out our rooms and head for dinner. Long waits ensue as the hotel kitchen find themselves very short staffed – we did offer to let Eoin give them a hand but they declined. One or two tables were rather noisy but the staff were quick to ask them to keep the noise down.

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Time for O’Gradys and the dancing! President Ryan proved that he can in fact “Move like Jagger” and his new artificial limbs hurt the following day. As ever we all took to the floor and had a ball. Tommy 1 and myself headed back to the Premier Inn in the wee small hours driven by a taxi man that hadn’t a clue where Barking was – it was funny! Liam arrives back and wakes me up to see if I’m awake – but other than that minor incident turns out to be a very good roommate (so it must be President Ryan that sets him off).

Sunday sees us head into London central for refreshments and cultural delights. We see some of the Jack the Ripper sights, Aldgate Art House and Dessie brings us through Petticoat Lane market as we make our way to the George to meet the bus.

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Josh has our dinners ready and drinks on board and the songs start. In no time at all we’re back in the airport and waiting for the flight home. Most of us doze off on the flight having put a lot of effort into making it a great trip. As ever a big well done to Josh Holland who performed minor miracles in ensuring that those that travelled got back!!

Thanks to Gerry Murtagh for the report and photos!

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