Dublin Hammers - Tottenham - Saturday 20th October 2018

West Ham United 0 vs Tottenham 1

I didn’t go on any of the trips last season following the appalling display by the team on my last visit where Liverpool well and truly spanked us! So following a season of my hard fought personal battle denying West Ham of my presence I found myself on the way to the airport to meet the lads for the first official trip of season 2018/19 as we faced the Spuds!

The day started perfectly as one of the security lads in the airport recognised me (for all the right reasons I might add) and ushered me through priority security checks.

On to the bar where members had assembled for pre-flight drinks and discussions on what lay ahead. Travel secretary Tom Jones was already in London ensuring all the finer details were attended to before we arrived. So too were others who had booked the flight before us and were waiting in Stanstead for our arrival. In the absence of Tom, Brian set up the ticket office in the bar and match tickets were distributed and lists ticked! Ryanair nearly took off on time and it was an uneventful flight.

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We landed in Stanstead and regrouped in the arrivals baggage area for final numbers check and instructions. Some of the lads were on a day trip so they headed straight to the ground while the rest of us stuck close to Brian Madden who had the only train ticket (for 19 people!).

Before he dozed off on the train one of the Eddie Cox’s told us about the great deal in the hotel we were staying in where you could get a two course meal, beer and breakfast for £20! All agreed that this was indeed a magnificent offer that we couldn’t pass up.

So off to catch the train and we all huddled together so Brian’s single ticket (for 19 adults) could get us through the barriers – the guy gave up counting after 10!

The shortish walk from Liverpool Street station to the hotel was a quiet affair and on arrival we dropped our bags and discovered the Eddie’s great deal didn’t exist as the restaurant and bar (!!!!!!) were closed for refurbishment... so much for Tom sorting out the “finer details".

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Up to Stratford to visit The Best Café for breakfast for some and Ye Old Black Bull for refreshments for others. The Black Bull was jammers with a queue outside the door but once you had your Dublin Hammers shirt on you were fast tracked in to the specially reserved tables. A few of us went for a pint up in the Riverbank (?) Bar beside the ground where the single working beer tap caused long queues to get a warm drink... hmmmm maybe not the best of ideas!

The game itself was a bit of a letdown – Anderson looked off the pace and the Spuds players easily bullied the Irons. When Yarmolenko went down we knew he was in serious trouble and we then suffered the old sucker punch with a goal just before the break. Despite a few good chances in the second half we were unable to get the equaliser with Lloris proving why he is so highly rated between the posts (when sober).

Now I had the misfortune of sitting right between Galway Eugene and Purdy for the 90 minutes and my ears were ringing by the final whistle – with Gary roaring abuse at the Spurs fans and the “Dr Jeckyl & Mr Hyde” Eugene roaring abuse at the players I was glad when the final whistle went, still at least I got my own back on Eugene as he was sharing the room with me... and boy can I snore!

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After the game it was back to the Black Bull for a few and a catch up with some old friends before heading back to officially check into the hotel... all booked under the name Paddy Powers.

Later we headed for a few refreshments in the Bar Dock where the staunch Chelski landlord made us feel more than welcome as always then onto the White Hart following a quickie stop on the way. I decided the time was right for heading home as the late revellers were heading to the Castle for the real late night session.

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Next morning we met in the Bar Dock for breakfast and as it turned out mid-morning and afternoon refreshments and the DH Darts Competition. Timmy came in with his Andy Carroll garden gnome while Paddy Rogers and David McD decided to put a bit of colour in our lives with their new hats.

But the purchase of the day and the weekend has to go to Gary Purdy who came running into the pub looking for a pound from each of us for “the gloves” – we were all scratching our heads wondering what he was on about but when he returned with a bag of children’s Magic Gloves all was revealed – it turned out they only sold them in bags of 12 being a wholesaler!

The time came for us to head to the airport and again all 19 of us stuck close to Brian Madden and his magic ticket so we could board the Stanstead Express. Now most people will have nightmares about this trip in years to come as Gary serenaded the carriage with various renditions of the national anthem, asked the Norwegians if they had telly in their country and quizzed a Russian on his views on Putin – you couldn’t make this stuff up!!

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Into the airport and silence as we proceeded through security and then into the bar for a last few before boarding the flight and... sleeeeeep! I didn’t hear a thing, but understand Gary was still talking throughout the flight.

Back in Dublin we said our goodbyes and made plans for next week’s game. As ever it was a cracking trip and my thanks go to all those involved in getting the Dublin Hammers there and back with memories that will constantly bring a smile to our faces... now where did I leave my magic gloves?

spurs trip 2018 spurs trip 2018 spurs trip 2018
spurs trip 2018 spurs trip 2018 spurs trip 2018
spurs trip 2018 spurs trip 2018 spurs trip 2018

Report by Gerry Murtagh. Photos from everyone!

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