We climbed aboard the minibus and sat ourselves back down in the seats we’d come up in. Everyone seemed visibly tired, one sat eyes closed and others yawning but everyone was thoroughly happy. It was as if everyone was running out of the energy it took to be that chuffed. And we could look forward to dreams recollecting the day. Ready to get going now the driver had a word with his front seat passenger; the guy who’d clearly done the organising and the person we first spoke to all those hours ago when we were seriously worried we might not even make it. How glad we were that we did now.
In retrospect it seemed an even mightier stroke of luck, I wouldn’t have bet on the chances we’d just happen to break down, get towed to a service station, bump into a group of guys going to the same place, supporting the same team and for them to then have exactly the spare number of seats we needed. The odds of that must have been longer than for Town to beat the Reds yet somehow both had happened today, you couldn’t make it up.
After their little word the driver handed over his phone, a number has punched in and they rang the guys we were still waiting on. All I heard was “where are you?” followed by “hurry up then”. So they couldn’t have been far away and it seemed they had a legitimate excuse for their tardiness. Moments later they turned up running across the road, around the front of the van and then hopped up through the minibus door big grins, tongues in cheek.
They sat down and immediately began a story to their mates about the Blackberry Messenger Pin numbers they’d just got off a couple of girls outside the chip shop. Turned out they’d also managed to bump into a bloke around there who only needed another eighty pence for chips. Now I’m pretty sure we’d already given him thirty earlier but hey, who am I to judge how a man makes his money? We set off.
The Northampton songs from the back of the minibus it seemed were not enough to keep me awake for long. After yawning through most of the third cheer they’d began I started to drift off. I was woken up by a cold breeze and a nudge that made my head slip from the chair to bang against the window. Now I’m not the cheeriest when I’m woken up at the best of times but when it’s the early hours of the morning and I’m woken up with a pane of glass to the face it’s usually worse. I’m pretty sure the first thing I said was “what the flip?! You flipping flip!” except I didn’t say flip. I’m sure Tom felt a bit bad but as soon as he said “guess what mate? We just flipping beat flipping Liverpool!” I was smiling and he didn’t say flip either.
We were at a service station. I have no clue which one, I was half asleep. But I’m pretty sure it had a McDonalds or a KFC or… do you know what I can’t remember but I know I got some food. I woke up the next morning with the same amount of money I left Liverpool with so I either stole it or Tom bought it to apologise for whacking my head off a window. We set off again and I fell back asleep pretty quickly. The minibus guys took us all the way back to our front doors and thanked us for filling up their seats for them. That was a good night’s sleep once I managed to finally turn the key to the front door in my Zombie-like state.
Like it or loathe it, it’s the society we live in now, first thing in the morning I checked Facebook. Everyone was talking about what I had been there to witness. Northampton Town of League Two had won against Premier League Liverpool!