October 16th, 2010 – Super Saturday.
The day started well, with me having a bit of a lie-in. Emma had gone to work and Alysha had stayed at a friends the night before, so house to myself. Music on(Iron Maiden), coffee brewing and the day couldn’t have started any better. I was really looking forward to going to Wembley to watch the Saracens take on Leinster. Also, Alysha was going to be dancing on the pitch at half-time with a ‘rapper’ named ‘Tinie Tempah’. Also it would be Len’s first Rugby match and his first visit to the new Wembley Stadium. (The old Stadium was opened in 1923 and was demolished in 2003. Arsenal played their European Games there from 1998 – 2000. The new Stadium was opened in 2007, over a year later than planned.) Len was due round at about 1 O’clock, which gave me ample time to work out what I was going to wear. It took me all of 0.086 seconds to decide on my Irish Rugby shirt. The Saracens are good but, the chance to see people like Shane Horgan, Gordon D’Arcy, Jonathan Sexton and Brian O’Driscoll was why I was going to wear my Irish Jersey. Well, Len arrived just after Alysha left, (Alysha went with her Nannie and Nannie’s friend Sue) at about one-thirty, and we settled down to watch a bit of TV. You see, Film Four were showing the first 10 Star Trek feature films over the course of the weekend. (Five each day). Now, Len and myself like Star Trek so we started watching the first film. It wasn’t until about two-thirty that we decided that we had better make a move, so we took a stroll to Watford Juction to catch our train. Our train left Watford Junction on time, at 15:21, and it didn’t take long to get to Wembley Central. We then made our down the High Street towards the Stadium, when we decided that we should stop for a quick drink. So, we had a quick drink in the Bear pub, which used to be the Post Office. (I think I prefer it as a pub!) It was quite busy with people in various different Rugby Jersey’s, as it was a big day with many of the teams playing. I think Len was a bit shocked by the difference in the pub as, him being an Arsenal Football Fan, he is used to rival fans being seperated. So we finished our drink and made our way to the Stadium. We stopped for an 8oz Angus Double Cheese burger on the way, (food and drink in the National Stadium is expensive!) then continued toward the Stadium. Because of arriving via London Overground, we were approaching the Stadium from the South West and our entrance was towards the North East side. This was no great problem as this gave Len a chance to see exactly how big the new Stadium is, compared with the old 1923 building. This also gave Len a chance to see the statue of Sir Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore, otherwise known as ‘Bobby Moore’. (Bobby Moore was the Captain of the England Football Squad when they won in 1966, when Len was just 6 years old.) We then made our way in to the Stadium and went to find our seats. Alysha, my Mum, Sue and Charlie arrived about half-an-hour later, as they had gone for Pizza before the match. Our seats were in the North West of the ground, 12 rows up from the pitch and in-line with the touchline. Fantastic! The pre-match entertainment consisted of an ‘Elvis’ impersonator (Len loves Elvis Aaron Presley and this guy was not too bad, only murdering ‘The Wonder of You’!) and a few songs from ‘Tinie Tempah’, (who Alysha would dance with at half-time.) Then the match got under way. Leinster were playing from left to right and we were soon on the board with a penalty kick from Jonathan Sexton. The ball hit the crossbar, teetered and then went over. Cheers all round. (Well, from me anyway.) Then we gave a penalty away, which hit the post and went off to the side. (Such a shame.) Anyway it was penalty for penalty all the way to half-time. About 25 minutes into the match, Alysha had to go and meet up with the Saracens Sensations and get ready for her dance. At half-time the pitch was suddenly flooded by at least 1000 kids, and then Tinie Tempah came back on and sang while all the kids danced their hearts out. I was very proud of Alysha for dancing in front of so many people. (45,892 match day attendance!) Then they all left the pitch and the match resumed. It turned into quite a close match with Leinster trailing until, Jonathan Sexton dived over the line, tight into the corner and right in front of me. Once again, big cheers from me! With the score at Saracens 23-25 Leinster, the last five or ten minutes were controlled by Saracens. I kept looking from the clock to the referee to Brian O’Driscoll, who was on the sideline with his hands on his head (obviously praying that the Leinster line would hold.) And… it did. Final score Saracens 23-25 Leinster. Woohoo! We then made our way out of the Stadium and back towards the Station. Len said that he had had a really good day and had thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great start to the weekend!