Breda away in 2003 – How it was, when it was
Breda and the ‘Return of the man mountain ‘.
Well well well, where do I start with this one?
It has been well documented that on 15 October 2003 we played the Dutch team NAC Breda in the UEFA Cup, a trip where 85 toon fans were arrested during trouble before the game.
Was I there? Hell yeah.
Now before I tell you my version of events, I actually canvassed the opinion of a few of the lads who we’re there, whilst I was away at Brighton last weekend. So as our Queen has been quoted recently…”recollections may vary “.
We had a plane booked from toon International to Antwerp the day before the game and upon arrival at the airport it was obvious this trip had a moody feel to it, as loads of the gremlins had also booked.
After arriving in Antwerp it was obvious that two things were happening.
That this trip was going to be a smuggling trip (tabs)..and Colombia’s second favourite export after Tino Asprilla had also made the journey with us.
So off into the night and a good time was been had by all in Antwerp (Antwerp high Street is actually a bit like Northumberland Street, it even had a Greggs, though nee corned beef pasties).
Anyway, we walked into this bar and a fair few Man City fans were in (they were playing Lokeren the next night). To pretext this, we’d had a lot of recent beef with Man City and upon seeing all the Man City in the bar, one of our lot, Leeroy, had his mad look on. So anticipating what was to befall these City fans, I jumped in saying “look lads you’re just normal fans, you don’t know us, but please believe me, that you need to f… off (I never swear) now and I mean, now. So they took the room temperature and three seconds later heeded my advice (lads, you don’t know how lucky you were).
Match day and it was decided to ditch our coach and just get taxis from Antwerp to Breda. As we were waiting in a boozer for our taxis to turn up, there were a group of taxis drivers in the pub smoking some happy baccy. Yep, guess who we got as our joey driver…Mr fly me to the moon.
Upon arriving in Breda it had a feeling that summat was going to happen. A couple of their lads were in the main square trying to flog tickets and suss us out.
Anyway, things started to have a more normal match day feel to it and our lot moved up to the top of the square to a Irish bar…when an almighty roar goes up and we look down to the bottom of the square, to see World War three in progress. Running down to help the lads out and into battle, it is proper hand to hand fighting, none of this bouncing around malarkey and waving of outstretched arms bobbins. After about 4/5 mins of this, the local police put a kind of partition between the warring fans.
As they do, who do I make eye contact with, only Mr Man Mountain from our trip to Feyenoord. So it is now obvious that it is the Feyenoord youth who have made the trip owa from Rotterdam to greet us…At this point, when Mr Man Mountain remembers who I am, he starts going absolutely radio rental…as the police move in I managed to mooch off.
The old bill end up nicking 85 of our lot. Leaving me and a few others to make our way to the ground to watch us win 1-0 thanks to a Laurent Robert goal.
Getting back to Antwerp airport it becomes apparent that the plane isn’t waiting for the nicked lads to return. So I ended up sitting on a big pile of bags as the customs bloke took a big interest in hearing that a load of lads would be missing the flight home.
To cut a long story short, we ended up having to get taxis back to Calais, then ferry home. What a trip and unfortunately for some of the lads, no tabs made it back!!!
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