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Seville Sexgods

 
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The Bar Bill of Seville

At last the eager anticipation of 15 honed and peaked athletes was realised, we were off to Seville. Surely with one more try we would turn a different corner and win a game before we get any older. Since last Christmas we had all been dreaming and waiting for that day when surely faith would pull us through and our patience would finally be rewarded. We had another amazing product of the Youth Academy as part of the most fantastic squad ever to leave Newbury in September 2006 and surely these star people would bring the much cherished victory that we so needed to heal the pain of past defeats and take us to the edge of heaven. The young guns would be given the freedom to get down and go for it. Defeat was nothing but a careless whisper.

The early omens were not good when one member of the party was sent home from the airport as Security did not think that a photocopy of a passport was sufficient evidence of his right to roam the terrorist filled skies. Now we were 14. Let us also look at the physical condition of the others and a sorry tale begins to unfold; a goalkeeper with a groin strain, defenders with minimal experience in the red hot atmosphere of a European game, midfielders with only long-lost memories of running and strikers who were best at hitting the bar. Either type of bar. To finalise the performing athletes we had a reject from a circus but Gerry Cottle himself would have been better. Add the Star Wars reject and the man who auditioned for the French version of “Only Fools and Horses” and we are down to 12 players.

On to the game, played at 10.30pm on a Friday night on verdant Astroturf miles from the city centre. The returning Destroyer had a point to prove after stupidly not appearing last year; he was also relishing the opportunity to climb to the top of the European Goal Scoring league, a position he was currently sharing with a much more graceful and refined striker. The pre-tour gloating in Eve Bar Bistro (West Berkshire’s premier Bar Bistro beginning with E, good food and an excellent wine list, telephone 01635 30022 for a booking) would come back to bite him on the arse as he accepted that for all the goals he was going to score this year he would accept gladly a suspended goal for each penalty conceded or own goal achieved.

 

The game developed a familiar pattern with the tourists half the busier and it was no surprise that the sell-out crowd (Ian and Jon, drinking pints on the touchline) saw the home team strike first. After a frenzied attack of finger pointing the defence eventually found the ball – it was in the back of their net. It looked like Rocket was going to have a sore back by midnight. However our plucky heroes rallied and Rambo scored a thunderous equaliser with a notable assist from the Destroyer which owed as much to attempted GBH as to football ability. The good fortune did not continue and we went to our half time Seville oranges behind. The second half continued in the same vein and though the Rocket very nearly saved a penalty, the final score was 7-2 with George notching a consolation goal for the tourists. Who gave away the penalty? Just read the list of European Goal Scorers for the answer. One person now heads the list as per the Destroyers intentions…

As for the rest of the Tour the usual lake of lager was consumed to ensure that most memories became blurred. There is some debate as to the most beer drunk in a hotel room because when the settling of the bills was sorted, one room seemed to have survived on fresh air. Perhaps they were confused as to their room number because the visiting Temperance Society tour had apparently drunk the bar downstairs dry. Twice. The two Tour Virgins received a pitifully poor initiation and were hardly mocked; perhaps they will come back next year as a result. Football was also watched with the more wealthy participants deciding that 84 euros was a fair price to watch Real Betis lose 1-0 to Real Madrid. The more frugal spent 3 euros a pint and saw it in a bar. The hotel was good but we were lacking a beach, next year we will not be going to a landlocked venue. Golf was played with the Europeans spanking the Yanks in the Ryder Cup and the Tour golfers achieved two rounds at sublime venues. Squandron Leader made up for the lack of beaches by visiting every bunker he could find.

What will 2007 bring? Hopefully a fit squad of Performing Athletes desperate for the first win. Hopefully a thirsty squad looking to emulate the old days and drink a bar dry. Hopefully a resourceful squad who appreciate the need for a valid passport. Hopefully everyone who has ever been on a Tour and realises that you can’t beat being away from work with a friendly group of guys who are to football what fish are to mountaineering.

See you next year.

 

Athletes:

The Persistent Offenders

  Jon 'Stormtrooper' Herne
  Ian 'American Pie' Hossack
  Martin 'Kav Sat Nav' Kavanagh
  James 'Crocket' Rhodes
  Phil 'Squandron Leader' Stubbs

The Usual Suspects

  Nick 'Destroyer' Herne
  Ian 'Super Mario' Hollowood

Tour Four For Faure

Phil 'Thumper' Faure

3rd Time Lucky

  Martin 'Bestie' Hayward
  Jon 'Wildman' Pontin
  Paul 'Rambo' Reeves

2nd Time Around

  George 'Party' Liddiard

This Year's Tour Virgins

  Paul 'Dynamo' Grundy  
  Michael 'Smokey' Robinson  

Opponents:

Photos:

 

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