Hospitality or Bust!
By Mark Vincent Lincir
The next time you take me to a game with you it’s going to be with hospitality privileges (aka VIP Treatment) or nothing. Yesterday we went to Derby v Ipswich at Pride Park and the folks at Derby took great care of us (us being the tour group I am now on with PSG sports, great group of people).
After leaving Manchester and taking a bus tour of some of the Man Utd stars houses (no, I couldn’t see Rooney working in his garden)…we went thru a lot of beautiful countryside and a sidestop in Bakewell to get some treats before getting to Derby for the afternoon start.
We were treated to a traditional lunch of bangers and mash and pints in the VIP area off the corner flag (great views of pitch thru glass…nice heated area where you can hear tv broadcasters and still feel a part of the atmosphere, I only did that during the second half).
Ipswich scored first and it really put a damper on the capacity crowd…it was fun to watch Roy Keane stalk the sideline for Ipswich and after Derby Manager Nigel Clough was ejected, I was asked to fill in for the rest of the match (despite the loss, I thanked the fans as you can see in these photos of ME ON THE PITCH!). That’s right.
Actually, Sam with Derby was an excellent host and she arranged for us to go onto the pitch for photos at halftime. It was a great experience and I didn’t trip in front of 25,000 fans…so it was positive all around. They did have the sprinklers on at the half (as is tradition everywhere it seems) otherwise I would have taken off for a ball and a possible two footed tackle on the subs knocking it about at halftime (kidding, please don’t ban me from future matches, I had a great time).
I bet on Robbie Savage to score the first goal of the game (come on, he was 14 to 1 odds! But I knew it was a suckers bet)…also bet on Derby to win and was disappointed in that regard too! Derby played with great spirit in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the visitors took home all the points.
Again, thanks Derby, we have a great time!!! Feel free to send me more tickets and hospitality and first class flights.
After the game we took hung out in the VIP area and had some beverages before working our way back to Manchester. Twelve hour days are taking their toll…but it’s all good. Our guide Dave knows his stuff and has all kinds of useful info for us and the group I am with has football fans from all over…Alaska, Arizona, Canada, Colorado, Oklahoma, Seattle, Tennessee and Virginia, just to name a few.
Today the talk is all about the Barca v Arsenal game that will take place in a few hours…we’re headed to a pub to watch it. Tomorrow we will be at Old Trafford for Man Utd v Bayern Munich. ROONEY WILL PLAY.
Took a tour of Old Trafford today…will have pictures tomorrow, so tune back in.
Time for a nap…cheers