Middlesex 5 - Wembley - not the result we wanted /Was the old Wembley better and did it have more atmosphere.

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May 24th 2022
Published: May 24th 2022
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Our train trundled on slowly into London . The information board and the on board system gave out messages from time to time about which station was coming up next ; which station we were stopped out: the end of the line. We arrived at Wembley stadium station and disembarked together with a large group of town supporters all resplendent in red and white . Different shirt tops marked each era for the club . Some new . Some much older and more valuable . We walked out to the stadium . You couldn't miss it in the Spring sunshine with its massive white arch that could be seen all over the skyline of certain areas of London . We wandered along slowly . Kick off was not until 4.15 so we had a lot of time to waste and not much to fill it with . There was old Wembley with its conservation High Street but the flow of walkers took us in the opposite direction .

All talk on would we win today , take the cup home and parade it round the town ?. Would we do our owners proud as they were flying in to watch the match ? There was a false sense of optomism . Bromley after all only finished 10th in the league this season and we runners up . What can I say about Wembley . High rise flats , probably all leasehold . All with views over the Olympic Way . Shops beneath them and clean open squares . Stairs rising up to the upper levels . We sat for a while eating an ice cream . There were stone seats all round the squares some shaded and some in full sunshine . The Fan Zone was open with playing areas for the kids and Boxpark where the fans could pay to sit in comfort , buy their London priced alcohol and listen to the resident DJ who did apparently nod to welsh music by playing welsh songs . The live band was not to everyones taste. There were the usual stewards resplendent in bright orange with the message We are here to help emblazoned on the backs . Police presence surprisingly was less noticeable .

Fans walked up and down the steps . They stopped talking . We reminisced on past Wembley trips . Both of us had been to the old Wembley with its iconic white concrete towers . The distinctive towers were gradually deteriorating and the plan had been to move them to the new Wembley stadium or build the new stadium round them . It seems that they would have been in the centre of the pitch so leaving them was not going to work . They were in the end demolished . We both remembered them fondly . The outside of the stadium was all new and shiny but to be fair it seemed to lack atmosphere . We walked Olympic Way with its trees and shades of green and were unimpressed . We found more interest people spotting especially the Wrexham AFC official reporters .

Hunting a programme was problematic . After discussing where to find one with a supporter across the way we headed up a level . Programmes very poor quality and with little content cost £5 . That was £2 more than the more interesting Wrexham AFC programme sold at home . I was accousted by a young lady who wanted me to give an interview in Welsh for the radio . Feeling less confident I refused politely and she moved on . Our tickets were for Block 141 in the Yellow Zone . The Yellow Zone was to the left of the corner flag on the station end . We found it easily . That was a good thing in that the signage pointed you exactly where you wanted to go .Red Zone across the back of the goal . You could not get lost . Inside it felt like a low concrete uninspiring place with pop up bars and food outlets selling beer at £8 a pint , burger and chips £6 . They were doing a roaring trade . Plenty of toilets which is always a good thing .

We sat down on our plastic red seats . The ground began to fill up. The press box was behind us . The cup was placed on a plinth . A real touch of bling. We spoke to Mark who had travelled via Dubai from New Zealand and to a guy next to us who boasted wearing the same shirt as Glenn. An old season one promoting Wrexham Lager . I bought it him in 2001 and this shirt is selling for £120.

Our owners turned up Ryan Reynolds his wife Blake Lively his American actress wife , Rob McElleney and his wife Kaitlin Ohlson the American producer accompanied by David Beckham and the American actor Will Ferrell . Both Beckham and Ferrell are involved with soccer over the pond . The game was lively . The refererring was as bad as ever with wrong decisons being made . The game was stopped when Bromley players fell over and suffered cramp . Real cramp or not was debateable . Half time brought on red flares , the fans were getting agitated . It was not looking good . Balls that looked as if they were going out rolled back oddly due to the juxtaposition of real grass with artificial . Bromley scored . Our hearts sank . Wrexham equalised . Our hearts soared as it looked as if the game would go into extra time . Our hearts sank even deeper when the goal was deemed offside . That offside rule hit us again and our American owners began to understand the beautiful game . We left before the presentation and headed for the station . We queued like snakes waiting for the train to arrive to take us back to High Wycombe and our hotel . However feeling so downcast the last thing we felt like doing was staying the night . To top it all the machine in the car park took the wrong registration number and I had to pay twice to get out and the car next to us had damaged our alloy wheels . Would I have minded had we won the cup ? Probably it would have felt like water off a ducks back . Not a good day but we start again on Saturday with the play off quarter finals . Hopefully we will win that one .

We can say we have been to Wembley now and felt the atmosphere of the English national stadium . Would we go again ? Probably if we were playing in the finals of the play offs but the League have deemed West Hams the Olympic Stadium to be the venue . We will probalby watch it on TV. .


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