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Luton Town, 16 February 2013

February 17, 2013

“Sealed Knot Society, let’s see you try and do this one:
Luton Town – Millwall, nineteen eighty-five

Uffington Wassail

P1000581If further proof were needed that God is a Half Man Half Biscuit Fan, or possibly just a fan of skirmishes between rival branches of the English Defence League, it emerges on ITV on 27 January.

In the middle of an otherwise unremarkable fifth round FA Cup draw is Luton Town v. Millwall.   The draw the Sealed Knot Society didn’t want.  There follows an excited exchange of text messages.  We know we have to try and go, but there’s an Arsenal v.  Biscuit conflict for me – I don’t want to miss our game against Blackburn if I can help it.   As a Stockport County fan, Nick is untroubled by such problems.

We should have realised that the re-enactment of the notorious 1985 clash would be an early kick-off.  This means I’ve easily got enough time to cycle the 30 miles from Bowes Park to Kenilworth Road, watch the first half, get a train back to St Pancras, and be at the Emirates in time for Arsenal’s inevitable straightforward win against Blackburn.

Our attempts to buy tickets from the Luton Town website are predictably futile, so the plan is to get as near to the ground as we can for some photos with our bikes (that’ll be interesting) then watch the game in a pub with our Lutonian friend Catherine and her husband Andy, who we’ve appointed as the Biscuit Tour’s official  multimedia strategist and stakeholder relations manager. P1000585

There’s an initial setback when our Friday night planning session over-runs by several hours, meaning we set off half an hour late and somewhat green around the gills, but it’s a nice day and a flat route, along the kinds of well-heeled roads where the biggest peril is range rovers shooting out of gravel driveways.

We arrive in Luton in time to follow the fans towards the ground, and narrowly avoid stepping on a pair of heavily soiled underpants on the footbridge over Hatters’ Way.  The closer we get to Kenilworth Road, the more we stand out as lycra-clad, helmeted twats, so we take our photos as quickly as we can and turn back.

On the way back to town we encounter shades of the scenes that so disgusted the nation in 1985.  (David Icke could barely hide his contempt for the “perverted little minds” of these  “so-called fans”  – an obligatory term at the time – but then he probably knew that the reptilian overlords were behind it all.) There’s a whole host of riot police on horseback (unfortunately we’ve forgotten to bring our sugar lumps) and the muffled shouts of Millwall fans from the subway beneath us.  Oddly, we’re also approached by a very well-spoken lady who asks:  “Can I interest you at all in a lighter for £1?”P1000588

Andy and Catherine have ruled out most of the town’s pubs on the basis that they’re “too aggro”, so we instead end up at a family-friendly Wetherspoon’s.  Despite a few spells of pressure, Luton are undone by half-time, so leaving the others to discuss strategies and logistics for future tours, I get the train back to London.  I’m at my seat in the Emirates in time for a limp display and another cup exit to lower-league opposition.  It’s been a good day for the biscuit tour but, like 13 March 1985,  a sorry day for football.

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3 Comments
  1. Inevitable straightforward win…..? Mind you, we go to Millwall next. Would have preferred Luton.

  2. Ha! Good luck Rovers. We have to cycle to Millwall at some point so maybe we’ll see you there.

  3. Neen permalink

    Nick, you look like football violence in that pic xx n

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