The Football Neutral: Match Twenty – Newport County AFC vs Cheltenham Town

2014-02-22 15.08.58

This is now an edited version of the original blog… you can read the full one by downloading my Football Neutral 2013/14 season review on Kindle.  Well over 300 pages of daftness. Less than £2! Thanks!

…When I got to Newport, I realised that I once performed at a kids gig in the arts centre there.  This isn’t a knock on Newport itself, but it is the quietest arts centre I have ever been to.  I imagine it’s called “The White Elephant”, or something like that.  Rodney Parade is much less empty, with the fans in yellow and black making a bee-line (shut up, I know that’s a weak pun) to the stadium as I drove in from the M4.  Trouble is, there’s so many of them and so little parking that I needed to drive a bit further afield to find somewhere to stash my car.

Helpfully, there is a pay and display car park next just down the road from the ground that is just £2 for a whole day. Unhelpfully, it’s pay and display and the only coins I had were Euros.  As a side note: How small are Euro pennies? They are tiny. I imagine many children within the EU have eaten them. Often by complete accident.

I was left with the task of finding a car park where I could pay on my exit, ideally by card because I never have any actual change.  Any cash that I do have often finds its way out of my pockets and into the deepest, darkest recesses of my car, never to be seen or spent again.  If you stole my car now you would easily find £8,000 in change within it. And I’ve only owned it for a year.

Parking in the main Newport shopping centre, I found my way out, went to a cash machine to get my ticket money, and crossed over the River Usk right next to the aforementioned arts centre, tumbleweed blowing out of its doors.  This was a hefty 15 minute walk, most of it spent behind three Cheltenham fans who kept stopping to pose for ridiculous pictures whenever they could.  When there was nobody else around they were quick to sing Cheltenham songs and act the fool, but the minute they saw anyone they suspected to be Welsh then the bravado stopped.  To their credit, at least they weren’t employing the ludicrous sheepshagger stereotypes that I’ve detailed in earlier versions of this blog.

As we crossed the footbridge, two youths approached with mildly terrifying dogs.  They barked and lunged at the Cheltenham fans, one of whom screamed in a most effeminate and amusing manner.  Then a policeman on a bike rode past and the dogs turned on him.  Instead of screaming he merely said “ah, dinnertime is it lads?” and rode away, winking at me as he went….

If you enjoyed this little snippet then please download the full ebook version of my season’s worth of adventures for less than £2 from Amazon. 300 pages of me messing about at football and on the road doing comedy. Thanks!


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