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!
So I chose Barnsley. I have been to Oakwell a couple of times before, and have performed in the town just the once. Here are my assorted memories.
1: I must have been about 15 or 16 and we played up there on a Tuesday night. I recall it raining and the old, uncovered away end being the bleakest place in football (it has since been replaced by the away end at Ebbsfleet). My friend got food poisoning from a pie.
2: My second visit I must have been about 20. I went with my Dad. I recall the atmosphere being a little, shall we say, naughty. Leicester fans through things at the innocent and inoffensive Barnsley mascot Toby the Tyke, and after the game many City fans were chased throughout South Yorkshire. Me and my Dad were not. We went back to the car and went to Meadowhall, if I remember correctly.
3: My last visit was for a gig on a Saturday night in a rugby club on the outskirts of town. To get there I drive through the hilariously named Penistone, which I know is pronounced PENNISTONE but I am a child. At the gig was a baby. Everyone noticed the baby. Nobody referenced it. As I went on last, I did the first 15 minutes of my set whilst holding the baby. At the time, I’d not been with my wife for that long and I think this was the point where she realised that I am a little bit odd. The baby only cried when handed back to his Dad. I remember nothing else of the gig.
I also remember the season when Barnsley got promoted and how much I wanted them to do it. Back then they really were a cracking side, with their most impressive player a certain Clint Marcelle. A quick check reveals that he went on to do nothing else with his career, but at the time he was scoring some tremendous goals throughout their promotion push and was akin to a Caribbean Georgi Kinkladze…
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