I've not done one for a very long time, so when a friend invited me to Forest away at Chelsea, it felt like the right time to jump back in.
So an executive trip was the order of the day. We met at the City Ground for an 8:30 departure, aboard a double-decker executive coach.
Just before we set off we had a bacon cob courtesy of the club to soak away Friday nights beers before we departed. No drinking on the bus, but a Hip Flask full of Havana Rum wouldn't hurt anyone.
An easy trip down with a couple of videos, a Quiz, washed down with a cup of classic Bovril, (now I know you're all going oooh a cup of Bovril). All was going well and felt like a jolly boys outing should. A touch of celebrity on board with Stuart Broad & his dad Chris Broad, Cricketing royalty.
Arrived at the BlueBird Restaurant in Chelsea for lunch, with an interview from Stuart & Chris Broad thrown in for good measure.
Cracking food & all round good people. The story of the interview from Stuart Broad. "I was in Costa Coffee and the woman behind the counter said I looked like someone she knew. Another minute pondering and she said that she remembered...... I looked like an ugly Stuart Broad"
(I think Stuart & Chris would be good on an “Evening with”.)
After lunch, it was a 20 min walk to the ground, but we swerved off at the first bar we saw, which was in the opposite direction. A bottle of Sol in a Mexican Bar. How cultured of us.
We came out of there and flagged a taxi, it seemed the better option at this late stage.
The taxi dropped us off which just happened to be next to an Italian Bar with a few Chelsea fans outside, so we had to have another drink. Paid for by the Chelsea fans, how hospitable of the hosts followed by a shot of Amaretto before the short walk to the ground.
5 minutes later and we were in the thick of the Forest entering the ground.
A steady headbutt for me on the turnstile gate left blood pouring out of a cut above my eye, but a pack of tissues offered by a steward was welcome. We didn't have time for beers inside before half time, so we headed straight down to row 8 in the Lower Shed. The ground was full & the Forest fans were already in full voice.
Going to skip pretty much over the game, as the highlight was the constant singing from the Forest throughout, and a saved Penalty. All in all, we were outclassed by the better team, but not on the terraces, the whole away end stood up for the entire duration of the game.
As my first away day for a long while, it was strange to hear virtually no singing from the Chelsea fans, hence the chants from the Forest fans regarding being in a Library.
The Forest fans were great throughout the whole game.
Exiting the ground the Forest faithful were still in good voice.
A walk to the coach parked up on Imperial Road 10 mins away, for the journey back to City ground, a good sleep was in order, followed by a Bovril & before I knew it we were back.
A quick drink in the Supporters club to round off a great day with the Forest fans.
One problem I do now have is that this whole day has reignited a flame inside.