The Anonymous Widower

Has London Done Its Best To Organise Friday’s England and Scotland Match?

Scotland are coming to play England on Friday, with the match starting at 20:00.

These are my thoughts.

Travelling To Wembley On The Day

This article on The Times is entitled England v Scotland: Ticketless Fans Urged To Stay Away From Wembley.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Thousands of ticketless Scotland fans are set to descend on London for the England game on Friday amid growing concern about the lack of a Covid-secure fan zone.

Nearly 3,000 Scottish fans have tickets for the clash at Wembley but the Scottish Football Supporters Association expects that twice as many will travel south. Some estimate that the number could be as high as 20,000.

The article also says the following about trains on Friday, that would get you to London in time for the match.

  • Fifteen trains  from Glasgow are full.
  • Most of the seventeen trains from Edinburgh are full.

Using the capacity of the trains, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 20,000 Scottish fans coming by train.

But there are other ways to come.

  • Scotland now has a good rail services to places like Doncaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Peterborough and York. All of these places have lots of hotels and a good train service to London.
  • Some will fly.
  • How many will come by coach?
  • Personally, I’ve driven between London and Edinburgh and Glasgow several times and with two nominated drivers, who didn’t drink, it’s an easy drive and can be done in under six hours.
  • London also has a large expatriate Scottish population. How many will go or want to go to the match?
  • Plenty of hotel rooms in London are available for Thursday and Friday night at a reasonable price.

Wembley stadium  is also well-served by public transport and you could park at somewhere like Milton Keynes and get the train to the stadium.

Getting Home

I suspect many will need a hotel room, but it does look that there are plenty available.

Those who’ve driven down, would just pick up their car and drive home through the night.

But will many be intending to sleep rough somewhere?

It’s Been A Long Time!

It’s been a long time since Scotland reached a major finals and it was 1996, when they last played England in the finals of a major tournament.

Surely, this will increase the number of fans, who will turn-up in London without tickets!

Scots Always Travel If They Can!

I am old enough to have watched Celtic with the 1967 European Cup in Lisbon in on a black-and-white television.

They certainly travelled then and amused everybody with their drunken antics after the match.

The last time England played Scotland at Wembley was a friendly in 2013.

This report on the BBC, which is entitled Trafalgar Square Scots Party Leaves 10,000 Beer Cans, describes the antics in Trafalgar Square.

This is a paragraph from the BBC report.

Westminster City Council’s Leith Penny said: “Our crews worked hard round the clock to get London back to normal for our residents and businesses this morning.”

That was mild compared to what a spokesman for Westminster City Council said on the BBC.

I remember he compared the drunken Scots to the well-behaved Dortmund and Bayern Munich fans, who had taken over the square in May. I wrote about that in Trafalgar Square In Yellow.

Everybody is Demob-Happy!

After nearly two years of the pandemic, many are demob-happy and football supporters on both sides will be looking to get to or near the match.

How Many Scots Will Turn Up?

I quoted earlier that 20,000 could turn up!

As my mother would say! “And the rest!”

There Will Be No Fan Zone

This press release from the Mayor of London is entitled EURO 2020 Fan Zone To Host Key Workers For England’s Group Games.

  • All England games, semi-finals and final to be screened
  • Exclusive key worker access for first two, socially-distanced, Fan Zone matches as mark of gratitude from Mayor for their work during pandemic
  • Plan for up to 9,500 fans for Czech Republic group clash if Covid restrictions lifted on June 21
  • Renowned artist JR will transform the city with his epic black and white portraits to celebrate competition.
  • The Fan Zone will operate a zero tolerance, ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy towards racism and other forms of discrimination

I predict there will be tens of thousands of angry Scotsmen.

So What Has Sadiq Khan Got To Say?

The Times has these two paragraphs.

The mayor’s office urged Scottish fans without tickets to stay at home. A spokesman for Khan said: “It is not possible to hold a fan zone for Scottish fans in London due to the Covid restrictions . . . fans should only travel to the capital if they have a ticket or a safe place to watch the match.”

A source close to the mayor added: “We would have liked to put up a zone for Scottish fans and increased capacity at Trafalgar Square but the licence from Westminster [council] required social distancing so we could not do more. Central government would also have needed to make an exemption to allow it to happen but they have not.”

Typically, Khan seems to be blaming everybody except himself.

 

 

 

 

 

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

England In Kaliningrad

There is a good chance, that my great-great-great-grandfather; Robert Muller, came from East Prussia, the capital of which was Konigsberg East Prussia was annexed by the Soviet Union after the Second World |War and Konigsberg was renamed Kaliningrad.

My father was about fourteen, when his grandfather died and my father once told me, that his grandfather had told him, about meeting Robert, who would have been his grandfather’s grandfather.

Apparently, the elderly man didn’t speak any English and only spoke German. Knowing that my male line is Jewish, I wonder if it wasn’t German but Yiddish.

Konigsberg was an important city and the Prussian

Wikipedia has a section about the Jews in Konigsberg, where this is said.

The Jewish population of Königsberg in the 18th century was fairly low, although this changed as restrictions became relaxed over the course of the 19th century. In 1756 there were 29 families of “protected Jews” in Königsberg, which increased to 57 by 1789. The total number of Jewish inhabitants was less than 500 in the middle of the 18th century, and around 800 by the end of it, out of a total population of almost 60,000 people.

Speaking to someone at the German History Museum, a lot of Jewish men had to leave East Prussia, when they became adults, unless they were protected.

As Robert would have been a young adult,, when he turned up in Bexley, I suspect that soon after he qualified as a tailor, he left the area.

This keeping out of the way of trouble, is very much a family trait.

Konigsberg was at that time a port city and there was quite a lot of trade with London. So I suspect getting to London was not that great a problem.

I very much regret not asking my father for more details.

Like me my father was an atheist, although with a Jewish philosophy of life. He was also very much against fascists, communists and dictators of both the left and right. He was proud to have been at the Battle of Cable Street, when the East End of London stopped Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts.

In some ways, I regret not being at the match tonight. But then I was advised that there would be trouble.

I have been to the Polish border with the Russian enclave. I wrote about it in At Poland’s Border With Russia.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What’s Gone Wrong With Danny Welbeck?

I’ve always thought that Danny Welbeck wasn’t as good as others say he is.

But his performance today in scoring two goals for England in Basle against Switzerland tonight, impressed me a lot more.

Can it be that the drifting ship that Manchester United has become over the last few years, was unsettling him? Moving to Arsenal seems to have released his shackled mind!

Perhaps, Wayne Rooney needs to move to freshen him up?

 

September 8, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Nationalism And The England Football Team

I went to the England match against Ireland last night at Wembley and although it wasn’t the best of matches, a thought about the England team struck me, as I listened to the phone-in on Radio 5 about English Nationalism.

It is surprising how many of the England team, could have been eligible to play for other countries. For example, Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill have an Irish heritage and  Phil Jagielka has a Polish father and a Scottish mother.

On the other hand, I think at least one of the black players, was born in England to parents, who were also born here.

So nothing is ever what it seems!

I myself, have two strong immigrant lines in my genes; Jew and Huguenot, so when it comes for me to define what is Englishness, I can get rather lost.

Perhaps being of mixed genes is a requirement to being a true Englishman or Englishwoman.  After all Churchill had an American mother, Brunel had a French father and Alan Blumlein had a German father, to name but three.

I often define myself as a London Mongrel and when asked to fill in forms about my race, if I think I can get away with it, I do.

Could it all be down to hybrid vigour? It’s proper scientific name is heterosis.

I also like this quote on nationalism by Albert Einstein.

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

He is right!

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Are The English Arrogant?

This post was selected by the phone-in on BBC Radio 5.

I don’t think arrogance is the word.  But there is a class of the English, that has extreme self-confidence, which means they do things that are exceptional.

David Beckham is a classic modern example, as there are few people, who have achieved what he has done by pushing themselves to the limit.

Throughout history, we have had English leaders who could probably have been considered by some to be arrogant, but they just had this amazing self-confidence. Just look at Churchill, Nelson, Hawke and Thatcher for a start.  In sport, there have been quite a few with it too like Bradley Wiggins, David Hemery, Stanley Matthews, Fred Perry, Nick Faldo, Will Carling, Geoffrey Boycott.

and then there’s the arts and the media, with people like David Hockney, Laurence Olivier, Henry Moore and David Attenborough.

You might think that I’m being very male and white oriented here, but I am tending to pick people, whose careers started and in most cases finished many years ago. In a few years time, the list will probably be different. But even now, you can pick many women and those from the broad non-white community, who owe their success to a supreme self-confidence.

So why are the English like this?

It’s difficult to find a definitive reason.

February 1, 2013 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

Why Can’t I Buy Tickets For England v Brazil?

I’ve bought tickets for England home games in the past, but I can’t even get logged in as a registered England fan to even see if I can purchase tickets. I just get a message saying.

According to our records, you are not eligible to purchase tickets for this event.

I suspected that this could be because I have moved house, since I last bought a ticket.

So I registered as a new England fan at my new address and tried again. And what happened?

I got the same message again.

I wonder why I’m not allowed to buy tickets.  I have e-mailed them and guess what?  I’ve not received any reply at all.

So it could be that FA doesn’t stand for Football Association, but something else.

Or could it be that I’m too old?  Or perhaps someone with the same name as me, is on a banned list?

All I want is a ticket for myself and a couple for friends.

By the time that I get logged in, they might all have gone!

I think, I’ll reach for my solicitor if that happens. I think my human rights have been abused.

 

November 30, 2012 Posted by | News, Sport | , , | 5 Comments

England Give Australia A Good Polishing

As if Friday’s pasting with a lot of help from an Irish dwarf wasn’t enough, they got supremely polished by England on Sunday. Sadly, England will have to shuffle the pack as two of their team, have got to go to a funeral.

Apparently, Australia are doing special deals on the trains to Edgbaston. If the match finishes early, you can take any train home.

July 2, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 5 Comments

The Good Luck Runs Out

What else is there to say!

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | 1 Comment

England Against Ukraine at Cricket

Radio 5 has announced this morning that an English touring cricket club is in Ukraine.  Apparently there are eight cricket clubs in Kiev.

I can’t help being reminded of the very funny Michael Bentine sketch, where he was taking cricket to the natives, in some unnamed country.  The last line as he held up a box, was.

And this is 27s. and 6d.

Classic humour from the only Peruvian born in Watford.

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hodgson Speaks Italian at a Press Conference

The BBC seems very surprised that he did this, but he did manage a top club in the country. If they read his Wikipedia entry, it says he speaks eight languages, five of which fluently.

I haven’t seen or heard what he said, but perhaps he threw the Italian into the press conference to make sure that the Italians knew he would understand what they shouted from the touchline. I suspect too, he reads the Italian papers’ comments on the match. That must be a great help, as newspapers are always trying to be better than the managers.  And usually failing!

June 23, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | Leave a comment