Monday, 17 May 2010
The Day I Made My TV Debut
So the biggest game in Fulham Football Clubs history had finally arrived; we were within touching distance of the second biggest trophy in Europe.
It was 5.30am and we made our way to London Gatwick South Terminal for our flight to Hamburg, Germany. After beeping through the body scanner as usual at the airport, we made our first stop at the Bacardi counter for 8.30am Mojitos, followed by Baileys shots.......the perfect start to a pre-match day.
We boarded our Boeing 737 to Hamburg and after an hour and 40 minute delay we took off and finally arrived safely in Germany. It's the first time I'd ever been to Germany and I actually quite liked it, even though we saw some awful parts of Hamburg. After boarding our coach, we arrived at the Reeperbaum where Uefa had set up fan-zones for the Fulham and Athletico Madrid fans. I only have one word to describe this....AMAZING. 30,000 fans singing and chanting, drinking beer and falling all over the place, I absolutely loved it. We then went on to join in and buy our memorabilia for the big game (which cost us and arm and a leg) and then off to eat a Hamburger in Hamburg, as one does.
Kick off was looming and we had got to our seats. The atmosphere was picking up and the pre-match banter was well and truly in its prime. The Italian official blew his whistle and we were ready to rock and roll. Diego Forlan got Madrid underway with a great goal after 25 minutes and I was starting to get the jitters. Then just after the half hour mark Wales legend Simon Davies scored an absolute screamer to put us back in the game. At half time I started to get really emotional, knowing that Fulham were 45 minutes away from making unbelievable history and doing England proud, whatever team you supported.
The second half commenced and after a goaless second half the game moved into extra time. Both teams had a few chances but it wasn't until the 116th minute, with four precious minutes to go that Forlan decided to break the hearts of 15,000 Fulham travelers, including myself. Absolutely devastated, I broke down in tears only to be comforted by my dad and a handkerchief.
The ref blew the whistle and I checked my phone to call my brother. Next thing I knew, I had hundreds of texts to say Channel 5 had shown me on TV crying just after Lily Allen. I was gob-smacked and gutted, mascara running down my face, looking like crap and I was on TV in front of 10 million viewers...great!
After arriving home safely the following morning (oh yeah, we had a nice long delay at the airport coming back), I reflected on the day. The fact we'd spent all this time and effort coming here and the achievement Fulham made. I thanked my dad for the best day and it got me thinking......My dad's the best man in the world! He takes me shopping, buys me things and loves listening to all the exciting news going on in my life, but I've never spent the whole day with him just to myself and have a few beers in such an exciting atmosphere. It's secretly what I was most looking forward to doing the most and I found a bond with my dad that I'd never had before and will remember forever.