Watto's Euro 2004 Diary


The tournament starts, and Paul Watson watches from afar 


 Day 1: Thursday 10 June 2004

Have you read the 'diaries' in the papers?  They are really boring and incredibly tedious; nothing happens.  "The main square in Braga is delightful and, Oh yeah, I bought a villa yesterday.  It was only £40,000".  Does he mean Aston Villa?  The guys who write this stuff stay in posh hotels; drive to the game in their rented cars; certainly don't pay for their own tickets.  (Hey, maybe some of them don't even go to the match — just watch it in the hotel room).  Oh, and they don't have anything to do with real footie fans.

Why me?  Well, things happen to me.  At my first Everton match, we put 7 past Peter Shilton.  The third time I went, I met the players.  I saw us survive v Wimbledon from a tree in 1994.  Not a lot has happened since then — apart from the FA Cup and Wayne Rooney.  I have been to a couple of Champions League finals.  I got to the Euro 96 final, bought a ticket on the half-way line for £60.  I was given a ticket at the St Etienne Stadium, so saw us draw (then lose) v the Argies in 1998.  Got to Charleroi in 2000. W ent nowhere in 2002.  But I'll be there in Portugal.

Read my diary.  Although really I shouldn't be there.  I am married to a football-hating wife; we have a small child.  I am unemployed, Department of Work and Pensions gives me 20p every two weeks, thanks.  But I will be there; I have a ticket for an England match.

I will be in Portugal from 17 to 24 June, maybe longer... so some of this diary will be from England, or possibly from Scotland (no I am not joking) if I get a contract...  Where in Portugal?  On the Algarve (accommodation will be allocated on arrival) and a few days in Lisbon.

So, what is happening today?  Day One?  Panic!  No news about work in Scotland.  Where are the tour company going to put us?  I don't want to think about this...  Portugal looks quite small, well it isn't.  Faro to Porto, my first match, is about three or five hundred miles away, depending where they put us.  We are staying for a few days with a friend's (Stefan) Portuguese father-in-law in old Lisbon.  Under the roof, Joe says it get hot.  Well, I have bought a fan.  Oscillating, two speed, 23-cm blade: £8.99.  There must be a joke there somewhere.  This fan weighs 4 kg; we are allowed 15 kg each, so 26 kg left.  And £1.01 left.

The tournament?  I reckon Portugal and Spain; England and France; Italy and Sweden; and Czechia and Holland will get out of the groups.  England, France, Italy and Czechia for the semis.  England v France in the final.

More tomorrow...

Paul Watson

Last updated: 01 December 2008

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