Watto's Euro 2004 Diary


The tournament starts, and Paul Watson watches from afar 


 Day 2: Friday 11 June 2004

The story for me starts back in April of 2003.  No sleep - it is April.  My German friend Stefan (father-in-law has a flat in Lisbon) asks, "Have you got your Euro 2004 tickets yet?  We have some Portugal games..." 

No sleep.  My wife is with child.  She cannot sleep, therefore I cannot sleep.  I suppose I am in some way responsible.  No baby yet; I miss the derby, fortunately.  At 11:27 on 26 April 2003, weighing 9st 12oz, Klara is born.  She is enormous.  Having babies hurts. I manage to free my fingers as my wife draws them towards her mouth, teeth showing.  If I leave now, I could get to the match... I don't.

I miss the Everton v Villa match.  I slip down to the car to catch the score:0-1; then we equalise, but Duncan Ferguson has elbowed a Swede.  He'll be OLAFing on the other side of his face.  End of Dunc's season. 

Home alone, I will sleep tonight.  Watch the Premiership; Rooney scores late winner.  Fantastic!  Maybe we should call her Waynetta.  She has big blue eyes.  Thank you John, she is only 9lb 12oz rather than the same size as Tomasz Radzinski, 9 stone.  There are some similarities: Large head, long body and short chunky legs.  Her mother (my wife) is also Polish.  She dribbles, so does Tommy.  She likes drinking; I guess Tomasz doesn't.  Joe will be coming to Old Trafford for the Champion's League final.

No Champions League.  It is May 2003, and Everton have slipped to end up 7th.  No Champions League for me; no Uefa Cup.  Man City and Southampton in 8th and 9th positions get into Europe.  Stefan has a Champions League Final ticket for me!  Old Trafford: Uefa make Merchandise United close the shop.  Tee hee. 

My friend Stefan applied for tickets, so did all of his friends.  Only Hans and Silvia got tickets.  He is Hans.  I am Silvia.  Stefan shows me their passports.  Hans is bald, Silvia is a babe.  Uefa sent Hans the tickets.  He was on holiday.  Tickets returned. Y our mission Stefan, should you choose to accept it, is to pick up the tickets.  We get the tram; "Juve mierde" sing the Milanese.  Perhaps some latin scholars could correct the spelling — I do however get the impression that this is not a compliment.  I lend Stefan my hat (not Burberry) while he collects the tickets; keep the hat on Stefan.  Hans is bald, Stefan is not.  I keep out of the way; Stefan gets the tickets. 

We are on the back row of the North Stand.   Nedved is missing.  I have a theory about this game — Uefa came up with a new ball.  Nobody could pass it: most of the passes were overhit.  Schevchenko scores in the shoot-out.  Clarence Seedorf sinks to his knees and weeps.  He rises, winner of the Champions League with four different teams — for me this was truly amazing.

So...  Euro 2004.  It's not too late: you can go too.  Look at this link for tickets.  You need to go to be able to go the stadium the day before to pick up the tickets.  Try teletext for something in the Algarve.  Most media organisations are telling us tickets are £500 for England v France; this is political correctness.  They don't want you there, they want you at home, reading someone's boring Euro 2004 diary.  Go out there; some of you may get an England ticket — I have managed it in the past.  Anyway, the other matches will be worth watching.  It will be great.

What has happened today, Day Two?  Not much.  Signed on.  I hate doing this.  They pay me 20p every two weeks.  How much does this cost in admin and bank charges?  Why not give me 20p there and then.  10p this week, 10p next week?  Job in Scotland, I think Christian Dailly has put in a word for me. 

Today I crunched up a piece of paper, to throw it out.  Let my little girl play with it.  It's a ball.  She loves it.  Better than any plastic activity centre.  Totti thinks the new ball is too hard.  Ho ho ho. 

I was dismayed to read that those stupid twats at Uefa, have invented a new ball for the European Championship.  No new balls please, it ruins the competitions.  How can you play well when someone move the goalposts, switches the ball at the last moment.  The Champions League Final was ruined by a new ball; no one could pass it.  World Cup 2002, new ball — how many people scored with free kicks?  Everton v Sheffield Wed about 1999, we lost 4-1, Paolo di Canio scored at the end of the game, Gavin McCann kicked him on the line just after he scored.  I remember the match, we had an experimental yellow ball, the thing bounced like a super ball, it led to two of their goals.  We didn't see the yellow ball or Gavin McCann again.

Saturday night the footie starts.  Group A, I think, Portugal will win it, Spain will come second.  They will both win.  But they will both have problems scoring. e

Paul Watson


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