Monday, 19 July 2010

A Dutch tribute to Sir Bobby

Saturday 17th July 2010 - PSV Eindhoven 1 v Ipswich 0 Pre Season friendly

A weekend in Holland was an opportunity not to be missed, so my wife and I booked a weekend, which would see us take the short trip to Eindhoven on the Saturday. the game was yet another tribute to Bobby Robson, when two of his former teams would meet in a pre season friendly. It all looked so easy!

First error- like England, weekends are when work on the railways takes place so our journey time to the home of Philips was doubled, we even thought we would not get back to Amsterdam after the game, but a helpful Dutch Railway guard pointed us to the Rotterdam train and one change later we were back in Amsterdam.

The game? As expected we were outclassed but a fine goalkeeping display and a more determined second half performance meant we only lost one nil.
Strangest part of the day? A second half substitution, Timmy Simons was playing his last game for the Dutch giants and he was taken off to a standing ovation. nothing strange there but unlike in the UK, he was carried off on the shoulders off fellow players and then on the pitch was presented with a picture, then he made a speech - and the ref still only added one minute on!

Timmy after his speech!

The stadium was impressive, even with only 13,000 in the ground, plenty of beer outside and both Set's of fans mixing then it became a flashback to the anti football Thatcher years. The Town fans were put in the highest corner of the ground, searched and innocent everyday objecys removed from supporters and hen we were surrounded by a large glass wall. Very strange and so out of place in this fixture.

My pet subject of statues at football grounds was well catered for, two at one end of the ground, both of former players but at the other end almost hidden away was a white stone statue, no inscription but I believe it may have had more to do with one of the founders of the Philips Company than the football team - anyone help?

Oh and programmes were hidden from Town fans, now the hundreds who went have to search the Internet to get a souvenir of the match.

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