Date:Monday January 4 2010
Thames Valley Whites have been formed for less than a year but are quickly gaining members around the Oxfordshire and Berkshire area.
Secretary of the branch Steve Griffin gives us the story of his day out at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Sunday morning around 6am a 51 seater coach pulled into Basingstoke train station to pick up the first members of Thames Valley Whites Regional members club before threading its way through the 2 counties of Berkshire and Oxfordshire lastly calling at Bicester village. With a strict no alcohol policy on board the coach we was soon cruising up the M40 with all onboard discussing what would be an acceptable scoreline today against them.
Due to GMP closing down all pubs in Lancashire we outwitted the police and called into a prearranged pub stop well off the beaten track near Knutsford where we were joined by the Chiltern Whites and two mini-bus loads from Bristol and South West. Spending around an hour we managed to have a few pints and bacon butties. As we left it was nice to hear the landlady tell all the Leeds fans as we were mounting our coaches that we was welcome to come back anytime.
So two coaches and two mini-buses headed back to the M6 in convoy and as we arrived in Manchester a police motorbike pulled over the lead coach. There was no searching of the coaches and we were then escorted to Old Trafford.
The predicted bricking or goading of the coaches did not happen and Old Trafford seems to have become more civilised since our last visit. Once in the vicinity we was all herded inside the ground and the all the Leeds were already in full voice.
The game started and the fans were up for it just as much as the team with ''your only here to watch the Leeds'' 19 mins into the game the unthinkable happens and Beckford scores!!! Leeds fans go absolutely mental!!! And I swear to god we must have celebrated that goal for an eternity. For those who weren`t there it was priceless to see the Man Utd fans faces. Those around me where all saying if we can hold onto half time then we wouldn`t mind them trouncing us 3 or 4-1 but to score first and lead was going to be savoured by all 9000 fans.
The first half continued without any real threat from Man U and we started to look comfortable.
Second half got underway and the Home fans sounded pretty muted from the away end, not that they were that much better in the first half.
Leeds continued to play their game and our fans become more and more confident with non-stop singing and taunting.
Once the clock got to 75 minutes our hearts started to believe that we could now hold out and win this.
85 minutes gone and still we looked like we could get away with a win.
Looking at the clock seemed now to take an age for the time to count down and with thousands of Man Utd now starting to stream to the exits the Leeds fans bid them farewell with the customary chant'' Time to go' Time to go''.
As 90 mins approached the discussions where how much added time was the Ref going to give? Soon 5 minutes was flashed up and a roar of disapproval erupted from the away support. ''Fergie time, Fergie Time, Fergie Time'' was berated out from the Leeds fans and then the nail biting finale began.
With a goal mouth scramble in the dying minutes and cleared eventually by Leeds everyone got ready to celebrate.
The ref then blows and everyone goes absolutely ballastic. This a moment to saviour and seeing the Man Utd fans head for the exits was just too good to believe.
The police kept everyone back for around 45 minutes which was spent celebrating and singing, nobody really minded as we all took in what this team had just done.
Eventually we was let out and into the coach park were we all swapped stories knowing this was going to be a classic and the giant killing of the round. Soon we was all onboard the coaches and the 100 or so coaches pulled out as one big snake and wormed its way through Manchester with a police escort, eventually our coach was able to peel off and head back south down the M6.
We stooped off at Keele services just in time to hear the draw of the next round, which saw us pull Spurs out of the hat which was the team our coach driver confessed to us earlier of supporting. He then point blankly refused to drive us to that match.
What a day for everyone and Thames Valley Whites....
Marching on together......
If you are interested in travelling to Elland Road with the Thames Valley Whites the Price is a reasonable £20 per person.
Pick-ups are Reading Train Station, Wallingford, Didcot, Abingdon, Oxford,
Kidlington, Bicester and Brackley. Other pick-ups will be considered.
Travel is by a large mini-bus (ungoverned), and when demand meets then by a 49-seater coach.
Arrival at Elland Rd is generally by 1pm. Return travel is straight after the game with last drop offs usually by 8.30pm.
There is usually one stop at Leicester Forest Services on the M1 motorway.
Membership is currently free on completing an application form.
Club Chairman is Paul Keeffe
Secretary is Steve Griffin(Griff)
Treasury is Dale Norman
Contact the Branch by email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Date:Monday January 4 2010
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