Written by YankCherry
My son Dylan and I took off on a cold evening in Philadelphia (Home of the Union!) into the dark night on a red-eye to London, England. Our goal was to meet our football hero Eddie Howe, the red and black stripes of our beloved cherries and the people of Bournemouth in the stands that we see on TV each and every week.
My son, who fears flying, did not sleep a wink as usual which I knew meant he would sleep deeply on our bus ride from London to Bournemouth, which he did. Waiting on the bus was definitely an experience. In the U.S. we do not do public transportation and thus very rarely have to wait on a schedule. But we managed and got on the bus and started our trip across the beautiful countryside.
Upon arriving in Bournemouth we grabbed a cab and got to the Marriot on the beach. Settled into our room (never saw a Marriot in such an old building). Went out grabbed some food and took some pics of the pier. My son fell asleep on the bed so I snuck out to the hotel bar and started having a few pints. Met some great people, one guy had my last name so I called him “Irish” the rest of the night. Met two West Ham fans (older gentleman) that I started talking trash to as we do in the states. We do not suffer the enemy as sadly they do in England now!
Unbeknownst to me my son had woken up and called his Mom saying I left him which led to texts that I abandoned my son and I had to conduct a swift retreat back to the hotel room.
The next day (Match day!) we drove out to the stadium early in the morning to sneak a peek then went to the Cherry café for a Premier English breakfast which was fantastic. Went downtown to get an electrical converter (because of course England has to be different from Europe and the states!). We then went to the stadium for the match.
Upon arriving we stood at the entrance marvelling that we could stand right next to the players coming in! We got several autographs on a ball we quickly bought at the team store and mingled with some of the fans that marvelled that there was an American that came all the way to see a match.
Then we checked in at the front office as the 13th man. The team gave us a customized jersey with our name on it and we walked through the player’s tunnel!!! onto the field. We took some pics of …well just about everything. Sat in the player’s bench, talked with one of the field officials and some of the team employees. Great people!
The team ran past us to warm up. We screamed at Brooks that we came all the way from the US to see him and I swear he blushed. My son’s favourite player is Fraser and wanted to see if he (11 years old) was taller than him. While we never saw Fraser come in or out of the stadium he did run past and we decided it was a tie in size.
Then the man, the myth, the legend came out. I cannot state enough how awesome Eddie is. Such a great, down to earth guy. He spends what must have been an extra 5 minutes talking to us. He cracked me up when he asked: “You didn’t fly all this way just for the match did you?”. I said of course we did! He asked how we became fans of the club and I told him my whole Tevez story and looking for a team and seeing what he did here and how amazing it was.
I totally forgot to try to bribe him to come to manage the USA national team!! He signed our jersey (forgot to ask him to sign mine!). I never got star struck in my life but it seems I forgot everything I wanted to say/do and was so caught up in the moment.
The stadium. Never has the phrase “Less is more” apply to anything as it does to the Bournemouth stadium. I mean its literally four sheds (can’t walk between them, no concession stands “inside”, even the bathrooms were troughs. IT. WAS. AMAZING. Enjoy it while you have it.
What is interesting is that we had the row behind the goal, row 0, all to ourselves. If I could change one thing I would have wished we sat embedded with the fans around us as opposed to sitting alone.
Unfortunately, no goals were scored in our end although Brooks and Ake came oh so close. At half time, we got two hotdogs from a stand offering the “Worlds greatest hotdogs”. Just a note, you guys own fish and chips, you do it best. Hot dogs, no not your thing!
By the way, you can see us on the TV footage behind the goal to the right. jumping up and down. And of course, we top it all off with a win! After the match, we took our new jersey and went out to the parking lot to acquire more autographs. We got to meet Wilson, Brooks. King was going to run past as he was late for an appointment. I yelled out all the way from the US would you sign it for us, and he ran back to sign it. Very nice of him!
Started to get very cold so we went up the bar in the stadium and grabbed a pint and a coke. Met a few folks then went out for dinner. Fish and Chips at a little pub by our hotel and was fantastic.
The rest of the trip consisted of walking the beach, went out on the pier, got some doughnuts, tried the Indian food (very different from ours).
Met a great father/daughter at the Indian restaurant telling me stories of watching the club in League 2 and league 1. Enjoyed it immensely.
That Monday we packed up our bags and said goodbye to Bournemouth, hopefully not for the first and last time, and made our way to London.
My son and I went to see the Churchill war rooms, Buckingham Palace to see the Queen, London bridge (let down! lol), Tower Bridge and a few other places. It was pretty cold but my boy was one heck of a trooper as we walked a long time.
Dylan loves to learn card tricks and didn’t bring a deck of cards with him so his highlight of the day was finding a deck of cards at a vendor on the streets.
We also had lunch at the Lamb and Flag which was recommended on this forum and was a really great place to see.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip. Wish I could have connected with some of the people on this forum. If I come out again that will definitely have to happen!
I want to thank many people from this forum. Apologies to those I leave out but I want to get at least some mentions out there.
Redharry, CherryBare, Silent AFCB, Toronto John, DJ, mattyd, Kenya, billythekid, GrahamH, AFCBade, Norniron and so many more!
To read the full thread for American landing in Bournemouth click this link.
If you liked the urinals in our present bogs, you would have LOVED the ones under the South Stand in the old ground. I won’t attempt to describe them as even thinking about them 20 years on makes my nose twitch!
Suffice it to say they were exactly the same as they had been in 1955 when I first went, and they probably hadn’t been hosed down more than twice in the whole of the time that followed. – Join the conversation, click here.