I got home early tonight with vague headache. From the first thing this morning wave after wave Gers fans arrived in Manchester in their tens of thousands (last estimate 120,000 to 150,000). It wasn’t too bad at first. They were noisy as in singing and shouting, but come the afternoon they were drunker and the air horns came out. It isn’t easy having a work phone conversation when it sounds like you’re in the middle of the Battle of the Somme.
It was all good natured mind, if you can describe sectarian songs as good natured. Personally I wouldn’t recognise one if it came round and gave me a haircut, but colleagues who had grown up in Northern Ireland found it very uncomfortable.
By mid-afternoon public transport had ground to a halt as the buses and trams simply couldn’t get into the city centre and I had to laugh when listening to Peter Allen interviewed a City fan on Five Live who said that they had to walk from Victoria because the trams were stopped by Scots on the line. You could tell from Peter’s reaction that he thought it was a joke, but it was true.
As I said, I left early because the traffic was pretty heavy. My journey took me close to Eastlands where the main event takes place tonight and from there onward every pub I passed there was a blue shirted or Union Jack bedecked figure going in or out.
But if I had a headache when I got home, it will be as nought to how the Gers fans feel tomorrow. Alcohol fumes wafted though our open office windows and Tesco got a telling off for stacking 24-packs of lager outside their doors (as did every other brand of store from what I could tell) and in Albert Square there were two tanker lorries of Carlsberg. (You could imagine the marketing men looking at the crowd and scratching their heads wondering whether it would be enough.