A Passage to Portugal


I’ve returned from the land of the burning sun to bring you tales of awe and wonder, of drink and football, and finally (in a later post than this) the details of one “friendly” game that will pass into Brighton and Hove Albion folklore. So, with without further ado, let us start.

We stayed for the week on a hill above the old town in Albufeira – a great area, not too commercial compared to the rest of the place, and full of characters. Straightaway I was on the local swally, Sagres.

One of the first things we noticed was Albufeira’s Cliff Richard fixation – the great man’s visog was everywhere – our Thomson rep informed us that Sir Cliff keeps a home closeby in the Algarve, and he’s a “living legend” hereabouts. Congratulations Cliff.

So, after a crazily drunken Tuesday night spent in town with a gang of Seagulls that resulted in an extended stay in bed Wednesday, we headed up to the Municipal Stadium for the first match against Sunderland.

The main stand, which was the only one there, quickly filled up with 50/50 South Coasters and Mackems. We found ourselves behind a gang of the latter who actually made the news back home.

The problem for Sunderland fans was twofold. First the Albion played their side off the park with the Gus Poyet trademarked short passing game, the 1-1 final scoreline flattered the Mackems somewhat. The second was the appearance of Titus Bramble, who apparently was “a c**t”, but then so was Steve Bruce after a few more alcohol-free pints of lager.

You see when we got to the stadium we soon found out that the local cops must’ve thought this would be a high risk game – because the club bar was only serving soft drinks and offensive non-alcohol beer! But nobody told the dozen Mackems who turned up shit-faced in front of us. They were buying round after round of the stuff (and I swear they were getting more pissed on it) before one of them shouts “H’way, this is fooking alcohol free laagaa man, bastaaads!”

It was all good fun, but they were shouting so loud that the Sunderland bench turned round to watch them, and some other Mackems started to tell them to shut the fuck up. Soon the local plod took an interest, aided by a big burly bloke in plainclothes who must have been Sunderland’s football intelligence officer, he immediately started filming them (and us sat behind them). The local cops moved in and the gobbiest one was hoyed out, only to sneak in again near the end.

As the match wore on and Sunderland got steadily worse on the pitch the rowdies in front of us sat dejectedly, they all agreed that Brighton had “a better manager”, and that we looked like the Premiershit team, not them. One young fella kept shouting out “Shite!” every two minutes. He turned to his mate and says “If I say shite one more time man, fuck me!” He then thinks for a minute and shouts out “Shit!” for the rest of the half. Priceless.

I’ll put more stuff up later, and there was a lot happened at the next match, as you probably all know about already. I’ll put my version of it, but I missed the actual punches going in (if indeed they actually did). Obrigado!

Here’s a taster….

More Albufeira

 Here’s a few more pictures from the Sunderland match



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2 Responses to “A Passage to Portugal”

  1. glasfryn Says:

    we spent a great two weeks in Albufeira many years ago,sounds like you had a good time and the Sunderland match looks like it was a good workout.
    my abiding memory of that area was the food fresh fish till it comes out of your ears.


  2. The Hovian Says:

    Fish was ace G, me and the missus will definitely go back again. I hope the Albion go back, but after Saturday night’s farce I doubt it


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