On Saturday morning I was in two minds about going to watch Birmingham City play at Derby. I had a lot of other things I needed to do but I’d only managed to get to two previous away games, it was a nice day and Derby is so near. So I went.
When the 90 minutes were up and we were losing 2-0, I had no regrets about going. The travel had been easy with plenty of seats on the train and an easy walk from the train station to the ground, alongside the river. The weather was glorious. I’d seen things I rarely see at football grounds, including hot water taps in the ladies loo (I wish we had those in the Kop!) and a Tai Chi display. I had also enjoyed the raucous energy of the away fans.
Caddis scoring from the penalty spot was an added bonus. It was good for him to get it after his attempt at Brighton was saved and a consolation goal is better than no goal. Then the equalising goal went over the line a couple of minutes later. It felt good to be in that crowd of Blues fans, laughing and celebrating with the players who had rushed over to our corner. The scenes at the end were a bit like those at last season’s game at Bolton although the result was less important. It was also the same score and the same referee. Gary Rowett didn’t come running over at the end but his usually calm exterior had displayed some cracks when he got involved in some pushing and shoving at half time.
I smiled all the way home, past the dispirited Derby fans, back along the river bank and on the train; I just couldn’t stop smiling.