A group of Norwich City football fans finally succeeded in watching England play in Poland last night – but said they were “gutted” to see the bridegroom and best man travel home before the highlight of their stag party.

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After torrential rain dampened the spirits of thousands of England football supporters in Poland, the hastily-rearranged fixture prompted countless phone calls home, begging to stay away for one more night.

But for at least two Norwich City fans, there was never a possibility of returning to the stadium to watch last night’s 1-1 draw.

Because after an extended stag weekend, bridegroom Andy Gooda knew better than to keep his fiancée waiting – dashing the hopes of his dutiful best man Glen Smith, who put aside his own passion for football to escort his friend back to Norfolk.

About 20 Yarmouth Yellows enjoyed a weekend in Krakow before heading to Warsaw for the World Cup qualifier, which was postponed on Tuesday due to a waterlogged pitch.

Although eight of them were able to re-book flights and hotels in order to watch the rescheduled match, most had to fly home dejected yesterday, just as the match was kicking off.

They included fanatical Three Lions supporter Mr Smith, who said he had no choice but to discharge his duties to accompany bridegroom Mr Gooda home to continue his wedding plans with fiancée Amy Hunt, whom he will marry on November 24.

Mr Smith, who runs the Great Yarmouth Physical Therapy clinic on Salisbury Road, said: “I asked him last night whether we were going to be able to change these flights around, but he said he needed to get home so I had no option, really.

“It is disappointing, but I am the best man and my job is to keep him in one piece. The irony is the match is happening while we’re on the aeroplane, so we won’t even be able to watch it in the bar.

“Of course I will mention this in my best man’s speech – how he’s done me out of a game. I will get my own back on him, don’t worry about that!”

Mr Gooda, a 47-year-old driving instructor, who runs Andy’s Driving Tuition in Palgrave Road in Great Yarmouth, said: “We have only got a few weeks to go now until the wedding, so I think Amy will be glad to get me back.

“We have had two really good days in Krakow but it has turned into a bit of a disaster. It is very disappointing, but what can you do?

“Amy did say that if I wanted to stay, I could – but I think deep down she wants to get me back alive.

“We have got a suit-fitting on Sunday so I really need to get back for these sorts of things. I don’t want to push my luck too far.”

Neil Bowman, from Caister, a newspaper sales manager for Archant, which produces the EDP also had to return to Norfolk for work commitments – missing out on what would have been his first international away match.

He said: “It is obviously very disappointing. It was a personal drama for me, because it was raining so hard and my ticket was like papier-mâché.

“The Polish woman on the gate couldn’t see the barcode or the seat number and so I got sent off to another gate.

“I was going through this for two hours in the pouring rain, only to eventually get in and find there was a chance the match was going to be cancelled.”

One of the group who did finally managed to watch the game was Ray Clarke, known to fellow Yarmouth Yellows as The General due to his organisational skills on away trips.

After the final whistle, he said: “Interesting day... after getting up in the morning to try and find a hotel for us who were staying we decided instead to retire to the bar to say goodbye to the lads going home.

“I can report Goodsy the stag and Glen the best man and the other six got home to Great Yarmouth safely. The game, well it was OK – a point away from home is better than losing, although thought we rode our luck at times.

“Now it’s a day of a few more beers and at tea-time we fly home to see our families, sleep on our own beds and plan the next trip which, for some of us, is a friendly against Sweden next month. So The General has a few weeks rest before he has to start worrying about planes, trains, automobiles and hotels again.”

Following the cancellation of the original fixture, the Football Association said it was looking into the possibility of compensation for those England fans unable to stay in Poland to see the rearranged match.

22 comments

  • Pathetic piece of news.Shameful to have included this but as it's a blatant plug for Neil Bowman's little ego I guess that The Mercury had no choice apart from to publish it.

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • No disrespect mate we maybe overweight middle aged but we love our club and country and we pay money to follow them so we have a right to call ourselves what we like. Anyway we actually range from 20 to 50 and what it is about being with your friends doing what we like to do and having a bit of fun along the way, people like yourself who sit in a chair criticising why don't you get a life - The General sitting in sun with my lifelong friends having a beer. Sorry mate get a life and you might have great friends like I have

    Report this comment

    Ray Clarke

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Yeah foorball is rubbish & is loved by a minority of people. Is that rubbishy enough.

    Report this comment

    Cynic

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • No, they couldnt find an electrician to work it as they are all over here.

    Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • How are any of you leaving negative comments on this page fit enough to judge what any of us enjoy to do? Explain that.... So we like to travel and support club and country home and away, we enjoy it. If footballs not a thing you enjoy as much as us, then that's fine, but don't start posting comments on what you think in a negative way, ignore it. If you don't like what we do, don't read the article. And as for the article being published along with the radio interview, we got contacted by the edp through twitter, we didn't write or ring in... They wanted to do a story about it after seeing several tweets I and my other friends posted. So go put your club shirt on, sit back in your arm chair, get the sky box on and get ready to watch the game tomorrow.

    Report this comment

    Riseborough91

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Would this "Non story" ever been printed if one of those affected had not been an Archant sales manager? Are the public really interested in a load of blokes with nothing better to do than chase 22 other blokes chasing a ball? At the most it may have been OK up the corner on the sports pages, which most people ignore, as opposed to taking up a full page that could have been put to better use. Roll on the next cat stuck up a tree.

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Big Respect to the Yarmouth Yellows - and 'hats off' to The General on his radio performance this morning - perhaps he should be now renamed The Admiral

    Report this comment

    malmocanary

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Get a life you lot if all you want to do is moan you have an option don't buy it. Chris Hill done a good job reporting a great time by us Yarmouth Yellows in Poland

    Report this comment

    Ray Clarke

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Ohh diddums what a shame. Lol. Not newsworthy at all

    Report this comment

    Cynic

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Poor darlings.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Gutted? is that the same as 'disappointed' or have they actually disemboweled themselves over a game of football?

    Report this comment

    RichardS

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Get a life you lot if all you want to do is moan you have an option don't buy it. Chris Hill done a good job reporting a great time by us Yarmouth Yellows in Poland

    Report this comment

    Ray Clarke

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I didnt think this was a 'football' story! I found it an interesting light hearted story one of this weeks very 'topical' subjects - involving real Norfolk people. Ignore the comments General - you have already made your point - im sure most complainants would really rather be having fun with thier mates on an away trip, lean or not!

    Report this comment

    malmocanary

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Sad but partly true, Cynic. I often wonder why like football, but then to me it is just a good game which can be very enjoyable to watch (and play when I was young). Watched in the right company, certainly not with those who become `disembowelled` over it, or carry inflatable canaries etc around. Not surprised to see a touch of Archant cronyism. Par for the course.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • "Yarmouth Yellows"??? Pathetic. How embarrassing that a bunch of fat, middle aged men feel the need to give themselves a nickname. Typical of our tinpot club. What a joke. Divs. Ged Steroo - A true Yellow.

    Report this comment

    Ged Steroo

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Couldn`t the Poles afford a curtain rail for the roof?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Dont worry Ray. This site attracts some of the worlds greatest negative posters who delight in rubbishing everything and everyone.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Ray. with respect, not quite sure it is us who "need to get a life". Life does not revolve around a football.... if you were all keen footballers, as opposed to armchair sportsmen then I am sure you all have nice lean figures, as most footballers do!!! Just a thought...

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • How are any of you leaving negative comments on this page fit enough to judge what any of us enjoy to do? Explain that.... So we like to travel and support club and country home and away, we enjoy it. If footballs not a thing you enjoy as much as us, then that's fine, but don't start posting comments on what you think in a negative way, ignore it. If you don't like what we do, don't read the article. And as for the article being published along with the radio interview, we got contacted by the edp through twitter, we didn't write or ring in... They wanted to do a story about it after seeing several tweets I and my other friends posted. So go put your club shirt on, sit back in your arm chair, get the sky box on and get ready to watch the game tomorrow.

    Report this comment

    Riseborough91

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • By the way I am called The General from the Yarmouth Yellows yes silly names they maybe but both come with respect from football fans all over the world who we have met us on our travels.

    Report this comment

    Ray Clarke

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I'm sure that the England players weren't too concerned about the cancellation.It would give them more time to practice their diving routines in the penalty area,learn how to shout obscenities in another language,and to do some team swapping of each others WAG's.Oh yes,the beautiful game...

    Report this comment

    Nexus_6

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • fanatical England supporter Glen Smith ? Can't be that much of a fan not to book a hotel and stay for the match..

    Report this comment

    billythebookie

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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