The Story

The story of our quest is as follows.

Day 3 - The South and South West

Monday 15th August 2005

After spending some time chasing round Ford garages (very helpful staff at Watford!) trying unsuccessfully to get the car fixed, we decided that we weren't going to let a mechanical failure stop us, and we went to Vicarage Road, home of Watford.


By 9.50am, thanks to the very helpful and friendly staff at Wycombe Wanderers, we were pitchside at the Causeway Stadium.

80 minutes later we were at Reading's Madejski Stadium. Very impressive to look at, and thanks to the superb staff there we also give a signed Reading shirt which we auctioned for our charities.

Next stop was Brighton, and it was quickly becoming clear that this was going to be a long day. 1pm already, only 4 grounds down and 8 to go - including Plymouth en route to Cardiff!

We resisted the urge to run the 1500m at the Withdean Stadium in sunny Brighton, and made our way to Portsmouth.

Again we just managed to wander through an open gate, but we were spied by the groundsman, who kindly let us take some pictures. Some young Portsmouth fans saw us taking photos, and on the way out they asked Andrew for his autograph, thinking he was Portsmouth defender Matt Taylor. Needless to say, he was a bit smug for the rest of the day. And there were probably some embarrassed Pompey fans as well!

Just down the road after that, to Southampton - St Mary's Stadium. Yeah, it looks nice, but it's a bit big for photographs!

Arriving at the Fitness First Stadium, Bournemouth, at 4.45pm we ventured into the Club Shop. There's a guy there who sells football programmes for all clubs, Neil Vacher. He has a huge collection, I'd say that every club in the 92 must be featured. He was really generous and he gave us a signed Bournemouth vs Southampton programme, which we'll also be auctioning for charity.

Top marks to the two guys at Yeovil who unlocked the doors at 6.40pm to let us use the conveniences and to take pictures of the stadium. Just for that, they deserve to go up again. Next it was on to Torquay, the journeys were getting longer and longer, and I think we were all about ready to pack it in.

After some fish and chips in the car, we managed to list our spirits for the long haul over to Plymouth.

We arrived at Plymouth at 10.35pm, to find it completely dark. If we'd realised it was going to be that bad, I'd have just taken a picture of the sky and put that here, but you're going to have to believe that we're really there. It was pretty disheartening to drive for over 90 minutes and find complete darkness!

On the motorway out of Plymouth, Vicki took over the driving and was heard to say "Bristol, 81 miles". At that point, it's fair to say that everyone began to question their own sanity.

Arriving at Ashton Gate, Bristol City, at 12.30am was a new low. Furthermore, there was a dodgy character outside the main door who looked like a drug dealer, and we were in no mood for that sort of thing, hence this odd picture in the car park! Bristol Rovers was obviously next, and of course it was dark - so this picture of us outside is the best we could manage at 1am. Not pictured is Andrew making use of a nearby alleyway to empty his bladder. Better there than in the car.

It was then on over the Severn Bridge to Cardiff, arriving at our hotel at 2.15am. Needless to say, it was going to be a short night's sleep!

Mileage for the day: 602