By DANNY LOCKWOOD
MY 2016 Wembley Diary missed a gem of a side-story relating to the annual Woodman Inn trip, which I always hook up with and this year conquered the delicate subject of holding wakes for the lads – before they actually take ill, let alone shuffle off this mortal coil.
Only rugby men.
It’s an increasingly eclectic trip (meaning that landlord John Foulstone will let anyone on who has the cash) but this year a couple of the ‘older’ participants had what I think we can call a properly senior moment.
On match day they ventured forth from the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in lslington for a gentle stroll.
Losing their bearings (understandable in the capital) they hailed a ubiquitous London cab to get back and catch the coach to Wembley.
Less understandable is why they didn’t give said cabbie the name of their hotel, but the pub next door – The Castle.
No, wait for it, wait for it…
“Would that be Windsor Castle guv’nor?” inquired the cabbie, no doubt voraciously licking his lips, given that it takes about an hour and costs a fortune. (I should say, these gents were very dapper, shirt and tie etc – one is a former referee, after all!)
“I suppose that’ll be the one!” chirruped our soon-to-be bewildered innocents abroad.
Did they have their mobile phones, so the Woodman lads waiting patiently on the bus for them could get in touch? Heaven no – infernal modern technology!
On the plus side, they got to see every traffic light in west London – and there are many – though not many sights of historic interest apart from the A4 flyover which features on many traffic bulletins, until they got to Windsor Castle from which Twickenham isn’t too far distant, but sadly hasn’t staged rugby league for some time.
At least once the confusion was at least partly clarified an accommodating police officer transported them back to base – just in time to catch the great Hull-Warrington ﬁnal from their hotel room.
All’s well that ends well … if not the reputation of Yorkshiremen beyond the Broad Acres.