The ‘Big Day’ finally arrived for the Scotland Squad to set off for the World Cup Super 65s Masters Tournament in Bristol. The Ayr United Football Academy mini-bus set off from Somerset Park, Ayr at around 7.45am carrying 6 of the playing squad (Tiberius Kirk, Tom Dowman, Billy Thomson, Chris Johnstone, Harry Harvie and John Crawford) accompanied my Team Manager David Watson and Assistant Manager Jason Butler.
Both David and Jason were on driving duties which they shared between them from Ayr – Bristol. The first leg of the journey through Cumnock, Muirkirk and Douglas passed fairly peacefully until the first ‘enforced stop’ due to a little ‘bladder call’! One of the ‘little intricacies’ of moving ‘elderly football veterans’ on longish journeys. Abbington was the ‘comfort stop’ boosted by some coffee and biscuits and onto the next leg of the journey. Chris Johnston however did inform the travelling party that Steven Gerrard had made John McGinn (Hibernian) a summer target but it was fairly clear that Chris was ‘talking nonsense’ taken from one of the Scottish Tabloids!
The Quiz Machine was now in process on the bus and the first honours were to go to Messers Crawford, Harvie and Thomson who ‘destroyed’ Messers Kirk Dowman and Johnstone at the Football Quiz! Tiberius ‘unfurled the white flag’ as the score line threatened to become embarrassing! Then it was time for lunch at the Fox and Hound near Macclesfield which proved to be a most popular selection from David Watson! Some 50 minutes later the mini-bus set off for the remainder of the journey which saw Part 2 of the Quiz take place. This particular set of questions prepared by mathematician Tom Dowman proved to be full of the most obscure and irrelevant questions imaginable! Tiberius Kirk and his ‘proles’ set about answering questions on food, drink, Morris Dancing, Synchronised Swimming and Carpet Bools!
It is best to ‘swiftly draw a line’ under this nonsense and to say that Messers Kirk, Dowman and Johnstone narrowly (well not too narrowly really) sneaked ‘a win’ on this occasion. Some excitement was then had when Walsall FC was spotted on the way past (home of former Ayr United Captain Nicky Devlin) and despite lots of waving and shouting from the bus sadly resulted in ‘not a lot!’ Although it had to be said that Nicky did in fact acknowledge this type of tribalism on Facebook not long after! Around 5.00pm ‘Bristol time’ the Ayr United and Stranraer Squad members rolled into the Premier Inn Car Park in Bristol to be met by the ‘Jam Tart Contingent’ of Jimmy Bremner, Davie Barr and Allan Thomson. The ‘Hearts Crew’ had of course been flown down specially as VIP players in Ann Budge’s own Private Jet! Following a fairly lengthy ‘check in’ the party changed and showered (well some of them did) and then made off through a ‘hole in the fence’ to next door’s ‘cheaper dinner option’. A fairly substantial meal was had by all followed by a ‘couple of aperitifs’ and off to the ‘land of nod’ before the following morning’s early start!