Walking Football Portugal Blog – Day 1

The Walking Football Team have arrived in Portugal

Early start for the squad this morning meeting at Prestwick Airport just before 6.00am.
Quite surreal seeing armed police present but that is unfortunately a necessity in the times we now live in.
However, first panic of the day went to our somewhat beleaguered Goalkeeper Stuart Galloway. Arriving at the airport by taxi the aforementioned was heard to say that he hoped that James Tiberius Kirk had brought the boarding passes! Tour captain John Crawford quickly put the ‘big man’ right when he informed the errant goalkeeper the boarding pass was in his folder handed out on Friday last week.
As this ‘little gem’ began to sink in and ‘the panic also set in’ Stuart quickly vanished into the really morning drizzle to ‘hail a taxi’ to take him back home. It has to be said that a more than slightly dishevelled Stuart did appear back some half hour later clutching his boarding pass in his hand.
At this point another squad member ‘Tommy? Tam? Tom? Thomas? Tammy? Dowman encountered some difficulty when questioned over his identity. It appeared that Thomas (apparently his passport name) was not matching up to his ‘boarding pass name’ of Tom or Tam?
Once this ‘rigmarole’ had been sorted out or so we all thought the goalkeeper then got himself involved in a further fracas. Attempting to prise some euros from the cashier at the ‘Bureau de Change’ the big goalkeeper then duly spilled all his coins!

The Walking Footballers setting in
A very worrying trait ‘just before a tournament and even worse as he didn’t ‘catch’ any of them either!! Once heading to board the plane Stuart or ‘Willie’ by this time found out again that his ‘passport name’ of ‘William’ still didn’t appear on his boarding pass and to be very honest it does seem a more than ‘salubrious’ name for the more common pseudonym of Stuart Galloway!
Once all the ‘in fighting’ was over it was ‘full steam ahead’ through security and thankfully onto the plane.
A very nice surprise for ‘chopper Crawford’ celebrating (if that’s the word for this) his 65th Birthday. A very nice 65th Birthday Card was presented by a very pleasant stewardess who offered a ‘one off free drink’ to celebrate the birthday. Chopper was having none of it as always the ‘consummate professional’ he explained the squad were in ‘top physical condition’ heading to a tournament and therefore no alcohol could be consumed. Well not yet anyway!!
Then just as the plane landed yet another problem with ‘Big William! This time he had lost his mobile phone!! Well he had lost one of the two he had brought with him. After a frantic search! At last! The errant mobile was found! William (Stuart) had put it on the seat next to him!! How embarrassing holding so many passengers from alighting onto terra firma!
Then it was off in our taxi to the Hotel Prado de Golf! Apartments allocated and all good. Out for our first libation of the tour.
Then just like the Rocky Film! ‘First Blood’ to Thomas Dowman who tackled a cactus plant and received a nasty cut to his leg! The things players do to avoid the next day’s training session!!!