Saturday, 5 September 1998

A v Sweden (Stockholm) 5.9.1998

Morning all

My first e-mail for a while as our system collapsed at work so could not send
or receive any mail!

Have just got back from watching England in Sweden and then went straight down to Exeter. Great weather on the way back , and after sitting in a minibus for 4/5 hours I now know why I usually pay more and go by train.

Sweden was a great trip (apart from the football) , how often do you hear people say that! Loads of Brighton fans and once again the lower league teams made up the majority of the support (Why dont they cancel all fixtures on International weekends?). After the match most people spent ages attempting to find out there home teams results. Three in a row , I wonder how many games it took us last season to reach 10 points?

Sweden was a lot cheaper than when I last went (Euro 92) and beer was down to
49kroner about £3.80 a pint. The hotel we stayed in was only £27 a night
and we had the pleasure of the company of Sir Bert Millichip and Leonard Johanson (sp?) the top bod in European football!

The game was dire and after Hoddles book it appeared that the team spirit/fight had gone , I hope I'm wrong and the team put up a proper display against Bulgaria in October. The 3,500 England supporters deserved better than the crap they were dished up. The match tickets only cost £19 so I think this shows how Wembley/Premier league prices are ripping off the public. In the match we made a perfect start with Shearer putting us 1 up inside the first 2 minutes, but it went down hill from that point. We conceded to soft goals and then Paul Ince got himself sent off!!

Unfortuntely there was quite a lot of trouble before,during and after the match. As we queued to get out of our section it had all kicked off in the main concourse under the away end. Tear gas started to waft up the exits and when we finally got down to get out the glass back of the stand had been smashed to bits. The England fans had thrown a mobile food trolley through the windon onto the fans below!

As for Exeter away , well both teams were poor , Exeter probably just about deserved a win. A good turn out from the Albion faithful (I would guess at 250) , lets hope for a bumper crowd Saturday and the continuation of the unbeaten run at Gillingham.

We met several Gills fans in Sweden , they had sympathy with us and couldnt believe that we take well over 2,500 every other week!

On a final note for anyone who played in the Brentford match a couple of weeks ago , I bumped into Billy the Bee on Sunday night on the Underground in Sweden. He was on the wrong line with no idea how to get back to metro line he needed.


Mark Raven

Ps Following this match the English FA were fined for supporters racially abusing Henrik Larsson.

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