The Horn treatment
By Josh Hall
The day had finally arrived, Sunday 21st May 2006. After a week and a half of waiting, the game that decided our so far, unbelievably successful season had come upon us. Unfortunately it meant I had to be up at half past five! But not even waking up five or six hours earlier than usual could spoil my day. I only got three hours' sleep, blaming that on Woody and Spraggz_orn for keeping me up with their annoying stories of a supposed "moth-man"! But anyway, I was wide awake and ready for the journey from Bishop's Stortford to Cardiff by the time I had walked to the Stortford train station at six o'clock.
And so the journey began...after thirty-five minutes, we were at London Liverpool Street, and after a detour to Notting Hill Gate due to underground works, we arrived at Paddington at around ten past eight. Woody, Spraggz and I were all fully awake, and ready for the day ahead of us. We had our big England hammer, which was randomly bought by Woody for two pounds from the Shell Garage in Watford, and we had more importantly remembered the tickets, despite Spraggz trying to trick us into thinking he had forgot them and causing Woody and me a lot of distress!
Looking around Paddington, there seems to be no Watford fans, but then we turn the corner and find a massive sea of yellow, all on the platform we were heading towards! Cutting it short, after about an hour and a half of queuing, we found ourselves getting on the 9:37 from Paddington.
We knew there was a shortage of seats, but unfortunately we were to find there were no seats! Standing wasn't an option, so we had the choice to wait till the ten o'clock train or get on this one and find a place to sit on the floor!
We chose the latter....
Just over two hours later, I had to slowly crawl my way out of a luggage compartment i had been trapped in by those who had got on at Swindon and Reading! Being over 6ft, this was highly uncomfortable and being underneath a Leeds fan who was in the luggage compartment above didn't make it any better! Anyway, at around ten to midday (I think, as I lost sense of time when stuck in the luggage bit!) we arrived in Cardiff.
After leaving the station, we entered the outside world again, and it was raining! Great! First, we sought shelter but then decided to soldier on through the rain. We picked up some early memorabilia on the way, including those annoying horns and a playoff scarf. The annoying horns were well worth the three pounds paid for them, and were used greatly in the three hours' build-up before the game. In that three hours, we walked round Cardiff many times, ended up in the Leeds side of town for a lot of it. In which time we had a great laugh, talking to Leeds fans about the game, and singing "we've only got three fans!" (as there were hardly any Watford fans in that part of town) to the Leeds support, which they enjoyed!
Finally the highlight of the build-up, some Daily Sport girls posed in a picture for the paper and all three of us managed to get in that pic! Great stuff: it made their middle page and we have a Watford poster with us on now!
And then....and after all this build-up, you've probably stopped reading by now but...along came the small matter of the actual match itself! After meeting Zak, we left and went to find our seats, bought a programme in the process and found our seats were actually pretty decent, despite the fact they were in the Upper Tier and the cheap ones.
I could write a match report but I'd probably go on longer then I have already, and...we all know how it goes! Basically, the yellow team scored three goals, one classy, one lucky, and one penalty. The white team didn't know what had hit them. The yellow team won and therefore found themselves heading to the Premiership!
And so to after the game, all the Leeds fans we met were great (surprisingly), they shook our hands and wished us luck next year. Woody went through about ten or fifteen Leeds fans, shaking all their hands and they were very polite and cheerful towards us. We still had to rub it in a bit though, and loads of Leeds fans recieved the "Horn" treatment: us pointing at them with our horns and blowing them at them. Simple, but effective as it got the point across that....the 'Orns have gone up!
After a queue at the station for half an hour, along came the train home; well, I managed to get a seat which was great! The journey back was hilarious with our amazingly annoying horns. Used on the Underground to great effect, everyone knew that Watford were back up by the time we had finished with them. I was back home by nine o'clock; I would have loved to spend the night but with GCSEs looming, there was no chance! Back to reality now, an IT exam today and RE and PE following on tomorrow...!