And So To Leon
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
We had tickets but we didn’t go.
Not all the England’s supporters went to see the game. (England v West Germany). Some people went to Acapulco instead, as that was one of the side trips on offer. Still can’t understand why anyone would go on a side-trip when it’s clashing with an important game. Perhaps it was the only time they could fit it in – or it was all pre-booked.
We had tickets for the Guadalajara quarter-final and if England had won the group they would have been staying there.
I think the ticketing arrangements made provision for us to either stay in Guadalajara or go to Leon for the quarter-final.
The organisers said that we could exchange our tickets for Leon. That was the arrangement because you don’t always know where your team is going to be playing, do you.
It was organised fairly quickly. I think we had our quarter-final tickets transferred from Guadalajara to Leon. Leon was a fair journey as well. Certainly over 100 miles.
But Frank and me thought, it’s a long trip and we were going to be making a long coach trip the following day down to Mexico City. So what with the heat and humid conditions we thought ‘Shall we stay in Guadalajara?’ We weren’t the only ones who made the decision. It was just the travelling. We decided we wouldn’t bother. A lot of them did swap their tickets but I think a few didn’t.
Getting There, or Not…
We arrived the day before the game… We drove down to Leon in the team bus, with a police escort. Leon itself was a fairly nondescript industrial city. The accommodation was OK; a motel in a guarded complex… It was only a short drive from the Nou Camp stadium, where the match would be played.
We went by coach. It was a fair old trot away from Guadulajara.
We did it as a day trip. It was a midday kick-off. I think we had to head off fairly early in the morning. About seven-ish. We went by coach.
I don’t recall the journey but it was an early start, as it was a noon kick-off.
It was a lovely hotel in Leon. Like a ranch. All greenery and flowers. Again, somewhere on the outskirts. And it was all on one level and the swimming pool – it was like going in the warm bath. Yeh, lovely. But then some bloke says, “I’ve found out where all the bars are!” So, we all rushed out of the hotel and piled into cabs, and it was like, ‘Follow that cab!’. And, like, there’s this convoy of England fans. So we’re driven down this road, and there’s this big white wall on one side and on the other all bars and clubs. It was like something out of a cowboy film.
I suppose it was a bit of a wrench not to go. If we’d been on a train perhaps… But if it was on a coach… So we went to watch the Brazil v Peru quarter final match instead.
We were dropped at a convenient place where we could get snacks – food and drink. We wandered through the streets – some having the odd tipple of tequila or whatever. I had some but was drinking mostly water I think. As a diabetic, it was hard to find sugar-free drinks. I never found any sugar-free Coca Cola! I think it was a pretty straightforward walk to the stadium from where they dropped us off.
I remember troops outside the stadium. I suppose that was normal though I don’t remember them outside the stadium in Guadalajara.
There was an excellent atmosphere and confidence.
I think I was reasonably confident. I felt ok.