Day 78

Two Clubs – Two Dreams – Two Hundred Yards Apart

It was an early and bad start to the day. Firstly, the hotel did not give me my early morning wake-up call but fortunately I was dreaming about scoring Gillingham’s winning goal at Wembley (again) and I managed to wake at 5,30 without the hotel’s help. Sadly, when I got downstairs I found somebody had slashed my back tyre overnight. Mild panic as I needed to get across the other side of town in 15 minutes. Fortunately I just made the BNI Forest meeting and it was there that I made one of the Smaritans of my jpurney. Andrew Elliott offered to chauffeur me all morning and without his awesome assistance I have no idea how the day would have turned out. Firstly, it was back to the hotel to see how bad it was and when it was clear I would need a new tyre and tube it was down to Matt at Bunneys Bikes. Despite being busy he recognised my plight (30 minutes maximum to get to Meadow Lane!) and immediately had the bike on a mount and within minutes it was returned to its former glory and we were off hot-foot to Notts County. Huge thanks to all at Bunneys. Samaritan(s) Number 2 of the day. Thanks also to Steve at BNI Forest who recommended Bunneys and gave me superb directions! Another Smaritan!

At Notts we were met by Ralph Shepherd who like Adam at Chesterfield knew exactly what he wanted and what he was prepared to do.

We talked about Notts being the oldest league club and it was indeed touching to see a band of their loyal supporters scrubbing the seats in readiness for the New Season and a home game against Huddersfield Town. Ralph is a huge fan as well as being the ultimate professional and if his passion transfers to the players, they will do well in League One. Thanks, Ralph. Thanks also for the scarf which will remind me of a great day in Nottingham (despite its start!) Good Luck.

Sadly we were pressing a deadline so we were quickly off to the City Ground just a few hundred yards away. Of late, Forest have been the “Big Boys” in Nottingham and their determination to stay that way is clear. They are also firmly behind the 2018 Bid for which they too will have a shiney new stadium. On to the pitch again with Ben White for some photos and a good chat with him about their bid , their aspirations for the season and “life in general” before we rushed off.

So a HUGE thanks to Andrew Elliott, Bunneys and also Tony Russel from BNI who has been working diligently to get me a face to face at his beloved Burton Albion. Let’s hope!

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