This week the Cutter will be extracting Glenn Beckett’s brilliant new book Following England Abroad. Today he recalls meeting ‘Adrian Durham’ in Kiev and enduring Boro Graham’s snoring.
Graham spotted four vaguely attractive local ladies sat down on a park bench opposite our seats, so he decided to approach them and try his famous Geordie charm. Yes, I know Middlesbrough residents are not classed as Geordies, but it always served as an excellent wind-up whenever Graham was around. Anyway, I couldn’t hear what he was saying to the girls, but in all honesty, it looked like he was crashing and burning to me, going on their facial expressions! He managed to squeeze onto the park bench and sat in the middle of them for a quick photo, but that was it. A definite fail on the first day for Graham, but then again, it was early.
Back in the fan zone later on, I thought I’d spotted Adrian Durham, the Talksport radio presenter, stood having a beer with a few mates. I pointed him out to Oz, who also listened to Talksport, but he had to confess that he didn’t know what Adrian Durham looked like. I decided to try my luck so I barged into the middle of their conversation and interrupted them.
“Excuse me lads, sorry to butt in, but are you Adrian Durham?” I enquired of the red-haired one.
“Who?” he replied.
“Adrian Durham, the Talksport presenter, mad Peterborough fan,” I said, suddenly starting to doubt my initial confidence, despite the beer.
They all cracked up laughing and started smacking the bloke on his back.
“Nah mate, we’re all Pompey,” one of them replied. “Never heard that one before.”
Bugger. I could have sworn it was him. That’s what Ukrainian beer does to your judgement I suppose.
We tried hard to find a decent spot to watch the games on the big screens, but the place was absolutely packed by early evening, so it was tricky. It was standing room only, much like being on an old style ‘kop’ apart from the fact that we could walk to a beer tent easily enough.
Sadly, the Danes went down 3-2 to Ronaldo’s mob, and the Dutch lost to their historical rivals, the Germans, 2-1. There were hardly any supporters from any of those countries in the Kiev fan zone, but I suppose that’s because they would have actually been in the stadium itself!
After popping into the ‘official UEFA’ souvenir shop on Khreshatyk for a quick nosey at all the tat on offer, we headed off back to the apartment for a few quiet ones and a decent night’s sleep for once. We’d been up since 4.00am and we were absolutely knackered. Unfortunately, I ended up having to share a double bed with Boro Graham, as our Oz had already bagged the single bed. Those two must be the loudest snorers on the planet, especially our Oz, who sounds rather like a jet engine on take off. I’ve no idea how Katie puts up with it, but presumably she has a large supply of cotton wool.
The next morning we decided to pop over the Tarasa Shevchenko (Shevchenko Boulevard) to a posh-looking 5 star hotel, as we’d noticed their roof top bar from our apartment balcony and I thought we might get a decent view from the top. The doormen didn’t bat an eyelid as three blokes walked in wearing England shirts and flip-flops and headed for the lifts.
“A great book and impossible to put down, a must for any football fan”.
Buy Glenn’s book at a special price of £10.74 HERE