2010 Old Boys Weekend (Fri)
Well, it was always going to happen at somepoint, but this was finally to be the year of a new era and a new Chairman.
In line with his new duties, this year’s write up has been provided by Chris “Schlong” Long. As ever, feel free to feedback if there’s anything else we have missed or just forgotten!
Let the good times roll……
Friday, 30th April pm
Old Boys 2010 kicked off with a nervous energy in the air. Tryf, Mr Chairman of ten years, was stepping down, and his final act in the role was minutes away. At 8pm, he would announce his successor.
Gradually rolling into the city from 4 o’clock onwards, Tiny Timmy Curtis throwing his annual sicky, Tryf making his way over on a Friday for the first time in several years, the Pink Palace filling up, and Jez Elson joining us for one night only, the old boys started to arrive and converge.
Tommy Hoppit, Tim, Jimmy Hill (returned specially from his travels), Mike Williams and Dave Megson (would they have brought Herbert and Nwankwo with them?), Tryf and I got started in Paddy’s after a quick stop in the pizza shop, and got caught up. After being joined by Jez, we moved on to the Menai, where the rest would join us, and the decision would be announced.
Fully suited and booted, Mickey Donnelly, Johnny O’Brien, Ade Malone, Small Paul and John McGlade arrived at the Menai, as did Mr and Mrs McTavish. Sitting around a long table, the tension was there for all to see. McTavish and I nervous and hopeful of taking on the position, and Small shitting himself, desperate not to have to take on the responsibility.
After running through the pros and cons for each candidate, Tryf produced what would become a new tradition – Mr Chairman’s jacket. He moved around the table, keen eyes on him, and touched me on the shoulder…I was to become chairman and lead you all in drunken exploits and nudity for the next two years.
I immediately got to work, downing a pint in celebration, and ensured a double-parked Jimmy Hill did the same. The beer began to flow, the punishments were being dished out, and old boys 2010 was underway.
Time, for thirteen years the home of Monday and Friday night debauchery, was to close its doors for good after the weekend, and so the boys went all out to make the best of their final visit. Jimmy Hill, still standing despite already twice having vomited, continued on through, the dreadful dancing performances were revisited, and Time proved that it hadn’t changed by playing Poker face at least three times. (Tryf – I’m still waiting to see the footage of Tiny Tim and John McGlade’s dance-off with the camp guy who looked like one of Madonna’s backing dancers from the 1980s – they absolutely destroyed him in what was one of the funniest things I’ve seen).
Saturday began for us all in different ways. Mike and Dave were in Paddy’s by 9am, under the odd impression that he’d let them hook up the ps3. Though this didn’t come to fruition, he did bring them bacon and sausage sandwiches to go with their Guinness. Mr Megson, surely aware that he was in my sights for punishment during the days games, made the interesting decision of already being wrecked by the time he met Mr and Mrs McTavish, Tim, Tommy, me and the newly arrived Keith Frankish, Aaron Dunne and big Tony Johnstone. Lunch was consumed, 2010 polo shirts (in a South African/Zulu theme in honour of the world cup) were handed out, and Giddo, alongside a zombie like Jimmy Hill, joined us. Mr Hill, very unwell indeed, fell asleep in the corner, an error most grievous when sitting next to Mr Chairman…
Things at the pink palace were a little more laid back, as the boys took the opportunity for a lay in. Ade and Small came over to collect the polos, before returning to the palace to enjoy the views over the Menai straight with more than a couple of beers and no small amount of vodka.
The customary red arse and team goal shenanigans by the swimming pool were played out after lunch, whilst Aaron, Tony, Frankish and I undertook a swift tour of lower Bangor’s pubs. We were very surprised by Fat Cats take on a long Island ice tea – a bright green Meduri based concoction served in a whiskey tumbler.
Tommy, McTavish, Dave and Mike meanwhile slipped off back to the Bay Tree Lodge to make a little surprise for the evening.
Saturday afternoon also demonstrated that though Tryf may no longer be chairman, his commitment to the cause has not been lost, as he drove down to Aberystwyth for a football match and returned to us (now carrying an injury) in the early evening. (Tryf – yes, that’s right. Hamstring injury + 2 hour drive = not many gear changes. All worth it though!)
The evenings festivities began in the Menai at 5, where Mr Chairman’s rules came into full effect. Consistent insubordination from Mr Dunne was punished comprehensively, Mr Johnstone and Mr Hoppit were temporarily dismissed from the circle until they learnt that they were to drink what they were given, even if general contributions are disgusting, and games began when we were all assembled.
The games were punctuated with unbelievable bouts of idiocy, particularly a general inability to speak on finger clicks during “this is a game…can you name”. Mr Dunne was again a major culprit, and received a tongue lashing (in rhythm and on the clicks) from Mr Chairman.
Principally, though, the visit to the Menai will be remembered for the surprise that McTavish, Dave, Tommy and Mike had in store. Nwankwo and Hubert may not have made the journey this year, but that wasn’t the end of cock art. The competition was opened by Mike and Dave (both sporting afros of varying quality), who removed their tops and trousers to reveal multicoloured trouser snakes winding their way across their bodies, from shoulder to cock, complete with googly eyes at the business end. The spectacular display was the last act of the day for Mr Megson, whos decision to start heavy at 9am proved fatal. He and his snake were to slither off to bed and a pool of vomit when the rest of us moved on. (Tryf – I hear he was told to go home and, instead of going to his hotel, went back to his old Uni house. This left him slightly confused when his key didn’t work, and a bunch of strangers were in his garden enjoying a barbecue! – I so hope that’s true!!!)
McTavish and Hoppit, who joyously produced their members, adorned with eyes, glasses and hairstyles, to much applause from the group, produced further cock art. There was more to come from the boys though, as they drew back their foreskins to reveal an eye rather larger and more googly than the japs eyes the rest of us possess. These extra eyes would provide for extra entertainment later on in the evening, when Main Bars unsuspecting clientele would find them and unknowingly apply them to their foreheads…
Moving on to the Belle Vue and meeting up with the Old Stars (resplendent in their fancy dress outfits. Tryf – need to make sure this meeting is a tradition that continues!), the beer continued to flow and fines continued to be dished out. Seemingly intent on testing the new Chairmans resolve, certain members of the group were pushing their luck, and ended up paying the price.
After the BV, it was time to make the final trip to Main Bar, whilst the Old Stars made their way to the Harp for Karaoke. Like Time, Main Bar will close its doors forever after the weekend, and so it was imperative it was enjoyed as fully as possible.
The journey from upper Bangor was made, and not without incident. Mr O’Brien, under the conviction that there was a quicker way down Glenrafon Hill and under the influence of a fair quantity of gin, attempted a spot of parkour (free running). Though in principle a great idea, his chocolate leg could not withstand the leap from wall to ground, and he lay prostate on the ground, to an inevitable chorus of unsympathetic laughter. Tommy, thoughtful as ever, kicked him to check if he was still alive, and helped him to his feet.
In Jocks, the games continued, and after going round the circle translating the Zulu names (see table below), the boys broke into song, and the verses of Chicago rang out through the bar. The time spent in Jocks was, however, punctuated by a sad announcement from Mr Reilly, who will be leaving to take up a teaching position in Milan next school year. The loss of a through and through Bangor boy is indeed a sad one for us all.
On getting upstairs, it was time for some more ludicrously poor attempts at dancing. Led by John McGlade’s Carlton Banks style moves, Hoppits pathetic attempts at break dancing and my Ricky Gervais dance, the old boys took over the dance floor, before being challenged to a dance off by a heavy set and very entertaining young man. On the verge of defeat, the best thing I could come up with was a headstand and then to get on my back, bring my knees up and have Mickey spin me around. Victory, at least in our minds, secured, it was off to the bar for a little more liquid refreshment.
The dancing was to get better though, as Small Paul led us in performing the Old Boys dance, a set of moves far better than anything the Macarena can offer! (Tryf – we actually made this one up on a lads holiday in Turkey, so anyone going to Marmaris may well see the locals breaking out the complex dance on a night out!!!)
A key incident, though, occurred away from the dance floor. Big Tone, absolutely obliterated, didn’t take kindly to the words and actions of a hockey old boy, and took a swing at him. Due to his inebriation, his punch flew wide of the mark and landed on the chaps girlfriend. Tone was frog marched out, protesting his innocence, a plea which continued on to the following day. On being quizzed about occurrences, Tony maintained that he hadn’t hit anyone, he had merely swung a punch and missed, and that planting one on the lady didn’t count because he was aiming for her boyfriend. Would it stand up in court? Lets hope we never have to find out.
The evening finished at varying intervals for the boys, as Mr Hill slipped away quietly with a lady, Mr Williams lasted only until 11 after his early morning escapades, and the boys went their separate ways. Special mention to Mr Donnelly who made sure his Chairman would enjoy the rest of the night back at the pink palace.
Sunday morning brought many a weary, beer filled body to Treborth for the thinly-veiled excuse for a piss up that brings us here every year. Match day against the current XI. A solid turn out for both teams was a welcome change, though sadly there was no game between the old stars this year. They did, though, take the opportunity for a laugh and watch the debacle that was about to unfold.
Grateful to see a sober and rested Phil Owen and Matty Lowe appear with their boots in hand, the old boys dragged themselves onto the pitch and into some sort of formation. The fact the starting eleven comprised of at least eight defenders gave Dave and Mike a rare opportunity to play as centre forwards, a chance to shine they both spectacularly failed to take.
The game was a truly dire affair, with tired, aging limbs unable to demonstrate what little ability they once held. The first ten minutes brought the games first goal, as a lazy Simon Giddings hoof forward from just outside his own penalty area flew down the pitch. One bounce, over the centre half. Two bounces, into the penalty area, Three bounces, over the ‘keeper. A fourth bounce, and the ball slowly rolls into the net for what was undoubtedly the worst 70 yard screamer you will ever see.
But the worst was yet to come. Minutes after the old boys had taken the lead, a feeble student eleven effort was bobbling hopelessly wide. Craig Reilly, keeping in his last old boys match, followed the ball across to collect it, but before the ball went over the dead ball line, a non-playing Tommy Hoppit attempted – and fluffed – a clearance which rolled back across the 6 yard box and to a waiting student, who tapped the ball into the empty net.
The rest of the game was uneventful, with positional awareness, skill, accurate passing and speed evading everyone involved. Incidents worthy of mention include a disgracefully late challenge from Keith Frankish, earning him a booking, at least two glaring misses from Dave Megson, some keen running from Ade Malone and a truly sublime first touch from Timmy Curtis, who plucked a high, looping clearance out of the air and stopped the ball dead. (Tryf – a truly wonderful piece of skill, though followed up a minute later with a 40 yard strike that hit the corner flag) Making just as significant a contribution to the game as several old boys was Small Paul, happily tucked up in bed for the duration. (Tryf – to be fair, he did turn up ‘fashionably late’ – at the end of the game!)
When, to the relief of the spectators, the final whistle blew, it was time for penalties. Good news in that there was no more running to be done, bad in that making clean contact with the ball had been a big issue all day! The takers chosen, the kicks began. To the dismay of the old stars, the first 9 were taken fully clothed, and were, for the most part, pretty awful. Horrendous misses By Jimmy Hill and Ade Malone either side of a Tim Curtis score left Mickey Donnelly needing to net to level it at two all, and net he did in spectacular style. The current students pulled ahead to 3-2, leaving the last penalty taker, a stark bollock naked yours truly, to tamely offer an easy save to the keeper. The shield was lost, and with it what little pride in our ability we still had.
The students gleefully picked up their trophy and made their way for winner’s photos with the waiting paparrazzi. In a new tradition, an MVP shield was presented, in the memory of those we have lost over the years, to someone who not only contributed well to the game, but did so in the true spirit of old boys – Craig “McTavish” Reilly.
Showered and changed, the old boys reconvened in Paddy’s to watch Liverpool make us look like Brazil, before bidding farewell to Keith, Aaron and Tony. We were joined by the student team, some of whom were persuaded to stay with us through the day.
Now joined by Daf Beech, lunch was taken in the Scream, and Mr Chairman’s rules were once again being enforced strictly, and falling spectacularly foul of them was Mr Curtis, who’s insistence on not doing what he was told led to spewage, an event caught on camera by Chief Snitch McTavish. Coinstack killer was next, and the three students who joined us were welcomed with fines aplenty, the painful removal of Chris ‘Anthony Costa’ Batley’s under garments, and free beer. For being first out, and first to catch on to the rules, Liam Holden was awarded an old boys token bitch shirt (which he has since framed) Mr Hill, who makes the same mistakes every single year, was ruined, and Mr Owen phoned the Octagon, posing as the father of Mark Jones, to tell them he wouldn’t be joining them for work that evening.
From the Scream, it was onto the Ffriddoedd, or bar Uno as it is now oddly named, for more games. Punishments were issued for varying levels of idiocy, including (but not limited to) comments such as “you should go on facebook and look at my farm, it’s well good” (Mr Curtis) and “I had spaghetti bolognaise out there, but I forget what they call it in Italy” (Mr Giddings). Mr Weights and Measures did his job with strict aplomb, and when the games begun, teamed up with Mr Prosser to punish Mr McGlade for his shocking inability to deal with substituted numbers in 21. Honourable mention goes to Mr O’Brien for necking at least three treble gins, and to both he and Mr Small for taking their punishments in spirits.
From the Ffridd the old boys moved on to the BV, where the traditional rendition of Father Abraham gave the boys their long awaited opportunity for more nudity. As it was last year, the song was performed at ground level, with memories of 2008 still fresh in our minds. After the song, full use of the new punching machine in the beer garden was taken, with some glory, but mostly embarrassment. Chuck Norris used his powers to take the form of Mr Donnelly to register the high score (853) on the machine, and a three year old girl took the form of both Mr Hill and Mr Batley to register a solid 5. Back inside the pub, I demonstrated to Mr Malone and Mr O’Brien the sort of powers I have that make me Mr Chairman, by successfully calculating the number of hours in year.
The final stop in this years odyssey was, as ever, Paddy’s and karaoke. The standard mêlée ensued, cheap vodka and jagermeister running through the bodies, shirts off, and a genuinely moving rendition of Hero from Mr Prosser, Mr Owen and Mr McGlade. Mr Prosser, Mr Owen, Mr Megson and Mr Hill yet again found themselves dressed in women’s clothing, which actually quite suited them, and in the newly appointed role of ‘team motorboat’ Clare Eccles performed her duties marvellously.
When the evening ended, sad farewells were said, final pizzas were ordered, and for the last time in 2010, the old boys staggered back to their respective beds. Or for those of us who were lucky enough, someone elses.
So here’s to each other, and as we get back into the real world, I hope that we can each look back and afford ourselves a wry smile from time to time, remembering the songs, the dancing, the stupidity and the old boys spirit, and looking forward to making new memories next time out.
Look forward to seeing you all again soon,