The Best. Night. Ever

14th May 2006 – 16:00

What an emotional evening last night turned out to be. To have victory snatched away from us at the last minute is so gutting. But I won’t go on about the game too much because this is supposed to be about what I’m getting up to here and not a kick-by-kick analysis of the greatest FA Cup Final ever.

My evening was spent in the Hobgoblin pub in Roppongi (with my West Ham shirt on) and by kick off time the place was absolutely packed. The majority of people in there were supporting Liverpool even though most of the guys in there had New Zealand and Australian accents! Someone spotted a bandwagon to jump on methinks! The atmosphere in the pub was excellent. I managed to find a number of fellow Hammers to talk to dotted around the pub but we were seriously outnumbered! We sang. We cheered. We drank. We cheered some more. We drank some more. We sang ‘Bubbles’. And then we lost on penalties.

After the game, apart from being inconsolable, I have never felt so proud of being a West Ham supporter. A large number of people offered their sympathies, told us we didn’t deserve to lose and congratulated the team on the performance they gave. Even the (genuine) Liverpool fans admitted that they had been outplayed and didn’t deserve to win it.

As I left the pub, somewhat dejected, and passed the adjoining Sports Cafe where a huge number of Scottish fans were celebrating (Scotland had drawn with Japan and in doing so won the Kirin Cup – a tri-nation tournament – and Hearts had also won the Scottish Cup), a couple of guys came over, expressed their sympathies and invited me in for a drink. After the sadness of losing, to be brought into an atmosphere of jubilation was almost surreal. All the Scots were extremely friendly towards this Sassenach and after a while my spirits had been lifted.

I eventually made my way home and pondered upon what had been a fantastic evening. I think I managed to work myself through every emotion possible in the space of about 6 hours. It will be an evening I shan’t forget.