A successful start to the day has seen us visit Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Everton, Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers.

We all feel suitably refreshed after a decent night’s sleep and finally being able to shower! A couple of coffees and red bulls and we were on our way to Bolton.

The sat nav continues to have a mind of its own but apart from that Bolton and Wigan were negotiated with minimal fuss.

Everton was one of the grounds we were most looking forward to visiting as they’d granted us permission for a pitch side photo and it didn’t disappoint. Lovely ground and it was great to have a quick look around, so big thanks to the staff at Everton for being so accommodating. Sadly Everton friend wasn’t there in his Ferguson shirt but we assume he’s still at the bar trying to buy Rodda a beer.

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Then it was on to Anfield and we didn’t hold out much hope of being allowed in to take a photo as Liverpool hadn’t replied to any of the emails. Tony the Baker stepped up and thought he’d ask anyway, dropping in the classic line “well Everton just let us in” to put the pressure on! 5 minutes later and we were standing on the Kop taking photos! Amazing ground, steeped in history, so it was brilliant to be allowed in for photos on the Kop and pitch side. Great work Tbone and thanks Kevin at Anfield  for showing us around. Amazing experience.

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Then we were quickly on to Tranmere Rovers and 92 in 92 Challenge history was made! Mike finally said “look, there’s the stadium”, and it actually turned out to be the stadium!! Previous attempts have seen him think various buildings were actually ‘the stadium’, such as B&Q, a used car dealership, a tree and last nights emphatic “there it is” turned out to be a small house!! We’ll done Mike, you finally got one!!

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We’re now on our way to Crewe and we’re absolutely buzzing after a good night’s sleep and a great start to the morning. The sponsorship continues to come in so thank you so much to everyone who is donating, it’s a real inspiration.

The comments, retweets and Facebook likes we’ve had so far have been brilliant, so please keep them coming as it’s proving a huge boost and raising a lot of laughs!

Thanks for all your support guys, we really appreciate it. We’re also open to suggestions for ‘funny’ poses outside grounds, so feel free to suggest some!!!

So, yesterday evening we successfully managed a quick stop for photos at Blackburn’s Ewood Park before heading on to Accrington Stanley, the smallest ground of all the 92. We were running behind schedule so decided to jump out and have a very quick photo and then move on swiftly, however the stadium manager popped his head out of the office and invited us in for a pitch side photo! It was great to get pitch side at such a unique ground and we were delighted to be given a match worn Accrington Stanley shirt. The stadium manager also asked if we were going to Luton Town during office hours as Luton had left half their kit their when the two sides met recently. We laughed at what we assumed was a joke, but we were then shortly on our way to Burnley with half of Luton Town’s kit in the boot!! Lower league football at it’s finest!! image

 

 

 

 

 

Burnley was quite an experience. Then we were on to Bradford. Having learned literally nothing from our trip to Norwich the night before, we arrived at Bradford City 5 minutes before their game kicked off with Leeds United. With again an increase in traffic and nowhere to park, we chanced upon a parking space with a great view of the stadium in the background. After reverend Scuzz finally managed a reverse park, we went to exit the car. Before we could do so, a group of Leeds fans and Bradford fans took a dislike to each other and punches started flying 10yards away from our car!! A police riot van then screeched up next to us, blocking us in, and we sat ‘calmly’ in the car praying the windows remained intact and desperately trying to avoid eye contact with the brawling masses!!! We really couldn’t have timed our arrival any better! Credit to the police, who dispersed the incident swiftly, and we quickly jumped out, took a selfie and got the hell out of there as quickly as we could!! Next stop….. Leeds!

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The Bradford / Leads area further impressed us when two young gentleman sped past us on motorbikes, weaved in and out traffic then drove straight over a roundabout (literally) and then were off at speed down a footpath. Nut jobs. What a lovely area, we were gutted to see the back of it… The great experience at Accrington and the fun in Bradford and Leeds had the spirits back up and banter was back in full flow. Huddersfield Town and Rochdale passed without incident and we headed on to Bury about an hour behind schedule. We were welcomed to Gigg Lane by the legend that is Northern Siiii!! Was great to see you mate and it gave us another lift when we were all absolutely shattered!! Cheers for the champers! Enjoying hanging out in Ibiza…!

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Just Oldham and the two Manchester clubs to go and then we could have a well earned sleep in an actual bed. Bets called ahead and booked a hotel in Manchester and by this stage we all just wanted to get to the grounds as soon as possible and then get some sleep! The Sat Nav took this opportunity to start going crazy, maybe it needed sleep too?? But we eventually found all the grounds, and we’re delighted to be welcomed so heartily at the countries most successful club, Manchester Utd. Apparently tripods are forbidden

outside ‘the theatre of dreams’ and security quickly told us we weren’t allowed to take photos! Tony negotiated taking one whole photo, with the tripod and everything. We pushed or luck and took too photos and we’re practically chased back to the car and out of the car park! What a lovely club. In stark contrast to the incredible hospitality of some of the lower league and north east premier league clubs, Manchester United were much less accommodating. I guess success doesn’t breed class.

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So a bit of a sour note to finish the night on but overall it has been a fantastic, once in a lifetime couple of days. So we headed to the prebooked Ibis Hotel. The sat nav was in full meltdown mode and we drove round the centre of Manchester for what seemed like an hour before we finally found the Ibis hotel. The pedantic condescending gentleman on reception quickly informed us we hadn’t booked with them and, having taken one look at us, assumed we were meant to be at the Ibis Budget Hotel a few miles away!! Unfortunately he was correct, so we paid £3 to get the car back out of the car park and headed to the budget hotel that was more in keeping with our appearance. We soon learned it was called budget for a reason! But it had beds and hot water, so it did the job!

We’re signing off for the night having enjoyed a successful evening visiting;

  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Accrington Stanley
  • Burnley
  • Bradford City
  • Leeds Utd
  • Huddersfield Town
  • Rochdale
  • Bury
  • Oldham Athletic
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester Utd

It’s been an eventful night, with unexpected ‘gifts’ from Accrington Stanley, excitement at Bradford vs Leeds, Manchester Utds fine hospitality, going to the wrong hotel and a guest appearance from Northern Si!!

A full blog will be uploaded tomorrow, but for now it’s good night from us.

Thank you all for your support, it really does drag us through the difficult moments!

 

We continued our journey with a visit to the most northerly club of the 92, Carlisle United. A quick photo and video outside the ground freed up some time to pop in to town to try and pick up a new cable to transfer the photos from the camera to the laptop. Thankfully we found a Cannon shop and a very helpful shop assistant (Joe Carlisle) who informed us we didn’t even need a cable, we could just put the memory card into to laptop and go from there.

The good news; we can upload photos again! The Bad news; we were too stupid to realise this and have over 100 photos to upload!!

But all in all, Carlisle was a success and we headed back down South to Morecambe. Smithy had the unenviable task of driving 62 miles down the M6, but the very picturesque scenery get us all entertained (seriously!)

The staff at Morecambe were very welcoming and invited us in for a quick tour and some photos pitch side, on the bench and in the boot room! We were actually amazed how impressive and modern the stadium was for a league 2 side. Although the changing rooms did smell about as bad as our car currently does!! Not good!

Then it was on to Fleetwood Town and we were again invited in to the stadium. An excellent tour and whistle stop history lesson was genuinely fascinating and we again came away impressive with the great facilities of the stadium and philosophy of the club. Derek at Fleetwood was even kind enough to give us a match programme and Fleetwood Town scarf! Our first gift and one that was greatly appreciated!

Things then started to turn for the worse! A painfully slow journey in rush hour traffic along Blackpool seafront drained morale and enthusiasm to the lowest it’s been so far! Went spent 30 minutes driving down the seafront wondering how on earth we’d enjoyed such brilliant lads weekends/stag dos in such a….erm…hole! Copious amounts of alcohol was the conclusion we came to.

On to Preston North End and a quick photo outside the ground and we were on our way. Morale is on the way back up and the banter is again beginning to flow!

Overall, a great day so far and we’re now all looking forward to heading to some more great clubs throughout the night.

A few pics from Morecambe and Fleetwood;

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So after going to what seemed like the end of the earth in Hartlepool, we made our way over to the two giants of the north east, Sunderland and Newcastle United.

Having organised a photo in the ground by email a month or so earlier, we thought we would be ushered in and out quickly. However the stadium manager gave us permission for a picture next to the pitch, on the subs bench and then in the home changing room! Once we sort out the camera lead situation (Jessops in Carlisle hopefully!) we will post the pictures! Even Betsy managed a smile in the home ground of his football teams rivals thanks to the great experience we had! We left there thinking we wouldn’t get access like that again…

Then we reached Newcastle….who then in turn gave us amazing access to St James’ Park! The PR manager took us down the tunnel (with the famous ‘Howay the Lads’ sign) to the pitch side, before allowing us photos in the home and away changing room! Smithy said it was like we had taken Betsy out for his birthday!!

Both clubs were fantastic and have given us unprecedented access to two of the biggest stadiums in the country. We’re now stuck behind a caravan on our way to Carlisle and are running pretty much on time. we’re all a bit knackered but we’re battling through until tonight when we plan to stop overnight!

We will keep you all updated with our efforts today, and keep your eyes peeled for all our photos which we will upload once we replace the lead we somehow managed to lose all the way back in Peterborough!

Speak soon,

The 92 in 92 boys

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The journey continues!

19 – Hull City

20 – York City

21 – Middlesborough

22 – Hartlepool United

23 – Sunderland

 

We crossed the Humber bridge on the way to Hull, much to the over excitement of Mike! A quick photo outside and on we headed to York. The tiredness has well and truly started to kick in now but an upside down pig in a shop window in York was greatly appreciated by the 92 in 92 challenge lads!!

The absolute legends, Margaret and Martin (Andrew’s auntie & uncle) met us outside York City’s ground with what can only be described as the best, and most needed, breakfast we’ve ever had! Huge thanks to Margaret & Martin, was great to see you and it provided a great lift when we were really starting to flag.

Then it was on to Middlesborough and Hartlepool for some quick photos outside the grounds, and on we went to Sunderland.

Sunderland kindly let us in to the stadium and could not have been more welcoming!! Was a brilliant experience and so much is that it deserves a blog post of its own!! Watch this space!!

We’re now on our way to Newcastle United to see if they can match the amazing hospitality of their neighbours Sunderland!!! No pressure!!!!

Finally, huge that’s to everyone who has sponsored and everyone who continues to do so. Every notification we receive that another do station has been made is a huge inspiration to us, so please keep them coming!!

4:40am, we’ve just left Scunthorpe United and are currently ahead of schedule.

Clubs completed so far;

  1. Southend United
  2. Ipswich Town
  3. Norwich City
  4. Cambridge United
  5. Peterborough United
  6. Leicester City
  7. Burton Albion
  8. Derby County
  9. Nottingham Forest
  10. Notts County
  11. Mansfield Town
  12. Chesterfield
  13. Sheffield United
  14. Sheffield Wednesday
  15. Rotherham United
  16. Barnsley
  17. Doncaster Rovers
  18. Scunthorpe United

Due to some technical difficulties* we’ve been un able to upload a lot of the photos taken at each ground, but hopefully we’ll be able to sort that out in the morning.

So far all is going well (ish). We have run in to some slight inconveniences so far;

  • Norwich City – unfortunately Norwich were playing at home in the league cup approximately one & a half hours before we arrived. This resulted in an big increase in traffic and very limited parking near the stadium, which meant we had to park up half a mile away and run to the stadium for a quick photo!
  • Leicester City – in the reverse of the above issue experienced at Norwich, we managed to arrive at Leicester 1 minute after the final whistle went in their match against Shrewsbury! This again meant we had to park half a mile away, only this time instead of running we fought our way through the several thousand disgruntled Leicester City fans who we’re leaving the stadium!
  • Leicester to Burton – one junction, junction 23, was closed on the M1. Absolutely typically, it was one the junction we needed!! After a brief diversion through some rather ‘interesting’ places, we were soon back on track.
  • Burton to Derby – yet more road closures!! Lots of resurfacing going on in Derby it would seem! But so good navigational work from Tony meant we didn’t lose too much time.

But apart from that pretty much everything else is going to plan. We’re really enjoying it so far, everyone’s done their share of driving and/or navigating with near perfection!! Several power naps and a brief stop at a service station has kept us all fresh and the adrenaline and banter is keeping us focused so far!

Mike is currently driving us to Hull (and back!?!) with Nick as his navigator and is looking forward to driving over the Humber Bridge. Matt and Tone are sleeping and Andrew is writing this blog for you all to enjoy!!

All in all it’s been a brilliant journey so far and we honestly can not thank you enough for all your amazing support. We’ll do our best to keep you all updated through this blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Hopefully some more more photos will follow soon!

14 hours in. 78 to go!

 

 

*scuzz may have misplaced the cable needed to upload the photos!!!