Wednesday, 19 April 2017


I’ve won football tickets before. Thanks to Barclays and Aviva, respectively, I’ve seen Norwich hold Man City to a goalless draw and beat Rotherham 3-1 (honestly, that first one was a corker!). This match, however, was the one I was *really* looking forward to. Not because it was going to be a high-stakes promotion dogfight (that much was written off weeks ago), and not because it would be a chance to see a world-class team show off its silky skills (with all due respect, Fulham, you’re no Barcelona); no - this matchday was going to be awesome because I had golden tickets. The fact that the match was a half-dead rubber was irrelevant: these tickets *guaranteed* a good time.

I won the tickets back in January, when Green Farm Coffee - sponsors of the South Stand at Carrow Road - ran a Gleam comp on their website. I already knew who I wanted to be my plus-one, so I got my mate to enter too. Thanks to this referral, I got an extra entry into the draw. Whether that was the straw that tipped the camel’s back in my favour I shall never know, but for the sake of the narrative, let’s just imagine it was.

The prize, simply put, was an afternoon of top-notch hospitality at the finest football club in East Anglia (yeah, you heard me Ipswich), comprising a tour of the ground, fancy lunch and exceedingly comfortable seats to watch the game.
Carow Road stadium
The lull before the storm
Without doubt, the tour was incredible. Happy to chat both football and the business of football, our guide showed us all the special little nooks of Carrow Road, from the dugouts to the dressing rooms, the press conference suite to the post-match interview cubicles, and, lest we forget, the trophy cabinet.

To be sure, Carrow Road will never rival, say, Old Trafford, for silverware, but even so, there were so many stories in that one room that it was nigh impossible to digest even the highlights. But with lunch beckoning and a queue building up behind us, we had to make way for the next party to see the spoils.

On the touchline
Getting 110% Out of the lads
Speaking of lunch, the meal was (as you’d expect from Delia’s staff) impeccable: a champagne aperitif, followed by a salmon fishcake starter, succulent roast lamb main and something I’m tempted to call a bakewell cake for dessert (sorry - I totally failed to cross-check the bill of fare!), and - of course - coffee. My photos of the food don’t do the meal the slightest justice, however, so here’s another picture of me, mugging for the camera.
In the press cubicle
To be fair, you never can tell. The lads did well at the end of the day and I think the ref's going to feel that in the morning. It was a game of 90 minutes, and, fair play, two halves. That said, I'm sick as a parrot.
Now, about those seats. I had no idea that anyone outside of the squad was allowed a comfy seat. I acknowledge my error. At the top of the terrace, opposite the dugouts, is where the posh people sit. The view was fantastic and my riff-raff buns were over the proverbial moon.
Seat at Carrow Road
Check out the padding!
As we got to our seats, the Barclay was in fine voice, the team having pounded Reading 7-1 in the previous game. No one was expecting a repeat of that, of course. Much like no one was expecting Fulham to go a goal up in the first five minutes. Suffice to say, I'm disinclined to discuss the subsequent 85 minutes; that is, unless you want further intel on the euphoric state of my buttocks.

This was the first time I've ever been vipped, and it was, without question, brilliant. How I'm ever supposed to cope with being a civilian again I will never know!

Have you ever had the VIP treatment? Tell me more!


  1. ahh this is brilliant - what a great win! Football does nothing for me I'm afraid but I can certainly imagine just how special this is. I think one of our very best 'VIP' kind of wins was winning tickets to the Moshi Monsters Music Rox launch party. My boys were both MASSIVELY into Moshi monsters at the time and all four of us entered the competition in the hope of a win. I was heavily pregnant with my youngest at the time and I remember a few days before being in hospital through the night having contractions and telling the midwife that there was NO WAY THE BABY COULD ARRIVE because i didn't want to miss the Moshi Music rox party!!!! THankfully she hung on in there for another 11 days - phew. We saw Sophie Ellis bextor there and she was also heavily pregnant at the time but managed to do it so effortlessly and glamorously compared to me who was a shattered exhausted mess by the end of the party. We also got to meet mr moshi (although this was actually our 3rd time meeting him so he recognised the kids which was really cool). McFly were also there but i didn't notice them as we were so engrossed in the moshi characters. The kids then did a Q&A feature which appeared in the next issue of moshi magazine which was one of the top-selling kids magazines at the time. Such happy days! Although we didn't start blogging until later that year, I wrote up a brief backdated post about it for the kids to remember

    1. That's a great win! Your lads must have been beside themselves! I dare say you were pretty wiped by the end of it - looking after excited kids is hard enough when you're pumping on all cylinders, never mind imminently due. And how great to get such validation from Mr Moshi - they must have felt super-vipped! I can only imagine the bragging rights once back at school! My first-born was cross that I wasn't taking him to the game, but he takes so little interest in football (and his table manners are so appalling) that I didn't think it an especially clever idea!

    2. PS There's a reason no one nails effortless glamour like Sophie Ellis Bextor: she's actually a porcelain robot. :D

  2. sorry - my comment so long! Love hearing about your wins - gets me excited about comping again.