London Calling - January

Last updated : 27 January 2004 By Al Woodcock
Big Ben
London-based fans face a bleak February
And A Happy New Year it is! At last United have remembered how to win and suddenly the mood has changed and confidence returned. This is great news and its good to see people returning to Brunton Park and really getting behind the team.

The London Branch New Year kicked off with a meeting of the Yorkshire Twig at York. Surprisingly the weather held and the game wasn’t called off and a great time was had by all – it was just a shame that the team didn’t turn up. First of all I put it down to my holidays (I left the UK on 17th December and returned 7th January during which time United did not lose a game!) and was far from surprised when United lost. The Yeovil game has shown that the lads have got the character necessary to turn things around by bouncing straight back and beating a very useful side. There is really no team in the Division that we should fear right now.

Inspired by United, the London Branch eleven-a-side team is going great guns as well. Our next game is on the morning of the Cambridge game against Cambridge Supporters Club and it would be nice to come away from both University towns without being defeated. We have also arranged a game against Orient on Easter Monday.

Unfortunately February is a bit of dead month for the London Branch with three home games and the only away game being at Macclesfield, which is hardly in the south. So to compensate we have decided to celebrate the passing of the dreadful old year and the dawning of a new era for Carlisle United by arranging a New Year meal in the centre of London, following the success of our Christmas meal in Oxford. We have chosen another restaurant with a bar and with a pub opposite so we should be able to keep everyone happy!

Not content with that we have also booked a table at the Grand Draw event organised by the official supporters club in Carlisle on the evening before the Hull City game. We don’t mind if we don’t win a prize as long as we can take some points off Hull.

Planning is underway to take a large contingent of London Branch members down to Torquay at the beginning of March. Torquay has become a highlight of the London Branch year with members staying in a vast array of dodgy B&Bs, eating in the dodgy restaurants, drinking in dodgy pubs and dancing the night away in the dodgy clubs. The more sociable amongst us will be forsaking the dodgy B&Bs to stay in the same hotel as the Official Supporters Club, as last year we had a good crack - made all the more enjoyable due to the three points taken at Plainmoor.

Our thoughts will also be turning to whom to vote as Player of the Year. If you have read this column before you will already have learned of the London Branch curse that strikes down the winner of the trophy. On that note it is good to see that Peter Murphy (last year’s winner) has finally returned to fitness. There will be a lot of discussion in pubs in the south of England over the next few weeks as London Branch members decide whether to vote tactically for a player they don’t want to see play next season or to ignore the curse and vote for a player who has been outstanding this season and to hell with the consequences.

Malcolm Fawcett

Press and Publicity Officer, London Branch Carlisle United Supporters' Club