Monday, 21 October 2013


confidence from Chris before the match
Chris and I have just returned from a splendid couple of days 'up north' courtesy of our fishing pal Gerry Higham.

the great men ... oh, plus Sir Alex of course
Not only did he provide good fishing on the River Dane but his Manchester United team allowed us to come away with a point from the Theatre of Dreams, the first Southampton have won there since 1988.
they've won a few over the years

surprise greeting of the fans
a full house ready for kick off
Chris with a chunky chub
As for the fishing, we caught some chub, lost a barbel or two and better still, a fan of Passion for Angling, Tommy came along to join us and caught his first ever river fish - a barbel! His delighted face was the stuff that dreams are made of, until he lost an even bigger one and reality struck home.
carp angler Tommy with his first ever river fish - he's a convert now

the River Dane provides classic chub habitat, barbel too
The Dane is a perfect 'Crabtree' river with lots of twists and turns, shallows and deep holes, all interspersed by fishy overhanging willows. With more time we'd probably have bagged up.

Chris caught about five chub and a grayling, all on luncheon meat
another classic chub for Chris - he's quite good at this game
After splendid meals courtesy of Gerry and his wife Annie it was off to Old Trafford and a couple of hours of pure theatre. Chris was becoming ever more silent with nerves and Gerry so confident that he even gave us each a little packet of Kleenex.

it was Robin van Persie who scored first
I was quietly confident as 'our' team ran around United's stars with skill and determination but when RVP scored we began to be overrun. However, we regained our composure and despite our lack of cutting edge near goal, managed to get an equaliser in the dying minutes, a trick that Fergie had perfected over so many years. In the end the stats showed that we had dominated possession and had more shots on target, so despite United's wonderful football, we deserved a point.

Southampton calmly retaining the ball
What skill and drama we had witnessed, one of the finest sporting occasions you could ever wish to witness, even if the Man U fans didn't share our enthusiasm. We gave the tissues back to Gerry!

three great men at the end of the rainbow

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