This article is from 2008.

Champions League

I haven’t heard much that is going on in Moville recently of note (and I’ve also lost yet another digital camera), so I’ll write something about something that didn’t happen in Moville at all – but to Moville residents.

I’m entitled to one ticket for all Liverpool’s cup matches, including Champions League matches and Cup Finals, as an ex-shareholder, before the club got bought out.

Ticket to Spare

A friend of mine (from when I lived in London) is also entitled to one. I went with him to the Arsenal semi-final at Anfield – but he was going on holiday during the time of the semi and had one ticket to spare.

He is also my son, Robbie’s Godfather.

Indeed it was his ticket that got Robbie to last year’s semi final against Chelsea and the final in Athens against AC Milan.

Indeed Robbie has only ever been to 4 football matches – two Liverpool v Chelsea Champions League semi-finals, a Champions League final and Morton v Stirling Albion (spot the odd one out).

I don’t even think he’s seen Moville Celtic Play.

Not Hopeful

I didn’t think I could get him a ticket.

He came down with his mum to see me after I got back from the Arsenal match with a big bag of money.

It was his first communion money from last year.

He said he wanted me to buy him a ticket for the Chelsea semi-final and offered the precious bag of money.

Too Dangerous

I did toss it over in my mind that I could take him there to the ground, let him have my ticket, watch the match on TV at a nearby pub and pick him up afterwards.

But it seemed too dangerous.

What if I missed him?

No, I couldn’t do that.

Asking the Question

Bob, his Godfather, then said that he had got us our ticket allocation but he wasn’t going himself.

He said that he would give his ticket to a friend of his.

I asked him if he would give it to Robbie and told him about the First Communion money.

So, Bob, his Godfather said he couldn’t refuse that offer (he obviously didn’t take Robbie’s  Communion Bag).

So, it was on.

Robbie and I were going again.

Fully Booked

The problem was, however, that every room in Liverpool was fully booked.

I had to get a hotel in Manchester, of all places.

I booked the Hilton in downtown Deansgate, because I thought another mate of mine who I hadn’t seen for years was staying there.


He was staying in the Hilton at Manchester Airport.

Had a room

What the hell!

I had somewhere to stay – even if it cost me £220 for a night.

Instead of going there, we stayed in Liverpool for the day.

Yellow Duckmarine

Robbie had wanted to go on the Yellow Duckmarine which departs from Albert Harbour.

It’s an amphibious vehicle which had been designed for the Normandy Landings on D-Day.

It takes you on a tour of Liverpool especially to the various Beatles places.

It then plunges into the water at Albert Docks and takes you round there for the 2nd half of the tour.

It’s great fun. Even I enjoyed it.


We went to the match afterwards.

I won’t dwell on that as everyone knows what happened.

My other friends were hanging around Liverpool for a drink afterwards and had booked a taxi back to Manchester at 1 am.

However, I had Robbie with me and couldn’t go out gallivanting.


I flagged down a taxi to go to Manchester.

I thought the two cities were about 20 miles apart.

However, when I spotted a sign saying Manchester 23 miles, I saw that there was already £23 on the meter.

In the end it cost £60 with tip.

Hilton Surprise

I also got a surprise when I got there.

It was 50 storeys high.

The hotel owned the first 23 storeys.

The bar, it seems, was on the 23rd storey.

Too High

I was hoping that my room wasn’t too high.

What if there was a fire?

They booked us in.

“What floor are we on?” I asked.

I thought he said 8th and asked him to repeat it.

8th was maybe a tad high.

“18th floor” he replied.

“I don’t like heights” said Robbie.

This was a fine time to tell me at 11:30 at night.

Heights are Cool

He changed his mind quickly after seeing the view of Manchester from the room.

“Cool” he said.

The whole side of the room facing out was a window.


He loved the room, which had a fantastic bed and both a shower and bath in the bathroom – with all the usual freebies.

I thought I might as well let him enjoy it.

Aladdin’s Cave

I said “I wonder what’s in that cupboard?”

He opened it and said, “Cool, here’s tea, coffee and hot Chocolate inside.

“I wonder what’s in that cupboard” I said.

In the Safe

He opened it up and there was a safe.

“Cool” he said” and immediately pressed a few buttons and put his money inside.

I told him that it was probably stuck inside but kids understand these things pretty well and he simply put in the combination and showed me how he could get it out.


“I wonder what’s in that cupboard” I said.

He went over and opened it which produced the biggest cry of delight of the night.

It was an Aladdin’s cave.


Readers will understand that it was a fridge full of hard and soft drink as well as sweets.

Readers will also understand that it is only idiots or drunks who touch any of that stuff as it is a rip off.

My immediate reaction was to warn Robbie off trying any of it.

But I had to suppress my instinct.

Favourite Moment

It was a magical moment for him that would remain with him all his life.

Indeed when I asked him afterwards what his favourite memory of Liverpool was, it wasn’t the match or the yellow Duckmarine – but the hotel.


He opened a Toblerone Bar.

He then opened a Schweppes Tonic water, took a sip and said he didn’t like it.

A felt a very strong instinct coming up in me that would have said “for Christ’s sake don’t touch anything else”.

But I suppressed it.

He was having the time of his life.

Plasma TV

The room had a plasma TV, which he was delighted with.

In fact, he almost ordered an Adult TV movie because he misunderstood the warning about not for children thinking it said that it was for children.

Rip Off

“Dad, can I watch Shrek 3” he asked.

It was £13 pounds just to see it.

It was ridiculous. A rip off.

“OK” I said.

I was pretty tired and fell asleep soon afterwards with Robbie still awake watching Shrek 3.


Robbie was most impressed by the Buffet breakfast in the morning when once again there were lots of things ‘for free’.

I had pre-paid the hotel bill but asked reception what the room charges were for what Robbie had consumed.

It came to £38.

What had he been doing after I fell asleep?

Knocking Back Drink

It seemed that he had not only been indulging in Toblerone and coke but that he’d also downed a miniature bottle of whisky and a bottle of Cava wine as well while watching the Movie.

This didn’t seem right all.

They asked if he had moved things around in the fridge, which he said he had.

They were prepared to accept his explanation that he hadn’t downed a bottle of whisky and a bottle of wine whilst watching Shrek 3 as I slept blissfully unaware.

Swimming Pool

The only disappointment Robbie had was not being able to use the swimming pool on the 2nd floor.

He didn’t have any shorts with him, wouldn’t get in using his underpants, and I wouldn’t pay £20 for a pair of swimming trunks which looked too big for him and would have been for only about half an hour anyway.

You’ve got to put your foot down somewhere.

Slept Badly

I have to say I didn’t sleep well that night.

Robbie said that it was so beautiful looking over Manchester from our height that he thought we should go to sleep looking out at the view – and so I acceded to his request.

Why didn’t I say that the fridge was a rip-off and that he shouldn’t take anything out of it and that we should close the curtains so we got a good sleep.


I should have. It was the sensible thing to do.

But I couldn’t.

Long after I’m gone Robbie will still remember the day when he went to the Champions League semi-final, went on the Yellow Duckmarine and stayed at the Hilton Hotel.

Memories are everything!