They say life is all about coincidence and defining moments. This season, when I think of the Allianz Arena, I cannot help also thinking about the Hawthorns and the last game of AVB’s reign.
Like much of the AVB reign our performance was dire, even though our support was good.
A few times the “Don’t worry about a thing, cos every little thing’s gonna be alright” song broke out from sections of the ground. In particular, one girl in front of us was singing it on her own for 10 minutes.
Whatever we sang I am not sure that we believed ourselves, particularly when West Brom scored late on to consign us to defeat.
We left the game dejected and I remember taking this picture walking down the pathway to the exit and seeing the head steward for the Matthew Harding stand in his hi-vis organising the transport for fans back to London.
We chatted to him briefly about how poor we had been and how bleak things looked before walking out into the Birmingham night.
I did not put much significance in seeing these people at the time, but then I did not know how significant the next time I saw them would be.
May 19th 2012
The next time I saw the girl and the steward was the 19th of May 2012 at the Allianz Arena.
During the break between full time and extra time “Don’t worry about a thing, cos every little thing’s gonna be alright” was being sung in our section and I looked to my right and who did I see 10 seats away and one row down but the singing girl from the West Brom game.
Well I think it was her, I didn’t walk up to her in ultimate stalker fashion and go “hello, you don’t know me, but were you at West Brom”, but I am sure it was her, and hell, it makes a much better story if it was.
After the game and post-match celebrations we dragged ourselves away and towards the exit of the stadium compound and saw the steward from the Matthew Harding stand on coach trip once again. What are the odds?!
My Dad shook his hand and summed it up quite well: “Who would have thought when I last saw you that the next time we would be CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE!”
We headed into the crowd from a miserable away day at West Brom and ultimately emerged the Champions Of Europe. It really was an incredible few months and it all started on a dreary day in Birmingham.