It doesn’t take much to restore my faith in football and an evening in West Bromwich did just that yesterday.
Over 24 and half thousand people watched the 24th best football team in the country take on the 38th best football team in the country on a Friday night even though it was live on the TV.
A cracking game, lots of action, no aggro and fans having a drink with each other in pubs, which is how it should be every game, made for a great evening
Not only were there a lot of people there for a second tier game but there is also a proper atmosphere at football with plenty of incessant singing as opposed to the odd sporadic chant.
I went along with my pal who is a Baggies fan and was responsible for me attending around three stag parties last year as he tore the backside out of that part of marriage!
However, as an added bonus, we managed to pop into a classic football boozer beforehand that had a cracking atmosphere.
375 – The Vine B70 6RD is in Roebuck Street, which is about ten minutes’ walk away from the ground so in prime position for matchdays.
Of course, like lots of old stadiums, the pubs nearby have gone bump so it is good to see one surviving and clearly making enough cash on matchdays with quick fire grill food to ensure it ticks over.
It’ a bit of a Tardis and once we’d got past security it was a great to see a proper old boozer at the front with three small rooms and then a big extension out the back and some terrific Indian grub.
I have to say the Golden Glow (Holden’s) was in great form and that is fairly unusual for a football pub near the ground but there were plenty of people on it.
A chilled out but vibrant atmosphere with Blues and Albion shirts intermingling nicely and everyone appeared to be here for either the Chicken Tikka skewer kebabs which we had and were excellent although the kick sneaked up on you and forced me to have another pint!
By the time we left at around 5pm on a Friday, albeit before a match, this place was heaving and they have clearly spent a bit of cash on making it feel like a fans pub, but not neglected the quality of their beer.
It was the same post match too, as we decided to pop in at around 10pm.
(post match debate)
The atmosphere was lively but friendly and the sort of place you’d like to go for a drink and some food.
As football pubs go, this must be one of the top boozers in the country and I am pretty sure even Paul WME would agree!