Play Up Pompey!

FA Cup Final, Saturday 17th May 2008. Portsmouth Vs Cardiff.

The day starts with a journey down to Portsmouth on the South West Trains’ superb service out of Waterloo. Great station, quiet new trains with spacious carriages, £30 return. You can’t argue with that. People who moan about trains in this country usually listen to bands like Coldplay, drink Magners Cider and pretend they like Jeremy Clarkson. Go away.

The Final itself coincided with Ian’s Stag night, which was handy for getting refused entry to most pubs in Southsea, “Nothing personal guys, but no groups of blokes”. What do you expect? It’s the FA Cup Final, not fucking Valentines Day. You can stuff it anyway, who needs student pubs with stab vests, chalk boards and fake sawdust? Not when some of the finest pubs in Portsmouth are open for anyone, The 5th Hants Volunteer, The Devonshire Arms, proper boozers with Vinyl padding and dog hair. Pints in pint glasses and a dartboard without the irony. Urban pubs for industry, a dying and underrated breed.

A proper football club in a proper city. Women wearing football tops out drinking with their blokes. Humour, cigarettes, the buzz of victory and self respect. Great stuff, great day.

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