There’s nothing quite like the nervous excitement of the build up to an evening football match.
Right down to the exit from work – the last-minute rush to finish the last job on the to-do list and turn down, log off, and clock out. There’s the quick two-pint pub visit, or the nip home to grab the forgotten tickets and then where will we eat where can we park where shall we meet you shall we get a taxi?
Across Leeds mini dramas play out as a 38,232 strong crowd began their personal anti-diasporas, drawn magnetically towards Beeston Hill from the snaking motorways and twinkling Pennine towns.
From the city centre silhouettes of all ages trudge over Holbeck Moor under the shadow of the M621, on which cars sit impatiently watching the dark figures pass below. From the direction of The Imperial hundreds more slope downhill peering over the tin cars that are guzzling fuel and going nowhere. The crowds meet and survey the plethora of red brake lights, a menacing Arsenal coloured din preempting the evenings proceedings.
Hands are rubbed together, smiles are nervous, the air cloudy with the breath of thousands of eager fans. “Pint, then?”, and to the bar we go. We’ll save the Bovril for half time.