FROM THE ARCHIVES
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|This is a special page dedicated to the pre-season trip to Ireland which was meant to see Wycombe play Bohemian's of Dublin on Saturday 24th July 1999. The game was due to be played at the AUL Complex north of Dublin City Centre due to Bohemian's ground undergoing extensive re-building work but with the shock news that defender Alan Beeton had been diagnosed with meningitis, the trip was cancelled early on the Friday morning prior to the game. It is hoped that the game will be re-arranged later in the season.|
Despite the cancellation, an estimated 60 Wycombe fans still made the trip to Dublin. Some travelled before the game was called-off, some travelled anyway because their travel and accomodation had already been paid for, while others didn't find out until they reached Dalymount Park at 5.00pm on Saturday afternoon.
Here's our Dublin Diary
Thusday 22nd July 1999
The Chairboys on the Net crew travel out on Thursday morning completing unaware of any problem. A night is spent sampling the local ale houses (purely for research reasons you understand). Dublin = Guinness, however, there were at least two pubs that had taken the alternative route of brewing their own brand of stout. Messrs Maguires on the south side of the O'Connell Bridge served two excellent stouts (Plain and Extra) while The Porterhouse in Parliament Street on the edge of The Temple Bar area had three different 'home brew' stouts. Both places also had bitters and lagers both brewed on or close to the premises.
Next to drinking, music seems to be the second love of the Irish in Dublin. There were two fairly major gigs taking place on the Thursday night. Blur were playing at Dublin Point while ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell was playing at the 800 capacity Whelan's nightclub in Wexford Street. More traditional music was also widely available in the pubs while the night club scene was also alive and kicking - helping to cater for the large amount of tourists and students that frequent the city.
Friday 23rd July 1999
A very busy day. Met up with some Wycombe fans at 10.30 in the morning on the Ha'penny Bridge (Beanhead,Jo and the Tales of a Chairboy lads). Filled them in on the drinking scene and we parted still unaware that the game had now been called off. Decided to do a bit of 'alternative' site seeing leaving the others to go on the obligatory guided tours around the historical buildings of Dublin. Walked out to Windmill Lane recording studios to see the famous wall of graffiti left in honour of U2. Then jumped on the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) from Pearse station to go down to Lansdowne Road. The train actually goes under the stand before reaching the platform. A brief look in the ground revealed a strange small building in the corner with the words Wanderers Football Club on - bizarre. Returned to Dublin centre around 1.00pm to check out internet connection ready for match report on Saturday night. Take a quick look at the message board and can't believe what I'm reading. A few quick e-mails to people still back at Wycombe and all is confirmed. Return to The Porterhouse to meet the others. I break the bad news and we drown our sorrows.
A groundhopper in our party suggests we go and see Rushden and Diamonds play Newbridge Town. The others reluctantly agree (we need a sleep after all) and by 5.30pm we are standing in a field 20 miles south-east of Dublin. After Rushden have won 2-1 (Desouza wasn't in the squad) we eagerly await the train back to Dublin's Heuston station (needless to say it was late). We jump on a Bus back to town, quick change in the digs (two messages waiting to say the game is off!) and then out again. Meet up with the Official Supporters Club group on the Bridge. Give them the run-down on the pubs and head towards a Curry House and then to The Porterhouse - excellent live band called Beatless (mainly Beatles covers but also Doors, Monkeys, Stones, etc) play out until 1.30am. Very tired.
Saturday 24th July 1999
The recovery from last night is taking a while but still make it down for breakfast before 10.00am. More Wycombe fans have arrived. They know the game is off but have travelled anyway. Into the city centre to check the message board. Find out that the WWISC gang are due out around mid-day. Go on an open-top bus tour of Dublin (it's the quickest way of getting to see the sights without wasting too much drinking time!). After the 'been there, done that' tour is over, nip into Messrs Maguires for lunch - excellent value and fast. Some of the WWISC party walk past the window. They are signalled into the pub and we discuss more drinking tips in Dublin until about 5.00pm.
Crash out in digs for a couple of hours unaware that 20 or so Wycombe fans are at Dalymount Park waiting for a non-existent bus to appear. No one from Bohemian can be found and only the arrival of a Wycombe fan just looking at the ground in knowledge that the game is off can fill the others in.
It's Saturday night and we're going out again. The Porterhouse is the meeting place. More Wycombe fans sighted and stories are exchanged of when and how you found out about the game being off. The beer flows and Lincoln and Man City are relived yet again (it never gets boring). Bemused locals look on. We meet the chap on the Message Board who was in New Zealand on the day of the Lincoln game. The live entertainment tonight is a solo guitarist known as Rubber Soul - again excellent stuff and the place is still busy at 1.30am. Tired and emotional again.
Sunday 25th July 1999
Breakfast is a real struggle this time but it's paid for and I'm going to eat it. The plan today is to get on the DART and head south to Dunleary (it's not spelt like that but that's how it said). Dun Laoghaire (yes the same place) appears to be closed so after a 15 minute walk around absolutely nothing we wait for the next train to take us to Bray. We meet yet more Wycombe fans on the train. Right next to Bray station is Bray Wanderers' ground. They played Crewe the previous Thursday and have arranged to play Celtic shortly (they say they are charging £20 to see this game). The ground is likened to Hendon's. I make the crazy suggestion of walking to the top of the headland to the sight of a small cross. The cross turns out to be quite big and we all get sun burnt in the process of struggling up and down the gigantic hill. (That will teach them for dragging me to Newbridge!) A pleasant beer is consumed as we notice another Porterhouse pub - again with live music and it's only 3.00pm!
We head back to Dublin where the plan is see Shelbourne play Rushden at Tolka Park. Before that we walk off to see Dalymount Park. We come head to head with 40,000 Irish hurling fans leaving a game at Croke Park. Un-deterred we find Dalymount. A circumnavigation of the ground ends when we find that their club-house (situated under a half-demolished stand) is open and there are people present. We are kindly let in to see the ground. The main stand has been partially bulldozed. The remaining three sides are terraced. Estimated capacity around 15,000. Quite big but falling into disrepair. We are told that the new stand should be ready by the end of the year.
We take a swift walk to Tolka Park (about 30 minutes) to see Shelborne beat Rushden 3-1 (About 20 Rushden fans have made the trip to Dublin). Tolka is an all-seater three-sided ground. Building work is planned behind one goal with the capacity of the rest of the ground around 8,000. Again not very modern and in the shadow of the vast Croke Park.
Sunday evening in Dublin is very tame in comparison to other nights. The pubs shut fairly promptly at 11.00pm leaving the streets amass with people looking for that elusive 'late nighter'. I'm knackered and call it a night around midnight.
Monday 26th July 1999
We grab the last look at Dublin before preparing to head home. Our bus to the airport takes us close to the AUL complex where the game was due to be played. It's in the middle of nowhere - we convince ourselves that it was better the game was called off. The airport departure lounge houses a shop dedicated to selling goods from one English Premier League Club who can't even be bothered to enter the FA Cup - sad. The flight home takes us over a cloudless England. I see Anfield, Goodison, Stoke and Coventry before just missing Adams Park in favour of Marlow's ground. Get me to the airport...
Useful links on Dublin - you never know we may be back.
General Dublin - Massive website - maps,livecams,tourist info,virtual tours,etc,etc
Dublin Drinking - A guide to pubs in Dublin - essential for the serious drinker.
Guinness.com - They brew 2 million pints a day and they a have web site to match.
Bohemians FC Unofficial Website - Up to date and includes pictures of progress on the new stand.
Shelborne FC Official Website - 30 minutes walk from The Boh's
St.Patricks Athletic FC Official Website - North West of Dublin centre - Champions of Ireland 1998/99
General Irish Football - The definitive guide to Irish soccer
Guinness Blues Festival - A guide to the July music festival that takes place in Dublin.
All there is to say and know about Wycombe Wanderers on the Internet