Friday 6 September 2013

Day two
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

I woke up on day two of my camping holiday. Well I say woke up! I'm not sure if I really went to sleep in the first place. There was no terrible wind or rain like I had experienced on my other short camping expedition earlier in the year, but still enough strange noises to keep my mind ever alert. Some fly had got in-between the inner and outer shell of the tent just above my head, and kept buzzing away near to my ear, no matter how many times I tried to squash the little bugger.

Then there was the niggling ache. For some reason pulses of pain kept shooting down my right arm as if a nerve was being squashed. Nothing major but enough to keep me tossing and turning, and then when I did get comfortable the same thing would happen in my leg. Like I said just a small nagging sensation that stopped me from going into a deep sleep.

During the night I heard something creeping around the outside of the tent, and pictures of a rabid fox or savage dog, or worse, some axe wielding madman kept filling my imagination. In the morning the two small moulds of dirt either side of the tent confirmed it was neither of these, but just a local mole who probably thought what in hell was this huge object that had landed on top of his home turf.

Never mind the damage was done, I was tired and I had only just got up to the rising sun, worse still was that I ached from here to kingdom cum. The muscles in my backside felt as if I had completed some crazy two hour spinning class at the gym.

After a nice cup of tea I rustled up a cooked breakfast of bacon and egg rolls, and then relaxed in my chair with just shorts on as the early morning sun beat down while I read a book.The children ran about the field with all their new friends and life couldn't be better.

I had to leave the family at 12.30 but they wasn't bothered because my wife's friend Emma was staying an extra night to keep them company.

I had to return the forty five minute drive to Norwich because my father was in hospital for an eye operation and I wanted to see him, plus my team were playing at Carrow Road in the Carling cup against Bury, a smaller club from the lower leagues. As I'm also a club steward not only do I get to see the game for free, but I get paid for it as well.

My father came out of hospital with no problems and by 17.45 I was at the ground and in my position. I cover the part of the stand where the away fans sit as all grounds are segregated to control any possible violence. Bury brought just under a thousand supporters which is nearly a third of their normal home attendance. It was a big day out for their club playing against a English Premiership Team.

I was asked to cover pitch side to help control a group of about forty young lads who were very drunk and by the look of some of their eyes, plus constant chatter, had been sniffing too much cocaine. They were a pain in the backside to control and when Bury scored they wanted to storm onto the pitch. A steward who tried to stop one of them was head-butted and another punched. Now normally there is a large police presence at games, but tonight it was police free with only a lone police van waiting outside the ground.

As the young hooligan was pulled out by some stewards his mates dragged him back and stood around him like Roman centurion  guards. He wasn't safe for long. Myself and a handful of others went into the crowd to get him and once he was in a head lock it all went crazy. His fellow gang members tried to get him back and the only thing stopping them was me.

These young lads charged at me like baying dogs for my blood with threats and flying fists. I pushed two out the way and held the rest with just my extended hand looking them straight in the eyes while saying, 'do you really want to try it on?' A skinny little runt wanted too and took a swing at me but I got to him first. That was it! They all knew that if they wanted to get their mate back they would have to go through me, but non of them had the balls.

I've got a scare around my left eye brow after someone knocked me out in a pub when I was a youth after they smashed a large glass astray into my head. I'm also six foot two and as we say in England, I'm built like a brick-shit house so I can look the part if need be.

Don't get me wrong it was scary and my heart was beating like mad, and if the youths had crossed the line I would have been in trouble, but, and as I also say there is a but, these lads reminded me of myself not that many years ago. Norwich won 6.3 in the end and when I left the stadium I saw the young lad that had caused so much trouble sitting in the police van looking hung-over, and dejected. I knew what he was thinking because I've been there myself.

I'm a lover now not a fighter, but I must say I haven't had so much fun in a long time.

It was roughly 23.30 when I arrived back at the camp site. The children were tucked up in their sleeping bags as the wife and Emma sat outside enjoying the stars, plus a bottle or two of wine.

When she turned off the lamp as we slumped into our sleeping bags I was already heading into the land of nod, exhausted but content, and with a smile on my face.



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