Instead of looking forward to a romantic dinner for two, Emily Laker, the long suffering girlfriend of devout football fan Dan Matlock, is already resigned to spending her evening on the cold terraces watching a non-league football match. On the evening when couples throughout the nation lovingly stare into each other’s eyes, her Mancunian boyfriend will be leaving the red rose county of Lancashire behind to see his beloved Hyde United playing at Worcester in the Blue Square Bet North League.
‘When Dan first suggested we visited Worcester on St Valentines, I envisaged champagne, a romantic dinner and spending a night at a cosy inn together,’ sighed Emily, ‘but I should have known better with Dan. He’s always been a manly man, if you know what I mean. When we had the bathroom done up he insisted on having a urinal fitted. That took some getting used to, I can tell you. Especially since he usually missed after a few beers anyway.’
Emily hasn’t travelled to an away game with Dan since a bad experience a few seasons ago, but this time Dan has promised to share his deep love for Hyde with his affection for Emily. ‘He says there is nothing better in life than the romance of non-league football, so I’ve agreed to go to the game with him, she said, adding with a shudder. ‘At least this time he has promised not to travel with the lads. Travelling for hours in a Ford Fiesta with three of his sweaty mates, seeing a football game topped off with a visit to a lap dancing club is not my idea of a good evening out.’
So instead of candlelight Emily will be treated to the flickering floods lights at St. George’s Lane, the home of Worcester City Football Club. But Emily remains hopeful, ‘Dan has promised to look after me after the game to make things up, so perhaps we will go to a nice club for late snack and a dance. After that I might find a special way to say thank you.’
Meanwhile Dan is thinking more of a Double Burger King Whopper with all the trimmings at Frankley Services on the M5. ‘And there’s a lay-by round the back where we can park the car up for five minutes…’