A match report from the Eric Hollies stand

Nigel writes (with pictures kindly supplied by Charles):

A group of us, The Heavy Rollers, have been going to Edgbaston for every Test match since the last century. We enjoy our cricket in the peace and relative tranquillity of the Priory Stand or latterly the Raglan.

But in 2008, Charles and I decided to stay an extra day, the Saturday, and try out the Eric Hollies Stand.

Oh dear.

After many hypnosis sessions our experience in the Eric “enter only if prepared to leave any shred of dignity behind” Hollies Stand, has effectively become a blur.

My only recollections were that we took our seats between a hallucination of Amy Winehouses and a company of Storm Troopers, mouthing “WTF?”

We sat rigidly, like a couple who had carelessly wandered in unwittingly to the set of a Fellini film, expecting the Sound of Music singalong. Fair to say we were ill-prepared and quite out of our comfort zone.

Our experiences of the far more sedate Priory Stand, with our proven long-standing mates for back-up in the event of any pre-match conflicts, were a fast-fading memory.

We cast anxious looks at each other offering paltry excuses about getting the first drink in, as it would mean running the gauntlet of personal abuse as we had to politely unseat one Amy after another.

Having watched the treatment handed out to one unsuspecting Smurf, neither of us could face up to what would surely be levelled our way, however witty the discordant chorus.

We stayed thirsty for some considerable time.

As each Amy succumbed to the effects of their alcohol intake, another Storm Trooper would seize the opportunity to challenge a steward: “You effing well dare stop me making the longest beer snake ever.”

This was a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated experience. From now on, I am staying with other benign challenges from my bucket list. Like sky diving or lion-taming.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.

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9 Appeals

  1. Sounds like going to the zoo. Interesting from afar but one wouldn’t want to get into the cages.

  2. My name is AP Webster and I have attended a Test Match in fancy dress.

    All but one of our group were dressed as Ghostbusters, one of us was dressed normally, which made him look out of place during the game but then made me look out of place when he and I went for a pint at Sinclair’s Oyster Bar after the match.

    We got a lot of strange comments at the match – it turned out there had been a separate group of Ghostbusters at the match the previous day, who had been a bit overly raucous, and many people assumed we were the same group (I guess all Ghostbusters look the same to them…). It’s not clear whether the other group had home-made name badges and a ghost trap fashioned from an old shoebox, but we did.

  3. The other side of the story from one who escaped before the Eric Hollies, including the pre match knockabout on the common and much else. Not King Cricket compliant:

    http://ianlouisharris.com/2008/08/01/heavy-rollers-in-edgbaston-and-stirchley-primarily-for-england-v-south-africa-days-two-and-three-30-july-to-1-august-2008/

    One of the intriguing things about Nigel and Charles’s recollections of their extra day is that neither of them now reminisce about witnessing “that” over from Freddie to Kallis. When they first returned from their Hollies experience it was all about that.

    • To be clear, the Freddie-Kallis experience was something that all of us shared on that trip, whereas the Eric Hollies nightmare was just Nigel and Charles.

      Respect to A P Webster for joining the Ghostbuster community on one occasion, btw. Does a ghost trap fashioned from an old shoe box look anything like “The Device”. I think it should.

      • I used to have a picture featuring said trap (which I had photoshopped to look like we were capturing the betfair mascot whilst trying not to ‘cross the streams’), but I’m afraid it’s been lost in the digital ether.

        It wouldn’t have been very good at holding beer.

  4. I feel the opportunity for some hover-captions was missed here … or did the pictures just speak for themselves?

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