Sacre Coeur Former Pupils Football Club
Sacre Coeur Madrid Tour

Madrid 20th April – 24th April – Vets on Tour

Tourists

Paul Flanagan, Peter Blundell, Ian Dee, Steve Weeks, Robert Lawler, Jim Meehan, Mike Meehan,
Tom Brennan, Phil Wain, Mike Taylor, Joe Brannigan, Mike Roach


Friday 20th April

8.30 am – For those travelling from Waterloo we meet at Tempations for breakfast before taxi to Liverpool Airport  to meet up with the rest of the party.

10.30 am – Meet up and last of the tour polo shirts distributed. We check in and some start with a couple of beers in the bar before boarding the plane @ 12.45.

16:00 (Madrid) – Arrive in Madrid to be met by Bill Holden, our man in Madrid. 4 of us get a lift to the Hotel with Bill and the more adventurous take the Metro with their bags. Those getting a lift see from the outside the Real Madrid training complex, Bernabeu and various other sites on the 20 minute trip to the hotel. Others meet up at the hotel some 30 minutes later.

18:00 – A few beers in Plaza Santa Ana with some Tapa’s (what else)

20:30 – Spanish Restaurant for those who went a tremendous leg of lamb, others decided to enjoy the delights of the Plaza Santa Ana and surrounding bars and restaurants.

22:00 – We all meet up and carry on around the Plaza Santa Ana and surrounding area. Some go to bed at a sensible hour with football the next morning, others remain up drinking until 5.30am.



Saturday 21st April

9:00 – 11.00 am – Some rise early and get a light breakfast in Plaza Santa Ana, others remain in bed having not been there for that long.

11.00 am – Time for the coach to the game. We are missing one, Mike Roach, who hasn’t been seen since returning to Hotel in the early hours. Attempts to find him in Plaza Santa Ana and by phone draw a blank. Eventually we ask at the Hotel reception and are informed that he got a taxi to the Airport in with his bags in the early hours. Apparently he got back couldn’t get into the room, got stuck in the service lift, got let into the room and then went. (Ed. Subsequently learnt that Mike had to head home due to a family emergency)

11:45 – We arrive at a fantastic public facility and mini stadium to play the two 45 minute fixtures.

 

 

12.00 – Changed and ready to go. Temperature in the mid 20’s so plenty of water required.

 

First game against the Madrid lawyers is a fairly even contest but we go behind when I fumble an easy catch. We a draw level when one of our Spanish team mates fires home at the back post. A few changes are made so we players are rested up for the Real Madrid game. Unfortunately with virtually the last kick of the game we concede to lose 2-1

We now have a 45 minute rest whilst the Lawyers play out a 1-1 draw with the Real Madrid team. Real have a couple of good players so we know what we are up against.

The big game with our host Bill playing for the Real Madrid XI. We start really well playing a continental style football building up from the back passing to feet. Any pressure Real Madrid create is coped with by the Coeur defence with Mike Taylor making some great tackles. After about 20 minutes we take a deserved lead when Mike Taylor surges forward he crosses the ball but it is returned to him he heads it into the area where Joe Brannigan volleys home from 6 yards, 1-0.

The Madrid manager is really worried as we are the better team and brings on some not so veteran teenager and 22 year player. Madrid equalise with a clearly offside goal after 25 minutes. A minute later we are reduced to 10 men when I get sent off, referee initially shows a yellow card but the Madrid players force him to produce the red. Down to 10 men and in the heat we concede two late goals to lose 3-1.  Everybody played superbly and the result certainly flattered them. In fact their manager after the game commented that we played really well and had them worried.

3.00 pm – back to the Hotel and out around Plaza Santa Ana for some food and beer, we watch the 2nd half of Liverpool game in a Irish bar, whose cellar bar is the oldest bar in Madrid.

 

6.00 pm – some of bus some for Naturalbier before returning to the hotel to get ready for the Real Madrid/Valencia game

9.15 pm – after making our way to the Bernabeu on the metro we meet Bill and pick up out tickets for the match. We have one spare, but we bump into a lad from Yorkshire and he takes the ticket and sells his as he is on his own. What a ground when full, and a great game to watch. Fantastic noise and we see three great goals in a 2-1 Real Madrid victory, Beckham came on and set up the winner the Madrid fans idolise him. After the match we meet Bill in the Irish Rover for a beer before heading back to Santa Ana for beers and a late night.

 

 

 

Sunday 22nd April

We everybody eventually rises we wandered off to the La Latina district of Madrid. We then wandered of to the cathedral and Royal Palace. Seven of us have decided to go the Bullfight, so we get the metro at 5.00 pm to the arena. This event is not for the faint hearted and is as barbaric as we all knew it would be, but as it is part of the Spanish culture we decided to see what it was all about. We leave after 3 slaughters with 3 more still to be completed.

 

8.00 pm – we meet up with the others and in the early hours end up in a bar called Havana Club where we stay. When everybody eventually drifts off Taylor, Wain and Weeks carry on until 6.00 am


Monday 23rd April

At 11.00 am we gather for a trip we have arranged to Toledo, some 50 minutes outside Madrid. Toledo is a very historic town in the history of Spain. We have a wander round, with temp in the high 80’s, Week’s is flagging after his late night. We go around the cathedral and just have general wander before having lunch. Before returning to Madrid we go for beer on the other side of the valley with a superb view of Toledo, although Weeksey want to “F**k off” as he was done in.

Monday evening is more beer, tapa’s.



Tuesday 24th April

6 of us decide to do the tour of the Bernabeu to kill a few hours in the morning. For 10 euros you go all the way around the ground from the top tier to the dug outs and the changing rooms. An unbelievable array of silverware you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

 

 

 We all meet up and get taxis to the airport for the end of a great 4 days in Madrid


Report by  Paul Flanagan