Fulham in the final

It’s taken me a week to get round to posting about last week’s events in Hamburg. A few days to get over it and then a few more to get my act together. Anyway we had a great time, went out there with Mum, Dad (doubt they ever thought they’d see Fulham in a European final), Martin over from Australia and my mate Geoff, from slightly closer to home. We met up with Ken, Andy & Paul in town (more pics & videos), so it was quite a family affair. The wider Fulham family were in fine fettle before the match, meeting up in the ‘fan zone’ just off the Reeperbahn.

And then we headed to the ground, via our ‘own’ train, on which we met the Atletico fans, who we subjected to ‘are you Brentford in disguise?’ chants, which they took in good, if slightly bemused spirits.

We walked the last bit to the ground through a park, and under a tunnel, where we attempted to turn the Atletico’s Y Viva Espana chant into our own Y Viva El Fulham (the song from our 1975 FA Cup Final appearance, in case you didn’t know):

Geoff and I were optimistic of a the greatest victory in Fulham’s history before the match, but it wasn’t to be.

The boys held out for the whole match and then 26 minutes of the 30 minutes extra time, hoping to make it to a penalty shoot out at the end but we couldn’t quite make it. They looked tired after a long season that began at the end of July in Lithuania and as this map shows, it was quite a journey.

I made it to all the home games and the away legs at Juventus and of course the final. As you can probably tell it’s almost as much to do with the experience of going to these games as it is with the result. It would have been nice to win, as quite frankly we haven’t won much in 131 years.

But hopefully it won’t bee too long before we’re all going on a European tour once more.

Final whistle celebrations at the Cottage

This is what winning the UEFA Europa League semi-final meant to those of us in the Putney End at Craven Cottage on Thursday night.

Having beaten Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Wolfsburg, Roma, Basel and now Hamburg (among others) over the course of 18 matches since late July last year and traveled some 18,000 miles in the process, we’ve made it to the final in Hamburg on May 12. And of course, we are going!