Queen's Park Supporters Football Club has achieved a lot in its 26 year existence and over that time we have taken part in a number of far flung and interesting away trips. For the first time last weekend, we took it one step further as we travelled abroad to make our European début in 11 a sides.
Since 2005, QP supporters have taken part in an annual piss up in the German town of Wattenscheid and when a group of SG Wattenscheid 09 supporters made their maiden Ian Younger Sixes appearance two yeara ago, it was decided that we would take an intrepid bunch of travellers to the Ruhrpott to play in a game.
Travel chaos had sadly meant four legends of the game (Alan Raeburn, Martin Harvey, Tam Moon and Michael Higgins) were unable to attend but it was still a very decent turnout which would leave from Edinburgh Airport early on the Friday morning.
Our playing squad was thin on the ground with only 10 “fit” and “able” players making the journey. These were “The Boss” Andy McNaught, veteran full backs Ally and CC, Paul 'Psycho' Joyce, Alan Galindo, Big Sebo Macrae, Long Haired Dave, Wee Gaz, P Danny and last and definitely least, Colin 'Sheppy' Shepherd.
On the non-playing side we had international management consultant (and the boss's da) Andy McNaught Snr (who had dragged his wife Annette along for the weekend), Cheryl Clark (Ally's full time carer), 'The sexual assassin' Raymondo Martinez and Big Beardy Flares himself Keith McAllister.
It was a case of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (well no automobiles were involved, although there were trams) as the travelling party attempted to reach their Wattenscheid base, we eventually did make it, three hours behind schedule at around 4pm.
A staple of the Wattenscheid trip is the world famous Eule Bar and that was the venue for the mother of all sessions on the Friday night. Photographs sadly do exist from this evening and the pub began to resemble the Blue Oyster Bar as the tops came off and the sing song began.
A quick team discussion and it was decided that a late night in the local discotheque was the ideal preparation for the big game in the morning, and an evening of dancing and Psycho offending locals eventually came to a close around 5am.
As you can imagine, the squad were bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning and Wee Galindo got himself prepared for the game in the only way he knows. (As this is a family site I cannot detail what went on but be assured it involves microwavable weiners in places that Shep would approve).
We eventually got moving and arrived at Wattenscheid's Berliner Strasse training complex for the game about an hour before kick-off. The team were well pumped up and we borrowed well-known local drunkard David 'Gogo' Goralski to make up a bare 11. The starting team was as follows:
Andy McNaught; Ally McNaught, Colin Shepherd, Alan Galindo, Calum Colquhoun ©, Danny McFarlane, David Blair, Gary Duncan, Paul Joyce, Scott Macrae, David Goralski.
The game started at a decent tempo and Wattenscheid were the more threatening. They hit the post early on before taking the lead after around 20 minutes when a shot from the edge of the box trickled past The Boss in goal and into the bottom corner.
QP fought back admirably though and Ally McNaught got us level when he dinked a shot over big Andreas Stephan from close range. God knows why he was in the opposition box but the Gaffer has assured me he will be dropped for wandering so far up the park.
Talking about Ally and wandering, there was a funny story on the Friday night as Ally tried to commit sleep suicide by jumping out a ground floor hotel window. Thankfully, Cheryl was on hand with some ketamine to calm the situation. At least he didn't pee on a fridge, I suppose.
Anyway, back to the game. Both sides had numbers of chances (LHD was particularly wasteful as he replaced his boots with pitching wedges from the local branch of Big Dick's Sporting Goods) but it was SGW who took the lead before half time.
Andy did very well to tip a bending shot onto the bar, but a Wattenscheid forward followed up and stroked home from close range.
Gogo had turned up steaming and Danny had broken all of his limbs at some point in the opening 45 minutes so it was time for a change.
A German guy called Florian came on for Danny while Andy Da replaced his boy in goals so he could move outfield and show his silky soccer skills. This was Andy Da's first appearance for the team since 1995 and it’s the first time a father has appeared alongside two sons in the same QPSFC side, talent obviously doesn't run in the family.
The second half was a bit of a blur as QP tired and began drinking while the ball was in play. We eventually lost 7-3 (Galindo and Dave scored excellent goals when the game was gone) and Andy Da rolled back the years with a string of excellent saves and trademark hesitation at cross balls.
Daniel Heckmann was another local who made his QP bow, replacing Andy Boss who went off so he could have a turn at being the stand side linesman.
Wattenscheid also managed to win the post match penalty shootout (who'd have thunk it?) Gary Duncan missed the decisive penalty in sudden death to hand victory to the Germans.
Post match, both squads retreated to the nearby Fuchsbau Sport Bar and another excellent evening of drinking was had by all. This night also ended in farce in the Eule Bar/Heaven Discotheque before we headed back to our respective hotels.
The Sunday was a day to wind down and the squad took in some real football as nearby Borussia Moenchengladbach took on Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga. Gladbach won 1-0 in what was a scrappy game but it was a great experience which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Over the next two days our travellers eventually made their way home. Some stayed the Monday night to experience the famous German weekday nightlife, some retreated home with their tails between their legs at a horrendously early time on the Monday morning.
Overall, it was an absolutely excellent weekend and a big thanks goes to everyone who helped make the game happen. We are already looking forward to making the trip again next year and hopefully we will welcome the Wattenscheid guys to Glasgow in June, for the Ian Younger Sixes, 2013 edition!