Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I can see your judging eyes, the furrowed brows, just trying to make the smallest bit of sense as to what’s going on. Sometimes, in my darkest moments, I even pity you as you stumble around looking for a helping hand to guide the way. It’s pitiful. And yet, here you are, looking down at me because I didn’t do a virtual away guide to “Rochdale AFC”.
Well, you ungrateful chumps, there are bigger things in life than to keep you entertained. Did you manage to watch that hard-fought draw? Did you manage to make it through without someone holding your hand? Did you manage to find that last can of beer in Tesco before Matt Hancock took it away again?
Some of us had better things to do, like incessantly Google information as to whether the moon actually existed because someone pitched you a very convincing conspiracy theory that it was just a big mirror in the sky. Anyway, we’re here now. I’m here for you, and Sunderland are travelling to *checks notes* Gillingham… oh god.
Seriously, Gillingham again? Didn’t we have enough of “Gillingham” last year, like, how much “Gillingham” can one football club seriously consume without projectile vomiting bile? Urgh… okay, I guess this is what you want.
How To Recreate The Priestfield Experience?
For fans of this column when it was published somewhere else, you will know that the good folks at Cans & Megabus were left with post-traumatic stress the last time we visited this corner of Kent. This was thanks in no part to the combination of a rail strike, an hour’s layover in a pub in Crewe and then a broken down train in Stockport.
So, to get that real Gillingham experience, start off erecting some scaffolding in your garden, the structurally unsound the better. Place your laptop on the ground and climb to the top of said scaffolding to admire some absolute jobber score against Sunderland over and over.
Oh, and invite the fattest mate you know around to just scream profanities at you for 90 minutes while wearing an ill-fitting gilet.
Does This Place Have Any Good Brews?
Contrary to popular belief, there are more beers than just Carling in Gillingham. Take, for instance, the incredibly patriotic Nelson Brewery. Not only does their logo feature the silhouette of Admiral Nelson standing in front of a Union Jack, this Chatham-based brewery has a number of signature beers with names like ‘Trafalgar Bitter’ and ‘Nelson’s Blood’. How much more Rule Britannia do you want?!
Did You Know?
In an ironic twist of fate, the town of Gillingham is an actual no-go area for fish. Dating back to 1775, the fish community have boycotted the area due to a swathe of anti-fish rhetoric, led by Edward VI. The then Monarch of Gillingham, declared that all fish should be “harpooned to extinction” by the townspeople but shouldn’t be consumed.
Edward’s actions divide Gillingham to this day. While royalists argue that the Monarch’s actions were entirely justified and that the fish of the time “needed to be put in their plaice”, the pro-fish lobby has argued that Edward’s reckless action should be scrubbed from the record so that the town can actually taste this “fish and chips” the rest of the country seems to enjoy.