THE Berlin to Poznan train was fully booked.
Rather than shelling out for first class the next morning, the Kenna League chairman opted for a more roundabout route through Szczecin (or Stettin if you’re Teuton) and a maiden voyage into the region of West Pomerania.
The journey included onward travel so of course, the big question was: how do you kill 90 minutes in West Pomerania?
One of the nearest pubs to the Szczecin station was Irish.
It was the Friday before Christmas. Unlike Godless Brits, Poles view advent as a time of reflection rather than Prosecco and photocopied private parts. It was late afternoon and the majority of West Pomeranians were soberly going about their business.
The street was called Kaszubska, named after a region in Pomerania to the east. A few steps descent into the Irish Pub Dublin, the chairman walked into decor straight from the Guinness catalogue.
Dark wood, low lighting and mirrors with stout brands. The barman wasn’t Irish, a surprise to result in a clumsy exchange which left the barman quite certain the customer was English.
This may account for what happened next.
Settling down at a table with his pint of Pomeranian-brewed Kasztelan, the chairman all of a sudden heard the music stop. What would they put on the welcome the leader of the world’s leading London pub-based fantasy football league?
‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ sang a rabble to the five punters in the pub. Then a beat, then lots of men effing and jeffing about West Ham. Oh dear, it was a Hammers CD.
The chairman sipped his Pomeranian beer, wondered what the reaction should be in West Pomerania and decided to do nothing.
Halfway through the second Hammers song the bar gave up and put Christmas music back on.
The chairman finished his pint, put on his hat and coat, and left the pub wondering if he’d been mistaken for a Green Street casual.