Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In the seventy second minute of yesterday's play-off final, Hull City's attacking Senegalese midfielder, Mohamed Diamé, received the ball twenty five yards shy of the Sheffield Wednesday goalmouth and curved that leather orb beyond the flailing arms of the Owls' goalkeeper. Joy upon joy! Your blogging prayers were answered and on behalf of the club, the massed supporters and Mohamed Diamé himself, I thank you for your combined spiritual support.
As The Laird of Eagleton Sir Graham Edwards reminded me, football is just a game... like war, like love, like work, like life itself. The important thing is not that you get to play the game but that you win. And we won!
It seemed that half of Sheffield had arrived en masse at Wembley and their vocal support was superb. When they were jumping up and down you could feel the vibrations through the concrete structure of the stadium. We had less fans but a better team and we should probably have achieved a better scoreline than 1-0.
Afterwards, Shirley and I drove north to Northampton where at nine thirty p.m. we enjoyed a Toby Carvery meal and victory drinks before carrying on to Yorkshire. I guess I drove for eight hours all told yesterday. At midday we had deposited Ian's belongings at the Arsenal Stadium in Highbury before heading back to The North Circular Road en route for Wembley.
For only the second time, I used a website called "Just Park" to rent somebody's driveway. It was a ten minute stroll from the stadium. Wearing our black and amber gear, we walked past a pub that had been invaded by the blue and white army and a grinning man asked me, "Are you lost?" Well, I knew exactly how to get to Wembley but maybe I am lost - a lost soul, wandering through the dark jungle of life. But I didn't say that, I just said "No!".
We entered a Turkish kebab house where we ate a late lunch. The kebabs were delicious and we had a table to ourselves at the back of the place. Then on to England's national stadium where seventy thousand fans were gathering in the late May sunshine. Soon our friend Tony appeared following a five hour coach journey from Hull.
Like me he was very anxious about the game but in the end Mohamed Diamé obliterated all tension with that stunning twenty five yard shot that silenced the Wednesday end of the ground and sent their distraught supporters back to Sheffield with their tails between their legs. "Diamé! Diamé! Diamé!" As the late John Denver sang, some days truly are diamonds.