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Watermelons at Reading 09/05/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Five-a-day Awaydays.

Despite a visible upping of security with a cordon of stewards guarding the away turnstiles, a number of idiots managed to beat the system with, um, some watermelons.

Oh, and we won.  Hurrah.

Melon Female

Nick Gibb leaves it late to make a stylish five-a-day debut.  Extra marks for smuggling TWO of the bloody things into the ground, only slightly tarnished by having his picture taken in an empty stadium.  Not empty enough for his idiocy to go completely unnoticed, mind, although not by stewards – Gibb sr’s rehearsed line concerning his son’s medical condition demanding regular intake of said fruit proved unnecessary.  Labels read “New Season”, which sounds about right.

Melon Kim

Five-a-day veterans Nick and Ed Corble.  “Hard negotiation” with steward required here.  Sign over Ed’s right shoulder warns of Flying Footballs.  No mention of large, unripe fruit.

Sparkling Watermelon

Jeff Bartrop, who also sent his previously unpublished backcatalogue featuring sprouts at Fulham, oranges at Anfield and chillies at Charlton amongst others, which might have been more useful at the time…


Don Fraser, dreaming of pre-season matches in some field in Devon already.  The fruit was “disposed of” before departure… one of the odder stories of the campaign is probably the trail of cleaners at various prem grounds finding random fruit and veg discarded in the disabled facilities…

Watermeloned down

Frances Lynn, a reliable contributor all season, fails at the last with a Galia melon of all things.   It may be M&S Organic, but it ain’t a watermelon.  Why on earth would you want to bring a Galia melon to a football match?  Sheesh…


Yours truly, at the end of a rather odd road.  Bit disappointed with this specimen, but it was the largest Sainsburys had…


1. Esp - 09/05/2007

The caption to the Rowson photo read “..Bit disappointed with this specimen…..” was that the Watermelon saying that or you Matt? (I think we should be told)..As I was one of the people in the 3 coaches that made the trip to the Madjeski I asked Jeff in the 2nd half to take a photo of me with his fruit but I guess that would have contravened Rule 2 of the BHaPPY Fruit and Veg regulations. Frances also refused point blank for me to touch her melons; in any case Bartrop left his photogenic specimen with Don and Frances before he took his seat in the stand next to me so a no show from me sadly 😦

2. Adam J - 10/05/2007

Loving the photos. I haven’t managed any away games this season seeing as I’ve been in Israel since August but seeing photos of others week in, week out has kept my spirts up even when the on pitch action has tried its best to subdue them! Thank you to everyone for the photos!

3. Nick Gibb - 10/05/2007

The seats around me were apparently reserved for “Mr R Short + friends” but I don’t recall them being occupied during the game…

4. LL121 - 10/05/2007

Was at the game so a serious “well done all” for getting those past security. I was with some Reading fans for the day who contributes “what’s with the security? don’t they know you’re watford and we play each other every season without problems”? hmmm… maybe Reading in the cup next season then.

Oh, and to those who were slagging off Doris throughout – I had to wait for the slo-mo replay to see just what a genius the man is – good work!

5. duds - 10/05/2007

i’ve always enjoyed reading the comments on this site but wonder why nick would feel the need to make a snide remark about richard short. what’s he ever done to upset you????

6. Matt Rowson - 10/05/2007

duds, I’m sure Nick can speak for himself… but I take it you’ve been at Vicarage Road on a matchday? In which case the answer should be obvious. Timely, because Short has just been awarded “Supporter of the Year” – which, as a club employee, strikes me as a bit rich…

7. NRC - 11/05/2007

Perhaps the highlight of our smuggling operation was having got said watermelon past one miked-up guard the second line of defence who muttered ‘I hate this bloody club’ as we passed, adding ‘good job I’m from Wolverhampton’ – an omen if ever I’ve heard one.

Many thanks to Matt for organising the whole enterprise, it’s been great fun – ‘Going down, but we’re having a laugh!’

8. Nick Gibb - 11/05/2007

Thanks Matt.

Duds – I feel as though Mr Short might have thought twice about accepting this award as an employee of the club. I mean surely someone at WFC HQ must have noticed that it is somewhat unusual (perhaps unique??) for one of their own to pick up this people’s acolade? Give him Employee of the Year by all means but not this.

To summarise – not intended as a snide remark about Mr Short but a very open criticism of that award.

9. duds - 11/05/2007

hi nick,

to be honest i don’t really see the need for an award at all – i was merely suggesting it wasn’t his fault that it was given to him.

anyway no big deal

there are more important things to worry about – next season for one – i am already looking forward to it and feeling very optimistic


10. Nick Gibb - 11/05/2007

Never mind next season Dud, I’m just looking forward to those damn melons ripening as they’re taking up far too much room in the kitchen right now.

Perhaps the “New Season” label loosely translates as “not to be eaten before August 2007″…

11. Fran - 11/05/2007

LL121, the guy on security didn’t find the tiny melon secreted in my bag (sorry, Matt, I feel such a failure), but commented on my “heavy book” (I happened to be reading a hardback on the journey) and told me not to hit anyone with it. Don’t tempt me, I thought.

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