Normal Service Is Resumed
RIGHT, I'm back from being pushed around by the goon squad gorillas who think football is a police state with a few apologies.
Firstly, an apology that for a string of reasons I couldn't do the blog in Rome. After the brutal assault on Boro fans news desk hi-jacked me and sent me scuttling around the city looking at people's battle scars and phone video-clips so my plan to post casually from sophisticated pavement cafes overlooking fountains never came off.
Secondly an apology for playing down the early reports of the violence. On Tuesday night myself and camera-lugging snapper Dave Charley walked around Rome for four hours actively looking for Boro fans. We felt like the Proclaimers.. I have walked 500 miles and I will walk 500 more. You should see the blisters.
The Drunken Ship was one of the three bars we were looking for. We found the Albert and the Fiddlers Elbow but not the Ship, although we must have walked within 100 yards of it at one point.
That either makes me a bad journalist for not finding the story or a lucky lad for not getting my head stoved in. My wife and the editor take different positions on that.
Then when I got to the Stadio Olimpico I couldn't get a good enough signal to keep the link up long enough to post. Most of my impressions from the game went into yesterday's Gazette piece on the atmosphere accompanied by a brilliant Charley pic of the flag-wielding ultra silhoutted against the smoke.
But I'm back now so normal service is resumed.