THE cold, I found, wasn’t so bad, being well wrapped up, lesson learned after being frozen to death at a reserve match in 1981 (of which a bit more later).
The teeth-grindingly frustrating drive home from the Peterborough match - finally parking up back in Tod at 8.30pm - certainly was.
Thank goodness then for Jay Rogriguez’s jinking goal, his third in a week and one of high quality which warmed the cockles of our hearts on an otherwise freezing day.
If the snow gathering pace at 5.15 had been there around three hours earlier, they probably wouldn’t have started this one, and all credit to the players on both sides who produced an entertaining game given the conditions.
Clarets could consider themselves unlucky, as Peterborough were good for their goal, due to another defensive error, in the first half but were battered by Burnley after the break.
How a late handball shout did not go Burnley’s way I will never know. The referee appeared to indicate it hit the Posh player’s head rather than his flung-out arm, but in that cold and at full pelt a shot in the face would surely have poleaxed him.
After that, just glad to get back to the car, although a creeping realisation that it would be a much, much longer journey back than usual soon set in, bringing an air of depression to me (the driver) and the A-Team (riding shotgun and desperate for a fag and then his night out in Hebden Bridge).
Having moved about 500 yards in two and three-quarter hours (and relented on the A-Team having a smoke inside the vehicle), I’ve never been so glad to finally lurch into second gear and an icy slush-laden 20mph journey back to Tod, the Calderdale gritter we passed when nearly home looking set to do a sterling job (grit and Burnley Council, on the other hand, seem to be strangers).
The club messageboards are full of similar tales of frozen woe, especially those who had furthest to go (which by definition included the hardy bunch of Peterborough supporters) and reminisces of previous fridge-fests. Remember the guy stood on his own in the Bee Hole End in the nadir of 1986-87, with just his snorkel parka for protection?
The coldest I’ve ever been was at a reserve game circa January 1981, feet like blocks of ice and an evening of delerium watching Doctor Who - Warrior’s Gate (which was more than a bit weird anyway) as fever set in.
The memory of this one will be of jinking Jay, one of our own.