28th of July 2002
St. Truiden - Sunderland
score: 0-1 (10' min Kevin Phillips 0-1)
It was a very hot day on Sunday the 28th of July 2002. But still 4 Dutch blokes decided to get into Guppio's car and drive for about 3 hours to Sint Truiden in Belgium to see their heroes of Sunderland AFC in action. Apart from Guppio, it was also Drew, Peur and Nick in the same car. The kick-off was at 6PM, so we decided to leave around noon. Around 3PM we arrived at the Staaien stadium. We parked their car and desperately needed a refreshment. We found a bar on the opposite of the stadium. Inside the bar we were told that there were problems with the away-area tickets. You had to get to the stadium as soon as possible, because you could only get tickets if you showed your passport. All tickets got the name of the owner printed on it. This was for safety reasons. So off to the stadium then, get our tickets and back to the bar.
Outside we met Brian and Gary, who we also met at the Dutch pre-season friendlies the year before that. We had a couple of drinks together and then off to the stadium for the match. We were a bit late, and we chose the wrong way around the stadium. We were already inside, but if we wanted to get to our registered seats, we had to walk around the whole stadium. The security thought it was a better option to take us through a security gate, on the pitch, and on the other side of the tunnel into a security gate again so we didn't have to walk the whole way around. And we were lucky. As soon as we got on the pitch, the players walked out of the tunnel, so we had a good view and a good photo opportunity for Guppio.
It was still very hot at 6PM. There were about 3 stops each half for refreshments. Sunderland started the better and were in front in the 10th minute. It was Super Kev who scored the goal after good work by Thomas Butler. After that you could see that it was almost too hot to play football. Super Kev hit the bar in the 20th minute, but after that both sides went asleep.
After the match we went into a different bar near the Stadium. We had another couple of drinks with Brian, Gary and their other friends. But we had a long drive home, so around 11PM we decided to get into the car. We were sure we would meet them again next week when Sunderland plays AA Gent.
(written by Nick)