I was able to watch the Northern Ireland ladies team train and listen to the team talks from manager Alfie Wylie all before the match. I got given a signed football shirt from the ladies team that travelled to Belarus on this trip and I treasure it. Life had taken me to Bobruisk, this non-descript city in Belarus. I was the only football fan of Northern Ireland who had travelled independently to this match.
The night before I had met Owen (an Irish-Australian) and Albert (an Australian) and they kindly joined me in the stand with their new recruit, a local lady (a blonde Belarussian with large breasts). Owen wore my Northern Ireland scarf for the day, but none of them could have predicted my loudness or enthusiasm for the team. I outsang almost 1000 Belarussian fans (who only started singing because I was so loud and they felt they needed to prove they could as well). I sang for almost 90 minutes non-stop and yet our team still lost 5-0 against a highly ranked Belarus side. After the match I was made to have a police escort as a few local hooligans were not taking too kindly to my passion for my country!!
I got the team bus with the Northern Ireland ladies back to Minsk the capital city. Before leaving Bobruisk however I got mobbed by loads of kids wanting gifts from me - they assumed I was rich rather than a backpacker!! This wasn't a commercial world. Once back in Minsk I relaxed with a local Belarus beer and even found solace in an Irish pub on a corner which was called Drozhzhy United! All in all a great day out.
My journey to Belarus was interesting and moving. It was now over and I would head to Warsaw next in lovely Poland...
Belarus 5-0 Northern Ireland
(5 different goalscorers)
Beers Tried - Grinitska, Dnyaprouskaye.
Bars I drank in - Minsk Airport Bar and Drozhzy United Irish Pub.
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