Through the silent, deserted streets of Chiswick,London at 4:10 am trudged two bleary eyed people with holdalls full of food, some beer and clothes as well as tickets for the Eurostar to Brugge.

Tube to St Pancreas we passed through security and were waiting for the train.

First big decision. Robin called for a coffee but seeing the prices his wise father called for 2 pints of Guinness which tasted like nectar at 6:00 am! A smooth transfer to Brussels and onwards to Brugge(when booking Eurostar do not forget to tick the box which says and all stations in Belguim or you pay extra) found us booking in to our hotel along with other Bluenoses.

Off to the main square and what a sight to see all the flags and blues fans, singing and having a great time with no trouble at all. After eating and drinking we set off to the ground and courtesy of a friendly police man who flagged down a coach for us we arrived with much excitement and optimism. The “horse" was there and bemused the police who smiled good humouredly!

A stark hard seated stadium could not stem the great sense of belonging to BCFC and the 5,500 fans were in full voice. The atmosphere was electric and an early goal for Brugge only stoked up the noise from all round the ground. The 23rd minute applause for their player who died bonded the two sets of fans and the equaliser duly came. Half time and everyone thought we had done well. Brugge should have come out with their own ball second half as Blues passed the match one so well it was just like watching a dream. The singing at the end was reaching new highs when Marlon King turned and ran down the line, looked up and crossed for Chris Wood to smash it in the roof of the net. Cue unbounded joy, final whistle and classic “You tube videos”!

Trudging back through streets lined by houses more like Solihul than Small Heath we again had luck in picking up a lift in a coach towards Brugge only to find the Bars were shutting but we had a tip a bar 100 m round the back was going to be open. Blues scarf over the bar and Mr Moon blaring out seemed to indicate we had found the place! A superb atmosphere with local fans joining us as well meant “a few drinks later” at 3:45 am we trudged back to our hotel glad we had not booked breakfast!

A fabulous time almost rivalling Wembley as it was more intense and it had to be experienced to almost touch the joy and pleasure of the shared time abroad with Bluenoses!!

Hope you enjoyed my memories of our European tour!

By Derek Bradley also featuring Robin Bradley, Gary and Matt Parton, The Edwards(Sue, David, Neil and Adam). The next day in Brussels was another story!