Jane Stuart – Writer

Writer on beer, football culture and Blackpool FC.

Blackpool v Wolves U21s: leasing.com trophy

So. The diet. I attempted to formally register for Slimming World on Sunday to further motivate myself with the diet. However my plan (and diet) was foiled by the following message:


I consoled myself with several handfuls of Midget Gems (Lee always has sweets in the house, despite my protestations) and a Domino’s Pizza (half Vegi Supreme, half Hot & Spicy). This is FAR more fun than dieting – and actually way cheaper. The sheer volume of food you need to eat on Slimming World (to avoid temptation) is more than I’m comfortable with. I actually felt sick on Saturday night after all that food!

It’s just as well I’m off the diet, really, as you know I write about food quite a lot, which in turn breeds conversation about food. On one of the fans forums this week, Dumfries Seasider advised that he had brought an Orange Daim to the match on Saturday for me, but promptly forgot all about it, only finding it on his return home, when he promptly ate it. Upon reading this, Lee got all excited and was determined to find an Orange Daim for himself (he loves a Daim) but he wasn’t having any luck. After he successfully hunted down a rare Orange Twirl for me the other week, the mission was on!

Now you remember the mushroom pie man from Saturday? Well he’s since identified himself on Twitter and we’ve engaged in further vegan pie chat since. 


On Monday I undertook a special mission to M&S to locate said pie. Mission successful, all I now needed to do was learn how to work Lee’s electric oven (does not compute) and that was Monday’s tea sorted out. 

The verdict? Electric ovens are safer for me as there’s no flame for me to potentially burn the house down with (as has almost happened when grilling burgers chez moi). 

Oh the pie? The filling was exquisite: a delight for the palate with peppery flavours dancing on the tongue – and a good volume of gravy. The pastry was a little dry and rich for me (I needed a Rennie for pudding) but that’s not uncommon and is the main reason I don’t eat pies. I’d have one again, though – I’d just take the lid off first. Thanks for the recommendation, Rodger. 

Now on to matchday. I caught the train from Manchester Piccadilly to Blackpool North, using the journey time to catch up on correspondence and social media. I was supposed to be working on an assignment for my OU degree this week but found this particular English Language module was taking more than it was giving, so I’ve resolved to defer my studies. This was actually an easy decision.  I have so much else to do with my time that I’m thoroughly enjoying, it makes no sense to devote so much time to something I’m not enjoying. If I was reading a book I wasn’t enjoying I’d put it to one side and begin another. I may pick up with a Level 3 Creative Writing module next year but for now I’m going to concentrate on writing my novel, which deserves my attention and is a vehicle to directly get me where I want to be. 

Lee collected me from North station, armed with the two items I’d requested he bring – a bag of fanzines and a sleeping bag. 

‘A sleeping bag…?!’

‘Do I need to explain?’

‘Yes, I think you do.’

Dear reader, I’m presently emptying my house ahead of my relocation to The Fylde Coast, and said sleeping bag belongs to my friend, Karen, who slept in it when she stayed over at mine (just to clarify, I don’t make her sleep in a tent in the garden, but nor do I have a spare bed). I was bringing it tonight to return to her (although later wish I’d kept it a few hours longer as it was FREEZING at the match!). 

I assumed a new position outside the West Stand for my fanzine selling tonight. It was sheltered and hence a good spot for a cold autumn evening. Here were new faces to smile at, chat to and sell fanzines to. At one point I found myself surrounded by a group of young boys who had seen me on Lee Charles TV and were intrigued as to what a fanzine was. 

‘Is Lee Charles your husband?’

‘No, he’s my boyfriend.’

‘Ooh wit woo! What’s that?’

‘It’s a fanzine. For £2 you can have a look for yourself.’

‘Give me one for free or I’ll unsubscribe from Lee Charles TV.’

‘Haha! Even Lee doesn’t get a free one!’

They bought a copy though, bless them. It’s lovely to see groups of children attending matches again. This club has a great future once again. 

Lee approached, armed with his new camera (which he’s now forgiven me for dropping), and I presented him with his match ticket – and an Orange Daim. It’s a lovely feeling to put a smile on someone’s face and Lee was delighted with his gift. 


Now you know I tend to leave my brain behind when I enter Bloomfield Road these days? I’ll refer you back to the last couple of matches, when I’ve attempted to (a) enter via the away turnstile; and (b) operate the turnstile using my bus pass. Well tonight, being in the unfamiliar territory of the West Stand, could I find my seat? Lee had gone on ahead around five minutes earlier and my eyes scanned the stand in search of him, but could I see him? I found the right block and row but my brain couldn’t compute where seat 26 could be. With kick-off fast approaching, I resolved to ask a steward. 

Frankly, he wasn’t much help. I’m all for this new relaxed stewarding regime but there’s relaxed and there’s horizontal! I was directed to the correct row and, there being one empty seat on the end of the row (Seat 1), I was advised just to park myself there. 

‘But I’m with someone.’

‘Well can you see them?’

‘Er…no.’ (Thinking: that’s why I asked for directions.)

And he wandered off. I’ll just sit here then, shall I? I messaged Lee to say I was stuck at the end of the row. By now relaxed in my seat, I leant forward and recognised his mittens and camera way down the row, but didn’t want to disturb all the people in between us to get to him. 


Easy when you know how, eh?

On my way down the steps, I was called over by a man wanting a copy of Issue 1 of the fanzine. This in turn led to a converted enquiry from the man in the row in front. As I chatted away and conducted a couple of bonus sales, my phone rang. 

‘Where are you now?!’

I looked up to see Lee looking confused at the front of the stand. 

‘I’ve just stopped to make a couple of impromptu fanzine sales. Eyes up and right.’

I waved and was promptly escorted to my seat, amid a flurry of questions as to why I’d found it so difficult to figure out how to get there. Lee, I’m a woman. Sense of direction is not my strong point. 

Anyway the match was FREEZING and there wasn’t much to jump up and down about in the first half. Wolves hit both posts but despite this didn’t look a serious threat. 

At half time I paid a visit to the facilities underneath the West Stand. I chuckled to myself when I saw this:


I thought the West Stand was posh but the non-league one-tap policy is in place here! 

Now with even colder hands, I decided I wasn’t putting up with the cold any longer and bought a hot chocolate. This warmed my hands nicely before insulating me from the inside during the second half, completely shutting out the cold. Dear reader, a hot drink at half time is just the ticket for combating the winter. 

The heat was turned up on the pitch in the second half, too, with Gnanduillet, Feeney and Kaikai coming off the bench to really take the game to Wolves. It paid off, too, with a last gasp winner in injury time from Rocky Bushiri saving us from having to endure penalties (leasing.com trophy matches not being permitted to end in a draw). Bushiri was clearly delighted with his goal – which was so great to see – and he whipped his shirt off in celebration. 

We’re back, dear reader. 

Back home (with the heating firmly ON), Lee began his preparations to edit the video footage of the night’s fan experience. Ordinarily I would sit with him to support him and assist with the edit, but sleep was calling strongly tonight so I retired to bed and left him to it. It almost feels like magic that I go to sleep and when I wake there’s a video waiting to be watched, so I can relive the enjoyment of the previous evening’s events. We’re very lucky to have Lee providing this never-before-known service. If you haven’t done so already, please do watch and subscribe to Lee Charles TV, via the link below, where you can watch the action, including the goal and Lee’s reaction to the Orange Daim:

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