Sassco team in Denmark. Gillespie, Sangha, Dixon, with Sangha, Gourlay and Barker

It was Sassco on Tour again. This time, six travelled down to Manchester (including the wife, Pauline), and the venue was Copenhagen. The travelling squad list included Davinder Sangha (myself), Chris Dixon, Dave Gourlay and two debutantes, Arjan Sangha and Mike Barker. Our opponents in Denmark were going to provide goalkeepers for both our football days.

The headline for the tour was that Tim Gillespie announced he was going, just like he did for the last two. However, this time he did send his hotel room deposit and soon the flurry of auto-texts were sent to me and Dave. This was just like a couple of years’ back, so the frightening reality hit that he was really going. However, he was travelling from London, so there was enough time for a catastrophe (and more for me to write about).

I've compiled a list of Tim's favourite text messages in a table below and when he asked them (or didn't)

  Malta Portugal Spain Italy Germany France Denmark
Everybody all sorted to go? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Am I making a video again? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Who's playing in goal? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
How many we got? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Is the kit sorted? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Have you got any socks? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
How many games we playing? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
All sorted? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
What’s the hotel details? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Playing on grass or 3G Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
I don’t feel very well Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sassco on Tour! Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

As always, despite the great news that Tim was probably going to be there, panic mode kicked in for me. The Vauxhall Zafira taking us down South, was a bit battered, but did manage to start up, handle all the extra soft luggage (no rigid cases please) and comfortably get us there.

  • Pauline: There’s no way you’re going to get those cases in there.
  • Me: Don’t worry, it’ll fit.
  • Pauline: How?
  • Me: Sassco on Tour.

I had to detour to Deliverance country to pick up Barker (from Thornley), and then head to Dixon’s country estate in School Aycliffe for him. After one piss, coffee and petrol break, we managed to get to the airport parking area, which was essentially a farm. We hurtled into Manchester airport in time to be stuck in the massive security queue where a racist security guard asked me to remove my belt, but allowed my white wife through without any problems. They’re everywhere these quasi UKIP BNP sorts. Some of them are referees as well.

The flight was actually on time and we barely had a piss break’s time to get on it. We did and we graced row 7 for the brief trip to Copenhagen. Copenhagen was more relaxed, and when we arrived, Pauline shuttled off to see her friend in Kolding, which was going to be the first venue for the tour, but lack of facilities and things to do, pushed us to Copenhagen. Tim had texted Dave to say he'd slept in. Dave texted back to confirm this was a joke, and the reply was "What do you think?" Well, Tim. Based on your past history, we really don't know!

Gillespie finally gets his kit.

The Park Inn Radisson Hotel was a couple of stops from the Metro, and lo and behold, Tiger Tim was there and fully booked in. Little did he know, by giving his credit card details to the hotel, he actually paid for his room, despite giving me the deposit. Nice one, Tim. I also presented him his shirt from Dusseldorf (which he still hasn’t paid for).

The hotel was ideal, but steaming, due to lack of air conditioning, which meant the players were lifting even before a game. We cooled down with a drink, but eventually set off by jumping on the Metro and a couple of stops later we took the slow walk to the new venue, which was the Danish FA Headquarters in Brondby. One of their guys spotted us, namely Dixon gawping at his Google Maps to send us to the right direction. The Danes are much friendlier than the French, last year (but then the Taliban are probably a bit friendlier than the French).

The arrival at DBU Headquarters in Brondby.

We floated into the DBU venues and finally met Kenneth Holm, the manager of IFF - Ishoj Fodbold Forening, our hosts and opponents. The venue was perfect. An excellent 3G pitch and picturesque surroundings, as well as a high fence in case Dixon's shooting boots were off. A few photo ops later saw us fully kitted in the Workwear Express uniforms by Adidas and ready to kick off. I instructed the cameraman (can of Heineken in hand) to point and shoot and we were off. The line-up was me and Dave, the veterans of the tours, then Dixon and Tim, with newbies Arjan Sangha and Mike Barker. Our goalkeeper was Carl List, provided by our opponents.

Dixon, Gourlay and Barker preparing for the game.

We started and raced into a comfortable 2-0 lead, with Dixon and Barker scoring, but that’s where it went tits up. The IFF team stormed back and took a 4-2 lead early in the second half. However, we did claw it back to 4-4 before collapsing to a 12-5 defeat in an hour long game. It was probably tiredness and lack of fitness. We could take a lead, but couldn’t hold it. Dave was injured prior to the tour and said he couldn’t really shoot, which is ironic, as he’s been like that for years. Tim spent the whole match yelling “Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave!” while Arjan just pointed every now and then.

Dixon and Barker performed reasonably well, with Dixon on form and looking to be recovering from his barren spell caused by stepping into some dog shit back in 2002. My usual flurry of swearwords came to the fore, as we missed countless chances and conceded easy goals. This also included the usual roar of “f*******************kkkk!” whenever we conceded.

Dixon, Barker, Gillespie and Sangha in action.

As we were trudging off, we were invited for an immediate second game, which ironically saw us performing a little better. We had one of their guys on for us, as Arjan took some blisters from my hand-me-down NASL Adidas boots. The eventual score was 5-3 and was a massive boost to the confidence of players, despite my constant abuse.

Afterwards, shit and shower then a trip to Netto (great prices!) to stock up on barbecue stuff for the beach. Our hosts were very welcoming. The barbecue consisted of hot-dogs (or sausages over there), hot-dogs and hot-dogs, plus plenty of beer. They even allowed us to take part in some drunken antics, which we normally don’t do in England. The temperature was still exceptionally high late on in the evening.

I had an early night, but spent the night listening to Barker, who arrived around 3am, spewing his ring up in the hotel room toilet and sink. Nice.

Sassco.co.uk 4 IFF 3 | Sassco…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 2nd August 2014

Denmark2014.Sassco Flagnsp 311

Most had late nights (including the Danes), therefore the games on the second day started at lunchtime. Barker had spent the night gurning in the toilet and the sink, which...Read More

Sassco.co.uk 5 IFF 12 | Sassc…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 30th July 2014

Denmark2014.Sassco Team Denmark 2014nsp 311

It was Sassco on Tour again. This time, six travelled down to Manchester (including the wife, Pauline), and the venue was Copenhagen. The travelling squad list included Davinder Sangha (myself)...Read More

New venue: Denmark (DBU) FA H…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 21st July 2014

Downloaded.dbu Brondbynsp 311

The new venue is the Danish FA (DBU) headquarters, located in Brondby. The pitch is a 3G pitch and is the venue for our four games (two on Friday and...Read More

Denmark Tour squad update.

Denmark Tour 2014 - 19th July 2014

Denmark2014.binicinsp 311

The updated squad is shown for the Denmark Tour 2014, which takes place in Copenhagen. Sassco have been assigned a local based goalkeeper, Musa Binici, but the remaining players come from...Read More

Adidas, Gildan and Fruit of t…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 17th July 2014

Denmark2014.Adidas Kit For Denmark From Workwear Expressnsp 311

Delighted to receive our kit, courtesy of Workwear Express (click here to visit their website). The kit comprises of an Adidas AD060 short sleeve top in red (with black stripes), which has a set...Read More

Shirt for the Denmark Tour 20…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 10th June 2014

Denmark2014.Denmark 2014 Shirtnsp 311

It's Adidas again and this time, the AD060 shirt is supplied by Workwear Express, who have a wide variety of sporting garments on their website, www.workwearexpress.com. They will also be adding...Read More

Workwear Express to sponsor t…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 8th June 2014

Main Logo

Delighted to announce that Workwear Express (http://www.workwearexpress.com) are sponsoring the Denmark Tour 2014 and will be supplying the team with the kit. More details will be posted shortly, but the kit...Read More

Denmark Itinerary.

Denmark Tour 2014 - 30th May 2014

Denmark2014.uk Passportnsp 311

25th July - Friday 05:30 Leave Sunderland/Durham 08:00 Airport Parking (TBC) 10:45 Manchester to Copenhagen - Easyjet 1985 13:40 Arrive in Copenhagen 14:40 Check in hotel Park Inn Radisson 16:00 Travel to DBU Headquarters, Brondby...Read More

Tim Gillespie pays his hotel …

Denmark Tour 2014 - 12th May 2014

Denmark2014.gillespie Montagensp 311

Amazingly, Tim Gillespie transferred £153, which means that (unless it's an expensive fob off) he'll be making a first appearance since his spectacular goal drove Sassco on to victory in...Read More

Official football for Denmark…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 19th March 2014

Denmark2014.denmark Ball Grassnsp 311

Hopefully, we'll be producing a couple of official match balls for the Denmark Tour in the Summer. The balls are being supplied by Kabir Sports Pvt Ltd and one of them...Read More

Venue: Ishøj Idrætscenter Soc…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 2nd January 2014

Denmark2014.screenshot Denmarknsp 311

The venue for the game against Ishøj Fodbold Forening. There are a set of grass pitches and also one 3G pitch. It is yet to be confirmed which surface we...Read More

Denmark tour map.

Denmark Tour 2014 - 2nd January 2014

Denmark2014.denmark Mapnsp 311

View Sassco.co.uk Denmark Tour 2014 in a larger map The locations for our Denmark Tour are shown above. 

Flights and hotel booked for …

Denmark Tour 2014 - 31st December 2013

Denmark2014.hotelnsp 311

Flights from Manchester. Five flights from Manchester have been booked. Newcastle would have been ideal, but pricing was fluctuating, plus availability wasn't guaranteed. The flights from Manchester were £88 cheaper. Plan...Read More

Ishøj Fodbold Forening - IFF

Denmark Tour 2014 - 10th October 2013

Denmark2014.1243533 399818900144745 1072205751 Onsp 311

Delighted to announce our opponents in Denmark, Ishøj Fodbold Forening - IFF. Thanks to Kenneth Holm, who runs the team and is quite enthusiastic about our visit. Their Facebook page is...Read More

Second opponent in Denmark.

Denmark Tour 2014 - 12th September 2013

Denmark2014.ishoj Sassconsp 311

Second game likely to be in Ishøj.  Thanks to Kenneth Holm, who works within FootballEurope.com, we have our second opponents in Denmark. The venue is likely to be Ishøj, outside Copenhagen. More details...Read More

First definite game in Copenh…

Denmark Tour 2014 - 6th September 2013

Denmark2014.logonsp 311

Fixture against CBS Sport. Delighted to announce that the first game in Copenhagen, Denmark for our football tour in 2014 has been arranged. Thomas Staalager from Copenhagen Business School Sport has kindly...Read More

Flights for Denmark 2014.

Denmark Tour 2014 - 22nd August 2013

Denmark2014.flightsnsp 311

Initial pricing for flights for Denmark in 2014. Newcastle to Copenhagen return. Fri 25 July 14 Mon 28 July 14 £ 186.68 GBP but there is no guarantee these will be available closer to January 2014...Read More

Denmark Tour for 2014

Denmark Tour 2014 - 27th April 2013

Denmark2014.denmark2014nsp 311

It's Copenhagen! As Sassco are running out of Southern European nations, we are taking a risk and heading North to Denmark in August 2014. The flights will be from Edinburgh via...Read More

Football News

Netherlands 2-3 Germany: Schu…

Nico Schulz scores a last-minute winner as Germany gain revenge over the Netherlands with a Euro 2020 qualifying victory in Amsterdam.

24-03-2019

Northern Ireland 2-1 Belarus:…

An 87th-minute Josh Magennis goal gives Northern Ireland victory over Belarus and sees them top Group C with two wins from two.

24-03-2019

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: BB…

BBC Sport takes a look inside Tottenham Hotspur's brand new stadium, which hosted its first game on Sunday as their Under-18s beat Southampton U18s 3-1.

24-03-2019

Tottenham: A glimpse inside S…

Tottenham opened their long-awaited new stadium with a test event on Sunday; BBC Sport's Simon Stone went along and found a club ready for a fresh start.

24-03-2019

Montenegro v England: Gareth …

Gareth Southgate says England's young players need to prepare for a "hostile environment" when they play in Montenegro on Monday.

24-03-2019

Steven Gerrard: Liverpool ico…

Liverpool icon and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard scores at Anfield for the first time in five years, in a charity game against AC Milan Legends.

24-03-2019

Dan James: Wales winger impre…

Wales manager Ryan Giggs says he is delighted Dan James scored the winning goal in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

24-03-2019

San Marino 0-2 Scotland: Alex…

Scotland boss Alex McLeish is booed as his side labour to a Euro 2020 qualifying win over minnows San Marino.

24-03-2019

Ashley Williams: Defender sti…

Wales manager Ryan Giggs says Ashley Williams will keep the captaincy despite dropping him for the Euro 2020 qualifying win over Slovakia.

24-03-2019