Huddersfield Town fan Andrew Stead's disastrous trip back fom Southampton
Jan 1 2011 by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Town fan Andrew Stead hopes for a change in fortune in 2011 after his nightmare journey to Southampton
IS this Huddersfield’s unluckiest man?
Andrew Stead, of Almondbury, is hoping his fortunes pick up in 2011 after a nightmare end to 2010.
Along with hundreds of other Town fans, he travelled 230 miles to watch the Terriers lose 4-1 to Southampton.
But, unlike the 900 others who made the journey on Tuesday, this was just the start of Andrew’s troubles.
Shortly after the final whistle, police rang the businessman to tell him that two of his properties had flooded.
Andrew, 44, and his son Thomas, 15, were then delayed for hours getting home after their train caught fire at Grantham.
And, to cap it all, he picked up a speeding fine while driving home from Wakefield Station.
Andrew’s day from Hell began when he woke at 6.30am on Tuesday to catch the train from Wakefield to Southampton via London.
All went well at first. “We met a friend and his family before the match and had a drink, we got to the ground, got seated and watched Town initially take control of the game, but our excitement was short-lived,” he said.
“After that it was an atrocious performance by Town. I just wanted to go home.”
But Andrew’s day was about to get much worse.
He said: “At the end of the game we walked up to Southampton city centre to get some tea before boarding the train for the return journey.
“As we queued for food my phone rang. My heart sank when I answered and heard the words: ‘It’s West Yorkshire Police’.
“They told me that a pipe had burst at a property of mine on Blackmoorfoot Road. The water had spread to the next-door house, which I also own.
“The police asked for permission to smash the door, which I gave.”
Andrew and Thomas then stood in the rain waiting for a train to Kings Cross. They made it to London, where they caught a train up to Wakefield.
Andrew said: “Everything was running to schedule initially. But then disaster struck at Grantham.
“We were told to get off the train as it was in fire. About 20 firemen came to tackle the blaze, which turned out to be a very minor affair.
“But they would not reopen the line until everything was tickety-boo.
“We had no toilet facilities and were asked to move from the centre platform, in case of an explosion – even though we were supposed to be catching a diesel train to bring us to Doncaster.
“Then it turned out the diesel could not get past a red signal shown on the line because of the fire. So we had to wait even longer.