30th May 2004, Imber Court, Surrey.
© Report By Jayne Lewis
When I read on the fan site that Barry was going to play cricket at the Bunbury Match on Sunday May the 30th I began to dream of going and maybe be lucky enough to see him. I struggled to get tickets but eventually did and began to plan my journey with my friend who loves cricket of any sort. Well Sunday dawned and I awoke at 4.00 at first and then went back to sleep. My alarm was set for 7.00 but I woke at 6.50. I had a cup of tea and got up and washed and dressed ready to go. I had in my bag my The Legend of the Bees Gees written by David English and my Club membership badge which I intended to wear proudly when I arrived at Imber Court Cricket Ground.
I left the house at 7.45 am and drove to the train station to meet my friend. When I bought the tickets I was told there was going to be engineering works on the line that day, so we had to bus it to Morton in the Marsh and then pick up the Padding train to London. We duly got on the coach, I was now feeling very excited, I was actually on the way to see my dream come true.
Unfortunately the coach driver was not too sure of the way to Moreton in the Marsh and when we arrived there (shock horror) the train had not waited for the coach and had gone!!!!! The next one was in two hours time. Well you can imagine how we all felt. Typical British Rail.
When the next train eventually arrived we got on and continued the journey. We arrived at Paddington London at 1.00 pm instead of 11.00 am when we should have arrived. Next we had to find a train to take us to the cricket ground which was quite a way out of London. We worked out the underground and got on the train to a place called Waterloo which took .5 hours and then we caught another train to Thames Ditton which was another .5 hours and got off there. Now we were supposed to be 5 minutes from the cricket ground. We had aimed to get there for 12.00 when the gates opened but it was now 2.30 pm. The actual game was due to start at 2.00.
Barry is signing anything and everything © Jayne Lewis
Well as we started to walk towards the cricket ground, the heavens opened and it poured. We could not believe it all the way on the train the weather was fine, the minute we stepped off rain!!!!. Oh well it was fortunately only a shower and by the time we reached the ground it had stopped. So somewhat bedraggled we got to the cricket ground at 2.50pm As we showed our tickets the lady said, Have you come far and I said yes we sure have Worcester, Oh she said who have you come to see and I said Barry Gibb. She said Oh he is due at 3.00, you know he is not playing don’t you, I did not. Anyway she said if we went to the Pavilion we could join the other fans to see Barry. Now my heart was pumping and my stomach doing somersaults, was I really going to see Barry in the flesh.
We made our way to the Pavilion and sure enough there were lots of people with Bee Gees memorabilia and things for Barry to sign. It was now 3.00 pm. Everyone seemed very excited and the air was buzzing. Well people were milling around and then we heard he was coming at 3.15 and then it was 3.30.
Well finally Barry did arrive with Linda, Yvonne and Ali. I could not believe it, he looked so well and his pictures do not really do him justice. He looked so handsome with his lovely long hair cascading down his back, his cheeks were rosy and he was dressed in stone coloured trousers and matching tshirt with his sunglasses clipped over the top of his tshirt and true to form he had on a ‘Barry’ cardigan, a beautiful off white cricket cardigan, it had no buttons but the sides were all rolled back. He looked very snuggly inside it and it was obviously to keep him warm. It was not a cold day but not hot, he probably thought it cold after Miami. Linda was all in white trousers, t shirt and white jacket, Ali wore a white tshirt and white jogging trews. Yvonne was in cream.
Well they went into the enclosure in front of the Pavilion, which was cordoned off to the public and went up the Pavilion stairs. As Barry was just going up he turned round and waved and smiled to the crowd and said, Don’t worry I will be back in 5 and sign anything you want me to.
They went upstairs in the Pavilion and all came out onto the balcony and Barry waved and smiled at all the fans waiting eagerly for his return. He was then greeted by David English and vanished inside.
Well true to his word in 20 minutes Barry came down the Pavilion stairs to sign and meet with his fans. By this time a black cloud had formed over head, I started praying it would not rain.
Barry and Derek Kozlowski (personal security) and David English in the background © Jayne Lewis
The fans were lined along the cordoned off part and I was lucky to be right at the front (so I thought). Well he came down the line signing, chatting and talking to the fans. I took a couple of photos with my camera, he was smiling and talking and oh that hair it looked absolutely tremendous cascading down his back. As he approached me I was standing next to a large lady and I suddenly found myself pushed right out of the way and I found myself at the back. I could not believe this had happened but when Barry had given her his autograph she moved away, but by then Barry had passed me, I tried to gain his attention but to no avail. One of the minder chaps with him said, He wont come back up the line, your only chance is to go down and try and get in. All I could think was I had not endured a 7 hour journey to go home empty handed. I shot along the line and managed to squeeze myself in and finally I managed to get near and to my relief Barry took my ‘Legend’ book and signed it. I was so relieved and by now I was absolutely shaking. Two ladies in the front got a kiss and one lady at the end of the line got her photo taken with him. Very lucky ladies. Oh well at least my dream of seeing him came true and I shall never forget it. As he finished the last photo unfortunately you have guessed it, yes the black cloud, it started to spit and the minder said, That’s it and whisked Barry away. He walked towards where David English was standing and pretended to trip bless him, David English was drying the chair for Barry to sit down and watch the cricket, but unfortunately the rain began to teem and they all went back into the Pavilion to shelter. The rain continued for about 20 minutes and Barry watched the Auction from the upstairs of the Pavilion before leaving after tea.
After the storm ended the sun came out and we then got some chips as we had not eaten all day and went to watch the cricket which had resumed. My friend loves cricket so I thought we must watch it as she had put up with me trying to see Barry. My mind was of course not on cricket but on Barry, I was trying to come to terms that I had actually been lucky enough to see him and get his autograph.
We left the cricket ground after the end of play, Trevor MacDonald’s team beat the Bunburys, and we made our way back to the train station to start the long journey home. The weather was lovely now as we walked back discussing our day. We had had a wonderful day if not a very long day. We arrived back home at 1.30 am, we had been out for 17.5 hours and I was truly shattered but very happy indeed.