Nyon Tour - October 2007

Pete Henson, Brian Carr, Nigel Heaton, Jim Coggan, Shane O'Leary, Tony Myers, Gareth Smith, Nick Shaw, Stan Staniforth, Rich Bowley, Mark Dunton, Alan Sturmey, Dave Vickery

Wymeswold's group of veteran footballers embarked on their seventh annual tour over the weekend of Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October. After previous visits to Dublin, Zurich, Jersey, St Agnes, Cork and Prague, this year's destination was the historic mediaeval town of Nyon on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Former Wymeswold residents Neil & Liesl Popplewell now live and work in Nyon, and helped with the tour arrangements.

The 13-strong party flew out from East Midlands Airport on Friday lunchtime and the dress code was shorts to be worn at all times, plus the exclusive tour shirt depicting the team's colours, the Wymeswold Chalice, The Three Crowns and the Latin motto ‘Nos Erant Vispilio' (Translation : ‘We were robbed') . After landing at Geneva Airport it was a short train ride to Nyon.

The group received an invitation to tour UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, and were shown the executive offices, the auditorium where the draws are made for European football competitions, the court room where disciplinary hearings are held, and a chance to see the major European trophies at close hand. These included the UEFA Cup and the European Cup / Champion's League trophy, with the party keen to see name of Nottingham Forest engraved twice after wins in 1979 and 1980. The vets had pleasure in presenting a tour shirt to add to UEFA's collection for public display.

On Saturday afternoon and in glorious weather the group travelled to Crans for a game against FC Nature United, a local veteran's team, and also presented each member of the opposition with the souvenir tour shirt.

On the pitch, Wymeswold got off to a great start in the 12th minute when Rich Bowley turned on the edge of the area and beat the keeper with low drive from a sharp angle. The defence held firm and defender Mark Dunton integrated well under pressure, but keeper Jim Coggan was beaten by a low drive in the 37th minute.

Wymeswold reached half-time with the scores level, but then conceded a further two goals as tiredness, injuries and the heat all took their toll. However, with 25 minutes to go Brian Carr broke free and lifted his shot high into the net to make the score 3-2.

Wymeswold pressed hard for the equalizer with Jim Coggan playing in attack as Alan Sturmey suffered an injury blow and took over in goal. However, a late deflected shot off Gareth Smith meant that at the final whistle the vets had suffered a 4-2 defeat.

On Sunday some of the group cycled into the mountains, whilst other took the chance to take a refreshing swim in Lake Geneva, before heading back to the airport at the end of a hugely enjoyable weekend.