This was it then. The big day. The final session to produce the ultimate 'must have' match-day accessory, the High Path Super Dons flag!Warren on yellow strips and Marie takes a boot
As I approached High Path with a rucksack full of paints, brushes and plastic sheeting I could feel the tension in the air and a slight frisson rolled down my back. As I entered the kitchen doubts assailed me on all sides. Would everyone be there? Were they all up for it? Had they left me any pizza?
My fears soon evaporated though as it was obvious that everyone was there. It was good to see that Danny was back and feeling a lot better and Warren was quick to explain that his absence the previous Monday was down to his mum forgetting the appointment. Not that he blamed her or anything, he just wanted me to know he hadn't knowingly ducked out.
He was also a bit miffed about the York result "What happened there then?" he asked as he pulled out the paper on which he meticulously records all the scores to show me proof of our 1-0 defeat. Loosing to Millwall he could just about take but York at home??? I can only assume that the Ebbsfleet game would have given him something to smile about the following evening.
Ian gets the other boot
As regards being up for it they could hardly wait to get started and as for pizza they had kindly saved my a slice to set me up for the evening although I did note that all the garlic bread had gone.
After donning (sic) our Dons Trust t-shirts we cracked on with the task of finishing off Haydon.
Everyone had a part of Haydon to work on: Warren, keen to make up for the previous weeks lost time, took on the yellow sections on Haydon's shirt. Marie and John did Haydons grey fur and white ears, Ian did his left boot and Danny took on the job of the football.
There was always the danger of splashing the paint around a bit and possibly getting in each others way so everyone had to be careful and sometimes had to wait for someone else to finish before they had a go themselves.
John takes care of Haydon's earWith the amount of paint floating around and the need to put on lots of different colours is was all a bit stop-start as brushes were cleaned and new shades tried out.
Then a bit of an 'Oh Blow!' moment...
Or rather a distinct lack of blow as it turned out I'd left the oh so very important hairdryer at home. Just at the wrong time of course because we really could have done with a bit of instant drying. Andy went off in a desperate search around High Path and eventually turned up with a very low-powered hairdryer that produced a gentle, but barely discernable breeze. With nothing better on offer we put it to use...
Danny kept a close eye on the dryer
Marie tackles the laces, Danny looks on...With the main body parts in place it was really down to Marie to provide some of the finishing touches, including putting on Haydon's laces on each boot. This was a bit nerve-wracking for Marie who didn't want to spoil it near the end. No danger there though and it all went smoothly
After some discussion we had decided not to paint his boots black as black laces wouldn't have shown up very well so Haydon has brown boots for this game. We also thought that it would help if everything was outlined in black paint to help it stand out more clearly, especially under flood-lights.
Warren deals with the sponsorship
At this point it was all about finishing touches. Of course we had to acknowledge Sports Interactive (our sponsors) so Warren got to work with a brush and some white paint and produced a very creditable logo that we all agreed should do the job nicely.
Then a bit of artistic licence. We all thought that Haydons cap could do with a bit of lightening-up so Warren added a small 'H'. Nothing too ostentatious and small enough that we could paint over it if needs be.
Suddenly, that was about it. The flag was pretty much complete, or as complete as we could get it that night. The boots needed to be outlined in black, the green we used for the grass was a bit too light and needed going over in a darker colour and some clips needed to be added so that it could be hung up in the Tempest. But that could wait for another day. Right then we really needed somewhere to hang it out to dry.
We found a handy spot in the main dining room so we decided to leave it up there for the night with the added bonus of having the leader of Merton Council visit the following morning. There was no way he would miss the flag and the team would certainly be bending his ear about the benefits of a new stadium in Wimbledon!
After digging out a roll of masking tape we were able to stick it up securely and took the opportunity of having a team photograph taken.
The High Path Super Dons have tickets for the Gateshead game on December 5th which is just about right for getting the flag finished and ready for action. Nothing would make them prouder than to have Haydon himself unfurl their banner so who knows, maybe we can tempt him off the pitch for a few minutes - although if Danny has his way he'll have to bring his wheelie bin with him!
High Path Super Dons Team Photo 2009-10
Clive (Team Coach), Warren (star striker), 'Dirty' John B (tough-tackling defender), Ian (unflappable keeper), Marie (wizard on the wing), Danny (holding midfielder) Andy (Team Manager)