At the time of writing, there was supposed to be a football match going on at Radcliffe Borough's Stainton Park between Belgian giants Club Brugge and Romanian outfit Otelul Galati. The match was a pre-season friendly between the two sides that was fixed up by referee Mark Halsey, who hails from the North West, following Brugge's decision to pull out of a match with Bury.
That match isn't happening.
The match would have been a unique event in the history of Stainton Park and had an added bonus for Bolton fans in that club great Eidur Gudjohnsen was set to play. Gudjohnsen, currently a Brugge player, scored 23 goals in 73 appearances for Bolton Wanderers over two seasons before moving to Chelsea.
About an hour before the scheduled kick-off, there was word at the ground from Lion of Vienna Suite contributor Michael Murray that Otelul's bus had broken down and that Brugge's bus off to get them. Otelul never showed up and the match was ultimately cancelled, meaning no playing return for Gudjohsen.
A statement from Radcliffe Burrough read:
When the representative's who organized the game came to Stainton Park 90 minutes before kick off, club officials were informed that they were not happy with the length of the grass on the pitch and they wanted the full pitch watered before kick off. Unfortunately as a step 4 non-league club, a water irrigation service is not something that football clubs at this level have so the decision by Club Brugge was to call the game off at 5:30pm despite the best efforts of ground staff and volunteers to stage the game.
Here's how it went down:
Just been informed that the Otelul Galati team bus has broken down so the Brugge bus is on the shuttle run #preseason— Michael Murray (@mervynthepanda) July 11, 2013
I can confirm that Eidur Gudjohnsen is here #bwfc— Michael Murray (@mervynthepanda) July 11, 2013
Eidur Gudjohnsen was asked by me if he fancied coming back to the Reebok this season, his response was slightly coy #bwfc— Michael Murray (@mervynthepanda) July 11, 2013
Rumours circulating that the game is off due to the grass being too long— Michael Murray (@mervynthepanda) July 11, 2013
Or because the Galati team bus has broken down. Either way, we have no game at Stainton Park— Michael Murray (@mervynthepanda) July 11, 2013
It's confirmed, there is no game here at Stainton Park. That's a bit of a pisser— Michael Murray (@mervynthepanda) July 11, 2013