Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Andy Farrell and me

Before I close my British and Irish Lions diary, I have a last awkward tale to share.

Above you can see former Great Britain rugby league captain Andy Farrell who was at last week's Downing Street reception in his capacity as Lions defence coach. 

I spotted him early on amongst all the other famous faces but, as the two hours ticked by, didn't get to meet him.

With about 15 minutes to go, I decided the time had come for a visit to the little boys' room before saying goodbye to my new "pals."

The trip was deemed necessary on the grounds that I'd had about three beers and two glasses of wine by this stage, and didn't want to stain the Prime Minister's nice rug. 

The toilet I was directed to was a single unit operation, meaning I had to wait for whoever was in front of me to come out before I could go in. 

This resulted in a sense of excited anticipation as I paused to discover which Lions legend would emerge. 

A couple of minutes later, the cubicle door swung open was some middle-aged bald bloke who was probably in charge of the kit. Frankly, I was disappointed. 

Anyway, I said a cheery hello, had my wee and was washing my hands when Andy Farrell appeared, shuffled past me towards the cubicle and locked the door. What a pro. 

My sense of child-like giddiness suddenly returned. Andy Farrell was in that toilet doing whatever it was Andy Farrell was doing - in THAT toilet!  Wow. 

As I was about to come out to return to the reception, I narrowly avoided walking straight into a different member of the Lions backroom team who also required use of the Number 10 single unit facility. 

I said another cheery hello, to which he responded with a half smile.

Pointing at the cubicle, he enquired: "Is anyone in there?"

"Yes!" I replied. "IT'S ANDY FARRELL!!!!" (all of two yards away). 

I didn't say a cheery hello to Andy Farrell in the end.