On September 6, 2003, England played against France in a World Cup warm up at Twickenham Stadium. I was there to see the hosts hammer France 45–14, but why was I there? Had I bought a ticket to be there?
When I was a university student, I worked as a crowd safety guard for music concerts and sports events. During this time, I was fortunate to work at concerts with big name acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Massive Attack and the Chemical Brothers. I also met Liam Gallagher from Oasis. When I was working at the 2003 V–Festival in Chelmsford, he came over to where my co-workers and I were positioned, struck up some small talk, and shook our hands.
Anyway, back to the rugby. So, Twickenham needed some extra security personnel for the England–France rugby match, so our squad from Brighton was called up for the job. My position was on the sidelines of the rugby pitch near the goal posts—although I can’t remember which side. We were in our positions well before the match began, and the English rugby star Jonny Wilkinson happened to be practising his goal kicks near to where I was positioned. As he walked back to the changing room after he had finished practising, he expressed his gratitude to the fans. I was moved by his humble persona.
As I said, my position was on the sideline of the pitch, so I was instructed to switch between observing the spectators and watching the pitch. This meant I got to see a lot of the action. It was my first time working at a professional rugby match. What’s more, it happened to be at an England rugby match—and during the team’s prime, awesome!
The atmosphere was electric, and the roars coming from both team’s forwards during the scrums made the hair on my arm stand on end. You could hear the thuds of the tackles and feel the intensity of the players. England won the match scoring five tries in the process. Moreover, I got paid to see it all—BONUS POINT!
big name act 有名なアーティスト
fortunate to 幸運に
strike up ～と会話を始める、～に話し掛ける
small talk おしゃべり
happened to たまたま
hair standing on end 興奮する