admin   September 4th, 2017   No Comments

 
So my day started with me getting up at 5:45am for work. I had not slept at all and was so tired. My anxiety level was pretty high mostly at the possibility of meeting Iain again who I have not met since the 2015 London and Film Comic Con.

The event was the #Game4Grenfell charity football match at the QPR football ground at Loftus Road. There were a mixture of celebrities and former football players in the two teams. I left work at 10:30am and got the train to Shepherd’s Bush station. I admit I was not at all prepared for the number of fans that were there 3 hours and longer before the match but when I got to the football stadium the barriers were already out and I was about 6 rows from the front. Being so small I couldn’t see a thing and I started thinking that maybe today just wasn’t going to be my day. My friend Helen who was there to see Jamie Dornan arrived and we chatted about where best to stand. More barriers were put out and we managed to get to the front of them but they were so far down the road we didn’t think anyone would stop that far down and see us.

    
I stood around for a while not really knowing what to do for the best and Helen noticed a lady standing in front of us with a ‘Jorah’ funko pop box so I went and chatted to her. Turns this rather lovely lady was Marnie @m_t_graphics who is one of wonderful members of Ser Jorah’s Army and had contributed to the fan book we gave to Iain in 2015. Small world eh?

I was just thinking I’m not going to get anywhere near Iain from my current position when I thought I had spotted him on the other side of the road. I literally left my friend for dust and just yelled ‘OMG it’s Iain’!! I shot across the road with my camera in hand and when I got closer I realised IT WAS IAIN!

He was already being approached by fans for photos and signatures so I waited patiently until he was in front of me and then everything happened so quickly –  he looked at me and I said ‘Hi Iain it’s Sarah’ and he said ‘oh Sarah hi how are you? I got your letter that you were coming’ I said ‘I’m fine it’s so good to see you it’s been a couple of years hasn’t it? He then bent down to give me a hug which was amazing and then I asked him if it was okay for a photo and I literally threw my camera at poor unsuspecting lady and asked her if she would mind taking a photo of us together which she did. He was so lovely as he bent down for me and just grabbed him close to me. I didn’t realise I had my hand of his torso!! Lol

I asked him about when he would be filming the next Jack Taylor series and he said not till 2019!!!!! So we a long wait for it I’m afraid. I got the feeling that GOT Series 8 will take up a lot of the next year for him. I told him we were just glad he had survived this series of Game of Thrones but other fans were asking him for signatures and photos so I’m not sure he heard me say it. I stood back and let others in speak to him whilst taking the opportunity to take some photos of him.

    
Lots of fans were surrounding by this time him and a security guy came over to help him over the road to the stadium entrance. Iain said to him’ I think I’m going to need some help here’ and thought that was my moment with him was over with but as the security guy went to guide him away from the fans he was still almost facing me and he grabbed my hand and squeezed it and said’ It was so lovely to see you again Sarah, I will see you soon’ and I said goodbye…. I was slightly shakey at this point and ran back across the road to the barrier at the entrance where my friend was waiting and said I met him!!!!!!!!!!! And I got a photo with him and told her what everything that had happened.

About a few moments later Iain was going into the venue and walked along the barrier signing. He was so sweet and patient with everyone. I was too far back and too small for him to see me but I did manage to get a few photos. Helen got loads of photos of him for me which she kindly said she would send to me. He stood back and posed for fans so they could take a photo of him. WOW what a guy!! He then went in and I took a deep breath – all this and the match hadn’t even started yet!

We then waited for actor Jamie Dornan. By this time there seemed to be two places to enter the stadium and we weren’t sure where he would come in. A guy came over to us and we heard him talking to a guy who was standing next to us and he said that Jamie was just down the road walking up here so we both ran to try and catch him. He was flagged by security and loads of fans trying to photos and autos. It was quite difficult for us to get close to him and although Helen was not able to get a selfie or autograph she did manage to take some great photos.

    
After Jamie had gone in we decided to go to Westfield’s shopping centre and get something to drink and calm ourselves down. It was such a warm day and my bag was so heavy. When we came back we decided to go in and take our seats. We were in the first front tier so great view of the pitch and players.

We had to wait for about an hour before the players came on the pitch for a warm up. Because the event was for the survivors and relatives of the Grenfell Tower disaster there was a lot of stuff to support them which was very sweet. They walked around the outside of the pitch to applause from the crowd. There was a minute silence before kick-off and some of the survivors and firefighter’s that fought the fire that night joined the players on the pitch and were part of both teams. They got the biggest applause of the day.

So Iain and Jamie both come out onto the pitch and Helen and I start going made with taking photos. It was like someone had possessed us!! Lol I got about 300 photos of the whole day and a number of video clips of Iain playing football and warming up.

    
Now I knew Iain is a keen sportsman I have already had the honour of seeing him play Cricket in 2014 for Words and Wickets (you can read my meeting with him and see photos here) but I was so amazed at how fit he really is for a man of 56 years old. He totally AMAZING in a football kit – just took my breath away! He chatted a lot to singer Olly Murs and other players.

Iain was in Team Ferdinand in Team Shearer

When the match started runner legend Sir Mo Farrah scored the first goal for Team Ferdinand. Iain himself didn’t come on till 5 minutes before the end of the first half and then for another 15 minutes in the second half. He did get stuck in and didn’t shy away from the ball. Apart from the ‘almost own goal’ (the ball bounced off the goal post) he really did brilliantly well considering he was the oldest man in both teams – I was so proud of him.

At half time there were musical performances from Rita Ora and Cheryl Tweedy.

By lucky chance we happened to sit next to 2 ladies who were also Iain fans. One was celebrating her 30th birthday. Everytime Iain went past us they yelled ‘GO JORAH GO JORAH GO JORAH’!! Not sure if he heard or not though.

The only couple of things that were disappointing was that

    
The only couple of things that were disappointing on the day. At the end of the match the score was 2-2 so there was to be a penalty shoot out – now it was at this time when half the crowd had a bit of mad moment  which started when a boy ran onto the pitch who was then joined by another both wanting to get close to the players. Within a few minutes everyone was out of their seats and running on the pitch surrounding the players. There were lots of announcements for fans to get back in their seats and most of the players had to be taken back inside for their own safety. It was pretty annoying and I can’t understand the parents for letting their kids do this but there were just as many adults on the pitch too. Not only was it time wasting but really dangerous and disrespectful to the players and the rest of the crowd. It took a good 10-15minutes for fans to return to their seats before the players were brought back out and the penalty shoot-out could start. Unfortunately this happened again at the end of the match and I think the players would have done a lap around the pitch after the match to thank fans for turning up and the support. A perfect opportunity for those who had not seen the players close up to take photos etc. Some players stayed on the pitch but others went in and that was that. It seems a couple of fans got photos with Iain on the pitch at the end but we decided not to invade the pitch and left via the exit.

After about an hour waiting for them to leave we decided to go home. It took me a couple of hours to get back when usually an half an hour journey due to train delays and I was completely shattered when I  got home but so happy and so relieved it worked out so well. Still on cloud nine 2 days later!

There are lots more photos to come later this week.

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