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Clapham Old Xaverians Annual 'Football' Tour - 2024

Clapham Old Xaverians Annual 'Football' Tour - 2024

Frank Barretta21 Jan - 16:00
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Continuing our appreciation of untapped Baltic and Balkan culture and sport, we are off to Riga from the 2nd – 5th of May 2024.

Clapham Old Xaverians Annual 'Football' Tour - 2024

2nd May – 5th May

Dear Old Boys, fellow athletes et al,

It is that time of year again when we start to think about resolutions broken, the January lunch at the UJ Club and of course, will Spurs finally win another trophy!

However, what about ‘Tour’ and where have we visited in recent years? The infamous annual ‘football’ tour has taken a train to Blankenberg, Bristol and Chester and flown our own cheeky monkeys to Gibraltar! Post COVID era the eagerly awaited tour of Malta 2020 which finally became a reality in 2022! The 3-year wait was worthwhile with spectacular scenery, architecture, and history with the usual mix of mishaps and banter from Petters wanting to find Tosh a Maltese Barber to The Vicar reprising his alter ego, Freddie Mercury! One of the all-time funniest Tour afternoons! Ask for more details…

Following visits to the magnificent St John’s Cathedral, Valletta and Magical Mdina, recognised as King’s Landing in TV’s Game of Thrones, and being part of the parade and procession for the feast of St Joseph’s Day in Rabat (delayed from March). These were only a few of the touring highlights which were intertwined with an afternoon in Valletta celebrating the 23rd Anniversary of Mr. Oliver Reed’s passing at ‘The Pub’, his final resting place. Our spontaneous involvement on that sunny afternoon with customers and tourists alike, with exemplary conduct and the music and wine led by Father Brown and the ‘Preece’ himself ensured reverence was observed in customary fashion, albeit a replica of Trigger’s broom was confiscated as a Vicar prop! At the end of a wonderful afternoons entertainment, we were welcomed back by the proprietor at any time!

Following Malta, Tour headed to Bucharest in 2023. Who would have thought that the intrepid Clapham Tourists would be heading for Transylvania in search of Dracula. Well, we didn’t! We followed ‘The Ceaușescu's’ final days by visiting their Lake Snagov residence they fled at the end the Revolution in 1989. A tour of the historical Snagov Monastery situated on an Island where we saw the Tomb of Vlad The Impaler or Vlad Dracula as he is also known. From Lake Snagov to the Palace of the Parliament (the largest Parliamentary Building in the world) we managed to find some common ground with our Romanian hosts by occasionally popping into the local Irish Bar for light refreshments where we tried to find some traditional Polish food for Ryk…as we were fairly close to Poland! However, our day trip ended when we were treated to lunch overlooking Lake Herăstrău (Sector 1) with a Kebab made for two.

So, what about 2024? We are heading to the Latvian capital of Riga. Continuing our appreciation of untapped Baltic and Balkan culture and sport, Ice Hockey is considered the most popular sport in Latvia, with Basketball a close second. While we have no retired Streatham Red Hawke’s in our Tour line-up, Petters has always fancied himself as a bit of a Harem Globetrotter!

If you fancy a few days away in Riga to rest, relax and recharge the body or feel it is about time to blow those Lowestoft cobwebs off or maybe skiing is not your thing, let’s get you sized up for your Riga Tour Shirt!


Tony O’Shea (Tosh)
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