The first Orlando Magic U.K. meet up took place this past weekend, with Magic fans coming together in the East Midlands.
Orlando Magic U.K. Meet Up – Mansfield
For the first Orlando Magic U.K. meet up Mansfield in Nottinghamshire was the venue of choice. Mansfield is Paul’s home town. It may not be a glamorous or well known town but being in the centre of the country it offered a chance for all to travel. When planning the event it was understood that being the summer there would be some of our friends away on holiday or committed to previously booked events. It is also true to say that we knew our friends from the South West or Scotland for example would struggle to join this first gathering.
However, we as a group have always wanted to create a community of Magic fans and this felt like another opportunity to cement that vision. For this meet the decision was to have a simple plan of some hoops, a few drinks and to enjoy a curry.
The plan in place, the journeys to Mansfield began.
Titchfield Park saw a group of hardy soldiers take to the court for a game. Bedecked in an assortment of Magic apparel the fun started. A couple of locals asked and joined the guys as they played for a couple of hours, taking shelter at times when the heavens opened.
Time For Something Alcoholic
4pm, Saturday 15th July saw the full social gathering begin. The venue selected was the Brown Cow pub in Mansfield. Locally, it is well renowned for being a friendly, well run pub with a great selection of drinks. The 14 connoisseurs of “loud mouth soup” began to work their way through sampling what the pub had to offer.
For many it was a first opportunity to meet together. For others it was a chance to meet up with old friends. A couple of fun Magic quizzes had been devised. The ultimate winner by some distance being Neil Piper, taking the prize of an OMUK t-shirt of their choice.
20 Poppadoms And 4 Pickle Trays Please
After a dramatic 30 minute interlude (Gari Clark I’m looking at you!) it was time to eat. The good old British staple of a curry was the choice.
A booking at the Chand had been made. This recently re-opened restaurant provided a great environment for more socialising. Excellent service and food was enjoyed by everyone, being washed down by a drink or two.
As a thank you to those who came to the first Orlando Magic U.K. meet up a random draw was made for another winner of an OMUK t-shirt. It was congratulations to Gari Clark, a popular winner after his epic train journey to attend.
Last Orders Please
Having eaten, the collective decision was to head back to the Brown Cow and enjoy another round or two of drinks. Good conversation and a live band were part of the next hour. At last orders (well about 30 minutes beyond) some dedicated souls continued the party. Hitting the Bridge Tavern for an 80’s disco the guys enjoyed singing along to their appropriate request for Queen’s mega hit A Kind Of Magic.
The First Orlando Magic U.K. Meet Up
The four guys of Orlando Magic U.K. talk to each other daily and get together week in, week out online to produce the Penny For Your Thoughts podcast. However this was the first time that Gary, Paul, Geraint and Mikey had all met up together.
A huge thank you for being a part of the event goes out to Sean Moore and Jacey, to Gari Clark, Stuart Benzies, Tom and Robbie Sone, Neil Piper, Frazer McAllister, Becky Clark. We loved hanging out with you all. Oli Law we were so disappointed to miss you at both the basketball court and the Brown Cow.
This is the first of many an Orlando Magic U.K. meet up. There will be more, and the plan is to have another before the year end. The intention is to host a meet in the northern and southern regions of the country. The aim is to allow as many people as possible the opportunities to participate in the fun.
Here’s to the next one!