Transfer Deadline Day…in Lithuania

Many years ago, eight to be exact, I went on a memorable trip to Vilnius in Lithuania. This holiday will always stand out because it was my first as a ‘working man’. Prior to this every vacation had been funded either by my more than generous parents, or by a basic wage summer job. But this time I had money – I had been saving for months to supply a beer fuelled week in this Eastern European capital, and I had managed to put aside plenty of liquid capital, £700 to be exact – £100 of spending money for each day of the trip!

As five newly wealthy 23 year olds we set off with high expectations, and Vilnius did not disappoint. It was the perfect destination, filled with a gruesome cultural history (such as the morbid KGB museum), healthy portions of red meat, an endless supply of cheap premium beer and most importantly hoards of stunning European girls keen on ‘meeting’ young British men. We were in heaven.

And things kept getting better – our soulless executive hotel on the edge of the city had no history or heritage, but it did have a cheap accessible bar – the perfect place to start each evening. And it was in this bar that the most memorable event occurred…

As we sat happily preparing ourselves for that evening’s frivolities we noticed that an endless stream of beautiful girls kept parading through the hotel reception. When one appeared wearing a sash emblazoned with ‘Miss Malta’ our interested really peaked. Finally the most confident of our small group approached one, Miss Netherlands, and asked the obvious question.

“It is The International Miss Estate Agent awards,” she promptly replied.

We could not believe our luck – a beauty pageant in our hotel! But how could we exploit this, we didn’t want to watch it, tuneless Europeans belting out renditions of I Will Survive was not real entertainment – but we certainly needed to meet the girls!

Eventually after roughly five pints we hatched a full-proof plan. It happened to be International Transfer Deadline Day across all of Europe’s major football leagues. We could create an after party that would naturally link to each entrant’s home nation – we could host Europe’s most ‘rock-star’ event in our hotel room.

So we put this plan into operation. We wrote individual invites and asked the concierge to deliver them to each beauty queen’s hotel room. At roughly midnight we retired to room 308 and awaited the arrival of the the ladies…

…imagine my disappointment as I sat there for three hours, dressed as Silvain Wiltord, watching the deadline day news roll in on ceefax, with not an international beauty queen in sight. And now Sky Sports does its best to remind me of this distinct failure on a twice annual basis.