Australia win ashes

So another Ashes tour has come and gone - and while things didn't go the way we hoped for Joe Root and the boys, there is no doubt it was still a superb trip filled with great memories.

Indeed, perhaps the most telling feature of the post-match scenes at Sydney was not the Aussies parading the replica ashes urn - we've got the real one back at Lord's - but the way they came over to applaud the Barmy Army. Even they recognise our loyalty and determination to have a great time, whatever happens out on the pitch. 

Barmy Army end of tour party

Recognition is a two-way thing, of course; among the highlights were the presentation of the signed shirt to Sgt Tony at the MCG in recognition of the way his police looked after us. Full marks to him for taking off his armour to put it on!

There were plenty of special highlights for the Barmy Army, such as the atmosphere in the day-nighter at Adelaide, the superb Christmas party in Melbourne and also the Bashes - a series of pre-Test T20 games between the Barmy Army and the Aussie Fanatics. The last of these even brought a bit of glory as the Army won 3-2. Of course, we had a bit of help as Joe Root's brother Billy was playing. There may be more to come in the future as Michael Vaughan's son Archie made his debut for the Barmy Army second XI against Middle Park CC in Melbourne while his dad mixed with the crowd. 

Alastair Cook

Other great highlights included the off-field parties, not least the end-of-tour party in Darling Harbour when several players and former star Paul Collingwood turned up. The venue also provided some great boat rides into Sydney Harbour. We can only hope the couple celebrating their wedding in a venue on the banks of Farm Cove have a long and happy marriage, as each anniversary will bring great memories of the Barmy Army turning up in a boat to serenade them.

Despite the defeat, there were still some great on-field moments to celebrate. Who can forget Ally Cook's double century at Melbourne after all the pundits had written him off? There was also Dawid Malan's century in Perth as he emerged as a genuine Test batsman. 

England cricket fans

We also made some new friends amongst the Australians, not least Jackson Bird, who, we trust, took well becoming the latest Aussie to bowl to the left and the right.

The Ashes might have gone to Australia, but once more it was the Barmy Army who proved who the best fans are. The Australian fans will always show up when they're winning, but once it became clear they couldn't win at Melbourne, tens of thousands of seats were left empty as the Barmy boys really were the ones making all the noise.

So it is that another tour has come to an end. No doubt we'll have the urn back in our hands by the time we return Down Under, as the sight of a swinging ball will cause Steve Smith to metamorphose from Don Bradman into Devon Malcolm. We'll be hoping for much better results on the next trip, but it'll always be a great tour no matter what.