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Who Should My Son Support?
Written by johnwarkstache on Friday, 28th Sep 2012 15:38

I am an ITFC supporter, born and raised in London, who now lives in Berkshire. I’ve never lived in or near Ipswich but do have family in the surrounding areas, who are season ticket holders. I chose Ipswich as a kid and have never looked back.

I go to fewer and fewer games as the years go by but in the late 80s through to the early noughties (the Lyall and Burley/Holland years) I was following the Town up and down the country on a regular basis, as well as to other countries such as Russia and Luxembourg.

I’m not laying claim to be the most ardent fan but feel I have 'done my time' and do still go every now and then, my last trip to PR being the 0-3 to Millwall at the end of last season

So that is my preface and this is my dilemma. I have recently spawned a young child, a boy. Who should he support?

Option 1 - ITFC. An obvious choice to many reading on here. His Dad follows them so he should too. I love Ipswich. I love our history, our ground and what we stand for, although this seems to be eroded as each day goes by.

I love the fact we are the only team to have supplied two England managers (and the two most successful ones at that), the fact that we won Division Two and Division One in successive years. That we won the FA Cup and Osborne had to be substituted after scoring the winning goal, just because he was overcome with excitement. Fantastic

Nowadays though, to an exiled supporter, Ipswich is a hard sell and I see no way out of the rut we’re in. I have a friend who tried to get his sons to follow the Town and was ridiculed in the playground. It’s all Premier and Champions Leagues now. No-one gives two hoots about FA Cups and England.

Also, to be frank, I live on the wrong side of London and it’s a pain in the arse to get across to Ipswich. Would love it if he travelled up there every week but would I want to impose that on him? Would I like to see my son go to fewer live games at Ipswich or follow a local team and go more often and at lesser cost? 'Support your local team' is what 'true' fans always seem to say. This leads me to my next option.

Option 2 - Reading. The local team. Non-descript outfit. No history. Horrible out of town ground, easily accessible by car but complete ‘mare if, heaven forbid, you wanted a drink on your day out at football.

Still, he’d be following his 'local team', he’d be able to attend regularly and maybe some in his playground would follow them too.

Option 3 - QPR. His mother’s family are all QPR. Genuine QPR. Season ticket holders etc. We live on the right side of London for QPR so local-ish.

Loftus Road has to be one of my favourite away grounds and, Magilton sacking aside, I don’t hold too much against them. Bit of a joke club with the wacky, rich, foreign money-bags owners but hate a lot of other clubs more.

Option 4 - A non-league team. I already attend local non-league fixtures. And can do without feeling I am cheating on Ipswich, because they are non-league. Can my son have a non-league team who he watches regularly and then go and see Ipswich every now and then?

Option 5 - Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool etc. A non-option in my view. Will get rid of Sky Sports if any of these picked.

My son is only six weeks old so doesn’t have to be a knee-jerk reaction. At the end of the day, he will choose himself, but which way should I guide him? People are already asking.

This is my debut blog, so feel free to rip to shreds. Thanks for reading and will see you at the Amex on Tuesday.




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Ftnfwest added 20:24 - Sep 29
Er he might not actually like football?
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NorthstaNder added 20:27 - Sep 29
He should support whoever he wants.

I have a little girl and I'm certainly not going to force her into supporting ITFC. She can make her own mind up when she's old enough like I did.
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LancsBlue added 21:08 - Sep 29
My kids support Manchester City. Their mum has been a season ticket holder for 25 years, she goes with her dad and her brother, its a family day out. I would love my kids to support Ipswich but have to be realistic. They do have a soft spot for Ipswich because they are my team, but that is the only connection they have. In the end they have grown up with a team that my wife's family and friends support and its rubbed off on them. Thats pretty much what happened to me in Suffolk many moons ago and I don't have a problem with it. If they decided to support some random team that they have no connection with then I would worry.
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Sibelius8 added 06:28 - Sep 30
Things haven't really changed that much....

At the beginning of the 1961/2 season when I was a pupil at St. John's Primary School, then in Cauldwell Hall Road, I was teased because most of the boys "supported" Tottenham, who had won the double the previous year.

Little did they suspect that my team, indeed their local team, would win the league that year. He he!
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Pip50 added 08:01 - Sep 30
I have a 3 year old, all our family and extended family are Town supporters since the non league days, his godfather looked to get him a Man U shirt as he is a season ticket holder. Oliver said no Dad I like the blue one. He is now the proud owner of a blues kit with his name on the back.
I have ignored the fact he may have meant Man City.
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FerrersTractorboy added 13:25 - Sep 30
As all others have said - great blog and many can identify with your problem. I can as I was in the Forces, and moved around with my family so was never in Suffolk. I also support two other teams - Hearts and Fortuna Dusseldorf. In both cases when I was posted to Germany/Scotland I simply chose the team who were closest to my quarter. He supports all 3 - and yet has only ever been to see the Town. He is now at uni, and he loves them as much as me. I have gone to see Fortuna at least once a year for a number of years. Their support is unbelievable - noisy, passionate nutters. My advice would be to take him to as many Town away games close to where you live as you can. Only take him to Portman Road for stadium tours etc. Why - the atmosphere at Portman Road is terrible - but is excellent at away games. Take him to a home game once he is hooked on the Town.
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Bergholtblue added 15:13 - Sep 30
I love the blog.

Just show him how much you support Town and in his formative years he will copy you.

The problem comes when he starts school and he will give in to peer pressure and support, if not the team his best mate supports, the one that competes results wise.

The chances are he will support two teams, a good Premiership outfit (see above) and his local team. Shame you live near Reading!

Ever thought about moving?
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RegencyBlue added 15:57 - Sep 30
Well you may have to face the fact that he doesnt like football, my son hates it and always has! My daughter however loves it and is Town through and through.

It wasnt the way I thought it would turn out but hey!
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jaidinho added 17:40 - Sep 30
if there is one as close as the Madejski, support your local conference-ish team - he'll be able to go to more games, and other school kids will also potentially support the team - also possibly will have the chance to go to games where they can embarrass premier league sides if they advance in cup games(which is always good).
If he plays football might even have a decent chance of playing for the team one day if he wants.

support ipswich as a second team, but you may struggle to force this unless ipswich get to a playoff or cup final or win a game like 15-0.
He won't thank you if we've dropped a division or two by then, and UEFA cup winners etc. will count for nothing - it was years & years ago! most kids now don't even realise that teams like Ipswich, Leeds, Nottingham Forest etc. were ever top sides.

as a kid i went to wembley for the 2000 playoff final when we got promoted and am consequently stuck with ipswich forever - i haven't lived in east anglia for years and haven't even been to a game in maybe the last 6/7 years but i'm still wearing last years home shirt as i type this & have my play-off champions flag propped up against my wall.

if i hadn't seen this & then seen us 5th in the premiership i don't think i'd support ipswich really - would probably just support England
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kiwiblue added 22:47 - Sep 30
He will of course support who he wants to support. At least you have 10 years in which town can get it right and become a success again not like fathers of teenagers today.
Try teaching him to say come on you blues when he hits two......
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LuciBlue added 08:43 - Oct 1
Surely by the time your son is old enough to make the choice ITFC will be in the Champions League, wont we?
That's all, the nurse is here to help me back into bed and tighten up my straps. Good lu...........
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Heathlander added 11:09 - Oct 1
Frank Skinner said there are only two factors that decide who you support. the first is who your Dad supports. The second is to get a ruler and find the closet professional team to where you live. Luckily for me it was Ipswich on both counts. Same goes for my boy. he is 14 now and a season ticket holder and supporter of ITFC. It was easy for me. My childhood football started in 1973 just as the Town became good for the next 9 or ten years under Sir Bobby. So it wasn't hard to follow the Town.

He does now have to watch the rubbish served up week in week out at Portman Road but he is town through and through. Nights like when we beat Arsenal 1-0 in the League Cup semi will live long in his memory. He was there, it was his Town, his Club and he loved it.

If you support one of the big four for no other reason then they win things then there is no real connection. deos winning the FA Cup as a glory Chelsea fan actually mean anything? It's supporting teams like Ipswich that make football fans what they are. We put up with years of dross for one magical night we remember for ever.

the two EUFA cup runs ten years ago will live with me forever. Trips abroad with my mates, crazy nights in foreign bars, beating Inter Milan. These are live memories. I doubt Man U fans can remember one season from another. A mate of mine supports Gillingham becasue his dad did. he has had a lifetime of misery but they currently sit top of League 2. His time may be here.

Heathy
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Dozzells_Bobblehat added 12:31 - Oct 1
Good blog

I agree with some others though that in the end i doubt you will have little say in it, i think your son will decide himself and unfortunately at the minute its probably not likely to be Town. A few trips to PR cant hurt though can they.
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sotd78 added 13:23 - Oct 1
My youngest daughter was born in Coventry when we lived in Rugby. My oldest was 18 months when we left Bury.
Both have been ST holders at ITFC when we came to Colchester.
They were "brought" up to follow the town even in exile; but i do see for a boy it is probably even more difficult. Follow a local non-league side and you may have a chance with ITFC as your "professional" choice.
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GMingBlue added 13:23 - Oct 1
We live in deepest Surrey, I joined my lad into the Blues crew when he was born and took him to his first match at 5years old...I remember when Kevin Lisbie smashed home the winner for Charlton in the last minute he turned to me with a tear in his eye and said 'Daddy, can I have a red Top, instead of a blue one !'
Now at 16, he is as proud of being a Town fan as I am and gets just as depressed every Saturday ! Roll-on Brighton tomorrow COYB
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Dale added 14:15 - Oct 1
Deportivo Wånka or Saarbrücken.
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Menton added 23:55 - Oct 1
Great blog. I have similar concerns, living in Nottingham with a baby on the way. Whilst I'd love him or her to support the Town, in reality that would rob them of the fantastic experiences I had of supporting ITFC growing up - being able to get to most games, banter with mates, local press coverage etc. I know the world is ever more global but I think that supporting your local team (in this case Forest or, perhaps even County) is far more rewarding than supporting a team from afar, whether it is a premier league giant or little old Towern. I will, however, obviously be making sure the first hat on that little head is a blue and white one.
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adamisablue added 02:12 - Oct 2
as an ipswich supporter who also lived in reading, i feel your pain, although the mad stad isnt that bad...really.....and you can get the shuttle bus for cheap....and he can see smokey bastard afterwards and drink in the hope tap...wait, to hell with it, move to ipswi....imigrate and live in germany?....
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prickettboy3 added 08:42 - Oct 2
This is a no brainer. Yes we're having an awful time of it of late but any real football fan will naturally pass his passion for his club onto his young ones. I live in Milton Keynes so I take my boy to MK Dons quite regularly. He has a 'Dons shirt and an Ipswich shirt, but do you know what he ask me every Saturday? "Did we win Dad?" "who do you mean?" I ask. "IPSWICH OF COURSE" he shouts at me.

He loves the Town because I do, and that's just how it should be.

COYB
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prickettboy3 added 08:46 - Oct 2
Also, to add to that I was born and raised in Milton Keynes and couldn't get to Portman Road regularly until I was 16 and earning my own money to get me there. So supporting a team (properly) from afar can be done if you're passionate enough about them. Perhaps I'm just a rarity (or a freak!)

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ElginCityBlue added 14:07 - Oct 2
Having grown up near Cambridge, Spurs and Arsenal were the local teams, but a love of Ipswich brought me and my best mate together at school. We are still best mates and did the European Tours together 10-years ago and try to get to a couple of away matches season, when time and money allow.

Being in Scotland has been an excuse to tick off loads of places I'd have otherwise never been to; Peterhead, Ross County, Aberdeen, Caley Thistle and of course Elgin City. I'd say let the little fella have his choice, but instill the Ipswich values within him too.
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NJBlue added 01:19 - Oct 3
I agree with Vinnieblue. I had a somewhat different problem. I grew up in Ipswich supporting ITFC but moved to the States about 30 years ago. My son (now 26) was born here so the issue was not which team to support but which sport to follow. So I made sure he got all of the Town shirts, made him sit through the 78 video numerous times and made sure that all trips to England included a trip to PR. It worked perfectly - he still wears the shirts and still follows Town, and we make sure that on the rare occasions the games are shown here on TV we go and watch them together at the pub. That said, there's nothing wrong with you lad having Reading as a "second" team; when I was a youngster most people had one (mine was Leeds). Just make sure that the trips to PR are treated as a special event - not just another game.


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NewcyBlue added 11:27 - Oct 3
Been thinking of this myself recently, just found out we're having a Boy... live in between Newcastle and Sunderland and all my in laws supporter one of those 2 teams.... Nightmare!
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KBsSocks added 22:32 - Oct 3
When I was five or six, my football-fan father took me to my first game, and I ran up and down the terraces of Blackburn Rovers, and was bored. It was sunny, and the ground was near empty. Don't remember any football.

Maybe a couple of years later, he tried again - we were now in Manchester, and my father's family were (and still are) all very loyal City fans. Taken to City home games regularly. So, I chose my team: United ! My father, cousins, grandfather were all mortified. United were relegated (that backheel). We moved to Suffolk. We went to Colchester and ITFC, but I was still a United fan.

Sometime during my second season of being taken to watch Ipswich I became transformed. United came to play, and I didn't appreciate their fans' thuggery, or their style of play. I was nearly ten years old.

I've been an Ipswich fan ever since (except when Keane was in charge. I put my fanship on hold).

Took my nephew to his first football match - ITFC v Morecambe in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. My dad took him a few months later to Man City - a good seat, rather than a cold, narrow terrace. My nephew isn't really a football fan, even yet, but I did my bit.

Do your bit, and let your child make their own decisions. My Dad did his - he'd be pleased that I'm an Ipswich fan rather than an MU fan :-D


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sirbenofmorlingshire added 18:34 - Oct 4
I grew up in Milton Keynes and when i was 10 (boxing day 1991) Dad took me to see Ipswich and I've never looked back. now I'm 31 and I have been to loads of grounds and seen many teams that aren't ITFC, just for the love and enjoyment of being in a ground watching live footy. My brother in law is an ex pro footballer, so I've been to seem him play for various teams, I've gone to Liverpool countless times with my best mate, as well as Watford with my other bestie, I would not claim to 'support' any of these teams... I choose to support Town becuase of my Dads passion (at the time - I think it's still there somewhere), I was lucky we had season tickets and at 10 years old when you start to develop a real interest in things including footy, I was regulary watching a team and you know what I was PROUD to be different and say I supported a team for family links not glory and even at a young age people respected that, they still do. For me and the point of my comment is your team comes from the experiences you have, if you take your son and show him some passion, even when we're rubbish, he'll emulate that like i did with my dad and that becomes engrained in. He'll then hit 30 like us and realise mortgage, marriage, kids, money etc mean those days of going week in week out are few and far between, but those years of going with dad form the basis of half the comments i've just read on here that start... 'when I was a kid' or 'when dad took me'. Thats why I became a fan and still am, if you've lost the passion, how will you give it to him, thats when the 'sheep supporters' jump on the glory hunter band wagon.
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