|The Sixth Day is For Football|
Written by sjiholliday on Monday, 23rd Feb 2015 11:34
In 1994, I watched Dundee United beat Rangers in their first ever Scottish Cup Final win. My dad, a lifelong Rangers fan, wasn’t best pleased.
How did I even end up there? Growing up outside Edinburgh should’ve led me to support Hearts, should it not? I went to University in Dundee, and I somehow got myself involved in a supporters club. Top memories include: An away game at Kilmarnock and sampling ‘The Killie Pie’ before it went on to world fame and glory by winning the Best Football Pie award for two years running; standing next to Christian Dailly as we both packed our shopping in M&S; and meeting special guest Duncan ‘Disorderly’ Ferguson at the supporters club Player of The Year dinner.
Fast forward 10 years and I find myself at Portman Road. My husband is a lifelong fan, and now I’m finding myself attending a different set of away matches – Charlton and Fulham being the most recent.
Fulham was a great day out – a stroll along the river, a pint in The Crabtree - the most genuinely ‘neutral’ pub I’ve ever been in (and remember – I’ve visited the pre-match pubs around Ibrox and Parkhead… a very different kettle of fish. It’s no wonder they don’t allow alcohol into the Scottish grounds!) followed by a great win. A perfect Valentine’s Day? Well it had to be better than this poor girl’s experience: http://www.twtd.co.uk/blogs/21488/valentines-day-at-craven-cottage/#0
What I loved about DUFC, and what I love about ITFC are the fans. I can still remember some of the United songs (‘Ivan Golac’s magic, he wears a magic hat…’), and one of my favourite recurrent memories of home games at Tannadice was a blind season ticket holder, and his mate who stood next to him commentating every moment of the game. Now that’s devotion!
At Craven Cottage, we were in the neutral zone, right next to the Town fans, who never stopped singing for the whole 90+ minutes. Nearby Fulham fans were taking photos – so impressed they were by the joyful enthusiasm of the Tractor Boys on a great day out in London.
My debut novel, [i]Black Wood[/i], comes out smack in the middle of two critical games - at home to Bolton and away to Watford. So, unfortunately I’ll miss the 'London away game' at Watford, though as with Fulham I'm sure there'll be a huge Town following. If the book takes off, I might have to go incognito like JK Rowling at West Ham. I write crime fiction, so you never know – I might pen a thriller based on The Old Farm Derby. Might be more of a horror story though…
Until then there’s a lot of work to be done, but as Anthony Burgess, author of [i]A Clockwork Orange[/i] said: "Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football."
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Blogs by sjiholliday
Blogs 270 bloggers
We Should Encourage the Club and the League to Stream All Games by rugbytomc
In an ideal world, all League One clubs for next season would take the extra steps of temperature checks at the turnstiles with entry refused for anyone with a temperature and also insist on every fan entering the ground wearing a mask for the entirety of their time in the ground.
Euro Glory for Town by clivebleedingthomas
This was the season in which we had a realistic chance of winning the Treble - it sounds like complete fantasy now, but it happened. Our hopes of FA Cup glory had been finished, along with Kevin Beattie’s career as a Town player, at Villa Park.
Happy Highbury as Town Head to Wembley by clivebleedingthomas
As if going to an FA Cup semi-final was not stressful enough, I had added stress. I travelled on a Supporters Club coach, on board many families, including my father and my wife
Woods Wonder Strike Ends Deadlock by clivebleedingthomas
A sixth round FA Cup tie of greater length than most season's cup runs had begun almost three weeks earlier in front of the Portman Road record crowd of 38,010, a record that still stands.
Five Go To Town by clivebleedingthomas
A fixture that started as a mid-table game but ended as one that would be marked by having special T-shirts printed to commemorate it - this was the Demolition Derby.