|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
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Wing Wonders (Part Two) by ElephantintheRoom
As the sixties morphed into the seventies, wing wonders at Portman Road were a bit like London buses. Four had come along at once, though in truth one or two (like those same London buses) were also easy to miss.
2019/20 - Grating Expectations by tractorboykent
A lot of comments at the moment would suggest that we are in the midst of a(nother) crisis. Whilst the league table doesn’t reflect that, the perception is likely more based on our own expectations of where we’d be at this stage.
Wing Wonders (Part One) by ElephantintheRoom
It’s a curiosity of Town’s great years that the two big successes – winning the league under Alf Ramsey and the UEFA Cup under Bobby Robson were based on teams without true wingers.
John Cobbold’s Ace Gardener by ElephantintheRoom
For newer Town supporters perhaps, the name Colin Viljoen has disappeared into the mists of time. But for those of us who started supporting Town in the 60s his name is fondly recalled as a true great. His highlights reel alone (alas it exists only in memory) would mark him out as someone special.
Big Al by ElephantintheRoom
When the Kevin Beattie statue is revealed, I suspect it will be his great pal and fellow central defensive titan, Allan Hunter, who will do the revealing. What will be going through Big Al’s mind I wonder? Sadness at his friend’s passing – but mixed with fierce pride perhaps.