|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 269 bloggers
History Boys and Renaissance Men by Stowmarket
How many of us who were fortunate enough to have followed ITFC back in 1980 realised at the time that we were indeed blessed to be around to witness the greatest ever Ipswich Town side?
Round Three: Eagle by Kropotkin123
Introduction Par was set at five points from one win and two draws. We managed to get a haul of seven points, which means we were two under par. Google promises me that this is an eagle.
Stick With It by Moggasknockdown
Last season, following our most recent derby day disappointment, a late Monday afternoon discussion in the office had prompted a colleague to wonder what he might say to Marcus Evans if he were stuck in a lift with him.
The Beat One Year On by ElephantintheRoom
Kevin Beattie died in September last year. He is by some distance the most popular player in the club’s history. Any poll on Town’s greatest player will be won at a canter by Beattie. He’s destined to be the first player to have a statue in his honour (if the somewhat radical design doesn’t make it look like he’s slipped off his pedestal).