December 5th, 2006
Categories: Uncategorized

Being a Football Fan


On Saturday, after the great storm of 06, it died down enough so that the Colwyn Bay vs. Bradford Park Avenue game was not cancelled. I put on my shirt, and trudged unexpectant to Llanelian Road.

I’ll be honest, I was not looking forward to it. I had missed a couple of games recently through sexy distractions from Han, and the results have been not going our way. However, me being me, I only read the results, rather than the reports that – well – we’ve actually been playing well.

We started brightly putting BPA under the cosh from about the first 5 minutes, creating a lot of good chances in the first half. However, we were unable to capitalise on the dominance we had. Most of the talk was on one of the BPA players – who, honest to god, played in the Premiership not that long ago, and how will we ever cope against an ex-Premiership Quality Journeyman.

The answer would be handed to us in the second half – rather bloody well. In a complete role reversal from the first half, BPA dominated the game, but didn’t make a breakthrough. It look like it was going to a 0-0 draw when Christ Priest fired off a volley in the 92nd minute to put the Bay 1-0 ahead. And that’s the way it stayed.

We. Were. Elated. When I got home, I was drunk on a deadly concoxion of Boddingtons, Orme’s Best and happiness, and spoke far to fast and far to happily to Han for a man who had been standing in the cold for two hours.

It’s funny supporting the Bay. We’re not a big club. The players usually join us after the game in the club house. We don’t have a club credit card. Nor do we have an “official supporters club” that demands £100 a year to join, just for tickets. We aren’t owned by a foreign businessman, instead a sizable proportion of the club income is generated by loyal fans. Our “Corporate Hospitality” is a free beer, free entry into the ground and first pick of sausage rolls. Nobody is on mega bucks, with the players and officials often having second jobs on top of their playing career. And we most definitely do NOT have a training school in Dubai.

I switch off whenever my mates talk about “The Premiership”, as – truth be told – I just don’t find it interesting anymore. I don’t like the fact that around the table in the pub, some of my mates are more concerned with a team that plays a hundreds miles away than just down the road. Sure, I have my favorites in the Premiership, but there’s one team I want to do well, Colwyn Bay. But by and large I doubt I would now ever pay to go and see a premiership game, nor would I ever purchase a credit card scheme just because they have the club logo on it, and there is a “fans APR”.

I’m sorry, but they’re not fans, they’re customers.

Colwyn Bay is currently undergoing a scheme caleld Raise The Roof. Fans around the world are digging into their pocket to give a little bit of money to the club, so we can put a roof on the terraces. When the roof goes up, a plaque will be put on the wall in the social, with all the people’s names and inscriptions from people who have joined. I have started an “Old Sheddites” collection fund, which I will donate to the powers that be in the new year, as well as a list of all the people who have donated (I’m planning something along the lines of “Old Sheddites – “, then a list of names. I’ll see if it can be done though). If you would like to donate any amount, and get your name inscribed in history (plus keep me warm and dry during the winter months as Llanelian Road), please e-mail me, and I will sort something out. I will also – should you ever be on the North Wales coast – take you to a bay game and buy you a beer.


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