One road in, one road out

I am a Fleetwood fan
And I am from Fleetwood Town
And I…
Wanna be…
Cod Army

(sung to the tune of Anarchy in the UK)

I’m not the woman I once was. After a lifetime of avowedly despising football and everything it stands for – the way it dominates conversation, how boring it makes people, the inordinate control it has over people’s moods, how it ruins Saturday afternoons and evenings, and now Sundays and Wednesdays, and sometimes Tuesdays too – I think I might have been converted.

I’m not totally sure – you’ll have to check in with me in a few months time to make sure this isn’t just beginners’ enthusiasm. Some of you will remember that last summer I went to my first ever football match: Blackpool pounded Cardiff City at Wembley in the Championship play-offs. It was a great day, and I had a great time, and I also promised I’d never see another match again. Nothing would ever live up to the splendour of that first live game.

And yet on Saturday afternoon I was buying a very masculine-coloured ticket at the turnstiles of Kingsmeadow football ground to see AFC Wimbledon play Fleetwood Town. I blame PJ for making a liar out of me. He texted to tell me the Cod Army were playing down the road, and the lure of seeing my actual home team play, especially when by all accounts they’ve had such a meteoric rise through the Conference (see, I’ve even started using the jargon like I know what it means), and when normally they’re so far away, was too much.

It was chilly and windy. AFC Wimbledon don’t have their own ground and we stood the entire time. The quality of the football was pretty poor, it cost me £1.80 for a cup of tea from a burger van, and after all that, Fleetwood lost in the last five minutes of the match.

And yet – I had a great afternoon. It actually made me wish I lived nearer Fleetwood so I could get to their games more often.

I’m fairly sure I must be sick in the head.

Maybe it’s the nostalgia for a place that means something in my memory. Maybe it was singing the songs (We only sing when we’re fishing!). Or maybe I actually enjoy football. After all, on Saturday night I found myself choosing to turn on Match of the Day…

Fleetwood Town scramble for a goal. And fail.

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5 responses to “One road in, one road out

  1. Oh, girl. I’m in the US and follow your blog because it cracks me up! But now you’re a football fan? I’m ready to show you all the wonders. THIS is why I follow the lovely European circuits: http://www.kickette.com. Let’s just say I keep up with all the action going on through this website!

    Thanks!
    Megan

    • Read “Football Against The Enemy” by Simon Kuper, “Fever Pitch” by Nick Hornby, and “The Far Corner” by Harry Pearson and you may start to understand the game in the same way that millions of blokes do around the country. I’m sorry if that comes across as patronising – it’s not meant to be.
      I played bass at A Mell’s wedding…I think you played keys…..so, hi!

  2. Hey – thanks for both of your top suggestions!
    Megan – great website tip, I’m going to be checking in there
    Rich – I remember you! And an insight into the psyche of the English male is definitely something I need, so thanks!

  3. My friend Mike read your blog and sent me the following to pass on.

    Anyway, maybe with her new found interest in football I thought she may like to further her knowledge and here I have a simple explanation of one of the biggest rules in football. She may even be able to impress some of her friends with it.

    Ladies, the offside rule explained.

    You’re 2nd in the queue at Primark. The tills open but the woman in front is on the phone. As you go to step in front you realise you’ve forgot your purse. You shout to your friend who’s further back in the queue. You step in front of the woman and your friend then throws her purse subsequently being offside. Had you stepped as the purse was being thrown then you’d have been onside and free to buy your 5 items for £3.50!

    Please ask her to forgive me for assuming she doesn’t know any of the rules in the first place. That’s presuming you tell her I read her blog at all. I did copy and paste the explanation from a friends Facebook page and hope it’s of some use.

    • Just as long as your friend Mike understands the offside rule and women in combination is shaky territory (as Andy Grey and Richard Keys found to their cost), and that I’m not responsible for any charges made by other (secret) readers, I’ll leave this comment unedited!

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