I am a Fleetwood fan
And I am from Fleetwood Town
(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…