So the football season has been underway for a few weeks now, and between the European games this week and the beloved domestic leagues around the world kicking off again we are underway. Being a football supporter in the UK, has a few pretty good traditions. Match of The Day, Football Focus, Sky on a Sunday for a game, maybe even a Monday Night Football if your keen. Football now is coming at you from all areas, but thankfully in the UK due to the relatively small size of the country, away games can be anything from a mile or two away to a couple of hundred miles, but no matter how near or far they are, they represent an adventure into the unknown almost. You also know that 90% of the people there will be up for a good laugh, few beers and some football jammed in there too.
Being a Swans fan from afar, away days have always had a soft spot for me, since I have seen us at some amazing games, like Wycombe away in 94 when we made it to the Autoglass final, but also a few shockers like loosing 7-0 at Fulham (or was that Orient…. ahhhh) loosing it the cup to Waltham…. Ah how times have changed, and now we are going to games like Aston Villa away, in the autumn spring…. Football doesnt get much better.
So thankfully I managed to get up there for the day, and meet up with Senior Goodlife up there, taking a break from his busy golf, photography and holiday taking exploits to soak up the swans. Well he is very committed since he goes to every game, and we live 4 hours away from the game, so even home games are an away game for him.
So we met up in Witton, I took the train up there through Newstreet and saw a few other swans fans for a quick hello before trying to find the away fans pub, and sure enough, right off the train we headed to the Witton Arms. A pub you have to pay to get in, but they had a beer garden (well shingle and a few benches, but with some Midlands sun it worked just fine for a garden) once there, a quick catch up with Dad and a shady later, we end up sitting next to this chap. He was a great bloke, who “well I got out of painting the shed to come here” so he was in great spirits. Nice bloke. So we have a couple of pints with him, before his mate turns up….
Now for this part of the story, if your not welsh, please read this next section with a welsh voice, or i will upload a vimeo clip of someone saying it for you, as its funny as hell….. He is the bloke on the left
“Well, so we’re in the van, which he rented from someone, and going up the motorway, and there was a traffic jam, and so we see’s some bird in the car behind, so Dai gets to get out and tries to go and chat her up but the bloody bus driver is shouting at him “dont touch the door its knackered!” and with that Dai pushes the door to get out and the f’cking thing falls off the bus, properly falls off, so he’s there trying to chat up this women, with the f’cking door flat on the motorway”
So anyways, we have a couple drinks before heading off to the game, and yes, the game was a bit of a let down, The Swans were controlling it, but Villa scored and then our heads dropped, so well, these things happen. Shame though, as after the first 10 minutes I thought the Villa were there for the taking, but fair play, they closed us down and played against us well. I thought Ben Davies was one of the positives out of the game, very assured at Left back.
In the ground, we were nearly 3000 fans, all in good voice throughout, clapping on the 19th minute for their captain Stillyan Petrov which was a nice touch. A couple of minutes later a couple of people got thrown out for getting the villa fans excited or something. Shame as he had a few mates who had to leave aswell. The Swans fans were on song throughout, with a few Swansea flags flying for new boys Hernandez and Michu, as well as a few blokes from Korea I think aswell. Going Global its called.
Anyways, just wanted to write a few words, pictures and video about how good actually going to football is. The world that is televised football now has created the TV product as the main thing nowadays, which is understandable, but no one should ever forget what Football is really about, going to shout, cheer, sing, moan, scream about your team, no matter if its Man Utd or Maccelesfield, Barcelona or Swansea. Well the last two are nearly the same but you get the point.
And if your a fan of a big club, and watch them just on TV, go watch a local club. You wont regret it, get behind all the teams in the league, and support what football is about. We did it with the swans trawling round the leagues smallest, crappiest, dirtiest little grounds, but you know what, each one had its own quirks, and wouldnt change those years for anything. Thanks to Senior Weaver for driving us round the country for the last 25 odd years watching them.
Until next week. In Laudrup we trust.
This is a video of the crowd on Saturday, just before kick off…. Jack Army