These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Monday, January 25, 2016

HALF A SEASON TICKET

Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Bedworth United on Saturday 6th February 2016. We lost 2-1 in front of 247 people.

It definitely wasn't on my fiftieth birthday wish list, but I had been badgering my eldest to support his local team from the year dot and made him a Slough Town mascot for the first eight years of his life. So I really only had myself to blame when he said he no longer supported Arsenal but Brighton and Hove Albion. But was it my wise words or the fantastic work Albion in the Community do that they rightfully win so many awards for and who coach him twice a week?
Who knows, but every dad wants their offspring to share in their love of football, and not the frothing at the TV I-support-a-club-i-will-never-visit kind of 'support.' So what to do but bite the bullet and buy one of those frowned upon by real fans half-season tickets. Thankfully you don't have to wear a half-a-season wrist band so regulars can point you out and I hope I wont become a Slough Town outcast made to stand under the Shed guttering when its raining.
So on New Years Day I found myself in the Seagulls clubshop. It's four times bigger than the Beaconsfield clubhouse with ten staff manning the tills; no tin roof here to bang on, no old heater to keep Sue warm and I doubt there are any spiders or the need for sandbags for when the terraces flood. Two small pies, coffee, water, a bag of sweets and a Brighton scarf and I was waving goodbye to another £25 but at least I could walk home for free.
I don't like the fanzone, the twirling soggy scarves that hit me in the face as they are whirled in the air after they have been dragged in the rain and I WANT TO FUCKING STAND UP AND MOVE AROUND! Football league supporters also seem to have lost their ability to come up with original, witty songs and instead now sing from a very limited repertoire. Saying that, it can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention when you hear thousands singing Sussex-by-the-Sea but I do change the lyrics to Slough-by-the-Canal. Of course someone with a big head always manages to sit in front of my son – this time the big-heads arrived late for kick off and late after half time, talked about loft conversions for the whole game and of course left early. Really, at £25 a pop, why bother?
What is interesting is that when I think the game has been great, others are complaining about the football being served but maybe that isn't surprising when I often watch games that are nine levels below.
As for the forum, North Stand Chat is very lively but no different from others across the country, in that it is populated by too many people with unreasonable expectations and angry too-soon-after-the-final-whistle comments. Brighton went from being the only league club unbeaten to a club record for not scoring a goal (not helped by nearly a full team of injuries). And a few people called for the managers head! Obviously saw-dust is only thing in there's. I’m all for supporters having a voice, but why do so many have to be clueless morons?
In a crowd of 300 at Slough, I will know at least half the people. In 26,000 I bumped into just 3 familiar faces. I can guarantee if I wear my Slough scarf on the train, someone will approach me and ask me about the Rebels and when we are getting our new ground. That's not going to happen when thousands support the same team.
Ironically, one of the things I hate about modern football is fixtures being moved around by TV, is actually playing to my advantage. With Brighton doing well, their games are being dicked about giving me the wiggle room to go and support non league football and even, heaven forbid, the odd Slough Town game.
That's not to say, i'm not off my seat and cheering when Brighton score a goal, or muttering under my breath about a refs decision or a misplaced pass. And it wont be long before my eldest will be asking to leave his old dad and join his mates in the North Stand leaving me to crawl back under my Slough Town saddo non league rock. 

4 Comments:

Blogger Riley Watkins said...

Yawn...

12:55 pm

 
Blogger Chris Pobjoy said...

Pmsl brilliant!

2:07 pm

 
Anonymous Luke said...

Ha I'm in quite a similar situation as you in so much as we got our son a half season ticket, plus and adult one too. Previously I was never into football and rarely watched it on TV or the like. However I've started to quite enjoy the whole experience of going to matches but this has lead me to start going to Whitehawk games with our son and I've realised I much more prefer non-league for the fun of it!

3:10 pm

 
Blogger brighton rebel said...

Couldn't belief how lively Whitehawk is - wasn't like that even a few seasons back.

3:33 pm

 

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