This article first appeared on The Suffolk Sports Forum August 7th 2010

Is supporting your local side now considered an old fashioned concept?

Until a comparatively few years ago most people supported their local football team until the concept of glory hunting took hold where people started supporting a team that they had no affiliation with at all but of course the adopted team would always have been a big successful First division/Premiership team and never something unfashionable.

For me I’ve almost always been an Ipswich fan (unfashionable). First game was back in 74 against Wolves and intermittent games with the old man until the paper round and Cordys washing up money I earned enabled me to go with Ninky, Pommy and Browny. Great times. Or were they? What have my local side ever given me except years of heartache and expense. Thousands of pounds have been spent following the (not so) super blues and for what return? Probably only 3 good years out of the 20 odd years I have spent my hard earned on.

But I chose Ipswich Town and they will always be my number 1 team. As I’ve got older and my trips to Portman Road have become less frequent and with the TV saturation of the once beautiful game I can stand back and admire other teams. Notice I said admire and not support? ITFC til I die. Now this is where things get complicated. ITFC are only 13 miles from my house and only a bus ride away. With no TV coverage to sway me I became a town fan because my dad took me to the game. So not really my choice. It was thrust upon me. My team was picked solely on geographical factors.

Thank god my parents didn’t live in Dereham or I could have been a Norwich fan. You have a walk through your local town and you’ll see Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea shirts. Give it a few months and no doubt the sky blue of Man City will be next. Is that right? Should kids pick their teams because of league placings or because they’re brainwashed by their fathers?

As I grew up I knew less than half a dozen Chelsea fans. There’s now hundreds of them. Where were you when they were shit? As for Man Utd fans I’ve been to Old Trafford more times to watch Ipswich than some of them plastic wannabees. Remember kids, your team is for life. You can change your job, your woman and your car but you can NEVER change your team. So pick wisely.

Just recently Ipswich played a couple of pre-season friendlies at home against West Ham and Spurs. I’m led to believe that at both games the away support either matched the home support in numbers or did in fact out number them. You’ve got to ask why? Facebook was full of Hammers and Spurs fans who handed out abuse to town fans.

Where were these away fans from? Felixstowe. Why? I believe a couple of the Hammers stem from Suffolk families. What is the link with the east end? Why are you West Ham fans and not ITFC fans? I’d say that being a hammer over the years has probably been less fruitful than being a town fan. You lot seem to live off the ’66 world cup more than any other club in England.

As I come to the end of this piece I have re-read it and its full of holes and hypocrisy which just goes to show that no-one has the right to tell people who they should be supporting (except brain washing fathers). We all follow some one and as long as we never change then its each to their own.

One last word though is why oh why would people not from Norfolk choose to support the budgies? I can understand the kids of today choosing Man Utd or Chelsea (although that does rankle) but to choose Norwich City?

By Verso

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