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How did you fall in love with your club?


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Me and my cousin used to go to Love St in 1976 to watch the Paisley Lions speedway. The season finished early September so we said "what are we going to do on a Saturday now? St. Mirren have started the season well, let's go and watch them."

They only lost 2 league games all season and romped it to the 1st Division title. Fergie fever gripped the town so much that, after beating Premier Division Dundee United in the cup, we took around 15000 to Fir Park in the next round.

46 years later and we're both still STHs.

Edited by Arch Stanton
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Sort of a Stockholm Syndrome

Actually, my brother telt me I was a Hertz fan, and that was it - at the time, cats like Donald Ford, Drew Busby, Jim Cruickshank, Donald Park, Rab Prentice, Cammy Fraser, Willie Gibson, Derek O'Connor, Frank Liddell, and a young Eammon Bannon made it an attractive proposition in spite of the fact that they were hopeless collectively.

I have some no regrets. 

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Apart from a match at Glebe Park in the late 50s, from which my father had to remove me at halftime, my first game was Aberdeen * v Falkirk in October 1963, and the Dons won 3-0. Three weeks later we were back and the Dons beat Motherwell 6-2, and I was hooked. A lot of it was good, some of it very good, some of it a bit worrying, but most enjoyable.

59 years later I'm still hooked, although it's a long time since I darkened Pittodrie's door.

Still look out for Brechin City's results.

And Elgin City's, my parents moved there in 1969 and many's the match I watched at Borough Briggs.

Transferred my affections to Coleraine when I moved here and have been elated and deflated by them as often as I have by the Dons. There can't be too many of us left who drank out of the Gibson Cup after Coleraine's championship triumph.

* We moved to just outside Aberdeen in 1960, in case anybody thinks I was a  long distance commuter...

Edited by Jacksgranda
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When I was about 9 or 10 my old man took me to Somerset Park one weekend then to Ayr Rugby Club the next, both within walking distance of the house.

I quickly figured it out, told the old man I'd be going to the football on my own quite soon thereafter. My older brother's brain unfortunately never properly developed so he follows the rugby to this day and still has the unfunny rugby "bantz" to prove it.

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My Dad is a die-hard fan and used to go to all the home games.  I distinctly remember laughing at him coming home after Inverness had scored twice in stoppage time to win 4-3.  Why would I want to support that rubbish I thought to myself.

Then the moment came.  He offered to up my pocket money by a tenner if I came along to a few games with him.  First match I remember was a midweek game - Cowdenbeath 1 v 2 Ross County.  We scored a last minute consolation and then missed a tap in right after.  It was the coldest I'd ever been. It was the first time I'd heard so many people swearing and I thought it was the most amazing experience on Earth.  The smell of bovril and folk smoking on the terraces created an intriguing aroma for the 9/10 year old me. 

By the time the next home game came round I'd warmed up and was wanting to go.  Barely missed a match for years before I moved away to Aberdeen.

Fairly sure he's going to send me a bill for the pocket money that I 'earned' going to something I was actually enjoying anyway.

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My Dad used to go to the games and I'd be stuck in the house with my Mum while she did housework and the likes. The highlight of the day almost was watching the old videprinter on Final Score. I'd sometimes recognise the name of someone my old man had mentioned if Dunfermline had scored a late goal - usually John Watson, Norrie McCathie or someone like that - and I used to love saying when he got home "I bet I can guess who scored today". 

Eventually he decided that he'd be better taking me to the games and usually I'd get a lift over the turnstiles since I was only about 5 at the time. It certainly helped that this was during the Leishman era as the Pars went from perennial Division Two strugglers to the Premier Division by winning back to back promotions, all the time featuring on things like Saint and Greavsie with Big Jim's terrible poetry.  Probably very easy to get hooked in those circumstances. 

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Born in Paisley, brought up in Johnstone. Dad was a juniors fan, so we went to see Johnstone Burgh. Glory days at Keanie Park, saw them win the Junior Cup at Hampden in 1968, big crowds at Keanie, and a great time. Then as I hit spotty late teenager time, in 1976 I was in the old ‘Listen’ record shop across from Paisley Museum one Saturday afternoon. Browsing the albums in those old-style plastic covers, with associated ‘plastic covers on an album’ smell… will never forget that smell. Anyway, there were two guys in Listen wearing black & white scarves. One turns to the other and says ‘Jesus, look at the time, we better head down to the ground’. For some reason, on the spot, with nothing else on, I decided to follow them down to ‘the ground’ and go to see the St Mirren game. I went in and stood on the North Bank amongst the ‘singing section’. There were plenty of fellow spotty teenage herberts like me, the atmosphere was good, and I got caught up in it. It was a shite 1-1 draw with East Fife, both goals were own goals… it was the opening game of the season, which turned out to be the title winning Fergie’s Furies season.

I decided to go back the next home game. Stand with the spotty herberts, sneak a can into the game down a sock under my flared jeans. Go out at half time, run up to the Cosmo for chips - and be allowed back in again. (Imagine that these days). That was it. Hooked.

It’s thanks to those two random guys wearing B&W scarves in Listen Records in 1976 that I have been a Saints fan for life…

If I ever track them down, they’re getting a fcuking kicking. 😎

Edited by pozbaird
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My dad was an Airdrieonians man and had been at the 1924 Cup Final win as a teenager  , so it was perhaps inevitable that I began with my older brother to get taken to games in late 1950s. Unfortunately the older brother was persuaded to the dark side in Govan so we just went along as Dad and son until he was unable to attend in the late 1990s.  

I still go to see every game I can and it's the famous Diamond jersey that provides the emotional pull despite our travails in the seaside Leagues for far too long. 

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3 hours ago, paranoid android said:

Sort of a Stockholm Syndrome

Actually, my brother telt me I was a Hertz fan, and that was it - at the time, cats like Donald Ford, Drew Busby, Jim Cruickshank, Donald Park, Rab Prentice, Cammy Fraser, Willie Gibson, Derek O'Connor, Frank Liddell, and a young Eammon Bannon made it an attractive proposition in spite of the fact that they were hopeless collectively.

I have some no regrets. 

I was the same but it was my grandda who told me “we are all Jambos”, and the squad was similar. Great names but after the 1992 heroics we were a bit of a shambles.

Around the same time I remember watching the results on teletext, 0-1 to Falkirk (1994?) and almost guaranteed relegation. Can’t remember how we avoided it but something felt right (I love an underdog) and that was that until Vlad and changes in my priorities. We stopped being the underdog, I moved north and my wee team were flying…

The same season as the Hearts escape, my grandparents moved up north. My first ever league game was actually Ross County 2-0 Queens Park, there’s a pic somewhere with me at 7 in full kit, curly hair in Dingwall high street and I can still name the starting 11 so ‘wee team found’.

Wasn’t sure how I’d feel with them both being in the same league but I soon found out standing in the Jail End one night trying to stifle a celebration as Hearts went 1 up… lucky some of the lads I was with were ‘secret’ Jambos too so it was all good but was a weird game for us

 

HIGHS: Watching the 1998 final win and heading down Gorgie with my Granddad to see the cup

1st Hampden visit 2-1 vs Aberdeen in 1996

2-1 semi against Hibs in 2006

County destroying Celtic in the semi at Hampden and the reaction of the Celtic fan afterwards

The absolute carnage in the Jail End when Scott Boyd headed Hibs out in the 14th min of injury time of the replay on that cup run

 

LOWS: none, it’s all the lows of supporting the dodgy teams that make the highs MUCH better 🙂

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I had little to no interest in football right through primary school. I liked playing the old International Superstar Soccer Deluxe game on the SNES though, occassionally with my older brother (who regularly smashed me but I didn't really care, generally just got to a point where I deliberately tried to get players sent off to amuse myself)

By chance I ended up watching a fair bit of Euro 2004 and really enjoyed it having not had the patience for 90 minute games before that. Ended up buying PES 4 on the PS2 as a result and was blown away at how much fun it was, so I even started tentatively trying to play in goals at school, borrowing a pair of my brothers knackered old Reusch gloves, and tbh was uniformly terrible between the sticks but I did get better and better as time went on, even ended up outfield where in all honesty I'm fairly poor even now (started playing far too late so well behind all my peers, and smoking cigarettes means I can't even run about like a headless chicken the way my sprightly younger self could manage)

I can just about pass/shoot/trap a ball/carry a ball a wee bit of distance at least, bizarrely I like big pitches as I'm better at passing than anything else so I can spray the ball about. Can't run, track back or tackle however, which is a bit of a hindrance I have to say.

Mate of mine asked me by chance to go up to Firhill one time as he'd grown up going to a few games (midweek challenge cup game against St Johnstone) and I said aye, so we went up on the train after school. Loosely mind my dad saying I had some older relatives that played for/supported Thistle too.

Literally the first ever competitive club football match I'd ever been to, and the game finished 4-4 and went to extra time and penalties, it was absolutely mad. Thistle lost the shootout that night, but I was hooked from it and went up more and more often (checking the fixtures online, the older I got the more confident I grew in chancing my arm to get booze as a teenager, vividly recall my pal bursting out laughing when I swaggered out of a Maryhill newsagent with a 2L bottle of strongbow for us to share on the train home), eventually even started going up on my lonesome if I fancied it.

Thistle had a fairly poor team, Saints were in the first division at the time and iirc had Rutkiewicz (who scored in normal time), Jason Scotland and a few other good players.

Pretty sure another game I went to that was either that season or the season after was a 2-2 draw with Inverness, this time we won on penalties. I remember Ross Tokely getting some amount of abuse from the home end, think he was in the press for being a wifebeater at the time and generally just looked like a bit of a b*****d.

Also went up to John Lambies Testimonial, was fairly turgid on the park but we took a bucky bottle in and drank it on the fly in the stadium, that was fun.

Edit: had a google, can only find this on the game.

https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/116310/Show/Scotland-Scottish-Challenge-Cup-2005-2006-Partick-Thistle-St-Johnstone

Edited by Thistle_do_nicely
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Went to a few games early in the Leishman era when we were still down near the bottom of the old second division. Never really got into it. A few years later my old man dragged me along to see us play Rangers in the Scottish Cup. Leishman had transformed the club and won consecutive promotions to the top tier.

East End was no longer like a morgue. The place was bursting at the seams and the noise was deafening. Rangers got utterly horsed that day, as did their dressing room after John Brown got sent off. Two fantastic goals that will live forever in the memory saw us through to the next round (we got pumped by Hearts). 

Worth watching for the John Brown meltdown

 

 

Edited by Shandon Par
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My Papa was an Ayr United fan for 70 years and used to take me to games. 

The first game he took me to was a 3-1 win against Airdrieonians (RIP) in August 2000. I was hooked from then, and some really good and exciting cup runs were to occur in the following season which I think I was too young to fully appreciate. I thought we would have many, many such cup runs. I did not appreciate the rarity of these occasions.

The mid-2000s were a dire time to be an Ayr United fan, as the clubs finances dictated signing players from the Junior leagues who were not good enough. I have seen some very poor seasons, some shocking performances and horrible defeats in my time. However, I have always been proud to call Ayr United my team. They are my local team, and I would have followed them regardless of how good they are. Plus it's the good times that make enduring the bad times worthwhile.

Now my nephew is going to matches and is hooked on Ayr United. It makes me feel old when he asks me about seasons, players and matches from the 2000s and early 2010s. This is probably how my Papa felt when I used to ask him similar questions about players, matches and seasons from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

 

Edited by Richey Edwards
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My dad would take my brother and I to Brockville. His uncle took him there as a kid and made him a Falkirk fan, and he did the same to us. I remember him parking the car,us walking to the turnstile and him lifting me over it. We would stand in the terraces, him at the back talking to his friends, and using language my mum wouldn't approve of, whilst I and the other kids stood right at the front.

I was a big Falkirk fan for as long as I can remember. For some reason my dad bought me an inflatable banana, about 3 feet in length. I would take it to the game and wave it around. At night, if the highlights of the game were on TV, I could sometimes see the banana waving about. I was a mascot in 1990 and took the banana into the changing room with me. The team all signed it. After that, I hung it from my bedroom ceiling, suspended by wires. I didn't want to smudge the signatures.

So many memories of individual games come back to me even now. One I remember clearly: Dad was in hospital having damaged his back, so my brother and I went without him. We beat Queen of the South 7-1, and went straight to the hospital to tell him all about the game he missed.

I still go and see Falkirk, but these days my dad can't make the games these days. But I always associate the club with him.

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I grew up mainly in Inverness, and come spring 1980 I was 7 1/2 and hadn't chosen a team. My Dad never really liked football, and I think Argentina 1978 put the tin lid on that. My uncle though is a huge Rangers man, and I've always been close to him so it was inevitable I had the potential to lean to the Govanites when I selected a team.

Then came the SC Final 1980, mad riots and general scumbag OF behaviour. I never actually watched the game, but I vividly remember being in the park out the back kicking a ball around, and my old man coming out and doing the "crouching down to speak to son as this is important" routine, where he said he didn't care who I supported when I settled on a team, as long as it was not one of the OF.

"OK", I said. "I was born in Falkirk; I'll choose them..."

Then I went and looked at the league tables. It took quite a while of searching before I found them, in the third tier. To be fair, they actually had won it that year and got promoted.

My first game was meant to be in February 1983 as mascot. My mum had phoned up the club asking if there was a supporters' club I could join. She spoke to Brian Guthrie, who I think nearly collapsed at the idea of a young lad in Inverness voluntarily wanting to support FFC! So he sent a big pack of goodies from the shop and we went down for the game v Clyde. Sadly it got frozen off, but the team trained (on the pitch haha) and I met them all, got taken round the whole place and generally was in clover.

I got another go as mascot on 9/4/83 against Clydebank which was just amazing. We lost 0-2 though, so I was no luck to them. I can't really remember any of the game, but remember the coin toss and standing in the tunnel surrounded by these GIANTS made of iron. The fact the skipper was Alan Mackin might have added to that.

So that was me. Started going to games more regularly from the mid 80's and have lived all over the shop in the intervening decades. Time, money and circumstances have meant some seasons I've seen most games, other times maybe only 1 or 2. But the club is utterly embedded in me; so many amazing highs, and crushing lows. 1997 reduced me to tears after (although I had to man up sharpish as I had my first date that evening with my wife of 22 years!), and I genuinely don't think I have been able to offer the same emotion to the game after 2015. So our current dreadful situation hurts and is embarrassing, but I can't see how the young devotee I was could have handled it.

Proud to say my 2 kids are Bairns (born in Kirkcaldy and Dundee). My daughter especially. I love her passion for Falkirk and Scotland, it makes me feel younger again.

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1971 (English) FA Cup Final, Liverpool/Arsenal.

Charlie George lying prone on the pitch after scoring, and looking up to see who's coming to jump on him. Complete cnut, I thought at the time, Also, the majority of the rest of team were potential crooks, thieves and prison merchants. Then throw in the factor the opponents were Scouse and even at the age of 7 1/2 I knew that was a total no-no. So, Charlie George, not wanting to be part of the north London criminal set, and an anti-Scouse agenda are the reasons I became a Tottenham fan.

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