As a football fan it seems that you have to be pro standing at the game. That if you aren’t, you’re part of the problem. A no good soft lad, who would be better off at the Theatre.
I’m not bothered, I hate standing at the match, I always have and I always will. If others want to, I’m fine with that, however it’ll never be for me.
I was probably about 5 when I went to my first football match. I’m not even certain about that to be honest, but I know I went to see Exeter City at St James Park.
I don’t remember the score, or the opposition, or if Exeter won or not. What I do remember is the bon bons my dad bought me before we got to the ground, and I remember having to stand.
I loved the sweets, because they were delicious, I hated the football, because I had to stand up. I wasn’t incapable of standing, but having to do so for 90 minutes, whilst not really being able to see was so utterly boring.
I do remember looking on longingly at the bars that people lean against on terraces, and thinking “I wish I was near one of them, I could sit on that”
I didn’t enjoy the game at all, in fact I couldn’t think of anything much worse. I told my dad this, because as a child you don’t tend to think about others when you express an opinion. He might have been hurt, or bothered by this, but he certainly never told me about it.
A few weeks later we went back, and although I still have no recollection of the score, or who they were playing, this time we sat down. I could actually see things, and had a chance to try and gain some understanding of what was going on.
I didn’t succeed in this, I still remember thinking that the aim was to score past your own goalkeeper. However, being able to see everything, being able to talk to my dad, and being capable of absorbing the atmosphere allowed me to enjoy the experience a whole lot more.
Since that day I’ve always preferred to sit at the football, and always found standing on the terraces at places like Saltergate to be the most miserable experience. You inevitably get wet, and you stand behind the goal which is another thing I hate. You can’t really see what’s going on.
There’ll always be those who long for the days of terraces, but I’m not one of them. I want to stand when we score, or for a one minutes silence, but I want to sit down for the rest of it.
For me watching football is about enjoying the chance to talk to the person sitting next to me, filling the gaps where the action on the pitch is less than exciting with conversation.
They might one day reintroduce safe standing, but I’ll still be sat down even if I have to bring my own armchair, boring the arse off anybody unfortunate enough to be sat next to me.