Saturday, April 06, 2013

This club is our club

At Hillsborough today I ran into Rovers fans who I've been through a lot with.

There was Kevin Bradley, who took me, aged 11, to Ewood Park in 1977 as his mate. I didn't know whether to thank him or not.

Outside the ground I met Andy Carruthers and Margaret Reid, the first time I'd seen them since our friend Mark Wastell died. I first met Andy when he drove us to Ipswich in 1983 and I got chased all over town for my Fila top. Margaret even ran our London branch football team in the 1990s. They travel everywhere following Rovers. We had a memorable trip to Lyon with a gang of us in 1998, Mark included.

A more recent acquaintance is Mushtaq Khan, who I'm very fond of. We've been threatening to meet at a game ever since we met on a project we've been trying to get going last year.

I also had a nice day with one of my lads, Louis. I love how his understanding of football is growing and how he's developing a dark ironic sense of humour for a 12 year old. He'll need it.

Everything else about the day was rubbish. The performance was abject. Cowardly and inept. Lacking belief and passion. Only David Dunn had the ability and the hunger. Some had neither. Most have the ability but just don't seem to care.

It was depressing seeing the Leppings Lane stand with its narrow gangways poor stewards and no memorial to the 96 Liverpool fans who perished in 1989. They may have won belated justice, but the lack of a memorial to them at Hillsborough is a disgrace. If I blinked and missed it, then I'm sorry, but I didn't see it.

Supporting a football team is about more than the halfwits on the pitch, or the owners (wherever they may be). Our bond is also to each other, to what we have shared, the places we've been and to the highs and the lows. Venky's will go one day; maybe not as soon as we'd like, but there will be a Blackburn Rovers in our hearts forever more. This club is our club.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great short article Michael, and fully agree with it being about people who you have been to games with throughout Europe. Kev will have surely told you of our coach trip to Warsaw in champions league!
I can also remember going to Anfield with your dad in 77 to watch Wales v Scotland (joe Jordan handball and the jocks got the penalty!!) World Cup qualifier.
I cannot remember 2 more bigger home games than the next 2 in 30+ years of following the rovers, god help us!
Darren Watson