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HELLO ALBERT, HELLO SPION KOP!
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HELLO ALBERT • ISSUE 27  

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Editorial
Is Rock 'n Roll The New Football?
KR's Tuesday Night Deva Jinx
View From The West Stand
Archaeology Corner
Manic Moment
Home Thoughts From Abroad
Book Review
Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire


HOME THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD

Well, not exactly abroad, more over the border. That’s Scotland not Wales. I thought I’d let you know about what it’s like supporting your favourite team from 300 miles away.

The obvious problem of course is not being able to get my fortnightly fix of going to the Deva to see the boys in blue. I’d sort of got used to that after living in London for 15 years before moving to Scotland but at least then you could see plenty of games in the south and have the comradeship of other members of Chester City Exiles, travelling to games together etc.

Also in London there are plenty of other people from elsewhere in the country supporting equally insignificant teams, so you don’t feel like your a complete freak. Up here you feel altogether more isolated. If there were to be a Chester City Supporters Club (Scotland Branch), I think I would have to be the chairman, secretary and treasurer. If there were to be a club outing to a game we could travel on a scooter.

So what can you do? Well there’s an annual trip to Carlisle, a mere 160 miles away, or Hartlepool, something similar only without a motorway in sight. Otherwise I have to spend every Saturday in front of teletext.

Actually, since my kind wife graciously allowed me to get Sky (just in time for the Brighton game last year), I now sit glued in front of something called ’Gillette Soccer Saturday’. For anyone that has never seen it, there is effectively a continual vidi-printer at the bottom of the screen, which flashes up each goal scored around the country (with the scorer) as it happens whilst the presenter, a bloke called Jeff Stelling (a Hartlepool fan), gives you various bits of statistical information to go with it that would make John Motson look like some football ignoramous. I’m continually amazed by the knowledge he has to hand. No sooner has a Chester goal flashed up on screen (not very often this year admittedly) than he would come up with ‘that’s Agogo’s fifth goal in the last six games for the side that’s propping up the league and of course cash strapped Chester have not won at Sincil Bank in their last eleven visits’. Notice the term ’cash strapped’. This term seems to prefix any mention by Stelling of Chester City. I almost expect the final results to be read out as ’Northamton Town 4 v. Cash Strapped Chester 1’ .

Mostly, watching this programme is extremely depressing, especially this season when I seem to be waiting for the inevitable opposition scorers to flash on screen. The problem is that there is no build up to a goal, no expectation when say Beckett is one on one with the keeper that leads you up to the highs of a goal being scored, or the despair of a goal conceded. Just a bland statement on the bottom of the screen that can lead to what must be dangerously violent mood swings. e.g Brighton 2 v Chester City 2 (Cullip 82 mins) ’ Arrgh. Useless bastards’ to Brighton 2 v Chester City 3 (Agogo 90 mins), ’Yeeeesssss. Come on you blue boys’. Despair to ecstasy in eight minutes. Truly mindblowing.

Of course living in Scotland, there’s no one to share your despair or ecstasy with. Naturally the wife makes comforting noises when we lose ’Never mind maybe they’ll win next week’ but deep down you know she’s thinking ’Bloody Hell, it’s only Chester. What does it matter if they’ve just got whoopped 4 - 0. You’d think he’d be used to it by now.’ She supports St Johnstone. Why don’t I, a lot of people might ask. In many ways there are similarities.They play in a town (Perth) similar in size to Chester, get crowds of 3-4,000 (when Rangers or Celtic aren’t in town that is) and have even enjoyed European football this year. I’ve even gone along a couple of times to watch them, on one of those occasions they stuffed Dundee 7-2. But at the end of the day they are not Chester and you can’t just transfer your loyalties like that at the drop of a hat. Anyway, the wife supports them so obviously I can’t otherwise I’d have nothing to wind her up about.

On the subject of Dundee, I understand from my next door neighbour (a Dundee fan) that Dave Rogers (remember him, Scouser who played midfield for us a couple of years ago) has left them to join Ayr Utd. he was quite liked by Dundee fans apparently but was always out injured.

I suppose that being 300 miles away does have its benefits though (other than being 310 miles away from Wrexham). I managed to get down to the Deva to see the Macclesfield game the other day. I think I would rather have watched that one on Teletext !

Spare a thought for me when England play Scotland. I think I’ll keep my head down that day.

Ian Riley


ISSUE 27

Editorial
Is Rock 'n Roll The New Football?
KR's Tuesday Night Deva Jinx
View From The West Stand
Archaeology Corner
Manic Moment
Home Thoughts From Abroad
Book Review
Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

 
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