Apologies again to all those Bury fans that I seemed to upset last week. I’ll double my weekly black pudding intake as a punishment.
So we’re at Dagenham tomorrow – one of those trips which I don’t particularly relish. Early train – no problem. Tube out East and then a pretty poor selection of drinking venues – no big problem. Compared to the grounds we used to visit, their Victoria Ground is pretty naff. Then the match – it’ll be easy. And then what usually seems to be a pretty uncomfortable Tube journey back to Kings Cross – where we see who else has been visited the metropolis for fixtures against ‘Southern Giants’ – I never enjoy this part of the day out. And then we have the journey home – be it on a train or a replacement bus service! I always wonder – should it not be called a ‘replacement train service’? A long and arduous day – but with the right result it will be magic!
Which sort of gets me back to Bury – what will those fans be doing tomorrow? What would we have been doing had it not been for Raj? Gardening? Knitting? Shopping? Or would we have adopted another club?
Can you adopt another club?
How can you replace something that has been so close and personal? How can you put aside memories of years of pleasure and despair?
So what would you be doing tomorrow if Pools weren’t at Dagenham? OK, you don’t need to be one of the amazing following which Pools still enjoy – you may spend the day, as always, on your allotment or in Boyes – but your weekend is still influenced by that voice – be it on the TV or radio – reading the results…………..
Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Hartleeeeepooool
And do you clench your fist in victory or grunt ‘Typical bl**dy Pools’?
What if, like Bury, that experience had been taken away from you?
And we’ve been close to falling off the edge. And as with the followers of Bury, we – the fan – have done nothing wrong other than, for whatever reason, become connected in a primeval and tribal way, with a set of colours, a name, and an ever changing group of players. I don’t profess to understand it – not sure that I want to – but I love it. I love being a Poolie – a connection which makes me proud, however bad we are. Something which I don’t think will ever go away – but then, many of my friends have ‘given up’ on Pools and I find myself part of an ever decreasing group. And I do grow weary of days like that at Chorley – but then you have evenings like that in Barrow when it doesn’t really matter how bad the weather is.
So I think again about your average Bury fan. What will he or she be doing tomorrow? So, on reflection, I’m not that bothered about tomorrow’s result – or the journey back – I’ve got a game to go to, a team to follow, and something to moan about through the next week.
We are the lucky ones – so thanks Raj – and thanks to the boys and girls of HUST – the Plan B which we hope that we’ll never need!
Pip Pippity Pip Pip