Thursday, July 10, 2014

How I Became A Fan

Andy W reminisces: 

On 31st August 1993 at the end of the summer, I was looking through teletext waiting endlessly for the pages to turn. I then came across league division 3 fixtures. Hereford United vs Wycombe Wanderers.

My support as a young boy and teenager was for Luton Town having been taken by my grandfather to Kenilworth Road and once to the old Wembley to see them lose in the FA cup final against Nottingham Forest 2-1 in 1959 giving my age away now!

I had also been to see Wycombe Wanders on a couple of occasions living closer to High Wycombe than Luton at the time. So when this fixture caught my eye, I said to my son Tom who had asked to see a football match for sometime ‘let’s go’ it was his school holidays but it was nearly 7pm and kick off was 7-45pm. we jumped in the car and zoomed to Hereford from Lower Lydbrook  at break neck speed luckily no speed cameras then! We sat in the Len Weston end stand in the away end. The match ended 4 -3 to Wycombe Wanders, it had everything winning, losing, penalties and a sending off. My son and I were hooked.

We then started going every so often sitting in the McDonald’s family stand, eventually moving to the Len Weston Stand when we got fed up of squinting into the sun on Saturday matches. We were Hereford fans and  now season ticket holders.

We were there at the Brighton match and felt numb for weeks after, but then optimistic that we would hammer all comers in the conference only to lose the opening match against Welling at home. Play offs came and went when they eventually granted two places into the football league. 

We attended many  F.A. cup matches where we won and lost Tottenham a big game, one in particular I remember a replay we were in the conference against Colchester United a league club that went to extra time and penalties one very cold evening, we won but it was so cold minus four degrees by the time we got home about 11pm no feeling in fingers and toes!

Going to Leicester twice once to Filbert Street in the F.A.cup replay Martin O’Neil managing Leicester city as he was Wycombe Wanders in the 1st match I had seen at Edgar Street, we went into the lead and lost in extra time 2-1 , and probably the greatest match was at the Walkers stadium Leicester when we beat Halifax in the play off final. I still watch the DVD occasionally. Over ten thousand Hereford fans there.

I would also like to say how proud I am of my son, for supporting the team through thick and thin, it wasn’t easy when lots of his peers sneered at him and supported premiere league teams who they rarely or never saw except on TV.

I  do have a vested interest in hoping HUFC will resurface, I was once told that I wouldn’t  dare have a tattoo, well red rag to a bull (excuse the pun!) so I had the Hereford bull put on the bottom of my big toe very painfully as the skin is very thick there. At least it will be seen when they tie the label on me when I am put in the mortuary.

Over our years as season ticket holders in the Len Weston we got know and share sweets and many a cup of coffee from Dennis and Gill and good banter and football gossip from Tony (my wife a occasional fan would give him fashion tips on players! when he was writing reports for Bulls News), Alex and Maurice to name a few.

I have retired and now live mainly in Spain and always try to book my flights round home games, Saturday afternoons over here won’t be the same not being able to pin my ear to the internet coverage of my team.
Multiply my experiences by everyone who supports HUFC there is one heck of a lot memories, are we to lose all this?

I could rant and rave about the various people involved in this present debacle but I think it has mostly been said.  

It seems pretty dark at the moment but let’s hope there can be light at the end of the tunnel.

Andy W. 

P.S. Thanks to all on Bulls News it’s my home page on my computer and read everyday.