Southern Connections

Being A York City Fan In The South

29/Sept/2004 (Blackpool (LDV)) - Richard Skilbeck

It has never been easy supporting a Northern based football club while living in the South of England. You have got to deal with the high mileage if you want to take in a home game, live on scraps of gossip from the internet to keep yourself informed, and what I find most difficult of all is putting up with the sarcastic comments from friends and work colleagues who all appear to be either Chelsea or Arsenal armchair fans. Driving back from the Swansea game at the end of last season, I realised that being a York City fan in the South was about to become even tougher. This concerned me so much that I had to stop the car, get a cup of tea, and try to come to terms with Conference football. After a while, a lady clearing the tables tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was all right (she said I looked vacant), so after a bit of sulking, I decided this was not the attitude to take and proceeded with the journey home and thought about taking the Conference title the following season.

The summer came and went, and I moved house (even further South) to take my mind off the football. Then the fixtures came out, followed by more ridicule from the Oxford United fans at work, and before long I realised that the journey was going to have to be made to Aldershot. After the game, one particular OUFC fan just could not resist. "Did they have a programme, or was there just a photocopied team sheet? Did the Groundsman put up a rope around the pitch before kick-off? Did you have to pay to get in, or could anybody turn up and watch for free?" After a while it became tedious, and as I pointed out, some of the greats are in this League. (Well, Accrington Stanley and Forest Green are two names to conjure with anyway).

So to the first home game of the season, and after saying to myself that I perhaps would not make the journey to BC as regularly as last season, I found myself at the game and the first 370 mile round trip of the 2004/05 season. A heartening win. You would then think that the relatively short trip to Gravesend and Northfleet would pose few problems. Wrong. 2.5 hours were set aside for a 1.5 hour journey. I rolled up at 4.20pm following a debacle on the M25 to see Steve Davies tuck one into the bottom corner of his own net to confirm the defeat. Twenty five minutes of football, a quick pint, and then home to more ridicule.

This season it is important that the Southern based supporters do rally around the Team at the many fixtures in the Midlands and below. So if you are one of these people, I know that you too are probably going through the same torrent of provocative comments. Please don't worry too much. Get behind the Team and we will have the last laugh when the Minstermen storm back into the Football League.


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