Southern Connections 2005/6

York City beat Chelsea and Charlton ...

26/Dec/2005 (Scarborough) - Alastair Smith

... And Man Utd, Liverpool and Leeds. Not on the pitch, unfortunately, but in being able to tempt supporters away from these "big" clubs who are rammed down our throats at every opportunity by the media. How do you get a youngster in York to support City when they can watch Chelsea, Manchester United, or Arsenal every other week on SKY TV. If they open the newspapers it's the same story, and magazines like Match and Shoot focus on the big clubs too, not just the big English clubs but the big European clubs as well. Surely York City have no chance competing for the young supporters these days. The current board recognise that we need to attract young people and the club are doing sterling work with the schools, Junior Reds, and the 29 season ticket.

If you think it's hard to get the children of York to support City, then it's much harder when you live in Maidstone. Matt was six when we moved to Maidstone and had been to a couple of matches. He joined a local football team and turned up for training resplendent in full York City kit, within minutes he was called Yorkie, the name stuck so much that even his teachers called him Yorkie. But the novelty wore off, and before long we had to buy him a Charlton shirt. Brad was born in the South, went to his first game at Swindon aged 4 months, supported City but aged four decided York City were rubbish and we ended up purchasing Chelsea kits, scarves etc. They still supported York as their second team, but now supported the type of teams that their friends supported.

Throughout all this I kept the faith, and never once told them they should support York rather than their London clubs (thank god they didn't choose Gillingham, I would have drawn the line at that). Brad saw the light first, upon opening a Chelsea flag one Christmas morning he threw it down and announced "but I don't support Chelsea, I support York". Matt was more of a gradual change, he just started losing interest in Charlton and taking more interest in York again. Now aged 15 and 10 respectively they are diehard City fans.

Both boys are reasonably intelligent, so what on earth made them renounce decent premiership teams to support City? It was a combination of seeing my unswerving loyalty, the camaraderie of going to matches with other York City South members, and the friendliness of everybody at the club. However, one of the main reasons was the realisation that the level of respect they are given for supporting York City is amazing, they feel proud to be York. Wherever we go people want to know who we are, and then they all look out for City's scores. Respect.

In addition to what the Club is doing to attract young supporters, we can all do our bit to show the benefits of supporting City to the youngsters and help them know how cool it is to support your local team York City.

Our next social evening is planned for THURSDAY 12 JANUARY 2006 from 7.45 pm when we will have a guest speaker - please check our website for the details. We meet at The Old Doctor Butler's Head [in the upstairs function room], 2 Masons Avenue, London EC2 5BT. The pub is situated in a narrow street which can be reached from either Basinghall Street or Coleman Street [close to the Guildhall]. Nearest tube stations are BANK [suggest use exit one] and ST PAULS [both on the Central Line]; or MOORGATE [on the Northern, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines]. Some limited street parking available in Coleman Street [at Moorgate end]. Lots of real ales on offer! Pub telephone number 020 7606 3504. Everyone welcome.

More information Please check our website or contact Alastair Smth our branch chairman or telephone him on 01903 813557 for more information.

Kit Kat Crescent Southern Connections