Are we unique ?


 
Unique?.....ABSOLUTELY !


I wonder what its like to support another football club? A simple enough question you may surmise, but is it?  When I say support I mean just that. Go, pay, cheer, shout, frown, get angry, get happy, eulogise, criticise, go home, brood, celebrate, plan the next one. Does it feel different to say follow Bury or Gillingham than it does to follow Stockport? Does a die hard Corby Town fan act any different to a die hard Barcelona or Manchester United fan? 

 
Well....the menu`s different at Old Trafford!

Does Celtic have an ‘Arthur Brownlow’? Did AC Milan have a ‘Captain Beefheart’ ?

Although my attendance at EP spans some 50 plus years I have been to other grounds where we have not been involved. In the 70’s I used to combine Liverpool on a Saturday with County on a Friday night albeit for only a season or so and only because I couldn’t stomach either United or Citeh. My scouse connections could not really be compared to a love in with Anfield although some 30 odd years later I ended working in that city. But was it different?  Well yes, but once you strip out the elevated league status, the enlarged fan base, the history of success, elements of it were not that dissimilar to our own experiences, insofar as I could ascertain from my ‘visiting’ viewpoint.  I have to say that this was long before the days of Sky TV, inflated salaries and eye watering ticket prices so perhaps the experience is somewhat different these days.  Similarly I spent an enforced year working in Milton Keynes where I took in the occasional midweek game at Stadium MK and that was something different altogether. Perhaps history has a part to play here. We may have been pretty average at best for most of our 132 years but at least we have that lineage. Does a MK Dons or for that matter Fylde, Solihull or even a Fleetwood or Crawley feel different because of that lack of history? Perhaps its better being new, I don’t think it is but it might be.

The traditional ‘nasty’ clubs aka Milwall, Leeds, Cardiff must have some lovely, peaceful, intelligent supporters. Amongst the sheep that head for Old Trafford, The Emirates and the Manchester Commonwealth Games Stadium (one airline a sentence is quite enough) ,there must be several quite beautiful minds!
City fan gets help with Stockport String!

On a recent trip abroad I met a West Brom fan who was really quite angry that his side seemed to perpetually yo yo between the Championship and the Greed League. When I divulged my allegiance he acknowledged that our decline had been severe and that he had indeed seen us recently at his local club Nuneaton Town!

I wonder how the tears of a relegated Premier League side fan compare to those of a Darlington, Hereford or Rushton supporter?  I would suppose that the expectation of success from a suitably elevated and moneyed outfit almost morphs into a form of entitlement. The top six greed league clubs all vying for a place in the bizarrely and incorrectly named Champions League where failure would be regarded as catastrophic to club and supporter alike. Yet perhaps that could be equated with our desire to escape not just Conference North Football but non league football altogether. I should add however that argument is put into some perspective when our home gates on occasion exceed the total of all Conference North and Conference South games combined.

Cheadle End....any game !

For sure there is a ‘tribal’ element in supporting a particular club, whether it be football, rugby, cricket or tiddlywinks. In my own case I was actually born several thousand miles from Stockport and yet they are my tribe. 

Adi's second from the left !


I suppose all tribes are different by their nature and that is as it should be. Whether that ‘tribalism’ is affected by increasingly foreign owned clubs at all levels – Barrow, BPA, Man City, Chelsea, to name a few across the spectrum, probably not. Should a Chinese/Russian/Arabic billionaire pump millions into County would we act any differently aside from our expectation levels going through the roof?   
Oh go on Roman....you know you want too!

So back to my original question: Do Grimsby and Wrexham fans have a ‘hedgegrower’?
 Is there a resident ‘Fitzy’ at Barnsley
Does Bristol Rovers have a Jon Keighren? 
Can you listen to home and away games on local radio as a Wycombe fan?
Is there a ‘Bellis’ at Scunthorpe?

 
County have two !!!!( Pic- Mike Bickley)

 Have Doncaster ever had a Mc Knight? Do we even care? Our uniqueness makes us unique (my old English Lit master would be turning in his grave) and long may it do so. In a parallel universe, in fact in several there will be a version of us although just a bit different. I’ll take the one we have, warts and all, and celebrate it for what it is and as long as it (or me) can be so.  Please forward copies to:

The Foreign Investment Bureau, Chinese Embassy (excess foreign reserves dept)

The Dictorate for Oligarchs who like real football, The Kremlin

OPEC Nations Council for Royal Arabic Hobbies Curriculum.


Adrian Caville

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