Eclectic Blue

Out of love

Comments Off on Out of love 03 August 2018

At least 45 years of actively supporting Bristol Rovers came to an end last year when I decided to quit writing for the Bristol Rovers programme, to stop going to games and, more importantly, to do other things with my life. I should have done it years ago since my sense of disillusionment with the club started something like 12 years ago and only got worse as time went by. The reasons mainly involve former owners of the club which I don’t intend to go over yet again. I’ve moved on, now.

I have nothing personal against the new owners of the club, an Jordanian investment banking family, although I will say that I am not convinced that they have the interests of the club at heart. I feel the same way about the suits who have been recruited by the owners but it is not something about which I am going to concern myself. However, given the mess they inherited from the previous owner Nick Higgs I suppose the very fact that the club is still going is something.

A fanatical football club supporter, like I was, will probably not understand why I fell out of love with the club I have supported since I was a young teenager. I’m not sure I do, to be honest, but the emotional attachment has gone and, despite 12 years trying to bring it back, I am resigned to the reality that things will never be the same. I’m happy with that situation.

Now, I loved matchday Saturdays. The pre match drinks, the game itself and the post match drinks and all that friendship and banter that football brings. I lived and breathed the game for a large part of my life and I suppose my divorce from BRFC has given me the opportunity to do so much more. I used to prioritise the football above everything else in my life and whilst I enjoyed most of it, I wasted a good few opportunities along the way. Now I am booking holidays for whenever I want them, I am having weekends away without first looking at the fixture list, I am spending plenty of time with family and friends I probably took more for granted than I should have; in short, there is more out there for me than watching football on a Saturday.

None of this is anything like a dig at those whose lives will still revolve around the Rovers. It is a pleasurable experience – sometimes! – living the dreams and nightmares that occur when you are following your team. I hope my Gashead friends thoroughly enjoy the next nine months and that they truly get the club they deserve.

Speaking of friends, so many of mine will no longer be at the club next season, other than perhaps on the terraces. The PA man Nick Day has taken his leave, the brilliant award winning programme editor Keith Brookman walked away a few weeks ago. Most of the people I used to stand with no longer go to games. When the match is no longer a social occasion, what’s left? That’s how I feel, not how everyone else should feel. If football is your life, then live it!

As I always say, time is running out and I’ve got to squeeze in quite a lot of stuff before I die and certainly before I get too old. No more bad blood or bad feelings from me. Time is marching on and I’m not going to wait for it anymore.

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