Slightly out of chronological order given that I burst onto the Hammy End scene with my first post yesterday, but a little something about me and my relationship with Fulham is probably in order.
It started on 22nd September 1993 when my Dad took me to Craven Cottage to watch Fulham play Liverpool in what was then the Coca-Cola Cup. It didn’t go so well on the pitch but that didn’t seem to put me off, and Dad and I went along most weeks with his friends and their sons to stand on the terrace in the Hammersmith End and drink Bovril (them) and hot chocolate (me). Could I tell you about any of the games I saw back then? Not on your nelly, my memory’s dreadful. But I stuck with it. I even started reading through Dad’s enormous collection of matchday programmes stashed in a cupboard. I do wonder whatever happened to them all… But I digress. After a few years, exams, boys and clubbing took priority over standing around in the cold and I stopped going. This was when Fulham started sneaking up the leagues. You’re very welcome.
I didn’t start going again until we moved back to Craven Cottage after our spell ground-sharing at Loftus Road. We beat Bolton 2-0 (thank you Andrew Cole) and it was a fantastic atmosphere so I fell in love with the place all over again. Since then I’ve gradually built up, going to the odd game, then more games, then getting membership and finally (after health issues made me realise that life’s too short for regrets) this season I became the very proud owner of a season ticket for the Hammersmith End. And then Fulham got really, really good. Again, you’re welcome.
There’s been one downside to this path of enlightenment though. Talking to my (maternal) grandmother over the past few months, I’ve been told stories about how much of a fanatic my granddad was and how he followed Fulham across the country – even deserting my Nan the day after the birth of their first child to watch Fulham face Sheffield Utd, only to get off the train in Sheffield and find out that the game was called off due to snow. My granddad died 16 years ago and I never got to hear his stories or go to the Cottage with him. So I did the next best thing. I dragged my uncle along to a few games this season and he’s remembered how brilliant it is. Now he’s getting a season ticket too.
That’s enough about me for now though. Back to the football…