The 48th edition of Doncaster Rovers fanzine Popular STAND was on sale at the Blackpool game. In case you missed it here’s Viva Rovers’ latest column;
Its time to come clean. I’ve been living a lie for over a month now and it cannot go on. I consider myself a good person, a man of morals and honesty and so I can keep up this charade no longer. For the past few weeks I have been having an affair. Yes, I am afraid it’s true. I have been seeing another club. Look, before you say anything, its not Donny, its me. I am away, in a strange city, a long way from home and I don’t really know anyone and temptation took hold OK. If it helps I was thinking of Doncaster Rovers the whole time.
Of course the temptation was there in the past, but I always stood strong before. I lived in Lincoln for seven years but I was never unfaithful. Obviously I looked, but I never felt compelled to take things any further. I visited Sincil Bank three times in all those years, and saw just one goal. That one goal was Doncaster’s and it came in the worst game of the three. So bad was the football that we had paid to witness that myself and those sat nearby edged our way higher up the stand to instead watch the kickabout taking place on the adjacent artificial pitch. No love lost or gained.
I’m a laid back person and so not for me the brassy types. Lincoln City featured drummers and an air-raid siren, an all-seater stadium and annual play-off disappointment. It was all too in your face for my liking and was never going to sway me. I’m not one for the heavily made-up, which is why I would never be swayed by the bright hyperbole of the Premier League either. In Rovers I fell for a club which was local and down at heels, it was terracing and being back home before 5:30pm and it was just natural. I didn’t go looking for it; it just happened.
The affair has followed that pattern. My bit on the side is now technically my home town club. I found it through curiosity and isolation and it may have been my vulnerable nature which ensured that I was not content to let it pass as a one off. The first time I rounded the corner onto St Georges Lane and saw the floodlights towering above the houses and heard the crackle of the tannoy system drifting indecipherably on the breeze I knew I would end up sloping guiltily back for more. Yes, the moment Rovers’ back has been turned I’m ashamed to say I’ve jumped into bed with Worcester City.
Like any affair its a guilty pleasure and like any affair its born in the excitement of rediscovering what you once had with your current love. At Worcester I can stand and watch football from whichever position I choose. I can bowl up and pay my money on the turnstile. I can continue to watch the match whilst I queue up at the tea bar and I can be amused rather than bemused by those watching around me. It’s the Doncaster I fell for and its here on my doorstep, how could I not be tempted?
Worcester’s coup-de-grass is its Ken Avis equivalent, the man on the tannoy, the self-monickered ‘Captain Crazy’. On my first visit I assumed it was an ironic titles as he finished his pre-match spiel with the archaic “And may the best team win”, but at half-time when called upon to announce a new sponsorship deal for the Worcester City ladies team the Captain came into his own. An abridged version of his triumphant five minutes runs thus; “The lovely ladies walking round the pitch now are the Worcester City women’s team, though they’re not all blond”… “Manager Matt Almondsbury who has the luckiest job in the world coming on with the sponge for these girls”…“That’s Matt there, the one with his hands in his pockets”… “If you’d like to watch these ladies playing – football that is”.
Worcester City is a return to what football was for me. The attraction lies in the terraced ground, the particularly high codger count at pitch side (including a pipe smoker on my last visit) and the way they return to rivals Kidderminster as “The Carpet Shaggers”. But I must stress that all this mean’s nothing to me; its still Rovers that are in my heart. But ultimately I’m a man and I cannot rule out the potential of me straying again. I will probably go back to City again. And I’ll probably enjoy it.