This club of ours!

I’m sure like me, you’ve been asked on occasion ‘Why?’ you support Walsall Football Club. In most contexts, I guess like me you answer with how you started to support the Saddlers, whether that’s as simple as being your home town or club, or your dads team or something more random.

How you started is perhaps easy to answer; but why you continue to do so, is not as straightforward; particularly when you don’t live in the town & given the last 15 years of failure. I’ll be honest & say it’s a question I have asked myself on the odd occasion.

But in the last few weeks, it’s become even more evident to me how important Walsall Football Club is & always will be to me. My incredible father lost his battle with cancer on the 29th of December, (ironically hours before we beat Wrexham & days before our biggest away win in 75 years).

Dad was a lifetime Saddler, taken by his dad, before he returned the compliment to me decades later. He once said to me after a lot of Bourbon in New Orleans, ‘Son you can’t pick your football team, so make sure you pick a good woman, as the Saddlers will cause you enough heartache’. Thankfully I took his advice.

The weeks since he died, the significance of this club of ours has taken on a whole new meaning to me. It’s more than memories of Anfield, Vicarage Rd or Cardiff or the Cow Shed or Willie Naughton; it’s become about connection, about continuity or even dare I say it, spiritual. The club was Dad & ours. We loved it.

Days after he died, I found myself in the club shop getting a shirt for him, with his name on it, so he can still come to games with me (I will never wear it). The staff were brilliant & thanks to amazing people at Southampton they allowed me to take it on the pitch & have a pic with it & I met Sads which was incredible.

But this isn’t about me, it’s about us & this fourth division football club of ours. Our club, that we’ve all been a part of for varying lengths of time, with different memories, commitments, frustrations and expectations. Our club that we love unconditionally. Our bl**dy brilliant club, that Dad loved so much & I’ve never needed more.

Perhaps Bill Shankly had a point ……


Firstly, I am so sorry to hear the sad news about your Dad. My sincere condolences.

Secondly, thank you so much for posting that. I can relate to it more than you could ever imagine, and I am sure there are many more Saddlers that will also.

Walsall F.C will always be about my Dad to me, or I should say my Dad and I. The times we had together, I could write a book or two, and probably have on here and social media over the years. I always felt like people got bored of hearing it, but I have actually had messages off Walsall fans I had never met saying how it had inspired them to reconnect with their Dad or that they had started going to games again because of posts I had made. That really touched me, so don’t ever think no one wants to hear it, because believe me they do, I do.

It has been 17 years since my Dad left us now, feels like yesterday. He was only 54 but we crammed a lot into the time we had. I rarely go to the cemetery, I feel closest to him when I am at Walsall games, whether that be home or away, I know he would be there. I wouldn’t swap those memories for anything, they mean the world to me and keep me going through the hardest of times. I’ve never got over losing him, but I find comfort in all we did together, especially following Walsall.

I have two young boys of my own now and they are both now beginning to get it. I know it has been hard for them when all their mates are dingles or so called Man City fans, but I always say to them, you will thank me when you are older. I genuinely believe that. I wouldn’t swap being a Walsall fan, it is who I am, it is my Dad and I.

All the best my friend, DM is always open for a chat if you need to offload to someone, anytime.


Fantastic post and many condolences.

It’s in the blood . I’ve not lived in the Black Country for 30 years and have had the “seriously , why?” question so very many times .

Sometimes its almost like they think you’ve made a mistake , and wonder why you haven’t corrected it !

Yet for some one to ask that , to me shows almost that the joke is on them . Many can’t understand the pride you get , the sense of belonging , the unified respect between our fans , who could quite easily go and support Villa / Albion etc but never do . I feel for fans who havent got that .

Loved the bit about choosing your wife carefully :slight_smile:


WOW! Just…WOW! You have just reduced me to tears, what a wonderful tribute to an obviously wonderful dad.


Sincere condolences mate. God bless him. UTS

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What a wonderful post @wiltshiresaddler… sorry for your loss.
My own connection came from my Father (thankfully still with me at 86yrs of age). As a 10 yr old my dad took me to WBA one week and Fellows Park the next and choices re commitment to which club were left to me and thankfully I chose the Saddlers, probably based on the ability to me close to the players and walk around the ground from one goal to the other as the game switched at half time. In my twenties we purchased season tickets together for the first season a Bescot “standing” alongside two of my Dads best pals (reminiscent of the cast of last of the summer wine). That WFC connection between father and a son in his early twenties helped to build a stronger bond when others often drift apart at that stage in their lives. Today this “club of ours” is doing the same for me with my own 21yr old son, which is a priceless benefit of being wedded to the Saddlers for the last 45 years. We scream together, more often in disappointment that delight , share away days together, share each and every little bit of Saddlers info, true and false, between us this club is a connection between the generations. My Dad is more or less housebound and has not seen a live game for a few years now but his passion for success for our club is still strong. The weekly cuppa chats with my Dad about all things Saddlers are huge part of my continued strong bond between us… long May they continue…. COYS


Beautiful post mate and sincere condolences.

I live 120 miles away from Walsall these days (Soton was virtually a home game for me) and still support the Saddlers. It’s in the blood. UTS

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Firstly sincere condolences on the loss of your dad
And thank you for posting your heartfelt and moving post, it is obvious how much Walsall fc meant to you both
Long live the memories, and i hope the team give you something to celebrate in the near future :heart:

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Smashing post mate sorry to hear of your loss❤

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Same here, very sorry for your loss and sad to hear that we have lost a fellow Saddler

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Firstly condolences to Wiltshire and all of my fellow supporters who lose a loved one.
It’s horrible, finding a new normal is never easy as I know from personal experience.
As the youngest of five my dad and two of my brothers were already going to Fellows park so I asked if I could go with them and for my eighth birthday my wish was granted (one of my brothers wasn’t happy), he moaned about it’s embarrassing having to sit on the wall with him.
That was the beginning of my love of Walsall Football Club.
The years that were in front of me would bring many changes, medical school, marriage, becoming a father myself but going to watch the saddlers always reunites me with my dad and brothers.
My dad died in 1984 my brothers in 2003 and 2018 but that’s really only a part of why I still go.
When I’m there it’s like being with friends, thousands of people who are like family.
I don’t know most people at games but I don’t have to as we share a bond. One that for some like myself has taken me from childhood to old age and will not cease until my time has come.
I’m 73 and jump up out of my seat shouting and smiling when we score I moan when we concede but it’s who I am. The boy the man and the old timer loves the saddlers and always will.


Sorry to hear about your dad but that is a brilliant post.

It would have been so easy to go to a bigger club locally over the years but it’s in the blood. I am no
spring chicken but still a third gen saddler


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One of the best posts I’ve read on here. Condolences to you and the family.

My dad first took me 35 odd years ago, he doesn’t go anymore and aside from Wembley hasn’t since the mid 00s. But the connection is there and he always knows what’s going on. I take my daughter now.


I can relate to that story so much . My dad died in July from cancer he was born in Walsall , so in them days you supported your local team . For him going to the match with his dad was their time together and likewise that’s exactly how I felt , it was our time.
He was 80 when he died and for most of them he stood on the Hilary street end and then the lower tier . He always insisted on buying the season tickets , think he thought I wouldn’t go otherwise but never , his empty seat next to mine is a reminder of how we spent the time together and how even the bad times were special .
I will be eternally grateful to him for supporting Walsall , it becomes ingrained in your dna .
Yes we moan and deliberate the shite we sometimes watch but it’s our club , the club we love
Thanks Dad xx uts


I moved away from Bloxwich in 1988, the second parent died 2010 so I have no reason to go to Walsall at all. In fact I don’t go to the town anyway, just off the M6 to the ground and back after the match.
Last Saturday we stopped at services north of Southampton after the game, there was a table of Walsall fans there so I went over to chat. Never met them before but just a natural thing to do, like seeing family members. You just wouldn’t get that if you supported a “big” club.


Lovely post and sorry for your loss. I feel a deep sorrow everytime I hear of a loyal Saddler passing and there have been far to many recently. We are a special breed always in the minority whether it be at school, work or social occasions but when we are together at matches at home and especially away there is such a deep feeling of love and devotion to our club. It is something i dont have the words for but something we all feel and very few non Saddlers could possibly understand.


Yes great post. Sorry for your loss - you have my heartfelt sympathy mate - it resonates with me so much. My Dad took me for the first time in 1974 - and that heralded nearly 3 decades of wonderful memories for us both at Fellows Park and then at Bescot. The last game we watched together was the win against Reading in the play off final at the Millennium Stadium - he died a couple of months later at just 64 - taken from us far too soon - but what a way to sign off! We got some bricks inscribed in his memory on the memorial wall at Bescot - and I always go and touch them on matchday. Gone but never forgotten,


One of the best posts i have read since using this site.
Never did i think i would come on to uts and be reduced to tears.


Sorry for your loss

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An amazing tribute to your dad mate my sincere condolences to you and family .many I suspect including myself were introduced to our club by there Dad. myself personally I were parted from my Dad when 15 but will be forever grateful to him for passing on his love of football and the many times with him watching Walsall at a very early age memories like you I will always treasure.thanks so much to you for sharing your thoughts with everyone on here .best wishes

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