Dad took me to my first game when I was 2. I always enjoyed it. Even on freezing cold days there was nowhere else I’d want to be on a Saturday afternoon. On or just behind the wall, slightly towards the railway end on the popular side at Fellows Park.
I actually think I fell in love with that place rather than the team. It’s hard to explain because it was ostensibly a dump. But the feeling I got as the turnstile clicked, up the steps, emerging at the top of the bank overlooking the corner of a beautiful green playing surface, then walking through the Streetend - youths in position by 2:15 in the middle at the back, then down the steps as the Streetend shrunk into the opposite corner of the pitch, then round the corner and up some steps as the Popular side grew in stature, through the gate where dad said you had to pay more for a few seasons, along the crush barrier that marked the open bit at the front from the double apex roof at the back, under the crush barrier to take my place on or behind that wall, watching as more people either trickled or flooded into and through the Streetend, looking to my left to see how many away fans had travelled, players warming up, the low roofs carrying sound whether that was one bloke giving the linesman advice or three hundred chanting from either my left or my right and me trying to work out the words, the players up close, sometimes touching the ball, looking straight across the pitch to the dug out then afterwards climbing over the wall and walking around the edge of the pitch to the sound of military marching music, over the wall at the corner of the Streetend, amongst the last to leave the ground as cups, wrappers and fag ends litter the empty terrace, down the steps to the left of the bank and seeing steam coming out of the dressing rooms as men either congratulated or berated the showering players, then out of the ground onto Wallows Lane knowing that regardless of the score and whether I could feel my feet or not, I wouldn’t have wanted to have been anywhere else and chips for tea - always chips for tea.