An article by Ben “wewantourdarbyback”.
When I pull on my replica shirt it means something. Having that badge in the middle of my chest makes me the proudest guy in the world. Win, lose or draw I feel great with that badge there, it’s my club, it’s part of my life, to me there is not much better a feeling than that moment when you can see your clubs badge on your chest.
This of course means nothing to the modern football player. Apart from the odd exception they are there to do a job, make a living. The club is their employer not their mistress and that is where the great divide occurs. A footballer does what he does for a club, he can change clubs possibly many times during his career. There are times when he comes up against an old team or plays for the rivals of the fans he was once adored by, the second great divide is here. As a fan there is no chance of a move, you can’t request a season long loan to another club because your not enjoying your time with your club. Those eleven men in your teams strip have an unhealthy power over your happiness and well being, a week can be ruined by the simple movement of a ball around a field of grass. To the player a day off the next day will begin to banish the feelings that the previous day elicited, he will have a life away from the club that cannot be affected by the fortunes of the team he happens to pick up his wages from, unless of course it goes dramatically well or badly. That badge that is resplendent on his shirt is just a stick on piece of plastic to the player, those symbols another in the line that have been there during your career.
Despite the knowledge that those who you adore on the pitch may not care in the same way you do, we still go, come rain or shine, come good times and bad the Football club draws you in. No matter how far you have to travel, you plough the same route toward a building that is more important to you than any religious building, if that rare opportunity comes along where they play close to where you live you feel fantastic, here’s your chance to see them at relative ease, when you can get there. When it comes to many clubs this situation invariably leads to misery as you trudge back home after another dismal performance. In my case I then look down, on the train home from your I saw that badge on my chest and I felt a little better, I thought of names like Darby, Butterworth and Underwood, Hall and Sharp, I again felt proud that I had the symbol of one of the greatest clubs in the world on my chest. Nothing could bring me down until I would have to comment on the match, but at that point all was good.
I supported Rushden and Diamonds, and it still felt good.
Many thanks to Ben for the article!