Terry Christie: What makes football fandom so special

‘Supporting your team needs no explanation – it is just great’

Hibs fan Terry Christie loves the whole matchday experience. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
Hibs fan Terry Christie loves the whole matchday experience. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

Joe McDermott was a dear friend of mine. He recently passed away and I was going over in my mind all the happy times we spent together.

As a young man I was once trying to explain to him my love for Hibs. He said, “Terry, you don’t need to explain. Supporting your team needs no explanation – it is just great.” Over the years I have thought about this and Joe was so right. He was from Wishaw and his team was Motherwell.

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What is so good about being a fan? Well, there is something special about being a member of a group with a common purpose.

As a supporter this need is fulfilled in spades. Especially when your team has a great win. Even in defeat there is the compensation of being able to share your grief with fellow mourners.

But the benefits of being a supporter extend beyond the actual match. You have something to read about, discuss with your pals, and, if counting sheep is not working for you, you can drop off selecting the team. When at the match a true supporter is allowed to quietly criticise those wearing the colours but should never barrack them and should make a great effort to stay to the final whistle – sometimes difficult.

Football fans are the lifeblood of the game. They give so much and keep the game alive. But they also get much in return.

Matchdays are brilliant. I love the excitement outside the ground, greeting old friends, having a pre-match refreshment with mates, checking out the players as they warm up, singing the club song, and settling back down in my seat for the kick-off.

It is said families that eat together stay together. Well I can tell you that this is also true for families that go to matches together. I learned that from my marriage guidance counsellor.

See you behind the goals.

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