Shock horror gasp West Sussex awoke to a blanket of deep snow and tales of motorists getting stuck and abandoned cars on the A23. It was all a bit of a panic in the Bowman household. The wife and George, my usual carer (who was on a snow day) went to work by train while I ventured out in the Peugeot 206. Would the game be on ? A quick call to Yeovil Town settled the nerves with a positive ‘No problems !’
The 30 odd of us in that Tavern had a lovely couple of hours relaxing and socialising. The ales were flowing and that unique camaraderie of following your team away shone through. Let’s face it we have been doing it now for 18 matches this season, we should be comfortable in each others company! In the warm bar I got speaking with West Ham and Town fanatic Alan Burgess (64) of Leyton. Whilst the Hammers are his first love the Reds are a passion for him. He explained, “I have been going to Upton Park for 50 years and haven’t missed a single competitive game for 15 years”. Not only is he a proud season ticket holder he is also one of about 100 away season ticket holders. He said, “as an away season ticket holder the club will send me a ticket for every match and debit my bank account, the only draw back is that if we get Newcastle on a Tuesday evening I have to travel”. As well as Upton Park action Alan picks out a non league team and then follows them around the country as well. In August 2009 he picked up Crawley Town and owing to being really welcomed by the club and fans he has stuck with us during our meteoric rise. During our Conference promotion year not only did he watch every Hammers game he also watched us a staggering 22 times including Kidderminster, Kettering, York and Newport away! Alan has a wealth of footballing stories and is very generous with his time. He can certainly be considered part of the CTFC family.
On the smooth journey home I got speaking with birthday boy Darren Love (28) who was making his first ever away trip. He said, “that was a good match but I was very disappointed not to have taken three points, it was a cast iron penalty late in the 2nd half. We didn’t get out of the blocks quick enough but perhaps we should have started with Adams”.’
Words and pictures from Colin Bowman, CTSA Matchday and Event Press