Wigan Revisited

May 27, 2010

Posted by dandan

Strange as it may seem, sometimes being a football fan can be a very lonely business.

Although you are one of millions of like-minded souls if you support a major club like Arsenal, it is still possible to be terribly alone in your own home, perched in front of the TV. Watching moments of triumph and disaster unfold in front of you, particularly when your partner or housemates have no interest or real understanding of just how important these events are. The sheer joy of the interaction with friend or foe being an essential part of the football experience, win or lose the verbal interface increases the agony and the ecstasy and makes the moment unforgettable.

Blogs like this one help immensely if you are lucky enough to have access to the Internet at home. Indeed it was a chance remark from one of our poster’s today, that he goes to sleep thinking of the Arsenal that got me thinking about this.

In my working life I covered some 50,000 miles a year by car in this country alone, always listening to 5 live, I must have clocked up thousands of hours over the years as I drove on Autopilot through the 8 till 10 slot, night after night, heading for home or a hotel bed.

Supporting a club like Arsenal meant that I got more than my share of live commentary’s as we usually did well in all four competitions and were constantly on midweek radio. But still it was not the same, how often did I get strange looks from the occupants of the other cars as I yelled and cheered my way through city traffic. But that is the point, those cheers were nothing but silent mouthing’s to all those who saw me and though I knew the old stadium they were describing, like the back of my hand it still wasn’t the same I was not part of the action.

So where does Wigan come into this, well all you who rail and rant at the what you saw as the capitulation of our club that day, think of all those poor buggers who couldn’t see, but only hear at 70 MPH on some motorway and just how bad they must have felt and know how lucky you were just to be there.

Now one of our posters described it as Snatching Defeat out of the Jaws of Victory, which brought to mind this super poem by Peter Goulding, a real football fan in Ireland who saw his team cock up their run in and lose the last match of the season that would have gained them promotion.

Gloom upon gloom

Snatching defeat out of victory’s jaws,
We threw it away once again.
Draws became losses and wins became draws
And all we have left is the pain.

We thought for a while we’d get out on parole
And walk out, head high, from this jail.
But promotion remains an impossible goal
And suddenly we’re looking frail.

Condemned once again to spend twelve months or more
In this cold and despicable prison,
Staring at walls and the cold concrete floor,
While others in here have arisen.

Conditions down here defy human rights,
The rations decidedly meagre
The minutes tick slow in this cold, lonely nights,
When you’re sentenced to be a low-leaguer.

© Peter Goulding 29th November 2009

So you Gooners how would you be feeling today if that had been your fate. Be happy we have another year in the top flight coming up.