Friday, September 08, 2006

A new Bluebird

Despite some reservations about committing my eldest son to a lifetime of misery, he received his Cardiff City membership card earlier this week. It was something that I had not planned. Demonstrating great maturity and liberal values, I had decided not to transfer my beliefs onto him. Rather like those families who delay a baptism until the child is old enough to decided for themselves, it would always be his choice. Maybe he would prefer to commit himself to Bangor, Caernarfon, or even Wrexham However, I was forced into early action due to exceptional circumstances. He asked me to buy him a Liverpool kit.

I've nothing against Liverpool per se. In fact, my action shows a great deal of hypocrisy. There is a "Scorcher" annual here from 1974. In it, I have scrawled some graffiti; "Liverpool are magic, Cardiff are tragic". This was only two years before my life was changed by an Adrian Alston goal at Selhurst Park.

Notwithstanding, I am invoking my paternal right to force my child into my way of life. Other parents might want their boys to take over the farm, run the printing business, or become a Doctor like Daddy. My child will drink cider and travel to places like Halifax and Aldershot.

We are going to Preston tomorrow. Whether he likes it or not. City are top of the 2nd Division for the first time since 1971, and Deepdale seems to be a suitable ground for his first away game.
I've never been before. It will be my 51st League Ground visited with Cardiff.

Yet more hypocrisy. When I was a regular traveller, I did my best to put off kids and families by swearing a lot. "They shouldn't be here if they don't like it", was my mantra. "Football is for swearing". After a hard weeks work, it was a man's inalienable right to release his pent up frustrations by using foul language. Football is the working man's opium. I was a librarian.

But now I have crossed over. After paying an extraordinary £20 for a ticket, I would like to sit down. I am old and my knees ache. My son might actually want to see the game. In the days of terracing, we would simply move down to the front, or to an empty space. Seating doesn't give you that option. If the stand is full, you are more likely to be placed next to a beery oaf who insists forcefully that you "sing your heart out for the lads". And sitting down is impossible.
How am I meant to eat my prawn sandwich ?

Still, we will be joining the dense queues of traffic moving along the A55, chock a block with Welsh football fanatics. There is a massive North Wales derby being played on Saturday, and the Taffs will be everywhere. Coaches will drive past Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Connahs Quay and park up for the game of the season. Everton v Liverpool.

Meanwhile, we will tootle on past the Liverpool exit and make our way to Deepdale and the Bill Shankly Stand. I'm going to sit on his nose and remind him that we beat them 4-1 in his first game in charge. I was wrong in 1974. It is Cardiff who are magic. And if they win tomorrow, they might even be ace.

1 comment:

Rhys Wynne said...

I've set up Cochion Caerdydd (South Wales Wrexham Supporters), and among our the gog migrants, there's a father and son from Llanedyrn who are are both Cardiff born and bred, but the grandand was from Wrexham, and there's three young brothers (18, 15 and 12 yrs old) from Cwmtawe by Port Talbot who's dad comes frm Rhuddlan. There's also one or two from Bridgend, one of which is deffinately south Wales born.

Cruel bastards ;-)