Both of you who’ve followed the blog voted 57 millionth best in the world, and, a survey of top bloggers said ‘Never heard of it’, will know I support a football team called Queen of the South. I don’t remember my first game, but, am told my Uncle Keith took me to see them when i was six. I’m nowhere near as dedicated as some Queens fans in attending games, but I’ve followed them throughout my life and given many many hours of my own time to help them over the years.
Going to see them has brought joy, tears and even a trip to Denmark to watch them play in the UEFA Cup, something no Queens fan would EVER would have predicted would happen. I’ve been to most grounds to see them, as far north as Inverness and Peterhead, across to Northern Ireland to see them play Coleraine and as far south as Wales to see them play Chester.
Through the years I’ve had some funny, and some less funny episodes, following the South across hill and dale……….
One of my earliest memories was when i was a teenager. My friend Andy and I were standing on the Terregles St terracing. We were playing Arbroath, probably in the lowest division at the time. It was freeeeezing……foggy…….and I was beginning to question my sanity. I mean we’d actually paid money to stand like an ice lolly eating stodgy pies, that would come back to haunt us in our elderly years. The game was hopeless, I’d lost the feeling in my feet, hands and other essential extremities. It was not a good night for the fairweather supporter. Still, come the 90th minute Andy & I still stood there watching, waiting, anticipating. Something could still happen. At any second…..any moment….I turned to Andy…..
‘Well, at least we got a point……’
It was just then the blonde head of Ian Yule received the ball on the left wing (apologies to Queens fans with better memories but this is how i remember it 🙂 ). The Arbroath player danced past at least three Queens players before hitting the back of the net. We kicked off, the final whistle went, game over, we’d lost 1-0.
Still frozen to the spot, Andy and I turned to each other and both said at the same time….
‘That’s it. We’ll no be back…..’ 🙂
As with most football fans, by the next home game, hope had raised eternal. We were back on the terracing, praying we’d see a nine goal thriller of end to end football with Queens coming out on top.
A lot of the funny things that happen in football, happen away from the match itself. I went to Greenock once to see Queens play Morton in a First Division game. Our minibus set off from outside the New Bazaar pub on a dull but dry day to make the eighty or so mile journey northward.
We arrived at a nice pub and I ordered beer battered fish and chips (it was during my ‘healthy eating’ stage ). It duly arrived, served by a lovely lady shouting above the din ‘TWO FISH AND CHIPS’.
I acknowledged her, switching my pint of lager to my left hand and moved towards her. I accepted the plate in my right hand and turned…………
You know that trick where magicians pull the tablecloth leaving all the cutlery and decorations still on the table? Well, I did a variation on the theme. As I turned with the plate in my hand, the greasy fish and chips decided not to come with us. The plate and I were at Longitude 65.3 Latitude 132.4 and the Fish and chips were hanging in the air at Longitude 65.3 and a bit. Despite being well cooked, they seemed to be frozen in midair, before the Laws of Physics took over and the whole lot crashed to the floor.
I looked down at the fish and chips, they looked up at me. I looked at my empty plate, it looked the other way. At this point you would have expected my loyal Queens supporters to rally round and have oodles of sympathy for my greasy plight. Instead a loud cheer went up, followed by raucous laughter and singing. I stood, centre stage, with full on petted lip, still holding my lager and a now bloody annoying white plate (actually i think the compulsory bit of soggy lettuce that you always leave was still clinging on). I sat down with my pint and hoped someone else would have a calamity to take the attention away from me.
As the minutes past and everyone returned to talking about space time continuums and multiverses , there were a couple of ‘that’s a shame Dave’ comments generally followed by slight sniggering. It was then that my faith in humanity was restored. The woman who’d served me, returned asking ‘Where’s the boy who lost his chips?’. Every hand in the pub pointed towards me.
She laid a fresh plate of beer battered cod and chips with compulsory soggy lettuce leaf, in front of me. Another, but subtly different, loud cheer went up, followed by some clapping. I went to give her more money….
‘Free of charge son. Hope you enjoy it….’
I could have cuddled her. My faith in humanity restored, i waded in, happy in the knowledge, there were some nice people in the world.
The game against Morton? I can’t remember 🙂
‘Football Magic’ was brought to you by David Linden and Dod Productions © 2015 follow me on Twitter @qosfc1919 and write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org