Many years ago, my Grandad took me to my first football match. The two teams involved were playing in what was the old second division. I was probably too young to know who I was supporting in that game or why but I supported the away team on that day.
Recent circumstances have changed their fortunes dramatically. One is now one of the richest clubs in the world and one has recently gone into administration and been relegated from the premiership.
When I was at primary school I supported Chelsea but never went to a match. Then my Godparents started taking me to Plough Lane to watch Wimbledon when I was about 12 or 13 years old and I was hooked, I signed up as a member of The Crazy Gang. Now as a 30 something AFC Wimbledon fan (Milton Keynes Dons are traitors to football!) I follow The Dons from their position in the Conference.
Now that I have grown up and know what it is to support a team but I found myself gripped to the tellybox this afternoon watching Portsmouth play Tottenham Hotspur in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup hoping like hell Pompey could pull off the seemingly only imaginable. They did, 2-0, the result is one that people will talk about for a while with the romance of the cup once again making the FA Cup one of the best club competitions in the world. Portsmouth were relegated yesterday without kicking a ball and I was very disappointed for them and my now dead Grandad, they have also gone into administration which condemned them to the championship and will ultimately lead to the dismantling of a football team and again I was deeply saddened by this both for my Grandad and the Pompey fans who are some of the best in football. It's is a shame that financial mismanagement and the spiralling cost of players wages are bringing football to it's knees and not slowly any more either.
I only follow Portsmouth fondly now as it's with them that I had my first taste of real football and that first football memory is one of the best I will ever have, it's also a way of remembering my Grandad, one of the most gentle people I have ever met and I miss him a lot on days like today but I have chosen my colours, I have chosen my team and I have enjoyed nearly every minute of every game I've ever been to, whether we've won, lost or drawn, I am however, not ashamed to say there were tears of joy in my eyes when the final whistle went this afternoon.