Turen i Staglabergets artikelserie Fans i fokus har nu kommit till engelsmannen och den hängivna supportern Paul Yarnell. I första delen om Birmingham City beskriver han sin kärlek till ”the blues”, ett lag som vi Östersupportrar kan dra många paralleller till.
Hi my name is Paul Yarnell and I support an English team called Birmingham City FC. The team is obviously founded in Birmingham, the name gives it away a little bit! It was founded in 1875 and in the 2003-2004 season they were promoted to the Premier Division after 16 long years without top flight football.
When I was a kid, Birmingham City (known as the blues around Birmingham) were never a god team, we were in Division 2 (which has now changed to League 1) and I always used to want to watch Manchester United and other exciting teams like that, however my father always bought me the blues football kit and we always went to watch the blues in the rain, snow, hot or cold. To my dad it didn’t matter, as long as he saw the blues he was a happy man, a trait which he would pass onto me later in life!
As I grew older and started to play football myself, I started to realise that you don’t support the exciting teams or the club with all the money, you support your local team and you devote your life to them! So when I was about 8 years old I used to go to the match every weekend with my father and if truth be told, we used to lose a lot! But I started to realise that I used to treasure the times when the blues would win a game and it would make me so happy and for the rest of the week I would be a content young man!
In the 1994-95 season, blues were promoted to second tier football and won the ‘autowindscreens shield’ (which still remains to be the club’s only trophy), however it gave me some bragging rights with the Aston Villa fans at school, (I will come back to Aston Villa later on, the biggest rivals to the blues, WE FUCKIN HATE THEM.) This was the first time that I experienced some success whilst having been a blues fan. It felt good, I was able to see my team against better teams and at a better standard.
Eventually, as I said before, the blues got promoted to the Premier Division and we have been promoted and relegated from the league year in and year out, therefore being a blues fan is always hard work. One minute you are celebrating the promotion into the Premiership, and the next your crying in the stands of the stadium because the blues have been relegated (again!!). Birmingham is a real yo-yo team. That’s for sure.