Fuller Flavour: ‘If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t speak out – those in charge would do well to remember that’
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Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller gives his take on the Blues - and this week says he fears the club could start to lose fans if the current situation is allowed to fester.
I had to write this week’s column before Saturday’s win at Plymouth and thus my mood was greatly influenced by the eventful few days leading up to the weekend.
There has been much written and said about Paul Lambert’s interview after the draw at Oxford and a further interview with Lee O’Neill, none of which did anything to make me feel any less depressed about the whole situation.
They were both right about there being so much negativity around. None of it is fed by the media in my opinion. Supporters are honest and wise enough to know when things are not right and struggle to see a way of anything getting better.
None of our emotions are knee-jerk reactions to the past few weeks. We are talking many years of a club going in only one direction. None of us want to feel like this, we have just had enough after years of dross.
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Sometimes people say it’s only a game, but many of us look to our football club to give us a respite from our daily grind.
If we didn’t care, we would not speak out. Those in charge would do well to realise this more often.
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Anyway, with the current situation festering, I found myself thinking back to so many great times as an Ipswich fan – and not necessarily for those glory moments witnessed on the pitch.
More the whole reason as to how I fell in love with the club initially and how it all grew from that first seed, which was sowed all the way back in August 1978. The first sighting of the floodlights that dazzled my six-year-old eyes, the crowd, the noise, the colour and the smell of the food, programmes and anything else the night air blew in my direction.
From that first night when we lost to Liverpool, through to August 1986, it was the memories of games attended with my dad, and then in 1986/87, I was old enough to go on my own with a friend.
We had abandoned our crates at the front of the Churchmans stand to take up our first-ever season ticket seats in the lower Cobbold stand. We falsified our date of birth on the season ticket application forms by a year so we could get a child’s ticket – we could not afford the adult price – for the princely sum of £30. We were down the North Stand end and we fell in love with the chanting and sights of what went on in there.
On the opening day of the 1986/87 season, we drew 1-1 with Sunderland. My friend Chris went off to buy some drinks just before half-time and came back with two pints of lager. I could not believe it, we were only 16!
A steward saw and questioned this, asked how old we were - we lied and said 18 - and when he asked if we had any proof, we stupidly handed over our season tickets which had ‘child’ emblazoned on them. He confiscated our lagers and out of the blue, he said he should throw us in the North Stand with all the other louts.
We cheekily asked if he could do that and to our amazement, he did! We were one of the lads. Our time had arrived in the North Stand. The only problem was, I could not see over the wall and they didn’t have crates to help in that stand. So we had to move further back and this intensified our love for the stand as we got right amongst the singing etc.
From that game onwards, we always entered into the Cobbold stand and then our favourite steward would let us into the North Stand. I missed only a handful of games for the next few years before going on a run of 12 years without missing a single home game. My addiction was forever growing, a love that would surely stay with me forever.
I’m not saying that my love is any less today – but I do question, for the first time ever, what it is all for.
I’ve never felt as disillusioned about a manager before, and I’m afraid the worry must be that the club are going to lose fans if they don’t sort things out soon.