Your Stories of How You Became a Football Fan

Here’s an excellent chance to get your name published, win a free T-shirt and tell us your true story of how you became a fan of your favorite team. Just click on the ‘comments’ link below and tell us your story, or e-mail it to

The winning story will be published in this Friday morning’s edition of the EPL Talk Email Newsletter and the winner will receive a brand spanking new EPL Talk T-shirt.

Here’s my story of how I became a supporter of my favorite team. Be sure to share yours.

It was the 21st of December, 1979. I was just 10 years old, living in the remote countryside of Wales a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of America.

That night, one of my best friends Neil invited me to attend a football match along with his father. Little did I know that the experience would change my life.

It was a division two match, which would now be considered the equivalent of the Championship League, between Swansea City and Orient. Swansea was approximately 25 miles away, so we set off by car for the midweek match.

Approaching Swansea’s antiquated Vetch Field ground, my senses were bombarded with the new sights, sounds and smells. The tall floodlight pylons pointing the way to the ground. The approach to the turnstiles where grubby old men collected money and allowed entry to the throngs of people. Walking up the steep embankment of the North Bank, hearing the fans chanting new songs I’ve never heard before and there, suddenly, I saw the expanse of the ground, the green pitch shining from the glare of the floodlights and the thousands of fans dotted around the concrete terracing.

The football that night, I remember, was pretty drab. Swansea lost one-nil to a equally poor side. However, the match and the whole experience was enough to make a permanent impression on me and I’ll never forget the night for the rest of my life.

5 thoughts on “Your Stories of How You Became a Football Fan”

  1. Must have been the fall of 1976. A group of friends were heading to the local derby and asked if i wanted to join in, i played rugby with a few of the lads so i decided to go.

    We all piled into one of their cars and made out for the stadium, a short 30 minute drive away. As we approached, the first thing to impress me was the magnitude of the stadium, it was huge. As we approached the entrance we were required to decide left for the red team and right for the green. As we made our way up to our seats, I was umprepared for what came next. Inside Maracana were 125,000 combined flamengo-fluminense fans, all waving their flags dancing the samba firing off pyrothechnics, oh my god! Maracan is unlike any other place in the world, at the time you could fit 200,000 plus for a game. Upper levels were just concrete slabs fit as many as you can, seats were in the covered lower sections, and standing in the ramp beyond the mote that was around the pitch to protect the players. The stands were dissected by a fence so the opposing supporters were kept apart. It is a unique, wild place to watch some of the best players do their thing.

    Thank god we choose correctly and sat on the flamengo side! That night I saw a young Zico for the first time, dont know who won the game but ill remember being part of an amazing experience.

    I know its not epl but their is life outside of britain.

  2. I was over in the UK for work and a close work colleague of mine invited me to a Man United vs. Chelsea match to kick-off the 2004/2005 Campaign. We met at a hole-in-the-wall joint real close to Victoria station, before we took a taxi near Stamford Bridge. We congregated at a Man United pub, a stones throw from the Stadium. With London police baracading the pub, we drank for several hours sharing stories about Football (including Green Bay Packer stories…being an American). With a wide grin and an extra skip in my step we walked up to the Stadium.

    I was told, “Don’t wear ANY red to the game”; and boy was I glad I didn’t! I am unfamiliar with security guards walking us into a Stadium. That is a foreign concept in the states…unless you wear black pinstripes to a Yankees/Red Sox game. With fans on both of sides of us, harrassing us as United fans, we approached our seats near the United bench.

    United ended up losing the game 1-0 on a poor decision by Roy Keane, but I absolutely fell in the love with the “Beautiful Game” at that point. The atmosphere (crowded house and a wonderful old park), singing (“Chelsea Rent Boys….”), the pitch (reminded me of a finely groomed putting green), and the feeling like I was surrounded by an angry mob, really made my adreneline rush.

    Since that game, I have had the honor of attending a Champions League match at Old Trafford against Milan. I can say, without hesitation, that until you attend a meaningful match in an English stadium, you will not truly appreciate the magnitude and passion that the game of football holds for any fan base.

  3. I lived in Cambridge for the Spring of 1992. I played this game of football in the park and was picked on for being an American, etc. Then, on the TV, I saw this American winger who was making a name for himself and keeping himself in a 1st team squad. This guy’s name was John Harkes. Thus, I got on a train with a buddy of mine (we were 12, my parents were wayyyyy to leinient with me)and we went to Hillsborough. I have been a Wednesdayite ever since. I went back to that park and kept learning and playing this sport with Harkes’s moves and play in my mind at all times.

    I haven’t seen this team play in the EPL since May of 2000 and have only seen them play on TV during the League 1 playoffs in 2004. I’m in front of my computer at 10EST every Sat. to listen to the BBC Radio Sheffield while you guys get the privilage of watching your teams on Setanta or FSC.

    I wouldn’t trade it for the world though mate and one day I’ll get to see my team on the TV here in the States. I’ll probably shed a tear.

  4. Here’s one from EPL Talk reader Adriaan Kervin Tan from Lisle, Illinois:

    I’m already 21. But the beauty of football was unknown to me until I tried watching the 2006 World Cup. It may have been simply because of the hype where the whole world closely follows each game from Germany. I can’t imagine being left out. After all, I’ve already been left out for 21 years of my life, not knowing how wonderful football is as a sport. That’s supported by the fact that I was NEVER interested in sports.

    Yet when the World Cup started, just like everybody did, I picked my teams. Because I didn’t have previous knowledge of which teams and players are good (well maybe except for Brazil), I had to rely on instinct. So I chose England first, then Germany, then Italy and finally, a toss between Ukraine and Holland. I closely followed each of these team’s games, sometimes sleeping at 6am just because there was a PK. Apparently, I gradually fell in love with the game. I’ve never felt that excited over an upcoming and ongoing game. I never saw myself cheering for a team until then. I knew that the moment the World Cup ends, my love for the game continues.

    And then came the EPL. Again, being new to the world of football, I struggled to pick my favorite team. But I thought, it might be sensible to pick one based on the players I liked in the recently concluded World Cup. Most of my favorites came from England and Germany. But of course, I also had picks from the other teams I liked. Yet the few ones that stood out were: Lampard, Cole and Terry of England; Klose, Podolski and Ballack of Germany; Robben and RVN from Holland; and Shevchenko of Ukraine. The question in my mind was, where can I find these players?

    What a surprise! I found 6 of them in one team. Chelsea. I am unlike many people who had vivid chilhood memories of football and the live games. But this I know for sure, when I’m old and aging, I will have my own share of that. Even if it started when I was already out of college.

    The journey of the late bloomer has just begun with Chelsea.

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