How Did You Fall In Love With Your Football Team?

curbishley keegan How Did You Fall In Love With Your Football Team?

No offense to the celebrities that we’ve interviewed over the past few years for EPL Talk, but sometimes the best stories are from the actual fans themselves, like yourself.

If you’re a regular reader to EPL Talk, you’ve read hundreds if not thousands of words from the fingertips of myself and the team of bloggers on this site. But now it’s your turn. Please take a couple of minutes and share with me and the other readers how you started supporting your favorite team.

It doesn’t have to be a Premier League side. For example, after you’ve added your story by clicking the ‘Comments’ link below, you can read about how I became a Swansea City supporter and my memories of the first match I ever attended in 1979, as well as a few stories from fellow EPL Talk readers.

Just click the ‘Comments’ button below and stsrt writing. And thanks in advance for sharing your personal story of how you became a supporter of your favorite team. I look forward to reading your contributions.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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14 Responses to How Did You Fall In Love With Your Football Team?

  1. Weston says:

    Simple – Edgar Davids. I loved the way that he played and I tried to mimic his style in my own play (kind of hard to do as a winger), I just thought he played great football. I never really followed european football until he moved to Spurs on a free transfer (before the 2005 season i think?) and when he started playing with Robbie Keane my fate as a Yid was sealed. That kind of work ethic and effort-overpowering-skill ethos drew me in…

  2. DocRed says:

    Well, as an American, finding a football team to love isn't, perhaps, the most naturally evolved thing as it might be for someone in Britain where its either the local club or the one supported by their father that the fan inherits as their own. I did have a little help in that my father, an Egyptian, loves the game (as so many people there grow up doing) so that when I was growing up, he was telling me about DiStefano, Stanley Matthews, and Garrincha while the kid down the block was hearing about Maris and Mantle. Early on growing up it all had less to do about finding my team on television (namely because I didnt have one) as it did with finding any footy on tv to watch at all! But, one spring day in 1997, my father called me to the tv from the other room. He was watching a Champions League Semi-Final, Manchester United were losing 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund, and this curious Frenchman seemed to be marshelling a valient effort at a comeback that was eventually not to be. My father commented “son, this is some of the best football I've seen in a long time, and Manchester aren't even winning!” I couldnt help but to agree with him. But, from that point on I would always call United my club. Got my next trip to OT all planned out, and the new missus will even be coming with me (why do you think Im marrying her?)!

  3. Double J says:

    I first fell in love with the game and my club during Arsenal's Champion's League Run of 2006. Having never played soccer in my life, but being a 3-sport athlete; I have always loved good competition. After remembering the highlights of the 05 Final in Istanbul, I decided to check out the Champions League the next year. After watching a few match's in which Arsenal, and mainly Thierry Henry, showed such grace and skill, I was hooked. Luckily, 2006 was the year that Arsenal made it to the final, so I was able to follow the entire UCL season on ESPN. After that I was hooked, since then I watch every Arsenal match on FSC, find the highlights online, listen to World Soccer Daily on my Sirius, and even bought a home kit. I have truly evolved into a genuine soccer fan, and will always be a Gooner!

    JJ
    Orlando, FL

  4. tyduffy says:

    When I wrote about following the Premier League in the U.S., one of the most interesting parts was how Americans found their team. Everyone has a unique story.

    My story is quite similar to JJ's. It's the aesthete in me but I just loved watching Arsenal and Thierry Henry play.

  5. Weston says:

    Same boat here, being a fan from across the pond makes it interesting because most of us have no historical ties whatsoever, so it seems like its a certain player that draws us in.

  6. I actually picked my team before I committed myself to watching on a regular basis. I picked Aston Villa since I was born in Birmingham, Alabama and couldn't pick a Big 4 team out of guilt. I've found players to love out of it, though – Ashley Young finds new ways to amaze me every week.

  7. TokyoToffee says:

    I was born in Walton, Liverpool so EFC are the local team – someone in the family got me hooked in about 1968. It helped that we won the league championship in 69/70 – call me a glory hunter! If they leave Goodison Park, the 'best appointed ground in the country at the time' , it'll be like the club has folded.

  8. I was always a Boro fan, living about 10 miles from the ground. I started going when I was about 10 or 11, but fell out of the habit in my early-teens. The team was hopeless and the threat of violence was ever present (this was the mid-80's).

    But in the summer of 1986, the unthinkable almost happened – Boro went into liquidation (aka Chapter 11) and the possibility of the team disappearing for good hung over the town all summer.

    I was 15 and spreading my wings. My friends filled my head all summer with stories of going to the game by themselves. I vowed that if the team survived, I'd start going again.

    The finances were cleared up to the league's liking about 15 minutes before the deadline on the Friday before the season began. The stadium was still padlocked so we played our opening game at 5:30 in the evening, borrowing Hartlepool's ground after their 3 p.m. kick-off.

    Successive promotion campaigns followed, despite the financial strictures that prevent Boro from even buying players for much of their first season, which went a long way to cementing my ever-present attendance record.

    Golden times.

  9. ForeverBlue? says:

    I think that football has changed over the last ten years. Unfortunately, i'm now unable to afford the expense of watching the team i support in the Premier League- not that they need my financial support anymore. Maybe that's the issue! There seems to be a growing gap between some clubs and their fans. Interestingly, i stumbled across this website, http://www.getkentunited.co.uk, the other day and am very tempted to sign up. The idea of an 'affordable' football adventure is really starting to grow on me! It maybe starting in non-league, but who knows where we might end up! Maybe this will be a club that needs me, instead of a brand that exploits me…

  10. StagsFan says:

    I grew up in the 70's a small town in the Pennsylvania mountains, called “Mansfield”. Although Pennsylvania is an American football hotbed, the communities in this area are quite small and were settled by Scottish/British immigrant farmers. Naturally, soccer was the fall sport in the schools as opposed to American football so I am one of the few Americans of this generation who played the game as a youth all the way through school.

    One Sunday, at age 14, I was reading the sports pages and noticed that they were posting all of the tables from the four English divisions. I had heard of a few of the teams in the top division (namely Liverpool) but some of the other names (Tottenham Hostpur and West Bromwich Albion) made me chuckle so I kept reading.

    In the middle of the Third Division, I couldn't believe my eyes … Mansfield Town … matching my own hometown! I immediately wrote a letter to the club and introduced myself as their probably most passionate American supporter.

    Later that year, Mansfield Town earned promotion to the 2nd Division for their one and only time and each Sunday I tore open the paper to see where my club stood. Since then, I've followed the club through many highs (such as FA Cup 3rd & 4th round fixtures) but nothing like the low of last season's relegation to the Conference.

    I now have two teenagers of my own who both play soccer. They took endless enjoyment last season whenever Fox Soccer Report displayed the tables and I would scream at the TV, “Come on you Stags” but I think they've learned a few things about being a true fan from watching me agonize over my clubs fortunes,

  11. Canuck says:

    Living in Canada it was hard to catch football matches since it wasn’t very popular. My dad taught me right away though that it was the best sport ever and called football not soccer.

    I never really watched club matches that much besides the Serie A matches my coach made my team watch and the Arsenal matches my dad would occasionally watch. One of my teammates eventually demanded I start watching a league regularly since I played the sport. So I started with the 2000-2001 EPL season. I was quickly amazed by a Dutchman who seemed to score with easy. I started following his team and one day at practice told my teammates that I supported Manchester United now. Most of them groaned and said I only picked them because they always win. I tried to explain why I picked Man U, but still to this day they still tease me that I only picked them because they always win.

  12. mark says:

    One of my earliest childhood memories was with my friends at the park, we was about to start playing football and we was arguing about who was going to be John Barnes as we was about to play football. I guess this is where my love for Liverpool started that, wow i guess that must have been 15 or so years ago.

  13. Gunner Fan says:

    I'm a big Nick Hornby fan, and I read Fever Pitch years ago even though I knew or cared little about soccer, so I was at least aware of Arsenal. Then I got hooked on the sport during the '06 World Cup and decided to really follow it. I started learning about the teams and the whole “big 4″ thing and decided it would be kind of lame to support one of them. I actually thought I might pick Spurs! But then I watched every game I could for months, and by the middle of the season Thierry Henry, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal had completely won me over.

    Then I met my girlfriend, who happens to be from England, SE London to be precise. Her dad supports Charlton so now I follow them as well.

  14. Pandamonium says:

    Growing up in California, I never followed soccer but when I was living in England for a few months after college, that's all there was to follow. First match I saw at the pub was Arsenal v. Man U in the Fall of '00. Arsenal won 1-0 with the lone goal scored by Henry (I think most remember that goal). I was hooked.

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