Today, Aberdeen Football Club won their first bit of silverware since 1995. “So what?!” I hear you cry. Please bear with me, even if you don’t like football!
If I’d started this blog five years ago, one of the first things I would have mentioned in my bio or intro was the fact that I had a season ticket for AFC. An actual season ticket. As in I went to pretty much every home game, and the odd away game too. Not quite a die hard fan, but I sat through far too many 0-0 draws in the peeing rain and howling gales in the middle of winter to be called a fair weather fan. And I went for years. I got my first season ticket at the age of 11 – to start with my dad took me and my younger brother (under sufferance it has to be said, we definitely didn’t get the bug from him!), then as we got older we went just the two of us. My brother would regularly get told off for using bad language in the family stand, so we moved where he could swear without anyone batting an eyelid!! I suppose looking back it’s amazing that he never wanted to ditch his older sister to go with his mates instead, but we carried on going together even once I’d moved out of my parents’ house, although I remember he did once accuse me of only going so I could talk to boys about football…..!!
So I was at Hampden in 1995 when The Dons won their last trophy. I was also there the last time we reached a cup final, in 2000 (our goalkeeper was injured a few minutes into the match. We didn’t have a goalie on the bench. Didn’t end well).
I gave up my season ticket for a couple of years in my early 20s, largely because my boyfriend at the time didn’t like me going (I know…..), but I always kept up my interest with the club and would go to the odd game here and there. Then I met my hubby, who despite not being from Aberdeen was a massive fan and had had a season ticket since he moved here for uni. It was immediate common ground, and probably one of the things that cemented our friendship initially, and then our relationship. I ended up getting a season ticket again, and our Saturdays often involved a pub lunch, watching the early kick off on TV then heading to Pittodrie.
Yet now, football doesn’t even get a mention in my bio, because all that changed when B was born in 2009. She was due in the November, so I didn’t renew my season ticket in August. Hubby did (by this time another friend was sitting with us, so he wasn’t going on his lonesome!). Of course with a new baby we couldn’t both disappear for two hours every other weekend – a couple of people suggested to me that we should take turn about going to games, but there was no way hubby was going to agree to that!! So he continued going, in fact he went to a game the day after I got home from hospital with B, having had an emergency section three days previously….(my midwife was appalled!!). And I stopped going, and because I wasn’t going to games, I gradually lost interest. I didn’t know any of the players, I wasn’t really interested in hubby’s post match analysis on a Saturday evening. In fact it became the cause of a bit of resentment, as he disappeared off for a minimum of 3 hours every other Saturday, leaving me at home with a baby then a toddler, then a three year old and a big bump, and most recently a stroppy 4 year old and a newborn. Even today, knowing how excited he was, part of me was thinking “Oh yes, off you go, leaving at 9am for a game that starts at half 2, leaving me to manage all day AND do bathtime and bedtime on my own AGAIN”!!!
Then I got caught up in a little bit of the excitement, on FB and Twitter, and listening to the local radio. It seemed like it was all anyone was talking about!! B had said she wanted to watch the match, but I knew the reality of it would be that she would watch ten minutes then get bored, and I’d have to find something else to entertain her. So we went off out for the afternoon, and I’d planned to get home so we could see the last ten minutes of the game, and see AFC lifting the cup if they won. Best laid plans and all that, we didn’t get home until 4.15pm, just at the end of the 90 minutes. However, it was 0-0 which meant extra time – as suspected, B wasn’t really interested once she discovered she could see daddy on the TV, but she was happy colouring while I fed A and watched. After another half hour, it was still 0-0, so on to the dreaded penalties. By now I could feel the nerves and adrenalin I used to get at a match, and even B was caught up in it, standing at the TV shouting “Get it in there min”!!! First penalty to Caley Thistle – saved by our keepr!!!! First penalty for the Dons – scored!! Then Caley Thistle missed their second!! Our second went in, so did Caley’s third. If our third goes in we’ve done it, we’ve won the cup….. Yaaaaassssssss!! And suddenly I’m leaping around the living room with A, B’s jumping up and down and I have to confess I had a tear in my eye. Hubby phoned absolutely ecstatic (possibly crying, I couldn’t tell), and B’s shouting down the phone “I know Daddy, I’m watching the football programme”!!!
Ten minutes later, normal life was resumed and I started cooking tea, but with a wee grin on my face. I’d forgotten the passion I used to have for football – when you support Aberdeen there are more lows than highs, but the highs…. Bloody brilliant!!!
So while I might not be signing up for a season ticket any time soon, the next time I get the chance to go to a match, I might just see if we can line up a babysitter!!