Sunday, 27 April 2014

Fan's Swell, Except Manuel

Seemed like every Clapton fan under the sun was crammed into the Scaffold this Saturday, creating a fantastic atmosphere and a memorable day for those in attendance.

I mistakenly referred to our rather eccentric Spanish supporter as Miguel last week but I was corrected in no uncertain terms by a group of Supporters in full voice. I have been assured his name is actually Manuel and by all accounts he failed to reach the Dog on Saturday having been stuck on a bus, reportedly he was also intent on 'getting' people in a rather unpleasant way so maybe that was a good thing in the long run.

For everyone else whose public transport did them get to Forest Gate (or Forest Great if you prefer), what a great occasion was enjoyed, it was great to see some elder statesman packed in amongst the Clapton supporting ranks and several commented on how thrilled their Father's would have been to have seen the Scaffold literally heaving, that and other incidents on the day brought a lump to my throat and in private a tear to my eye.  Rarely does football make me emotional in the way events this season have-long may that continue.
Ironically it's fair to say that despite some decent chances by and large the team failed to deliver against a competent and composed Romanian team, few could argue with the result but with the 50 point 'miracle' already reached the outcome was in many ways a secondary concern. It's an old cliché but few could argue against 'Football being the Winner', in fact maybe it's time to rewrite the cliché, add Respect, Unity and Equality to the saying and you would have a clearer picture of the essence and 'vibe' of the day.

Rarely have I seen so many positive talking points off the pitch, Team Captain crowd surfed into the Scaffold after getting the 'Tyskie's' in, whilst the Assistant Manager travelled in the opposition direction and dumped lovingly into the Technical Area by-passing petty FA bureaucracy (and Vince) in the process For the record, crowd surfing cheaper than an Oyster Card but a little more hazardous, I personally will stick with my Senior Citizen's Travelcard and Shank's Pony to get to Brisbane Road.
Big mention also to FC Romania for fully engaging with the occasion and emerging with great credit for the way they conducted themselves on and off the pitch, brought a small fan base with them as well and that was great to see and only added to the Carnival Atmosphere. Received a fantastic 'Welcome' and 'Farewell' from the Clapton Fans and rarely (in fact,  never) have I seen an away side cheered to the rafters and given such a magnificent (and deserved) ovation in victory. That action by the 'Oiks' said more about them a million words could ever do, not ashamed to say that really did bring a not so private tear to my eye as did the fantastic response by Romania  to the adulation. Great feature of the Ultras is their ability to be total Partisan but still show great respect to the opposition, wasn't a one off here, have seen it all season and I can't speak highly enough of ethics behind that attitude.  Have said this before but the team was supported just as enthusiastically last season when the team only accrued 21 points and that is the 'glue' which has created this very special bond between team and fans. Beware anyone who thinks that 'bond' can be broken easily-they are in for a surprise. Counted nearly 300 in the ground so interesting to see how near the 'Official Bean Counters' gets to that on this occasion.
So it's one game to go and a trip to Leyton Orient which will no doubt throw up many more golden moments before this memorable season is put to rest, will be very sorry to see it all end.
Riding the 'Crest of the Wave'

27th April 2014
email Lew Listz

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