Date:Thursday January 7 2010
Wembley play off final,everyone was there even my sister. Well she wasn`t actually at the stadium because she broke her foot and couldn`t travel or walk, but via TV and mobile phones she was there too.
Owen Coyles` Claret n Blue Army, face masks, banners all to the man who had the love of a town and all its exiles too. Owen Coyle Da Da da da da and then we won! I would have kissed the man if I could have got near him, he had given me and my son inside Wembley the happiest football day of our lives. I was I think fair to say in love with the Manager.
When the parades and media rush started to subside and when it became clear he didn`t even want to go to Celtic, my loyalty to the man became total. I was 100% taken by this unique Manager that Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood had found, I listened to every word, read everything I could. I then told everyone that I would support Owen Coyle for two seasons, everything he did. If we got relegated I wouldn`t blame him, we had a very tight budget and a balancing act that would mean by the end of our Prem Debut year we would be debt free and probably own our ground again. I really could live with that, of course I didn`t want relegation but it was something I would prepare myself for. There would be then the following season for Owen to bring us back up and show the footballing world that we were now a yo-yo club. I quite liked that idea, the one that says we are building whilst cutting our cloth accordingly.
As the season got under way it was pure heaven, we had points I never thought we would have. I started to enjoy going to Prem grounds away, Stoke, Spurs, West Ham, Portsmouth and Everton were the games away I managed to attend whilst home games were a given as a season ticket holder. All my away ventures were defeats but I sang and sang and so too did 1,000s of others all accepting that Owen Coyle was one of us and trying his best.
I went to MK Dons and sang my last song for the man, I stood up with 80 minutes gone as we all seemed to do, this was going to be our time to remind him what he meant to us, looking around at the Claret faces they all said the same, just tell us you are staying and all this love has not turned into divorce. It was freezing, Owen was one of the last to leave the pitch we had waited and he did venture into our half and clap towards us, it did not look like a final gesture, I took this to heart. Driving home I convinced myself divorce papers had not been served.
Now it is Thursday and just 4 days have elapsed, I still find myself whistling Owen Coyle Da da da da then feeling sad, I`m not sure who to blame, divorce can be messy. I keep replaying all those words he told me and he told you, I find them hard to understand now. It wasn`t that long ago that I understood everything, now I know nothing. Did I sing the wrong words to the song, No they were the right words then, but it is time for me to have a reality check and remember Barry Kilby and Brendan Flood are the real heart of my football club and just maybe for a while I forgot that.
Date:Thursday January 7 2010
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Just the Ticket-On the Saintly Road to Southampton (Tuesday February 17 2015)
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