Sunday 25 September 2011

Fans Reunited

What a warm welcome we got from the Green Army for yesterday's Fans Reunited day at Home Park in Plymouth. We met so many Argyle fans and were slightly embarrassed to get so many pats on the back and "thank you's" for coming along, I was welling up on more than one occassion I can tell you. It was so great to see smiling faces on a true fans day out at what must be a difficult time for Plymouth Argyle's fans and their 125 year old club.

It was a fantastic day and the packed FanFest event in the Pyramid Suite at the ground was brilliant. The guys on stage doing the singing and banter were very entertaining, the pasty delicious and the many pints greatfully received. Albion's poet in residence Atilla the Stockbroker (John Baine) was invited up on stage and gave a really emotional reading of Goldstone Ghost as a tribute to his now departed dad. It had him, and many of the fans present, in tears at the end. The FanFest is an event that encourages football fans to mix, chat and exchange views. I think it should be done at other football grounds as well, it's a really good way for fans of clubs to meet and get together before a match and is held in the true spririt of football.

Highlight of the day for me was meeting Pilgrim Pete, the Plymouth Argyle mascot. A true legend. Sadly he wasn't on the teamsheet but the Pilgrims still managed to beat Macclesfield 2-0 without him. Their first win of the season and hopefully the first of many.

Me meeting up with the legend that is Pilgrim Pete
It was worth making the long coach trip and I'm really pleased that we went along to support the Argyle fans. I hope that us Brighton supporters along with fans from the many other clubs who attended yesterday's special day helped move things along in a small, meaningful and encouraging way and I trust and hope that there will now always be a special bond of friendship between Brighton & Plymouth fans. We know and understand exactly what they are going through as we've been there and come through it, so we know that the Green Army and their club can do the same.

To the small young boy who I gave my Green Army scarf to at half time in the concourse of the Grandstand: Wear it with pride and look after your club. Tell your schoolmates that it was given to you by a Brighton fan on Fans Reunited Day and who, like you, is a true football club supporter. You can say, as can I, that you were proud to have been there on that special day.

Fans United will never be defeated!

Click here to see my Fans Reunited photos album web page.

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