The other night, I was watching Lincoln United play and I got chatting to an elderly man who told me that he went to every home game and most away ones and had done so for twenty years. He was 82, had arthritis and visited the place so many times that he had his own seat. Now, he may not have been able to for physical limitations but I found it strange when I cheered a goal more than he did. Being a football fan, I find myself picking a side at games where I’m neutral simply because I enjoy the thrill of either holding on for dear life or desperately chasing a lead but it was only really then that I began to realise that there are many different types of fans in the world and it got me wondering what sort of fan I was. I hope that you can detect which type of fan you are from the jokey list below and maybe think of some that I’ve not thought of. (By the way, after thinking about it a bit too much, I eventually decided that I was ‘Fan number 4’.)
1. The ‘Armchair’ fan.
Never really knows much about the club but also doesn’t celebrate a goal or a win too much; just supports a side for the sake of doing so as it gives them something to do on a weekend. Football is usually their 2nd or 3rd favourite sport and they have either never seen their side play or have rarely seen their side play. Usually easily targeted for stick and referred to as ‘Glory-hunters’. Often support one of the ‘Top Four’ and have been known to change teams before finally settling on the one they’ve got.
2. The ‘Confident ‘n’ Cocky’ fan.
Goes to see his side play when he can but will always at least make sure that he’s following the game; whether it is on television, radio or via the internet. Very good at taking banter when it’s given to him but makes sure that he gives out more than his fair share when his side does well. Every goal is a chance to rub the other team’s fans noses in it and takes every defeat in the same way that he would take losing a winning lottery ticket.
3. The ‘Season Ticket’ fan (1).
Without fail will get a season ticket every year. Saturday is ‘Man Day’ in the house and he’ll be referred to as ‘The man that eats breakfast with us’ by the kids on a weekend. When the summer comes around he immediately becomes disorientated and doesn’t know what to do with his time. Rarely takes stick well, (unless he’s the type of fan who gives it too,) and could tell you every player’s shoe size and favourite colour. An almost ‘over-the-top’ fan.
4. The ‘Nervous-wreck’ fan.
Pessimistic about every game because he dares to jinx the chance that they could win. Important games are hard for him to watch and he refuses to sing in the last few minutes, even if his side are 3-0 up, because ‘anything is possible in football.’ Constantly checking and comparing fixture lists with clubs around his team. Fearing the worst up until the final whistle and then his team become the greatest club in the world again- until next week anyway! Even though it’s expected; doesn’t take defeat well.
5. The ‘Honest’ fan.
Follows the team’s results and fixtures passionately but refuses to get too uptight about the game because after all, there’s nothing he can do about it. Never gives out any banter and in return doesn’t receive it. A pleasure to watch games with because he’ll always admit that his side weren’t good enough on the day, (even if they were miles better than the winners.) Almost too generous when speaking about other sides. You often feel sorry for him.
6. The ‘Excuses’ fan.
Everything is someone or something else’s fault. If it wasn’t the referee then it may have been the linesman, or if it wasn’t the linesman then it was probably the pitch. Will never admit that his side weren’t good enough and is usually very easy to wind up. Often comes out with absurd rumours about transfer deals that are ‘dead certs.’
7. The ‘Season-Ticket’ fan (2).
Owns a season ticket but unlike number 3 – refuses to get too uptight about a game. Will devote his life to football for those 90 minutes but as soon as the whistle goes he can cut himself off from the world of sport and lead his life as normal. Misses the occasional game for special occasions and results still affect him a fair bit afterwards but not a life-changing amount.
Written By Stephen Rudd