Do any of you have a cult club you follow? I always found it fascinating how, in professional football across the world, there are fanatic supporters groups of clubs up and down different tiers of professional football, sometimes even semi-professional. They are so ardent in their backing that despite torrential rain, snow, blistering heat, adverse travel conditions, dangerous away days etc. these supporters are ever-present.
The majority of my family is from Birmingham and as a child I was basked in Aston Villa Football Club clothing.. Being from Canada, I never followed the club on a regular basis but did enjoy attending games at Villa Park when I was visiting Queens country. In fact, my first live football game was in the terraces of the Holt End at Villa park where my Dad propped me up on a beam so I could see (in the 80’s and 90’s standing in the terraces was the norm). I was blessed to watch Eric Cantona playing for Leeds United against my favorite player of that generation, Tony Daley, wearing the claret and blue of the Villains. It wasn’t just Villa however. I also attended the Hawthorns to see West Bromwich Albion play as my Uncle was a Baggies supporter. I even spent time with the Albion Youth Academy so I do hold some sentiment for them also.
My official allegiance was determined as I got older and began to fall in love with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side containing the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Viera and the rest. The silky football they played dragged me out of bed on weekend mornings as early as 4:30 am to catch them in action. I then moved to England and fell madly in-love with the Gunners. The old style class of the club, the history of Highbury and the beauty of the Emirates, the red shirts with white sleeves, the perfection of the grass within the stadium and ultimately, the elegance of the football.
With that said, I will always have one eye on the Villa, hoping one day they get out of the Championship and back into the top flight. I pray that Jack Grealish can reach his full potential and one day become an England international – and hopefully he pulls his socks up aswell. Villa are my cult club.
The fascination I have with football makes me enamored with clubs all over the world.
I love Sacramento FC in the North American Soccer League solely due to the logo they have and the dangerous nature it portrays. I’m fixated with Paris Saint-Germain because of their sexy nature and the fact that my wife was born and raised in Paris – a Parisian at heart. Also due to the fact that I spent an evening at the Parc Des Princes with their Ultra supporters and actually lived their football mad lives – at least for 3-4 hours. St. Pauli has a political undertone which smacks the face of bigots, right-wing fanatics and prejudiced elitists by promoting a culture of equality and progressive uniqueness. Wimbledon FC have a fascinating story of losing their blue-collar club to elitist wealth in Milton Keynes only to rebuild through their supporters. Finally, I enjoy watching Kansas City in the MLS due to the Kansas City Cauldron and the wonderful brand of football they deploy despite not having a plethora of top class talent.
So if anyone ever says you should only follow one club, question their reasoning. I’m not saying you should create a jersey split into quarters of the top four clubs in a respective country but take some time to find a club that isn’t at the peak of the football pyramid, discover their history and values and perhaps follow them through their journey. It can be such a rewarding experience to do so.
Super interested to hear what people think about this in the comments or if anyone has stories of following clubs not in the mainstream.