I know I just posted a few days ago, but with Plymouth Argyle playing away this weekend at Notts County I thought I would tell the story of my first time watching English football.
First let me say this for any of my American readers. When you come here get out of the habit of calling it soccer, it's a dead giveaway you're from the states. It's not a big thing just trying to make sure you don't stick out like sore thumb when you come here. But I will say that I will not look at football the same after going to a Plymouth Argyle Football Club match.
Since I love football and I was coming to England I wanted to see if there was a team in Plymouth to see play when I was here. It only took a few minutes and I found out about Plymouth Argyle. They are a Football League Two side, which is the fourth tier of English Football. Even though the team is a League Two Side they still draw an attendance better than some MLS teams back in the states.
But back to the story, I knew from the first day I was here I wanted to see them play and I asked a few of my flatmates if they wanted to go and Sophie wanted to go. So last saturday we took the half an hour walk to the match. During the walk to Home Park (the name of Plymouth Argyle's stadium) you have to walk through Central Park. Getting to walk through the park before the stadium is great, because I found out the park was just so beautiful. This walk ended with the front of the stadium.
After we got the the stadium we walked over to the ticket office and waiting in a short line to get our tickets. I had to grab a program it was my first game how could I not right. I have to make the journey back to the stadium one of these days to get a scarf and a Custom top with Boateng on the back. After getting the program we went through the turnstiles, and even though it's a small club the moment I went through I felt at home.
But we both realized that we walked through the wrong turnstyle and the provided for a moment I didn't think I would get to do. We had to get stewarded to our sets, and because of that we had to walk across part of the outer pitch at home park. Even though I will never get a chance to play on a pitch like Home Park in my life it was still nice to say that I've been on that pitch.
We finally got to our seats and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed at all. We were one row back and a walkway across and then there was the pitch. When Sophie told the guy get us close I didn't realize how close he was going to get us. We were only sitting for a few seconds until the players took to the pitch, and from that moment nothing could have pried me from that seat, because there was no where else I wanted to be.
I had an idea of what English football was like, and all I've ever wanted was to see it in person. Well I finally did, and I don't know if I want to watch it anywhere else again. There was a support section, but all they did was start the song everyone else began to sing. All 9441 spectators started to sing, and it's something that I can't describe. Reuben Reid scored for Argyle just before the half and when every single person went up on their feet and started to celebrate I was amazed. Watching as much football as I do back home when our team scores back home only a good chunk stand and cheer, but not here every single person did.
All you could hear for the next 15 minutes was "We're Top of the Table!", and not even 3 minutes into the chant I had to join in. That day was an experience that I want every person in the world to experience, the heart and passion that every fan showed to the players that day made them dig deep and get the result. That alone is why I love this game. I've walked by the stadium a few times since, and all I've wanted was another home game so I can go and be a crazed supporter. Needless to say I think I might have become a Plymouth Argyle supporter.
"We're Top of the Table!"