KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES

Speaking as the son of an Arsenal fan, I did have some concerns that my son would end up supporting a club other than Chelsea.

Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case and despite the best efforts of my family and friends to turn him to the Dark Side, he has shown little interest so far in supporting any other Premier League team.

Now there have been (rather spurious) suggestions that I had brainwashed his impressionable six-year-old mind. But I see his development as a Chelsea supporter as a much more organic process. Sure I got him his first Chelsea junior kit when he was about a year old and I brought him to Kuala Lumpur to watch his first live Chelsea game when he was three. But I never forced him to become a fan of the club.

Malaysia Chelsea

Of course, he saw me watching Chelsea games on the television, noticed my scarf collection and saw me wearing Chelsea shirts on a regular basis. But that was more about me being immersed in all things Blue rather than trying to influence him to also support the club.

But something seemed to click for him when he turned four and he began to take a bigger interest in football than Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder. He began to watch games with me at our local stadium and on TV, to ask a lot of questions about football and to kick a mini ball around the house whenever he got the chance.

Now he attends the Chelsea FC soccer school on Saturdays, searches for match highlights on YouTube and Chelsea TV, regularly asks to watch the DVD of our Champions League campaign of 2012 and to my wife’s consternation, wears nothing other than his Chelsea shirts on a rotational basis throughout the weekend.

I see no reason to discourage his budding passion for the Blues but at the same time I can’t help but think how easy it is for him to support the Blues from afar now compared to when I was a boy.

Unlike today, we only got live TV coverage of the FA Cup or League Cup final 30 years ago. Otherwise, we had to make do with an hour of match highlights a week after the game. And as those highlights were not repeated, you either had to watch it when it was on or remember to set a video tape to record it.

That’s part of the reason why I remember so fondly our 1-0 win at Old Trafford during the 1986 season when Kerry Dixon scored after two minutes and Tony Godden saved two penalties. I had that on video and watched it until the tape wore out from overuse.

However, if my son wants to see that game now, all he has to do is to visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2LD4JOEjEQ.

In those dark ages before the dawn of the internet, we relied on the BBC World Service to get the latest news on the league and digest what little tidbits of information we could find in the newspapers one or two days after the games.

The full fixture list was only printed at the start of the season so we had to cut it out from the papers and keep it in a handy place in order to figure out who our next opponents were going to be. And the frustrating thing was that those fixtures would often be changed anyway due to adverse weather conditions or endless cup replays.

Club merchandise was hard to come by. You could get them through mail order but you had to go to the post office to get a money order, deal with the high value of the British pound and expensive postage charges and then wonder if your order had actually gone through as your goods would often take weeks or months to arrive through surface mail.

My son and his generation of Chelsea fans living here in East Asia might never truly appreciate how good they have it now compared to when me and my peers started following the game 30 years ago.

But that doesn’t really matter just as long as they share our passion for the Blues and support them as proudly as we have for all these years.

Comments

comments

Please note : the views in many of our blogs are written by fans of Chelsea FC and are not necessarily the views of the club

Powered by WordPress | Compare Cell Phone Plans at iCellPhonePlans.com | Thanks to Cheap Palm Pixi, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes