Nothing for the Neutral
Missing out on the official allocation of tickets for travelling Sunderland fans, I decided to take advantage of Fulham`s 'neutral` end scheme, in which it the area says what it does on the tin, or in this case ticket. No segregation in the Putney End, allows both home and the overspill of away fans to mingle and thankfully not a hint of trouble in sight.
It was a game where I took advantage of my exiled location in deepest Wiltshire, only an hour or so from the smoke by train (when they run on time) and also killed two birds with one stone and also used this chance London fixture to dish out an array of flyers promoting my new book - Auf Wiedersehen Lads.
Unfortunately the travelling adventures of the day outshone the main stage anticipation of the match, Sunderland not converting their home form on the road. I was still outside the ground, shuffling the remnants of the unused flyers away, when a muted cheer was heard. It was on entering the stand did I realise that Bobby Zamora had scored the afternoon`s opening and what turned out to be only goal.
The match dissolved into oblivion from then on, resulting in a mind numbing game of dodge ball as players from both sides tried in vain to create the worst game of football ever seen.
If supporting Sunderland meant the travelling fan was only interested in the football, this sport on Wearside would have been banished long long ago amidst fears of breaching human rights. It is the sheer banter and wit of following the lads that continues to spur people on, following their team in red and white no matter what. It is no fun for the neutral though.