Surrounded by the enemy
By Farzana Chaudry
The longest hours ever are those on the mornings of home matches.
Too little time to start anything constructive and too much time to doss
around in front of Saturday morning kiddy television.
I was woken up especially early this morning. Mum's on the phone and is
concerned that her 'little girl' is going to the match all alone (well, she
should have given my Dad a few more brownie points then!)...she urges me
to wear something warm and waterproof; bitterly regretted not listening to
Get to the ground around 2.00ish. I'm sitting in the Vicarage end, tickets
for the Rookery end sold out days ago. I'm sitting a close but comfortable
distance from the away section. Chelsea fans trickle in at a constant pace.
A couple of Chelsea fans have their pictures taken with Harry and Harriet.
Ahh, how sportsmanlike.
Teams run out to warm up... suddenly I am aware of a massive roar in our
section. Blimey, we've got loads of Chelsea fans in our section. Suddenly I
feel very conspicuous in my golden colours. A few minutes later I notice a
dozen or so Chelsea fans in our end openly talking and shouting with their
colleagues in the away end. For the next twenty minutes I feel a variety of
emotions: paranoia ( I bet they're planning some trouble), fear (God, my Mum
was right to be concerned), rage (this is our bloody section), anger ( those
corporate pigs, they're only interested in selling tickets), prejudice (let's see their bloody birth certificates, not one of 'em born anywhere near
Watford I bet!). My fears are heightened when I realise I have Chelsea fans
sitting to the left of me, in the rows directly in front and behind me. I
await the arrival of the fans sitting to the right of me...please God I'll
do anything, just let them be Hornets!!! They arrive ten minutes before
kick-off, my worst fears are confirmed, when I spot one of them wearing a
Chelsea cap. The lad sitting to the right of me says hello, moans about the
one-way system, how cold it is, and then settles down with his mates.
Wow, he's a Chelsea fan, a polite friendly Chelsea fan, or maybe he could
sense the fear in my face.
Gradually my feelings turn philosophical. 1. How nice they were so desperate
to watch Watford play that they're in our section. 2. I'm going to cheer,
clap and shout so loudly, just in case they forget which section they're in
and which ground they're in. 3. Watford General Hospital is only a doorstep
away and 4. My epitaph would read 'SHE WAS TRULY "WATFORD 'TIL I DIE"'.
I won't even begin to write a comprehensive match report...suffice to say we
were fantastic, smart(!), hungry, passionate, played and defended
Yeh, it was a bit lonely when we scored, ideally you need a couple of
hornets around you! But if you saw a sole golden figure in the Vicarage end,
jumping up and down like a demented nutter surrounded by some glum miserable
faces... well, that was me.
Interesting tactical use of the tannoy, several minutes before the final
whistle: notice to all Chelsea fans, your coaches will be ready and waiting
outside the ground immediately after the final whistle. Well, they started
leaving in their masses there and then.
As my 'polite' Chelsea fan was leaving he patted me on the back and said
What a result!!
Bring on the Arsenal....