Going to football matches, I love every minute of it. A Saturday without a
Watford fix is now unthinkable. My name is Simon Devon, I am a Watford addict.
My habit has grown worse over the last five years. Whereas before I was happy
with the footballing equivalent of a quick fag behind the bike sheds, I'm now a total Watford
Why? The Watford Mailing list.
Five years ago I used to go to matches on my own. I was at University and so
were all my Watford chums from A-Level days. I should have stopped going and
concentrated on saving my tiny grant,
but I didn't. I still enjoyed the football, but everything else was missing.
Travel to away games stopped (though I still managed the infamous Scarborough away trip) as it's
pretty boring going on your own.
Then it happened. One day in 1994 whilst in the Computer Centre researching
something for my
University Radio show, I found a list of football mailing lists. My fate was
sealed. A quick email to Gary Smith
in South Africa and I, among with twelve others, was on the Watford Mailing
List. Amazingly enough, as I was at the
University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield Poly by any other name!), I was the
closest to Watford! There were members
from Singapore and Norway, but I was the only Hertfordshire resident on the
To tell you the truth, nothing really happened at first - the membership
grew slowly. Then, someone called
Ian Grant admitted to owning a web site devoted to Watford. Just after Jamie
Moralee hit his first goal for Watford I saw
this frightening bloke in the Vicarage Road end - he had a shaved head and
an earring in his nose. He was
wearing a bomber jacket and DM's. I went up to him and asked, "Excuse me,
are you Ian Grant?" and it was. So,
after a season or two of having no-one to talk to at matches I now at least
had someone to say hello to.
I think that if I would have ended up going to matches on my own for much
longer, I probably would have stopped going.
However, as time went on, a few of us met up most weeks and the 'Top of the
F' became ours. Since then we've
formed a football team, had a Bash or two, made Nigel Gibbs a hero and even
Is it sad to make friends with people through the Internet? The tabloid
newspapers would probably like
us to think so, but let's look at like this. Last Saturday about eleven of us
made the journey to Crewe by train:
Pete + Laura
Andy 'Bazelli' Stocks
Alan 'Captain Chunder' Chatfield
John Parry, Dave Parry and their mate
How did we all meet? WML.
Would we have gone to Crewe as individuals? Maybe.
Are we all stereo-typical 'net head social misfits'? Well, I'd like to think
Would I go to half as many Watford matches as I do if WML didn't exist? No.
So, there we are. WML. It gave me people to talk to at football matches, it
has led to me receiving perplexing phone
calls from Rupert day and night and it has made it possible for you to be
reading this article on BSaD.
I think it's been quite fun. Here's to the next 5 years of WML!