So my Sons U'14 football club in Marlow had an opportunity to play at the Reading Dome in the Madejski stadium Complex, followed by tickets to watch the Game tonight. I was reticent to go, but as a good dad, bought three tickets for me and my two boys along with the training session. So there were 25 Boys and 15 parents who traveled for the training session before the game, did the training session and then on to the match. This was booked and paid for 3 weeks ago so was absolutely dreading going after all the "coming" and goings of the squad in the past week. The thought of sitting in the away end and watching us get trounced was something I hardened myself too as I thought Reading were a decent side and a very good position in the Table. Hey Ho.
How wrong could I be.
Firstly, I appreciate it was Thursday night and on the way to the training session (had to be there at the Dome for 6pm) with the M4 running at snails pace and the Snow sheeting down on the way up, I thought to myself how worse can this be.
So after the training, we were handed our tickets to the "Family Stand" behind the Goal in the Away End - Oh Joy.
What a soulless stadium this is, We had seats two rows from the front behind the Reading Goal, two drummer boys trying to gee up what was an empty Home end, with a spattering of supporters. Shameful just Shameful. The Fake Hoops around me Jesus H
The positive as I walked out into the seating area singing come on your R's with my two Boys and also Come on you Supa Hoopsa - No-one had a clue!!!:-)
That was after getting the shiiitest pies at £12 for 3 Steak and Ale "they called it". I will never criticise the Shack behind the loft anymore.... Anyway took my seats with the boys and the rest of the group and to say if we hadn't been there the first three rows towards the Left Hand Corner Flag would have been totally empty..
It was torture watching the opposite end where the Rangers Faithful had started to fill-out at the totally opposite end of their corner allocation behind the QPR Goal (first half)
Anyone of QPR Execs when they talk about a bigger ground to replace Loftus Road, need to seriously look at the pictures at Reading, it was an empty shell, I had my 9 year old moving about 50 seats to the right of me (as it was cool to sit with the older boys)and was able to shout Dad during the middle of the game and I could hear him and distinguish it was him!!!!
Anyway cutting a long story short, my 4 Major Highlights.....
1) My 13 Year old - I realised that his woolen hat he had on had QPR emblazoned on it - That's my Boy!!! - The Steward telling him to Turn it inside out. He Flatly refused.
2) My 9 Year with about 70 Mins gone shouting out come on QPR- Only to be told by some 45ish year old women, that he should be at the other end and he was a D1ck Head. I loved that bit as I nearly kicked off and the Stewards asked her to leave:-) - They could hear everything as again what a soulless empty shell of a ground
3) When we Scored - How I celebrated internally - I cant believe I composed myself so well, especially as Jamie and the rest of the boys literally ran straight over to where we were sitting (being roundly boo'd by everyone) with the exception of myself and my boys having internal combustion
4) Leaving 10 minutes early, despite how many chances we missed, I had this Rangers feeling that something was going to go south and I absolutely know that I would have reacted in such a manner that I would have been ejected or got into a fight, especially with the women who had had a go at my 9 year Old...I would have found her:-)
Well Done Ollie, Rangers Team who fought like Lions and on any other given day should have scored maybe 5 or 6 and that's not an exaggeration and with Smithies having Naff All to do for the majority of the Day - Thank you my beloved R's - My Heart, Pride and Bragging Rights for both me and the boys remain intact for the foreseeable (there were some of our lot who were Reading Fans
Now as a Season Ticket Holder in the Loft, lets hope we show this intent at the rest of our Home games, it was pleasing and hopefully, we may, just may be turning a corner.