“Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.
“It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”
The words of the legendary Geordie football manager Sir Bobby Robson. These words were going through my head before the Harlequins home game before Christmas, because it was the first game I’d take my little daughter to.
At just two months old, Baby Leipy was and is too young to know what’s going on, but it was a massive day for me, bringing my family to a game and standing with them alongside the Falcons Family.
I thought back to my first visit to KP 21 years ago, and how the Falcons has become such a huge part of my life.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs includes a level called ‘Social Belonging’, involving belonging to a group larger than yourself. This can be family and friendships, and/or sports teams, religion, etc. But for all of us, we need to feel part of something larger than ourselves to be content, and I think the Falcons is one of the things that provides this for me.
Since the mid-2000s, when I began to get to know other fans, watching the Falcons has become far more than just about the game to me. Heck, it’s had to – if it was all about the game and nothing else, hardly any of us would have got past the dark days of 2008-2012.
As Sir Bobby suggests, it is supporters who sustain a club, and our emotional investment counts for so much. I don’t get to nearly as many games as in the past, for various reasons, but I always still get the same rush before I go to a match and I love meeting other members of the Falcons Family.
At the Harlequins game, I was so proud to introduce Baby Leipy into the Falcons Family, and it’s nice to imagine that one day we will cheer the team on together in the South Stand.
“What is a club in any case?”
Posted by: FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
Date: 02/01/2018 15:36
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Thanks Leipy. I have been thinking for some time of writing a piece on the place the Falcons occupies in my life. I can't possibly compete with Bobby Robson or you. Nothing takes me quite as high or plunges me quite so low as matchday. Sharing those emotions with my fellow South Stand Regulars simply heightens the experience. We are very lucky that we have a club where the management wants us to feel involved. This is our season. Every season is. And always will be.
Great piece Leipy. From the days of ‘smelling dog food’at Franklin Gardens to ‘he sleeps where he wants’ of Jersey, it’s been a pleasure watching the Falcons home & away with our falcons family. I look forward to many more trips with you and our little Falcons
I can relate to the need of belonging to something greater than immediate family and friends. When I was made redundant in 2010 I put aside some of my redundancy package so I could renew my season ticket because it was the normal thing to do while in work and I needed things to as normal as possible while out of work. The thought of going to home games helped helped me get through this difficult time. Sadly at this time I did stop going to away matches and haven't gone since but I am sure glad I didn't give up altogether.
I first followed them when they were promoted in 1997, and when they won the league in 1998 I was hooked. I'll always have that memory, which sometimes makes me wonder if I would have supported them if that hadn't happened.
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