I don’t know if any of you are football fans, but a subject which often comes up in our house is which team the Bug and me should support. Daddy’s home team is Ipswich, but since these days we live a lot closer to Chelsea and Arsenal (and because, let’s face it Ipswich are rubbish) Mummy argues that we could get more out of supporting a premiership team that actually has a chance of winning something 😉

This debate gets quite heated when other adults are involved. (Whoever said it is possible to have a grown-up argument has quite clearly never been round our house during a dinner-party!) Now I know this will dredge up some opposition from my friend’s Daddy, who is an avid West Ham supporter, like his Dad before him. Mummy once challenged his insistence on the need to support your father’s team, and how important it was to the father-son relationship. Is it really better to insist on your child’s allegiance to your own team, or should you allow him/her to share your passion on his own terms? Some years back even David Beckham allowed his boys to wear Chelsea strip! So man up Dads and drop the ego!

Daddy took the Bug to his first ever football match at the weekend. They made the long slog up to Ipswich, using a Happy Meal, a family-sized bag of chocolate buttons, a sugary drink and the iPad as bribery for the journey.

Luckily, it was a good day for Ipswich, who beat Brighton 3-1, otherwise their returning mood might have been pretty grim. Even on a high the journey home still required Fizzers, the iPhone, and a stopoff for a Chinese meal (the Bug is partial to a bit of crispy duck). They arrived back exhausted but jubilant, proclaiming a brilliant day out, but as Mummy said goodnight to the Bug I heard him say he never wants to go again!

In the early days of their partnership, Daddy once invited Mummy on a ‘romantic weekend in the Cotswolds.’ Thinking the relationship was looking up, she agreed and started planning the venue. A few days later Daddy mentioned that some friends were planning on joining them. Surprised, but not unhappy, Mummy booked 2 rooms in the idyllic B&B. The day before the trip Daddy slid in the killer: as well as a romantic break, the two couples would also be attending the Ipswich away game at Swindon! Swindon has an uncovered stand. It rained. Luckily for Daddy Ipswich won 6-1 and Mummy was hooked!

There followed a year of football ‘dates’ for my parents, during which time Ipswich won the playoffs for the premiership and Mummy got to visit such grounds as Old Trafford, Anfield and Arsenal where she got well and truly into the chants.

As regards these chants, I’m not always my brother’s greatest fan, but I certainly don’t want people in his face chanting stuff like ‘you can’t read and you can’t write but you can drive a tractor,’ just because he has to follow his Daddy’s team. So this is my take on being a football fan: pick a good football team. Or pick your local football team (even if they never win anything). Pick a team you feel something for. But don’t pick Daddy’s home team just because he tells you to. Who wants a lifetime of slogging up and down motorways to watch a team from a town that means nothing to you?


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