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Past reflections of a Notts fan


Chris

Over the years I've followed football I have witnessed some very special events though I haven't seen Notts County in the highest English division or seen England win a major international trophy. I have witnessed things I hold dear to my heart, so growing up as a Notts County fan never really held me back. I was never bothered during Junior school about what people said about Notts County, I was always proud, more importantly, when you have someone who inspires you, well nothing can make it seem as bad for following your heart.

When I was in year 5, I switched school as the one I was attending wasn't very supportive. I recall being told stories about how rough the school was, little did I know it would become a place where I felt I could be me,to do the things I wanted and not listen to what people thought of me.

My first day went very quickly, it was a hot topic when people found out who I supported. I recall being asked why, although nobody really judged me – It was all friendly.

I recall the majority supporting either Nottingham Forest, Manchester United or Liverpool. My best school years was the year and a half I spent there, I made so many friends and got to know them pretty well. It was during break time or dinner, when it became fun. Playing football and being the only County fan who would voice it, I think that brought me a lot of respect and my attendance and learning all become a very positive thing.

One lad, a forest fan, used to put himself across a bit like Paul Gascoigne, a practical joker but also very weird. He was alright though, I used to enjoy listening to his antics and my class probably had the most natural mix of people.

The first time I was given the nod to play for the school, I honestly didn't see myself making the side. I was talented but I allowed my confidence to become an issue, 5-a-side was the first competition I entered and I excelled in the smaller space. Rival players started having to take me out, I recall the last game being subbed because two lads had sandwiched me into this thick plastic divider, pushing me straight into it.

I can't really say I ever played well on a normal pitch, I never really settled and it's much harder than people realize. By this point in my senior year, I was into playing football all the time and any chance I got I would do so. The ball was never too far from my feet, naturally I liked to be the player who shone when I did. I never really shined when I was around people equal or better, which is a shame.

Some interesting moments towards the final years, if there's enough interest I will touch upon these more. I only really intended to talk about my earlier days, then start mentioning my work. I got a little side tracked remembering a fond period of my life, one I often wished I could re-live.

Out of school, I didn't play much football. I went straight into working pretty much, I got a job very quickly thanks to my brother and it was going well.

During that time, I had met the Australian cricket team which included stars like Shane Warne. They actually got me into trouble and were very unprofessional, although later on one of them apologised to me. I didn't know who he was, I just pretended.

A couple of other famous people stayed at the hotel I worked, although it was on the decline to be honest and I started working mainly mornings and functions. I got quickly noticed for being a hard worker, which ended up getting more responsibilities. It was pretty cool, laid back and if it wasn't for the chef, well it would have been a totally different story.

From there, I moved onto helping to look after my mum who had become fairly ill. It wasn't really until Kate was expecting that I managed to find work again. It was very rewarding, yet was a stressful place to work.

I came across and met more famous people during my time there, it was pretty cool for that. Nottingham Forest's opposition would generally stay, especially if it was long distant. I recall Watford booking the upstairs function room for their meals and a couple of players spoke to me, again I didn't know who they were.

The highlights for me was when Notts County actually were taken over by Munto, although now it's not the best thing, it was exciting for me then.

Peter Trembling, Sven-Göran Eriksson and Sol Campbell etc. All people I met and spoke to, although I never really liked Peter, he was very flashy and a little snappy. Sven was amazing, he made a fuss of me for wearing an England shirt (I always did back then). He stopped, politely asked me if I supported England, I laughed a little, then realizing who it was I became tongue tied.

He then asked me 'Do you follow local football or support a premier league side?'. I responded nervously, local. He quickly smiled and rather passionately said 'I (long pause) like that very much', adding 'Are you a Notts Forest or Nottingham County fan'. I smiled, responded 'Notts County of course'.

I then showed him my wallet and keys, which both had the Notts County badge on. He gave me a brief, very slight hug and then put his hand out. I didn't expect him to be so friendly! He was a real gent. I had the pleasure of seeing him very frequently, he would always visit for a meal at the weekend and become a figure who would be in attendance in events upstairs.

However my surprise was going into work and the bar manager, then (a friend of mine) told me that 'you know who' was upstairs and he turned it into a game as to 'who' they were meeting, I didn't really know and guessed.

I had a very strict briefing from the general manager, a women I despise to the tallest order. I was then asked by the events manager to go into the function room located upstairs, to collect some things behind the bar, while the shutters were actually down (which was odd).

A faint voice (Peter Trembling) kept saying 'We can offer you a very good package, we want you to be a part of this' his voice quietened down. I then heard a laugh, then the same person asked a question which I didn't hear properly.

Peter responded to the question 'Your Sol Campbell, we don't need to say any-more. We need iconic signings and the people behind the takeover are fully prepared to bring other top players into the club'.

It was this point I really needed to stop being nosy, so I rushed to collect a few items I was asked to fetch. In the process I knocked into this plastic bottle bin and made a very loud noise.

This didn't go down well, although nothing came of it. We were under strict orders to keep the area private, however, since I was asked by a manager it was resolved without my head being on the line, for this time at least.

I have more stories like this, although I have gone on enough. Like I touched on before, if there's interest I will write more of these and I'll share some of my insights. I would prefer to write up about my previous job, as I found it the most rewarding without benefits such as meeting famous people.

Working in the care industry is like a breath of fresh air, if you're prepared to try and make a difference and actually care. The job is the most rewarding and I spent a lot of my free time doing things with the residents who I dearly miss. I took a few to Notts matches, one is related to some very loyal fans who I also think a lot of, as does Jake.

The amazing memories I have of the place, all for speaking to the residents as people and listening. I feel I became a vital part of the home and given a different chance, I would have welcomed to stay on, but things aren't so simple in life.

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I telephone Swindon Town office on a Sunday to check availability of FA Cup tickets and Lou Macari answered the phone. I gibbered and he laughed.

I won't lie I googled the name and it still leaves me clueless, checking wiki it tells me more. Unless my memory is getting the better of me, I don't know of him. :(

Hehe.. Thanks for mentioning :)

@UniPie, Thanks Mate

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest league football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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