HERALD EXPRESS - FANS' ZONE 22/04/2020
Updated: May 2, 2020
Nick Brodrick, TUST board member and Supporter Liaison Officer, has recently contributed articles to the Non-League Football Paper and the Herald Express. He has now been given the opportunity to write a weekly column for the latter under the heading "Fans' Zone". His first piece from this week's edition is reproduced below.
Nick is a retired headteacher, life-long supporter and season ticket holder in the Family Stand. He travels from his home in North Somerset to all home games and TUST meetings.
YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE
Welcome to my ﬁrst weekly column discussing a fans’ view of life in lockdown. This time a year ago we were all wildly celebrating the club becoming National League South champions following a 2-0 home win over Eastbourne Borough, the culmination of a season transformed by the arrival of Gary Johnson. I suspect that, despite all his positivity and vast managerial experience, little did he know when he replaced Gary Owers that his promises would be fulﬁlled before the season’s end. And what an occasion we were to look forward to in a packed Plainmoor at the ﬁnal home match against Hungerford on a warm, sunny late April Saturday as the players entered the pitch against a sea of gold waving ﬂags. Now fast forward…..In these unprecedented times clearly the coronavirus pandemic is very much, and quite rightly, the most important matter on people’s minds as we all follow the Government’s instructions to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. But how many of us are missing our Saturday ﬁx? Those of us suﬀering Saturday football withdrawal symptoms are having to ﬁnd other occupations: home schooling maybe, getting to grips with those challenging maths questions, or gardening or painting a bedroom and, of course, not forgetting taking the dog for your’s and its one walk of the day. Social media is awash with ingenious ideas for keeping busy but non more so than Captain Tom Moore raising a phenomenal amount of money for the NHS walking his garden and now singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with Michael Ball.
From one fantastic captain to another as Gulls’ skipper, Asa Hall, gave an exclusive upbeat and positive interview for last week’s Yellow Army podcast in which he explained how he’s keeping his body and mind strong through his weekly exercises and running along with quiz competitions with wife and teammates. Asa, like all us fans, is dreaming of when football is back on the calendar.
What can we expect when that day comes? There is an argument that says many football fans will once again ﬂock back to stadiums in a carnival atmosphere but on the other side of the coin there are likely to be those who will, for one reason or another, have fallen out of love with football. As the TUST supporter liaison oﬃcer I really think that local fans will return to Plainmoor because clubs like Torquay United are the heart and soul of the community and in the years it will take to restore trust and faith in rebuilding society, football clubs will need their loyal supporters more than ever and vice versa. That Tom Moore and Michael Ball chose “You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to sing , what is a famous football anthem cannot be a coincidence. And what a powerful message it sends out, one of hope and togetherness; roll on football restarting To all fellow Yellow Army fans, stay safe.
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