By Maria Horner and Karen
I used to hate football. It’s a strong word ‘hate’. I’m from a family of girls, and being small and of a slight build (I was then!) sport did not come naturally and was not encouraged. I saw football as boring and pointless. It all seemed a big fuss about things which didn’t matter to me. My exposure to football was avoiding ‘Grandstand’ on a Saturday and seeing TV news coverage of the trouble caused by ‘fans’ before and after matches; shouting, aggression, spitting, chair throwing – it confirmed I was right that it was something to be avoided.
Lets skip through the following twenty eight years (I’m just trying to keep my age down rather than rounding myself up to 48 !): a job involving broadcasting the football results (I once amended a score switching the teams around because it sounded better because I didn’t realise the home team score went first, Michael Hortin put me right with an early phone call on a Sunday morning !). It also meant I followed the highs of Keith Alexander’s side and the trials and tribulations off the pitch through John Beck, John Reames and the supporters buying the club out of financial ruin.
The fact I bore a son (I know gender stereotyping!) lead me to buying my first tickets to see a live game. He was about six or seven, I thought it would be a good thing for him to support his local team if he was going to support football. It was freezing, grey and lonely and even I could tell the Imps did not play well. We tried a couple more times and in the end I settled on sending him to the holiday club’s at the ground instead.
My life underwent significant change, the new man in my life loves football and the new teenager in my house had someone to ‘talk football’ with. As a means of flexing his emerging independence the teenager was off to Sincil Bank with his mates at the start of the Cowley zeitgeist. I was quite happy to go along to the odd match ‘to show willing’.....
So what? My change of heart has been documented (The early Facebook phase of L.I.S.A). I realised I fell in love when we hosted York in the FA Trophy. For me it’s brought me closer to the two most important people in my life. The values being celebrated and embedded in our club excite me. I have great optimism for what the club can achieve for itself, the supporters and for our wider community. But what has made a real difference and brings me constant joy are your stories, thoughts and the difference being an Imp makes to you.... I asked Karen to share her story and I think you’ll agree she’s made a sound choice....
"I've supported Lincoln City for as long as I can remember. My dad took me to the matches when I was a little kid and he sat me on the wall on the halfway line. I was there through the Graham Taylor years, through the highs and the real lows. Now I'm half a century old and I'm taking my son, who is now 13. My husband has also supported Lincoln all his life and with his son we now go as a family.
Last season, like so many supporters, I knew we had something special going on with Danny and Nicky at the helm, they had captured my heart and he hearts of other supporters. I just wanted to go to every match. Unfortunately this wasn't possible as I worked shifts and worked two weekends in four. After we lifted the trophy after beating Macclesfield in April this year, I decided then that I needed a Monday to Friday job so I could see my beloved team at the weekends.
So my out of season mission began. Whilst Danny was searching for players to compliment his amazing team I was searching for that job that would allow me to share the Football league with them. Fortunately I found one within the same company. I didn't hesitate to leave a department that I had worked in for 32 years and set off on another career path, I needed to do this to see my team, some say I'm crazy, I just think I'm making changes to be able to have some quality family time following a team we love. I am loving my weekends now, Saturday supporting Lincoln City and Sunday with the U14s team me and my husband run.. to say our household love football is a bit of an understatement."
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