wish I had found this earlier!
Well you could say im either new to Fulham, or maybe ive followed them all my conscious life?
As a youngster, spent the ages of 6 to 10 playing football, or soccer. At that age, all you see on the tele in Australia is man u, and as a striker at the time, how could you not love Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole teaming up together? At about age 10, I started playing Rugby League and Rugby and really made a go of it, playing overseas and against the likes of the Ulster Youth Squad, playing first grade in the local Newcastle league etc etc.
While from age 10 to 14 I didnt really follow soccer, I jumped back into it in 2005 and was drawn to Fulham from the only name that was prominent, Andy Cole. I watched when I could and followed fairly passively.
In 2007/08, Fulham changed my life, to be completely honest. I went to London to play rugby in Jan 2007, I didnt get to any games as we werent allowed to leave the hotel without the whole team etc, but I did make a walk past the cottage, and it felt like home. Id had a really depressing Knee injury on that trip that all but ended my rugby career before it started, I was going home to Newcastle to play in the Newcastle Knights under 20s side, one step from the best Rugby League competition in the world. I had racked up some depression and insomnia amongst other issues, and what did I find on the tele every week, a comfort in fox sports viewers choice. I picked up intensely following fulham during our great escape, right when Hodgson got to the club. The games at Man City and Pompey still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Id found something that was a bit of happiness amongst a pretty dark time in my life. I then moved to Brisbane in 2009 to try to get into some unis and get out of the small town where i felt there wasnt much of a future, however the breakdown of a relationship with the girl id been with since i was 15, so 4 years, left me alone in a sharehouse of international students who didnt speak english in a full time job that was paying me junior wages, 75% of minimum wage, without the energy or opportunity to get out and make friends, so Fulham once again became the refuge, watching us rise to 7th that year was amazing.
Ive since come home to Newcastle to be with my mother who got sick, and look after the house a bit as dad has to work a lot more, Fulham has become a bonding session for me and my mum, we sit up together and watch every game as she is always up late with chemo going on. Having so many games this year has given me a great opportunity to have great times with mum, but I must admit when she does get tired and go to bed, I can fully let out the hushed fist pumps at every goal and save.
So im Fulham because, no matter what was happening in my life, Fulham was a constant. Id instantly fell in love with the culture that the club emits, and once they had reeled me in, there was no way I would be leaving.
Ill be over in January 2011, not long now, and staying for two months. Finally realising a dream.