Author Topic: FoF Member Spotlights - Archive  (Read 7970 times)

Offline love4ffc

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FoF Member Spotlights - Archive
« on: May 02, 2016, 06:53:19 PM »
FoF Member Spotlight - Getting to know Lighthouse
« on: December 17, 2015


In an effort to bring the FoF community closer we would like to introduce a brand new feature.....“FoF Member Spotlight”.

This will be a series highlighting a different individual member once a month.  We hope by doing this we can bring the FoF community a little bit closer.  We also hope that just maybe we can bring back some of the lighter, friendlier banter of old. 

If you have any interest in participating please PM me (Love4FFC) to express your interest. 

Our first Member Spotlight will be from Mr. Lighthouse.


Lighthouse Family Fulham

As the train passed the patches of waste ground, I kept pointing to the odd homemade goalpost that festooned every bit of muddy field. I wondered if that was the ground? It was the year after England had won the World Cup. It was the year before the team whose ground we were visiting would become the first English team to win the European Cup. These were the golden years of English Football.

My Dad had dragged us up from the South Coast to Manchester when I was four. In those days, when and if your employers told you to resettle somewhere else, you did. Before I was born, the family had even gone to Africa. My Dad was born in 1910 so he had had a whole life and family before he met my Mum and had his second family. We never really learned why we were cursed to follow Fulham. All I know is that I was brought up on stories of my Dad leaving his house in his school uniform. The only decent set of clothes he had. Walking for hours to reach the ground and waiting for the gates to open to let the crowd out so he could go in and watch the last few minutes.

 As I watched the passing scenery from the train. I was looking forward to a great day.  We were going to see the great Manchester United side of Best, Charlton, Law, play Fulham. Over 60,000 would see United cruise to a 3-0 win. Fulham floundered with Clarke, Barrett, Earle. Haynes didn't play that day and a few weeks later I was in Hospital. I had caught a virus and would be over prescribed a medication that would upset my metabolism. It would cause a problem all my life. Some nice Doctor said I would be dead by the time I was thirty. I wasn't and it taught me to ignore Doctors in the future. However if this wasn't a warning never to follow Fulham again I don’t know what was. But it was a warning I failed to listen to.
From then on I was lucky to see football from both sides. I saw United plenty of times as my Dad's friend had a season ticket and would lend it to us from time to time. Meanwhile as Fulham tumbled down the leagues. I was able to visit the Costa del Burnley, Stockport, Bury, Rochdale, Bolton and all points north. I saw Steve Earle score a hat trick at Stockport. Saw Fred Callaghan come on as sub at Bolton as a make shift forward for his last appearance. Heard endless stories from my Dad of the great players of the Fifties and earlier.

I played football occasionally for my school as a full back or centre half. The over medication meant I had reached puberty before anybody else. So I was tall and big and not too subtle. Sadly I was also not that good. But the team kept me on because they liked my commentating during the match. Apparently there is nothing in the rules about an opposing played describing the match and making remarks about performance. I clearly needed to hang onto my place any way I could.


The first experience I had of visiting Craven Cottage came one Christmas. I had seen Fulham in umpteen grounds and by luck we were visiting some relatives in Putney, Naturally this gave me an excuse to go with my Dad to The Cottage. Without records books I would be lost. I remember clearly that it was Boxing Day. But it wasn't as we played away to Gillingham that day. It was a day later on the 27th  December 1969  that Fulham entertained Barrow and won 2-1.

Fans talk about the special atmosphere of The Cottagel. I had been to Old Trafford a number of times. Been to many other grounds. But I remember that first visit to the Cottage very well. A Jewish Gentleman asked us if we would like to buy some tickets his family were not using and join him in the Stand. Yes he was making money but as a kid I felt delighted how friendly everybody seemed. The atmosphere was special. Less then ten thousand were there but that day I swear the Cottage could talk. It is the only ground you never feel alone in. Despite the fact that there were times when I was literally the only one standing there. It wouldn't be until my Dad retired, I had left school and the family had returned to The South Coast, that I would regularly spend time at the Cottage.

Over the years I have worked fifteen-hour shifts, watched Fulham and then gone straight back to work. I have travelled back from Scotland from a holiday to The South Coast, picked up a mate and then watched the game. I have had non-football fans suddenly catch the Fulham Flu. Countless friends and family have all been drawn to the ground. However despite Cup Finals, Europa Finals and Premier fixtures. The biggest thrill I had in watching Fulham came in the era of Best and Marsh. I still remember the whole circus and that game against Hereford. There have been better matches and more exciting ones. But walking away that day from the ground I felt I had experienced something we would never see again. The joy of seeing George Best at the beginning of his career at Old Trafford and seeing him at Fulham was the greatest thrill I had. Watching the greatest Footballer I had ever seen bookend his career.

The most nervous I have ever been watching Fulham was the promotion game against Lincoln. They had to win and we could afford a draw. Not sure many fans slept well the week before. We managed to hold onto a draw. Roger Brown scoring a towering header. Then holding on and praying for the final whistle.

I have seen great players, awful players and had some great and sad times following the club. Listening to a transistor radio, trying to tune into LBC for a report while at work. Lied and cheated to get time off to see us play. Watching Bobby Moore play his last game at The Cottage involved so much skulduggery and lies to my boss at the time. That I am amazed I had the nerve and wit to pull it off.

As time goes on and life happens. I tend to feel less like a drug influenced addict waiting for my next Fulham fix. Nowadays it isn’t the same. I tend not to go as much. Financial constraints are one good excuse. But the thrill isn’t quite there anymore. Friends and family have mostly passed on and are watching from the good seats upstairs. I hope to make a return one-day. But the memory remains the greatest thrill. Sad to say that I have ended relationships and lost jobs all because of Fulham. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the World. 

Offline love4ffc

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Re: FoF Member Spotlights - Archive
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 06:56:02 PM »
FoF Member Spotlight - Getting to know Rogerpinvirginia
« on: January 07, 2016



Our first installment for the New Year is Rogerpinvirginia

I was born Haslemere in Surrey in 1950.  Grew up playing football throughout my youth.  Some of my footballing highlights that come to mind.  I once had a 15/20 minute trial for Chelsea.  Sadly Frank Blunstone quickly sent me packing.  I did however play 6 minutes in the FA Cup as a sub.  We were losing 6-0 when I came on and that’s exactly how the game ended.    :0)    I did however get to represent the Heathrow Airport in Prague in the World Airport/Airline Cup!!

My first Fulham game I was 11 years old, 1961 and I stood in the bottom corner of what is now known as the Riverside at the Putney end.  I do not recall who that game was against but I do recall the game when Utd thumped us 3-0.  I have to admit, back then I alternated between Fulham and Brentford. 

At the age of 18 I realized I was not going to have a brilliant career in Football so I went to work as a Butlin’s Redcoat.  I trained as croupier at The London Playboy Club and then spent 2 years working in a casino in Ramsar, Iran and was subsequently headhunted for positions in Sydney, Mallorca (Balearic Islands) as Assistant Training Manager and Cadiz as an Assistant Manager. 

On my return to the UK I started my own business in the Entertainment/Special Events industry, being the first company in Europe providing Corporate Fun and Fund-raising Casino Evenings.  This evolved over a 20 year period into becoming the UK's primary supplier of Entertainments, Team-building, Live production, Convention cabaret, Product launches, and all manner of events.  During this duration I had regular corporate clients that included: Ford, AT&T, 19 of the top 20 Hotels in London, Stately Homes, Castles, Hewlett Packard, BMW, Sony, Toshiba, Jaguar and over 500 others companies. 

A few other things I am proud to have done during my entertainment days are as follows:
•   Organized entertainment for HM The Queen for her staff party at Windsor Castle
•   Travelled Europe for 5 years as manager of an Irish Dance show
•   Organized entertainment for Richard Branson in Delhi
•   Arranged entertainment for an event tended by President Chirac in the Palais de Congress
•   Co-wrote a stage musical that was performed on stage near Washington DC for 13 nights.
Arranged all of the events and activities for Coca Cola's 100th Anniversary at Woburn Abbey

Sometime during my entertainment providing days I got married.  While my marriage did not last we did produce two lovely daughters.  One named Katie and the other named Sally.  Sadly only Sally is a black and white fan.  In fact from 1995-2001 Sally and I watched almost every game, both home and away (including cup games). 

After being divorced for 10 years I got fed up with being happy and married an exquisite women from the States named Ida.  Once married I moved to the States with my daughter Katie and her two children.  I now happily reside in Virginia with Ida and have not been back to the UK since August of 2002.  For this reason I sadly never did get to see us in the Premiership this last period.

It’s been a long time since I have been able to watch a live game with Sally.   I am going back next July to give my daughter Sally away to a great geezer, James.  Sally is still going to CC a couple of times a year, normally with my brother who is a Wolves supporter. 

It’s sad Sally is getting married off-season but Dannyboi has promised to ensure a pre-season friendly for me to go and meet a few of this lot on here  :0)

Cheers,

Rogerpinvirginia


Offline love4ffc

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Re: FoF Member Spotlights - Archive
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 06:58:23 PM »
FoF Member Spotlight - Getting to Know Mr. Peabody
« on: February 22



Our second edition this year is from Mr. Peabody. 

I was born in Jan 1939 and lived in Chancellors Road until we were bombed out and subsequently moved the short distance to Peabody Buildings on the Fulham Palace Road.

I attended Melcombe School and Latymer Foundation, (now, sadly no longer in existence).   On leaving school I started work as an apprentice printer.  My apprenticeship was interrupted by two years while I performed National Service in the Royal Artillery where I got stationed at Famugusta Cyprus, Shorncliffe, Kent. 

When I finished my apprenticeship I had several jobs in general print.  Eventually I joined Westminster Bank (later NatWest) at their print works in Harlesden.  There I stayed until 1998, when I took early retirement due to the Bank outsourcing its print work.  I then temped until 2004 when I retired.

During my temping period, I was fortunate to work for Fulham on matchdays in the Information Booth.  One of the funniest thing during my days in the information booth was for every home game there was one individual who would approach us and ask "is Rufus playing today?"   This happened for every home game and in the end we would say every time "well, when we spoke to Kevin (Keegan) he said he was". This seemed to satisfy him and off he would trot.  That is until Rufus was injured.  The next game he came and told us he would never trust information from us again.

As for the start of my Fulham involvement, in 1946, when I was seven, my Father suddenly died and my Mothers brother, awaiting demob and as a distraction took me to Fulham, we played Luton Town and won 2-1 and that was that.  I became a very young Fulham supporter that has remained true to this day.  Though now, I’m an old supporter.  My favorite players are numerous Beddy Jezzard, Johnny Haynes Jimmy Langley Graham Leggett and Tony Macedo.  To be truthful the list could go on and on. 
One of the many fond memories I have of Fulham, was there used to be a cafe in Hammersmith Broadway called The Oddis.  It was Italian.  After training, you would always find Joe Bacuzzi, Harry Freeman, Arthur Stevens and others in there.  They all used to go there after training and would always sign autographs, for anyone.  They never turned us kids away.  Not sure that today’s players would be so approachable in my opinion.

Since my first game at age seven I have suffered and enjoyed everything that this bloody team can throw at me.  In the end though I wouldn't have it any other way.

Cheers,

Mr. Peabody


Offline love4ffc

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Re: FoF Member Spotlights - Archive
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 06:59:32 PM »
FoF Member Spotlight - Getting to know MJG
« on: April 27, 2016



This issue of our Member's Spotlight feature MJG. 

So where do we start?

Almost 50 years ago in Chiswick was born MJG to a Scottish mother and English father. Always useful on sporting occasions if one of the other is taking part. The vast majority of my childhood was spent on the Alton Estate in Roehampton. My family were actually moved there from Kings Cross in the 50’s and were one of the first families to live on the estate. I went to the same primary school as my father and his brother and sister. I never fully escaped Roehampton till 1997, having moved away for a little while I ended up buying a place similar to our old council house.

From Roehampton I ended up in Harlington with a nice view of the planes lining up on the north runway at Heathrow. Lived there for about 3 years and since then it’s been Southfields, Tolworth, Woking and now currently in Feltham. Only time I ventured out of the west/south west part of London was 6 months in Dulwich back in the early 90’s. Once my visa expired I moved back to safety of a SW postcode.

Well that’s where I have lived now what about work. After leaving Wandsworth Boys school in 83 (during my school years I sang on the Palladium stage and had a speaking part in Minder) I found myself on a YTS £25 PW office course. This led me to working for a couple of Travel Companies and Airlines. Most interesting one was working for El Al (Israel) airline in Regents Street. Remember this was 84 and tensions were high so you can imagine the security just to get through the front door.  After finishing the course I stayed in travel and went to work for a company called Vantage Travel. All was going well and then I went out for lunch, came back and LBC radio were at the door. They had gone bust…during my lunch hour!!! Anyway went to work for another company and then they went bust as well….’MIke this is not for you’ was my main thought.

What next? Friend of the family gets me a interview which led to a job with the Post Office working on the counter (Glorified Stamp seller as my old man called it). I thought I’d settle for that for a year or two. Anyway when I left almost 20 years later I had gone from a counter clerk to trouble shooter manager for poorly performing offices (Hounslow PO being the pinnacle of that job….but I’ll keep that for another day) and finally roaming the country closing Sub Offices and upsetting locals who went to them maybe once a year.

Redundancy taken I decide a few months improving the golf handicap and take it easy. Which I did, but in the end you need to work and then started 4 years in estate agency. Loved the job and wish I was still in it, but then the bankers screwed us all over and after 2 week in sunny Spain I came back to work at 8:30 on a Monday morning and by 10:30 I was talking to Reed Employment about what to do next.
Best thing that ever happened. I’m now into my 7th year with a great organisation. It’s a Trade Association, my job is sales and membership and it’s a life Safety business so there is a feeling you’re doing some good.

Wait did someone just say what about Fulham? I have my dad to blame for that. He took me around a lot of clubs because he used to sell rosettes with his brother when I was really young.  But he was a Fulham fan and I know we went to games where Best and Marsh played, but I was never interested. In all honesty my father had left my mum and these were ‘Saturdays’ together and I resented him even at 10/11 years old. I remember as a kid having a Spurs top at one stage. Football was never really that important, FA cup final passed me by.

But then September 1978, Stoke at home, Two Nil win, Ray Evans playing at right back, Davies and Guthrie playing, I was hooked. ‘Dad when's the next game’ was said for the first time. Preston at home, 5-3, Nobby Stiles jumping about on the pitch, a great OG.

And from then to now it’s been Fulham Football Club. The one constant throughout my life. I’ve moved, I’ve fallen out with family; I’ve had numerous relationships and various jobs. But there at the end of Finaly Road is the club I love.

I’m not sure it’s possible to say why, but one reason is you can forget about your life for those couple of hours. You can shout, let off steam, laugh (Plenty of that over the years), cry, meet friends, meet family and also sometimes you get to leave a ground having really enjoyed a great win.

I have never been great at remembering results of games I saw or who even played. But over the last 38 years I have missed maybe around 20 home games. I did a couple of years where I went home and away every game and certainly last season and this is the closest I’ve done that since the late 80’s.

The mid to late 80’s were a troubled period for the club and fans. Its then I got involved with the action groups and supporters club. The fans in that period are why we now have a club. There were only a few thousand of us going and the football was mainly shocking, but it was our club and we fought for it.

Being on the SC committee led me to being the supporter’s rep who meet with the board (Jimmy Hill and the Muddyman’s) and also Lewington was there at times. I did that for about a year and was very eye opening. We could quite possibly be playing in a 10K stadium in Tolworth given some of the conversations I heard in those meetings. Jimmy Hill was not easy to deal with. He was very much of the view if you haven’t played the game then your view on those matters meant little. Of course didn’t stop me telling him what I thought. He once bought me a drink which I’m led to believe by his wife was a very rare occurrence and I should get a T Shirt made up.

I became ill towards the end of that year and had to leave the role and also the supporters club. Throughout the 90’s I continued to go but stayed away from getting involved and was just a fan. It’s great looking back that from the Torquay away game to the Euro Final we were all able to watch the club grow and become something none of us could have foreseen back in 87.

I now find myself back involved in a supporters group with the FST. It has its critics and I was one of them. That’s why I joined it and stood for the committee. I wanted to find out what this secret society was all about.  All I can say is that they are Fulham fans who want the best, have little power but do have a dialogue with the club over a very wide range of issues.

What’s left to talk about?

Away from Fulham I have never married and have no kids. Last long term (16 years) relationship ended last year but always looking for the next ex-girlfriend. But enjoy the usual arty stuff, films and theatre, holidays (This is sounding like a lonely hearts ad) and as those who follow me on twitter I do enjoy using that a lot.

Sporting wise was never that good, but I was a decent manager of a few Sunday sides. Still play over 35’s football when I can, very much the type of full back Tim Ream is, never to get over the halfway line.

Anyway hope that’s not bored you too much

Thanks

Mike


Offline love4ffc

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Re: FoF Member Spotlights - Archive
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2016, 08:34:14 PM »
 FoF Member Spotlight - Getting to know Silver Fox
« on: May 26, 2016, 07:49:14 AM »

My Fulham memories and experiences, by Brian Cobb, aka French Connection Silver Fox.

In April 1963, as a 10 year-old boy, living in Wimbledon, I played in my local primary school football team. A school team from Liverpool came down for a weekend as part of an exchange programme, each of us having a Liverpudlian staying with his family. We played their team on theSaturday morning and we all went to Craven Cottage to see Fulham v Liverpool in the afternoon. Iwas mesmerised by the atmosphere and the excitement. Although the score finished 0-0, I was hooked.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, I went to about 12-15 home games a season, up until I moved to France in 1976. Although the ability of players like Johnny Haynes and Graham Leggat was amazing, I found the speed, guile and style of Les Barrett and Jimmy Conway were breathtaking. They were unquestionably my heroes. The long runs of Fred Callaghan were always a source of great joy even if the finishing fierce shot often ended up high on the terraces. He trundled back, huffing and puffing to shouts of “good ol’ Fred” from the terraces.

Match days were a heady combination of sights, sounds and smells. The journey to the ground was by underground to Putney Bridge. I bought a programme just by the underpass at the bridgeand walked through Bishop’s Park. The smell of the river still reminds me of match days. Getting closer to the ground, the river smell was replaced by the sweet smell of frying onions from the burgher stands. The shouts of the programme sellers and the bright floodlights heightened the sense of anticipation.

We used to enter the ground at the Putney End and then wander around to the Thamesbank (Riverside stand nowadays). Of course,  then you could walk around the ground to both ends. We used to stand by the centreline until we knew which way Fulham were playing inthe 1st half and then go behind the goal closest to the end we were attacking, changing ends at half-time.

Sometimes, I went with a friend up to the Cottage during the week during school holidays to collect autographs after training. The ground was never closed in those days so you could walk in and go around the pitch. On one occasion, we came across Mike Pentecost hobbling around on crutches, recovering from a broken leg. He spent a long time talking to us and was very friendly.

Who were some of the other Fulham players who left their mark on my memory?Cliff Jones was probably the best header of the ball I’ve seen. I couldn’t believe anyone could jump so high and get so much power when heading. Ian Seymour was undoubtedly the bravest keeper I’ve ever seen. Many a time he finished a game with face cuts and bruises, having dived at the feet of opposition strikers.I am privileged to have seen many great opposition players at the Cottage.

Apart from the great English club players of the era, two other players come to mind. 1972 saw the opening of the
Riverside stand. It was marked by a friendly with Benfica (We won 3-2), featuring the great Eusebio. What a talented player. The following year we beat Santos in a friendly 2-1 and so we got to see Pelé play at the Cottage too.

My most memorable Fulham games came just a couple of years later when we played Birmingham in the FA Cup semi-final on  5th April 1975 at Hillsborough. I managed to get a ticket for the semi-final and a whole bunch of us piled into a minibus for the drive up to Sheffield. It was cold, wet, raining and snowing but the atmosphere behind the Fulham goal was electric. When John Mitchell’s volley flew into the roof of the net, we were in heaven. The excitement was tempered by Birmingham’s late equalizer but there was no way we could miss the replay. That Fulham team carried us on a wave of ecstasy that season. I managed to buy a ticket for the replay and so, 4 days later, we all piled into the same minibus for the long trip up to Manchester. I have never, before or since, been on such tenterhooks throughout a game. We were packed in behind the Fulham goal and when John Mitchell bundled the winner (1-0) over the line at the end of extra time we all went crazy.  That minibus danced and sang all the way back down the M1 back to London. I got home, hoarse and happy about 5am. I don’t know how I managed to get up for work that morning.

Who was the my most under-rated Fulham player? I would say Alan Slough. His work rate was phenomenal. He was the archetypal box-to-box player. A great tackler and passer with a good shot.The most entertaining game I saw during that period of my life was definitely Fulham v Hereford in 1976 (4-1 win). My Fulham heroes were supplemented by Bobby Moore, Alan Mullery,Rodney Marsh and George Best. It was unbelievable seeing so much creative talent in the same team. The great Les Barrett seemed naturally at home in such illustrious company.

After moving to France, getting married to lovely a French girl (been married 37 years now) and having 2 children, it became difficult (and expensive) to get back to Fulham games. I could only manage a few games a year. I tried to get my kids hooked on Fulham as I have been. Unfortunately, their 1st game was a wet, boring 0-0 draw against Charlton on Boxing Day, 2001. My daughter found Louis Saha “cute” and I’m afraid the Fulham shirt with the “Pizza Hut” logo came a poor second to Arsenal’s “Dreamcast” which was all the rage at the time. However, my daughter has been back to Fulham a few times and could be called a lapsed fan.

My great memories of Fulham games often seem to be accompanied by snow. American Mike and Miss Witch came over to Lyon in 2009 and we drove up to Basel for the Europa League game. The amazing atmosphere before and after the game in the local pub was matched by the fans’ super support during the match. It was a wonderful 3-2 away win. Cold and snow? What snow?

Ever since I first went to Fulham in 1963,  it has been my dream to watch a Fulham game from the Cottage balcony which is reserved for players’ families and their guests. I mentioned this to Matthew Briggs’ mum who is a friend of mine. I shall be eternally grateful for her kind invitationto watch Fulham v Man City from the Cottage balcony.  It was an amazing experience to chat to players (who weren’t playing or were out injured) and their families in the relaxed atmosphere of their lounge. There was really only one dish I could have for lunch: Cottage pie - scrumptious. I had a long conversation with Moussa Dembele’s dad who drove over from Antwerp, Belgium for every home game to watch his son play. It’s odd because you don’t feel like a fan on the Cottagebalcony, you feel like part of the Fulham family.

I only manage to get back to the UK for a couple of games a season nowadays but I always look forward to these trips. It means either flying back to London from France or a long 13 hour drive and also planning a trip to see my parents when Fulham are playing at home.  I am fortunate that I have lots of Fulham friends who can get me a ticket for games. I look forward to these trips immensely, not only because they are rare but because it is opportunity to meet up with so many Fulham friends I have made over the years. The list would be too long to put here but you know who you are. It never ceases to amaze me that we have so many interesting people following Fulham from various countries, cultures and from all walks of life.

On each visit, I always spare a thought for John Ellen, such a lovely man, talented writer and dedicated Fulham fan whom I had the privilege of meeting before a game a few years ago. On my last trip, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Jim McGullion and Sean Davis. I particularly enjoyed this as they are a lifeline to Fulham ex-pats and fans who can’t get to games. They bring each game alive through their commentary and their passion for Fulham shines through when you meet them. I hope the French chocolate I brought them gave them some warmth up on that draughty gantry.

The one Fulham player I have seen recently who, I believe, has the ability to lead England one day, is Patrick Roberts. It’s a shame he didn’t get more opportunities at Fulham to learn his trade in the Championship. I just hope that his present club help him realize his fantastic potential and nurture his natural talent.

I have been following Fulham for 52 years now but still feel like a 10 year-old every time I approach the Cottage on match days and hear the cheer go up when the lads come out on the pitch.

Come On You Whites!

Offline love4ffc

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Re: FoF Member Spotlights - Archive
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2016, 08:35:30 PM »
In this edition of our FoF Member spotlight we have our first Fulham fan from across the pond. 

FoF Member Spotlight - Getting to know YankeeJim
« on: June 17, 2016, 01:06:07 PM »


My father was an old WWII guy who stayed in the navy after the war. I went to 8 different schools in 6 different states my first 8 years of school. Add my time in the military and I've lived in 8 different states, three of them twice and one three times and never lived in the same house for more than three years until I bought this one in 1987. I'm retired now from spending 28 years with a major insurance company as an auto field rep. That probably explains my propensity to argue. Sorry! The only time I've ever seen the Whites play live was when they made the Jacksonville run right after Khan bought the team. Only an exhibition but Dembele had a hat trick and I met a bunch of great Fulham fans. For sure, next time the Whites grace America again, I'll be there. My aim is to find my way to the Cottage, money and health permitting. My ancestors were German on my mother's side and Scot on my dad's so I'll  need to visit the Tower of London and look for remains as well. LOL

How does a yank from SoCal discover real football, much less Fulham? Well, its start when your youngest son comes to you and says, "you always play baseball with Jimmy (my oldest), how about playing soccer with me". My oldest was a very good athletic while the youngest was small for his age and didn't like the normal sports. A few neighbors and I got together and formed an AYSO league and I soon found myself referring and coaching two different teams. Every other year my boys were on different team. The teams are grouped by age and the boys are a year apart. Anyway, both boys played some high school football and then drifted away from the game as they grew older.

I missed it and watched the rebroadcast of a show from Old Blighty that was something like Match of the Day. That was before MLS and about when the USA finally qualified for the World Cup. I still remember the 1992 WC first game, a team consisting of 5 college kids and 6 pros no one ever heard of was blasted by the Czechs 5-1. Well, it was a beginning. From that, I started following Americans as they went to Europe and found that I liked the frenzy of the English game rather than the grab the knee and scream of the Italians. Eddie Lewis was picked up by FFC and that's how I first noticed the Whites. He didn't do so well but shorty after that Claudio Reyna went to Citi. He got some action and did ok for a while but when he fell out of form the Citi fans were bloody ugly towards him. Hence, my distaste for all things Manchester.

Then, it happened, my favorite player of all time got a run out at Preston and than the next year found a home along the Thames. Brian McBride was welcomed by you lot for his effort and heart. That fairness made Fulham and especially Fulham fans, very attractive. I hopped all over the internet chasing Fulham matches, even to the point of destroying one computer and damaging another by the fly by night sites that had a stream of a match. At some point, in one of the chat rooms, somebody mentioned FOF. I tried it and liked it. I found friendship, abet electronically so, from Corked Hat, Finnister and others.  I enjoyed Peabody's jokes and HatterDon's grumpiness, Logicalman's logic, the illumination of Lighthouse, the warmth of Kcat, bike stories from RidgeRider, Roger's pen and even the petty squabbles.  Admin ran a good site. Than came the Great Escape. I still see that through ball from Danny finding Kamara in full stride at Citi. Wow! Then the Euro run capped with Digger's goal. I cried with pride.

Fulham has been a joy and every August I burst with optimism. Just wait until next year!