A couple of weeks back, at the invitation of Paul & Alex from our office, my partner, Damian, took our son, Jack, along to watch Bradford City play their first home game of the season against Carlisle United. Aside from the under 8’s matches he plays in, Jack’s only other experience of live football had been watching Paul Scholes’ testimonial at Old Trafford.
As exciting as this was for him it certainly didn’t hold the same thrill as the competitive match at Bradford City, the team being newly promoted & keen to build on their success of last season. Now, Jack is not known for his patience, & 3 hours is a long time for an 8 year old to sit, so I was concerned that my boys would be falling out in lumps by the time they got back home. However, on their return quite the opposite was true. Two very excitable “young” men were replaying the match kick by kick in my kitchen & it was a real joy to see how much they had enjoyed the match, helped along by the fact that Bradford won 4-0. I think you could say they had spent real quality time together that afternoon, watching something they clearly love.
At heart they both support Manchester United but found Bradford City much more accessible, being more local to us but also in obtaining tickets. The atmosphere, they said, was how it should be & ideal for a dad taking his young lad to his first match. I’m not sure the same can be said about all clubs. Whilst, in the Premier League, football is all about money these days, I think it is important to remember that, without fans there really isn’t much point to the game. Bradford City seem to be trying really hard to encourage the younger fans to go along to matches & they have certainly worked their magic on my son. He is ever keen to go again, Damian too, & I think they will seriously take a look at the various ticketing options available at Bradford. So, along with his claret & amber football shirt & a new hero in the guise of Nahki Wells, Jack will happily now say that Bradford are awesome & “when can we go again?”