Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Final Visit

I made my final visit to Layer Road today, to collect my seat. It's funny that I call it 'my' seat. I never really owned it, just the right to sit in it. But anyway, since I didn't win anything in the auction at the weekend I decided to take up the club's kind offer so that I have my own memento of Layer Road.

It was a strange sight that met me at the ground. Heavy el
ectric cables snaking across the ground, large strips of turf missing from the playing area, turnstiles ready for collection, very few signs left behind, and the Barside crush barriers had been removed. I had visions of the Col U faithful having been finally unleashed onto the playing surface and wandering around the ground looking for some away supporters to insult.

I chatted with a few people who were also there assisting with the last rites. One gentleman was lifting some turf to place on the grave of a friend (a Colchester United supporter). For me that was probably the most appropriate use of the hallowed playing surface. I'm not particularly religious but I do wonder if all those people whose ashes have been scattered here have been considered in the move. Will their spirits move with us to Cuckoo Farm?

After wandering aimlessly myself around parts of the pitch and the back alleys and then sitting in the stands for a few moments it was time to leave. I was sure I could hear the faint sound of music playing somewhere in the distance - 'Danny Boy' I think.

"Don't look back" someone once said - look forward, onward, Onward Christian Soldiers - sorry, I'm going down the religious path again. But then, football IS a religion. It stirs up emotions in much the same way. Most wars are fought over a religious issue or belief. I believe we can win the League this year. Bring on Southend, Leeds, Millwall, Gillingham, and all the rest. It's off to Cuckoo Farm for the next campaign. What time's the next bus?

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