IT’S A JOURNEY…
Football. It’s different nowadays, isn’t it. An entire generation has now grown up following their team without directly interacting with them. To us at County this is an alien concept. When the nation’s televisions are turned on, we feel turned off. While glory is thin on the ground here, there’s a tangible realism which cannot be felt from an armchair.
…AND IT’S YOUR JOURNEY
Did you like football better when watching your team live meant pulling on a big coat and a squeezing through a turnstile? Or maybe you’re too young to remember the game pre-Sky TV but you don’t fancy following the crowd? Whoever you are, you’re welcome here and this is your bluffer’s guide to a real football club – not that you’re the sort to need one.
County have been around since 1883. Pretty much all of that time has been spent situated less than 10 miles from one of the most successful clubs in the world, Manchester United, and less than seven miles from one of the richest clubs in the world, Manchester City.
Most people in Stockport understandably favour the more illustrious duo, but the fact Stockport County still exists proves that somewhere around here some people appreciate being genuinely part of something ‘different’.
When County score a goal, we leave our seats because that’s what we’ve always done. We don’t reach for our expensive camera to capture the moment, nor do we look for the nearest television camera to show off to.
We are defined by 130 years of fighting against adversity and the fact we are still here is a triumph to compare with many a famous trophy. Success always attracts the majority, but we define it differently.
County’s nickname is ‘The Hatters’. Luton Town’s nickname is also ‘The Hatters’. One or two County fans actually care that both towns made completely different styles of hat – but 99.99% of us don’t. Mostly we just refer to our team as County.
Workers in the hat trade in Stockport were far more likely to go mad than those from Luton. This is also true of the fans. Not in a ‘hey, we’re absolutely bonkers we are’ way, just ‘mad’.
You don’t need to get your football in north London to experience the Emirates!
Edgeley Park (County’s ground) lies on the flight path of Manchester Airport. Watch in awe as the A380 double-decker (somehow) lumbers its way over the Main Stand on its way from Dubai. How does it stay up in the air? If anyone should know, County fans should.
But we don’t.
We had a really good piece written about the manager and we’re a bit cross that we can no longer publish it.
We alternate between blue and white striped shirts, blue shirts, white shirts, and even the Argentina kit. Changing shirts is our tradition, and also helps keep sales up in the club shop as last season’s shirt can never be passed off as the current issue. Marketing genius.
The added bonus is that when you head off on your summer holidays, people will take time out from looking at the bare chests of the beach to staring at the badge on yours because the vague blue and whiteness won’t be enough to identify your team. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. But it is a thing.
Which team holds the Football League record for consecutive wins without conceding a goal? Which team holds the Football League record for the biggest home win? Find out more about our heritage and our other, less impressive Football League record (which we don’t talk about) on our Wikipedia page.
Vernon Bear is our mascot. Vernon disappeared for a few years after an altercation with a child-frightener of a mascot called Harry the Hatter. Harry vanished as quickly as he came but Vernon remained elusive.
In the interim period, County fans were entertained by dull double act Animo and Fide – supposedly the product of Vernon’s endeavours one beer-soaked night in Cobden’s (i.e. They could have been anybody’s).
Eventually, Vernon finished serving his ‘holiday’ and returned in 2012 to take up his rightful place as our mascot. For the most part his antics amuse people of all ages, but he’s still a bit edgy in public after his confinement, so show him some respect and there’ll be no trouble, right.
When do County fans get excited?
Our expectations are lower than a David Bowie album (yes, the one called Low) and we’re rarely disappointed.
This is the beauty of following County. We are fans of simple pleasures. We know the finesse and grace which is replayed on television is going to visit us only fleetingly, so the blood and thunder of a crunching tackle is what gets us off (our seats).
Our players earn less than you probably do and while it might show at times in their first touch, they more than make up for it with good, old-fashioned spirit.
As recently as March 2013, some younger fans were found to be copying the songs of other teams.
To those who cling stubbornly to our 1990s heyday, this simply wouldn’t do. Our songbook is as good as any, so in true 1984 fashion the youngsters were taken to John Fitzpatrick’s yard and emerged four hours later reciting our spine-tingling anthem, The Scarf. They also learned the song sung to brighten many a 1980’s defeat, Arthur Brownlow, word for word, including the bit where you make a “bwbwbw” sound with your lips.
This is how we pass down our unique songs – we let an old man with white hair (who we trust unquestioningly) take our youngsters in his yard and teach them the ‘old ways’. What could possibly go wrong?
County’s anthem is ‘The Scarf’. We sing passionately and emotionally about our father being a County fan like his grandfather before. In all likelihood neither of them were County fans at all, so we sing it on behalf of future generations because we will make sure that they are blessed with the love of a proper football club by passing the scarf on to them. You like tradition don’t you? This is tradition. And this is why you will join the Co-op.
Who are our fans?
Hemmed in on almost all sides by Mancunian footballing prosperity, we maintain a fierce pride based on whatever we can muster. Like any club, we say that we have the best fans in the world, but really we’re just like every other club. We have the best fans in the world.