Wrooster I used to be younger and unmarried I all the time assumed that, after I had a son or daughter, they’d apply in my footsteps. Certain, they won’t spend years running in a decision centre or develop a extremely doubtful chin-fluff goatee of their early twenties, however I believed they’d reproduction some issues I do. Like which soccer workforce I improve. In the end, supporting Raith Rovers would apply circle of relatives custom. My dad was once a Rovers fan and so was once his dad. So was once his dad, almost definitely, even supposing I do not know. Let’s say he was once, for narrative functions.

I may have supported Queen of the South (the nearest workforce to our house) or Albion Rovers (the workforce my mum grew up following), however I didn’t. If the Harrow males supported Raith Rovers, that was once sufficient for me too.

And it’s been. For 20-odd years till he gave up the ghost a few years in the past, my dad and I shared plenty of highs, lows and deeply unsatisfying attracts in combination. They’re a few of my happiest reminiscences with him, outwith the time he let me sign up for his five-a-side sport when I used to be nonetheless in class and I booted the ball immediately into my science instructor’s bollocks.

I’m now about to be a dad myself, to a bit woman. It is extremely thrilling but additionally a bit scary. I wish to percentage those self same reviews – even the science instructor one – with my daughter however I’m anxious that I received’t. I’m scared that the item I all the time assumed would occur – my offspring changing into a Raith Rovers fan – would possibly no longer come to cross.

There are a couple of selection situations, some higher than others. The primary, and best possible, is that my daughter gravitates in opposition to any other “wee” workforce. Rising up in Glasgow, she would possibly select Partick Thistle or Queen’s Park. I’d even settle for Dumbarton (however would draw the road at Clyde). Any of the ones decrease league golf equipment (excluding Clyde) could be OK. Shall we nonetheless bond over distress. She may well be tempted through Glasgow Town or any other ladies’s workforce and I’d sit up for taking her to SWPL video games. None of those choices are as just right as supporting Raith, however they’re OK. Superb, even.

A worse risk: she will not be focused on soccer in any respect. She would possibly regard my hobby in Raith Rovers the best way my spouse treats my hobby in science fiction –one thing so uncool she desires not anything to do with it. Any point out might be greeted with a cock of the pinnacle and a roll of the eyes that say: “I respect you revel in this however please stay it as a ways clear of my private area as conceivable.”

Stark’s Park in all its glory.



Stark’s Park in all its glory. {Photograph}: Ted Blackbrow/Shutterstock

I would like her having little interest in soccer to the opposite possibility: she would possibly change into a Celtic fan. It’s my fault, in fact. I wish to blame somebody else, however no person else met my now-wife on Tinder, charmed her and married her in a whirlwind of Rage Towards the System, orange-flavoured tequila and vomit (mine, no longer hers). Thru all of this, I knew she was once a Celtic fan. To her credit score, she was once fairly prematurely about it from the beginning.

What’s extra, I knew her circle of relatives have been additionally Celtic lovers. I knew her folks had season tickets. I’ve been to an Previous Company sport together with her mum. I went to Champions League qualifiers the place I used to be compelled to “do the huddle” as a result of no longer doing it might have straight away outed me as an outsider.

I’m no longer going to lie – the fan enjoy of going to Parkhead is much better than damn round Stark’s Park. In the end, it’s large. And it’s typically lovely busy, despite the fact that it’s no longer complete. We will be able to all chuckle in regards to the thousands and thousands they have got spent on disco lighting fixtures, however simply consider how spectacular that sight would would glance to a 10-year outdated. That’s who the ones lighting fixtures are for, in the end: the idiots and the pre-teens.

Examine that on your reasonable Saturday at Raith Rovers. It’s superb whilst you’re there with family and friends. You’ve all purchased into decrease league soccer already and also you’ve constructed up a herbal tolerance to the basic bleakness of it. If the rest, you include it. The 3-quarter empty stadiums; the sound programs that blast out 10% pop tune and 90% onerous static; and the sequences of play the place the ball bounces round so inconsistently that it could simplest be managed through some invisible power chasing it with a leaf blower. We’ll take the whole lot decrease league soccer can throw at us after which spend £25 once more the next week.

Nevertheless it’s truly onerous to persuade somebody about it after they have got been captured through disco lighting fixtures, competent passing and all the ones targets Celtic will rack up. Come on right down to Stark’s Park, kid, the place we will give you 8 seats to your self and the empty feeling that includes a 0-Zero house draw with Brechin Town.

If she does apply Celtic, her enjoy of soccer might be so other to mine. She’ll by no means enjoy the absurd, out-of-body pleasure of celebrating a last-minute equaliser at Alloa, or following a sport at Central Park in the back of steel railings and big monster truck tyres. She’ll by no means know what it feels love to improve a workforce who lose extra video games than they win (horrible). She’ll by no means change into programme editor or Tannoy announcer as a result of no person else is to be had to do it. She’ll by no means be the one Raith fan in her college, uni, paintings and she or he’ll by no means know the way delightful it’s to be outlined through this and no longer, say, your giant nostril. After which there’s the entire different stuff that includes being a Celtic fan in Glasgow too. Which is, from this outsider’s standpoint, completely garbage.

What could possibly tempt a young football fan to Celtic Park?



What might be able to tempt a tender soccer fan to Celtic Park? {Photograph}: Andrew Milligan/PA

Those are the choices, then. Sooner or later within the far away long term, I’m going to need to confront this. It looks like a large deal however there’s a nagging a part of me that still is aware of it isn’t. I’m being worried about not anything. Deep within the smart, non-football a part of my thoughts, I do know that after she’s right here and she or he’s now not a collection of measurement comparisons on a telephone app – “your kid will now be the period of a semi-ripe mango from Sainsbury’s” – who she chooses to improve is not going to truly subject. When she is sufficiently old to come to a decision what she likes, all I’m going to care about is that she’s satisfied.

If she’s having a pleasing time between 3pm and 5pm on a Saturday – whether or not it’s at Stark’s Park, Parkhead or the closest hair salon (what do 10-year-old ladies do? I do not know) as long as we’re spending time in combination is all that truly issues.

This text gave the impression first in Nutmeg mag
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