A new season; new hopes; new fears; old butterflies. Nothing ever changes. I guess all football supporters feel the same but today I wonder and worry how the season, which starts today, will pan out.
Many of you won't know who are the Pars and of those who do know many probably don't care. But I care ..... so much. The Pars = Dunfermline Athletic, my local team, the only club team I have ever supported: the only team I will ever support.
More than 50 years ago my father took me through Piggies Lane and along to East End Park. I never looked back. I think on that first day I had "The Pars" tattooed on my heart. I've seen good times, bad times, great times, the depths, the heights but through them all they've been my team. The success of larger teams has never drawn me away, never even tempted me.
To be so attached to one club, as I assume most supporters are, is illogical. What is it which ties us for a lifetime? I don't know and, to be honest, I don't care. Whatever it is, I have it - in bundles.
Until the late 1980s I was a regular, a season ticket holder but marriage and children pulled me way from attending. To many this might disqualify me as a supporter but they're wrong. Every season I dream, every game too but every game brings worry - from a distance now but I'm there kicking every ball, cheering every goal scored and despairing at each goal lost.
I remember in the mid-1990s the last game of the season, Dunfemline were on the verge of promotion to the Premier League, we were returning from holiday on Harris, I think it was, and driving south of Kyle of Lochalsh when I heard the result. Y .... E .... S .... S !
I stopped the car, got out and danced up and down this deserted country road arms in the air, punching the air, shouting, CHAMPIONE, CHAMPIONE, Y .... E .... S .... S !
Perhaps I was lucky in that the team had its most successful spell when I was a teenager: Jock Stein as manager, winning the Scottish Cup twice (1961 and 1968), beaten finalists in 1965, beating Everton in 1962. If I my memory serves me correctly the Cuban crisis "blew" up around the time of the Everton two-legged tie and I remember thinking, "Just let us get this game played, please."
Enough reminiscing. I may write a full Childhood Reminiscence post later. Today we play Partick Thistle in Glasgow, 3pm kick off. I'll be on edge. I'm on edge now. If I can't keep up-to-date on the radio I'll be checking a Pars website because they normally run an update service. On edge I'll remain until the end or until the outcome is settled and then it's up or down, read the newspaper reports if we won, miss them if we lost.
Crazy but that is life as a Pars supporter.
COME ON YE PARS !
UPDATE 19.00 Saturday Inauspicious start: 1- 0 defeat. I should have kept my support to myself and my "mouth" shut..