Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Are you a second-hand fan?

Are you a second-hand fan?

In sport, as in life, it sometimes seems that we make up allegiances as we go along. We have a free choice when faced with the possibility of going to watch a football match. We ask, 'should I go to watch the U`s this weekend, or not?`

For now, at least when Colchester United are at home, that seems like a very stupid rhetorical question. More and more people are asking it though, as this season`s average attendance at Layer Road balloons past that of the last.

Not surprisingly, the increasing number of punters choosing to sift though the turnstiles has a direct relationship with how well United are performing - it`s the most literal example of the masses voting with their feet as is ever likely to exist.

Gate receipts are up, and so are U`s, true to their terraced anthem. Something has been troubling even the most seasoned football-watcher in Britain`s oldest recorded town, though. How many of these fans attending now are genuine, and how long might it take them to disappear in rougher times?

A valid question, given that a dip in form can be taken for granted as part of a natural cycle during any league campaign. It was a thought that necessarily occurred as the iconic 2006 pop song, 'I wish I was a punk rocker` boomed across the tannoy just before kick-off of the recent game against Hull City.

Sandi Thom`s lament of old values is well-intended, pondering times past: "…when footballer`s still hand long-hair and dirt across their face." No matter that most of the words prove to be factually inaccurate.

Facts were not the issue. That line itself the seemed to ask; is love just a lyric, or does it mean more? Is quick success just a popular gimmick, or something fashioned in the memory to stand the test of time?

Well, cheers heard at various Premiership results during half-time announcements of the same match, seemed to indicate that some in the crowd considered Colchester United their second team.

Nothing wrong with that per se, except that it is a fairly modern dilemma, and a poor basis on which to be making a new 10,000-seater stadium. Hard-core fans alone, whose attendance (in their own mind at least) is obligatory, will not fill Cuckoo Farm, even if the figures state that the U`s currently have several thousand active fans.

The old concept of supporting the local team from just down the road, is long dead. Just counting the number of West Ham United fans in this county shows us that.

Don`t blame them - the world of global football was fist conceived by Manchester United. They commercialised words and speech, at the same time as amassing an army of diehard (merchandise-consuming) followers, whose birthplace was anywhere but in the North of England.

The Red Devils were the first team to attract the 'glory-hunter` phenomenon - a fan whose sole aim is to bask in the glory of a winning team, with whom they might actually share no historical allegiance or emotional bond.

Arguably, it has not happened at Colchester United yet, but only because the Sky Cameras have not been projecting Layer Road into our homes for long enough for it to be instantly recognisable word-wide.

Colchester, then, must beware of a new type of glory-hunter - someone adopting them as a second team after a good run of results. True enough, the source of the support will not be important from a financial perspective, although it should pose a moral question for people following multiple clubs.

Does it really matter? Only insofar as it could lead to Colchester becoming rivals with, say, Liverpool on the bizarre basis that there are apparently as many Reds fans in Essex as there are on Merseyside.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Tuesday December 19 2006
Time: 12:21PM


Glory hunters at Layer Road? Do you really care?
19/12/2006 22:16:00
Yes when the real fans miss out!
20/12/2006 09:36:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

After Game Player Interviews Explained

Scientific researchers have discovered that a tendency for professional footballers to overuse the words 'um' 'ah' and 'err' in post game press interviews...

No More ******* Bad Language - EFL

The Football League, or EFL for those with a rebrand nature, have called on fans across the country to say no to 'starry' language or no more...

FA Cup First Round Proper - Full Draw (17/10/16)

The draw for the first round of the FA Cup took place earlier this evening.

Colchester's FA Cup Ball Number Known (17/10/16)

With the FA Cup first round draw later this evening (Monday), clubs have been allocated ball numbers for the first stage of this year's competition.

Archived Vital Colchester Articles

Vital Colchester articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Colchester
Write For Vital Colchester
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Colchester v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Colchester win50%
Rochdale win50%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 14 10 2 2 32 12
2 Carlisle 14 7 7 0 28 10
3 Doncaster 14 8 2 4 26 8
4 Luton 14 6 5 3 23 9
5 Portsmouth 14 6 3 5 21 6
6 Notts County 14 6 3 5 21 1
7 Accrington 14 5 5 4 20 1
8 Grimsby 14 6 2 6 20 0
9 Crawley 14 5 5 4 20 -1
10 Morecambe 14 6 2 6 20 -6
11 Mansfield 14 4 7 3 19 1
12 Crewe 14 4 7 3 19 -1
13 Yeovil 14 6 1 7 19 -5
14 Blackpool 14 4 5 5 17 4
15 Colchester 14 4 5 5 17 -1
16 Cheltenham 14 3 7 4 16 -1
17 Hartlepool 14 3 7 4 16 -4
18 Barnet 14 3 7 4 16 -4
19 Cambridge 14 4 4 6 16 -5
20 Leyton Orient 14 4 3 7 15 -2
21 Wycombe 14 4 3 7 15 -5
22 Stevenage 13 4 2 7 14 -3
23 Exeter 14 4 1 9 13 -6
24 Newport 13 1 5 7 8 -8
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Plymouth Argyle (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 12 2016 3:00PM : Leyton Orient (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Yeovil Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 22 2016 7:45PM : Cheltenham Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Crewe Alexandra (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Mansfield Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Write for Vital Football