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an Oxford lad's first superleague experience


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On the face of it, I probably shouldn't like rugby league. I'm southern, went to public school, and have been a union fan all my life.

 

But league was always there - occasionally on the TV when you went to turn on Grandstand and there was something on that wasn't "proper" rugby but seemed to have an attraction all of it's own.

 

I happened to be living in Oxford when Oxford RL started, went to the first match, and soon had a season ticket. So I decided it was time to go to a top flight match, aged 35. 

 

A friend and I went up north in search of this other rugby at the weekend - and found ourselves at Belle Vue... You know what? It was awesome. I know enough about RL to know that this is not a term which has been used in the same sentence as the words Wakefield and Trinity for a while, but it really was. 

 

We went to a pub in the city beforehand, the social club next to the ground after, then back to the first pub, and everyone fell over themselves to make us really welcome. We were pretty obviously not normal fans, but the number of people who bought us a pint for getting on a train from London at 0530 just to go to Wakefield started to get embarrassing (in a good way).

 

Anyway, I loved every single minute of it and am already plotting the next trip up there. I'm sure everyone remembers their first trip to a match (not counting the expansion clubs). I wonder how many do it at 35. The only downside is that I'm pretty sure I'm now stuck with being a Wakey fan. Good. Roll on the next visit.

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Welcome to our game. Good job you didn't pick Wigan or you'd miss the last 10 minutes of every game :P

"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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Welcome to our game. Good job you didn't pick Wigan or you'd miss the last 10 minutes of every game :P

Or if you listened to Padge about traveling time to the DW from The Anvil, the first 10 minutes. ;)

Anyway, welcome aboard.

"it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it."

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The Oxford fans that came up to Swinton last year were great, funny and enthusiastic, sure it was them then had the bloke with a bugle shouting tally Ho all the time

"When you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose; it's how drunk you get." -Homer Simpson

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Glad you enjoyed the whole day, not just the game and well done to the people of Wakefield for being so welcoming.

 

In fairness, I think most of them were genuinely startled that a couple of chaps from 200 miles away had stuck a pin in the fixture list and thought "Wakefield v Salford - that'll do" and jumped on a train...

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In fairness, I think most of them were genuinely startled that a couple of chaps from 200 miles away had stuck a pin in the fixture list and thought "Wakefield v Salford - that'll do" and jumped on a train...

Surely that's how all Wakey and Salfords fans get there.

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Interestingly, not one comment about the state of BV, only about the game, the welcome, atmosphere etc.

Whilst there is no doubt that BV needs redeveloping or Wakefield Trinity need a new ground it's nice to see that a 'newbie' can see beyond that and appreciate the game and the welcome.

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Interestingly, not one comment about the state of BV, only about the game, the welcome, atmosphere etc.

Whilst there is no doubt that BV needs redeveloping or Wakefield Trinity need a new ground it's nice to see that a 'newbie' can see beyond that and appreciate the game and the welcome.

 

when you've been to as many second tier union grounds* as I have you'll have to trust me that BV compares favourably with the Brickfields (Plymouth), Goldington Road (Bedford), Old Deer Park (L Welsh), the Mennaye Field (Penzance), Billesley Common (Moseley) etc. The big difference with BV was that there were far more people there than you get at any of the grounds I've named above and the place was rocking.

 

Not for me (as a newly minted Wakefield fan of about 3 days) to comment on whether they need a new ground or not, but the ground they have has got serious soul as it is.

 

*And I take the point that this is top tier league not second tier union but even so...

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I'm sorry, iffleyox, but amid all the bonhommie generated by your post, somebody has to bring you down to earth, and if that task falls to me, then so be it! 

 

You just don't get it, do you?  All this positive talk of friendly fans buying you drinks, good pubs nearby, welcoming fans, an entertaining match and an experience that at least matches many of those you have had at RU grounds is all very well, but you still just don't get it, do you?  Be honest - admit it!

 

You are not supposed to have a good experience at Belle Vue; the ground is SUBSTANDARD.  I thus pronounce your superficially positive comments totally unacceptable.

 

Oddly enough, last season I went with a friend to see Cas -v- Wakey at Wheldon R...er...the mend-a-something whatsit.  Clearly, this too, is a SUBSTANDARD ground.  And didn't I know it - two minutes (that's two WHOLE minutes) to queue for a beer, and when it came to recycling it, well, the stench of the gents' urinals was a disgrace; it was as if dozens of men and boys had just relieved themselves on a hot summer's day.  The fact that such was the case is not the point...  I have had sleepless nights ever since, chastising myself for thoroughly enjoying the day.

 

So come on, iffleyox, try again.  Start with, "the Wakefield match day experience is a disgrace.  There is no room in modern, thrusting SL for old-fashioned stadia* like that at Wakefield..."

 

* you are allowed to say 'stadiums' if you really want to, but you are an Oxford lad...

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Wakey must have something going for them this past week.

My mate, a school teacher at the British School here in the Netherlands was visiting his in laws in York over the weekend.He is a big soccer (and union) fan who travels all over europe to report on "Lower" division games for some soccer magazine.His Facebook page had a photo of Belle Vue on it and I asked him what he was doing there...

 

"Correct, went on Saturday. Another good game Tommy Johnstone looks like a great prospect. Have a soft spot for them now, really decent people, chairman asked me if I was ok as I was walking around aimlessly! Loads of people asking me why I was there as I had a Walsall top on, will definitely be going back. Chris Chester is from Stanley isn't he? Stanley Rangers kids were there on the pitch at half-time. Hoping to get to Cas and one of the Hull teams next time, unfortunately York City Knights weren't playing till Sunday and I had already left by then"

 

So it looks like Yorkshire hospitality has also had a possative affect on another visitor who stuck a pin in the map.

Well done Wakey.

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Wakey must have something going for them this past week.

My mate, a school teacher at the British School here in the Netherlands was visiting his in laws in York over the weekend.He is a big soccer (and union) fan who travels all over europe to report on "Lower" division games for some soccer magazine.His Facebook page had a photo of Belle Vue on it and I asked him what he was doing there...

 

"Correct, went on Saturday. Another good game Tommy Johnstone looks like a great prospect. Have a soft spot for them now, really decent people, chairman asked me if I was ok as I was walking around aimlessly! Loads of people asking me why I was there as I had a Walsall top on, will definitely be going back. Chris Chester is from Stanley isn't he? Stanley Rangers kids were there on the pitch at half-time. Hoping to get to Cas and one of the Hull teams next time, unfortunately York City Knights weren't playing till Sunday and I had already left by then"

 

So it looks like Yorkshire hospitality has also had a possative affect on another visitor who stuck a pin in the map.

Well done Wakey.

Don't panic - I'm sure his trip to Hull (our place) will put him off!

Money can't buy you happiness!

It can buy you beer and that's a bit like happiness in a glass!

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Sir Winston Churchill

Some folks are wise and some are otherwise!

Tobias Smollett

"I distrust camels, and anyone else who can go a week without a drink."

Joe E Lewis

"Look at the ffing state of that"!

My mate on the Avenue last Friday whilst pointing to a scantily clad young lady and spitting a mouthful of beer out!

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The Oxford fans that came up to Swinton last year were great, funny and enthusiastic, sure it was them then had the bloke with a bugle shouting tally Ho all the time

Bulldog.  Ginger lad.  Played rugby with him about ten years back.  He makes his presence felt.

"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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On the face of it, I probably shouldn't like rugby league. I'm southern, went to public school, and have been a union fan all my life.

 

But league was always there - occasionally on the TV when you went to turn on Grandstand and there was something on that wasn't "proper" rugby but seemed to have an attraction all of it's own.

 

I happened to be living in Oxford when Oxford RL started, went to the first match, and soon had a season ticket. So I decided it was time to go to a top flight match, aged 35. 

 

A friend and I went up north in search of this other rugby at the weekend - and found ourselves at Belle Vue... You know what? It was awesome. I know enough about RL to know that this is not a term which has been used in the same sentence as the words Wakefield and Trinity for a while, but it really was. 

 

We went to a pub in the city beforehand, the social club next to the ground after, then back to the first pub, and everyone fell over themselves to make us really welcome. We were pretty obviously not normal fans, but the number of people who bought us a pint for getting on a train from London at 0530 just to go to Wakefield started to get embarrassing (in a good way).

 

Anyway, I loved every single minute of it and am already plotting the next trip up there. I'm sure everyone remembers their first trip to a match (not counting the expansion clubs). I wonder how many do it at 35. The only downside is that I'm pretty sure I'm now stuck with being a Wakey fan. Good. Roll on the next visit.

you are not alone: 

 

https://footierocksblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/the-greatest-game-of-all-and-how-i-found-it/

 

https://footierocksblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/what-if-i-told-you-league-is-better-than-union/

 

welcome :)

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