I believe professional footballers have no idea how their supporters suffer - it’s not to say players aren’t a bit down after a defeat but let me draw two key differences from the die-hard supporter:-
The player has to accept his share of the blame for the defeat. He is not impotent. The player is back with his buddies on the training ground probably the following day and hopefully taking active steps to put things right. We supporters are impotent and have to endure total frustration until the next fixture.
There’s the odd exception of a home-grown player who spends most of his playing career with the club he’s always supported – Andy Booth is a prime example – but it’s the exception that proves the rule. The rule is players come and go. I can’t find any official statistics but hopefully you’ll agree that five seasons is probably a decent lifespan of a player with a single club. He arrived as a non-supporter and when he goes his allegiance transfers with him.
Can we transfer our allegiance? An absolute impossibility.
From the moment we fell in love with our club, that love is destined to last longer than most marriages - it really is a case of until death us do part with no possibility of a divorce.
When you’re in love and your loved one lets you down, how do you feel? Upset; angry; frustrated; depressed. And what would a therapist recommend you do? Kiss and make up as soon as possible; don’t sleep on your anger and frustration.
Think about this, Town players. At Bristol City on 17 March 2017, we endured an abject performance (sadly televised in full) and one of the most humiliating defeats of the season. With the international break, for two whole weeks we’ve been unable to kiss and make up.
It was hell. And then there came the perfect opportunity last Saturday at home to a relegation candidate (Burton Albion) for you players to make amends and make us feel warm inside again.
And what do you do? You let us down again. Do you have any idea the miserable state of mind I’m in? I really don’t think you do.
I’m writing this before the Norwich City encounter. Playing at home again; screened live on TV. This is the time to not only lay down a marker to other challengers that Huddersfield Town has not bottled it but also my hand of forgiveness is outstretched – please don’t reject it.
Simon Thackray is Huddersfield born and bred but has been exiled to the south of England since 1975.
A solicitor by profession, now CEO of Law South Group Ltd, Simon's first game was back on August 22 1964 against Bolton Wanderers as a 10-year-old in a game which finished 1-1.