Supporters’ groups, not surprisingly, often come into prominence during times of discontent.
Administration, relegation and disputes over ticket prices can be powerful motivators, heaven forfend that such days should ever visit the John Smiths’ Stadium.
The tendency for people to unite when feeling threatened or vulnerable is a clear survival strategy. It is instinctive behaviour common to most creatures, especially football supporters. Safety in numbers?
Today the quays of Bootle might lie idle and deserted. However, the genes that created a reputation for militant protest and were epitomised during the Liverpool Dockworkers’ strikes of 1995-98, have once again been in evidence on Merseyside.
Last Saturday several thousand Liverpool fans walked out of Anfield during the league match with Sunderland.
The demonstrators were voicing their opposition to next season’s proposed £77 top-priced ticket for the new main stand. The action was orchestrated by the ‘Spirit of Shankly’ supporters’ group.
Quite strangely, first-team coach Pepijn Lijnders, standing in for manager Jurgen Klopp, said fans were within their rights to stage the protest. One former manager, Roy Evans, even went as far as to claim that the club would not be what it is without fans and defended their right to protest.
Ironically, the upturn in Town’s fortunes could quite easily have led to complacency among supporters and a possible decline in HTSA membership. But this has not been the case.
As the global village shrinks, due to improvements in travel and advances in technology, football clubs now enjoy ever widening catchment areas from which to recruit new supporters. It is a popular belief that one particular Premier League club draws more support from Stratford (London) rather than its home town of Stretford.
Not to be outdone, Huddersfield Town can now proudly boast of a thriving ‘Southern Section’. Perish the thought of Terriers eating jellied eels and drinking Porter, but stranger things have happened – just not very often.
So please do not be a Texas Ranger. If you fancy a Leo Sayer down the Near and Far with a few Paul Wellers and Sue Ryders get in touch with Bob Farrell or Paul Hollas. You’ll probably find them sat round a Cain having a Turkish Bath and a right good Ding Dong ‘Get Together’.
Alternatively, if Bow Bells are out of earshot do not despair. There are Terrier satellites being launched throughout the ‘village’. To find your nearest regional supporters group please contact Ian Lawrence.
You can get him on his on his Dog and Bone or through the usual high tech channels (HTSA-online). Better still why not call in at PPG Canalside, any match day, and buy the old Julius Caesar a few Britney Spears.
£250 awaits the HTSA member who holds the following numbers, 2113. If your HTSA membership card is up to date and shows this, or 2113, £250 is yours.
Please send details of your full name and postal address by text to 07725036109 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org before 19.08 on Friday, February 13. You will receive your cheque by return of post. The winning number last week was 5566, or 5566: the winner was R Poulain.
Finally, don’t forget to book your seats on the HTSA coach to Nottingham Forest, and hopefully claim the £250 Travel Draw prize, by texting Rachael on 07905 580784.