On the road again

Becoming emotionally attached to a football club is a risky game. They can let you down. They can be mismanaged. They can fail.

Bolton Wanderers, the football club I’ve supported all my life, nearly failed in 2019. Employees were forced to use food banks because they weren’t paid. The business fell into administration and the club was deducted points, which led to our relegation from League One. It was a devastating fall from grace for a club that once competed in the Premier League and challenged in Europe.

A lot has happened since that failure. A new owner was found and the club survived. And on Saturday I found myself taking a Tube, train and bus to Crawley to my first Bolton match in too long — not to watch from inside the ground, as Covid restrictions were still in place, but to cheer from the outside with about a dozen fellow Bolton fans, none of whom I knew yet. 

When Bolton won promotion from League Two on Saturday, we celebrated with the players as they joined us outside at full-time. 

It’s a risky game but when things go well, it’s a towering feeling.