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Huish Park Fans
Huish Park Fans
What follows is a gross generalisation. The days when football crowds were pretty near exclusively working-class and male have thankfully now long gone. These days football supporters come from all sections of the community, rich and poor, male and female, young and old alike. Nevertheless certain characteristics do still emerge and are identifiable. We are proud to present the Ciderspace Bluffers Guide To Huish Park Fans. You are where you sit (or stand) ...
The Bartlett Stand Fan
Your average Bartlett Stand Fan is pretty easily satisfied. All he demands of YTFC players is perfection, sublime skills and the ability to shoot - and score - from anywhere on the pitch.

It's hardly the Bartlett Stand Fan's (BSF for short) fault that the club insists on recruiting players that don't as a rule measure up to the BSF's idea of what a Yeovil Town footballer should look like. It's the boards fault, of course, and if it isn't them then it's all down to the manager, who (naturally) the BSF wouldn't have hired in the first place, so it all comes back to the board in the end.

The trouble is - as the BSF will tell each other, at length - is that no-one listens to what the fans are saying. They are the ones who turn up week in, week out, to watch what passes for entertainment at Huish Park, so they are the ones who know just exactly what is going wrong on the pitch. But does anyone from the club ever consult them? Hell, no! This causes some resentment and, dare I say it, a little impatience with the team at times.

Your average BSF is male, middle-aged, balding (Oi, watch it! -Ed.) and angry. Actually 'angry' is a completely inadequate description of the average BSF's mood during a game. He generally starts the game in a bad temper, anger comes next as surely as night follows day. By half-time he's usually furious and by the end of the game he's been reduced to complete apoplexy. Being a BSF is a stressful business...

What causes the BSF to spend the game with his blood pressure raised to such a dangerous state? Well, as mentioned before, the general inability of the Yeovil team to play every game to the same standard as the great Brazilian international teams of the past doesn't help. Opposition players tend to get on the BSF's nerves as well, especially if they're good. But if there's one thing that is guaranteed to raise the BSF's collective hackles, it's the sight of the referee and his hapless assistants trying to do their job; a job that - naturally - every BSF could do far better with their eyes closed, as the men in black are continually informed throughout the game.

Lately the BSF has discovered the joys of communal singing, or re-discovered them I should say, as it seems to me a lot of the faces I see in the Bartlett Stand did their share of singing in the 70's on the terraces at Huish, but I digress... Of course, being the BSF their repetoire is fairly limited. They usually confine themselves to a few simple songs mainly consisting of a few "da-da-da's" followed by a mighty shout of "Yeovil!"... Well, a muted shout of "Yeovil!" anyway, followed by some furtively guilty looks in case anyone should have seen them actually supporting their team ...

The other obvious characteristic of the BSF is the drift to the exits with ten minutes to go. This is a highly ritualised affair which practitioners have got down to a fine art. Firstly the BSF should look at his watch and sigh loudly, shake his head and suck his teeth (a few tut-tuts at this point are not considered OTT, but neither are they obligatory). The BSF then starts to make his way to the exit, telling everybody around him that (a) he's never seen such a poor performance, (b) they're not going to score if they played for another 2 weeks, (c) it's a complete waste of money coming these days, and (d) yes, he'll be back for more punishment at the next match (best done with a self-deprecating laugh at the sheer folly of exposing oneself to more of the same)... The BSF will then stand at the exit for the rest of the game blocking everyone else's view before sprinting to the car park when the final whistle is blown.

The Main Stand Fan
The Main Stand Fan (MSF) is virtually identical in all respects to the BSF, except for the air of superiority the MSF likes to affect. There's no real reason for the MSF to feel superior, he just does. Having said that, the MSF does have the advantage of being first in the queue for the bar at the end of the game, so maybe there is some sort of natural selection at work here... Plus the MSF gets to sit next to the directors and vice-presidents and other assorted riff-raff, which all adds to their social standing at the club.

The MSF is just as critical of his own team as the BSF, but sitting in the Main Stand means that the MSF is that much closer to the dug-outs and therefore finds it easier to give helpful and constructive advice, such as "Gerroff! You're useless!" or "That was crap, Yeovil!" The fact that the MSF tends to wear a tie renders such well-meaning criticism even more valid, naturally.

There is also another respect in which the MSF's are different. They indulge in a peculiar blood-sport known as opposition-manager-baiting. It's similar to bear-baiting inasmuch as it's cruel and unusual, but as yet it's still legal. It consists of the MSF waiting for the opposing team's manager to stand up in front of his dugout to get over a tactical point to his team. That is when the MSF swings into action. Cries of "SHUDDUP!" and "SIDDOWN!" fill the air along with other less formal invitations for the manager to retake his seat, until the hapless man has either (a) lost his temper and turned on the crowd in frustration and gets warned by the referee for his pains, (b) given up in disgust at the racket being made behind him. Either way, the tactical point he was hoping to get over to his players is lost in the noise...

The Terrace Fan
The Terrace Fan (TF) has changed in recent seasons. At one time it was hard to tell the TF from the BSF and MSF, but not any more. And not just because the TF is generally somewhat younger than the others either. No, this season the TF has tended to get behind the team right from the start of the game. The TF has learned how to play the drums. The TF has found a trumpet in the attic and has brought it to the game, and what he may lack in musical dexterity he makes up for in enthusiasm. The TF is noisy nowadays (and even noisier underneath the lovely new roof), sings and creates an atmosphere which in turn has encouraged the BSF and MSF to join in. At times an outsider might even be forgiven for thinking we all support the same team ...

The TF was never afraid of getting wet, but loved to moan loudly about it. And moan. And moan. But now they've done something constructive about it by raising loads of dosh to build a roof over their heads it has taken something away from their day. Without having to come to the game cocooned in fifteen layers of thermals and a sou'wester they tend to watch a bit more of the footie......... and naturally don't like much of what they see........ cue the metamorphosis into BSF.

They sing lots of songs about the Bartlett Stand and how they are not singing : "Can you hear the Bartlett Sing ? No! No!". What they don't realise is that the Bartlett Stand are singing a lot of the time but the TF can't hear them because of the permanent, hurricane force wind that blows around the Huish Park stadium. The same wind that invariably ensures 4 Forest Green Rovers supporters can make more noise than 500 home fans.

The TF Feature a large proportion of supporters who follow the club away. These guys will relay to each other stories about how they all went to Barrow midweek in the middle of a January blizzard having travelled by minibus all the way, only for the game to be called off at 7:29pm. Even though we reckon they were really watching it on Teletext in the Arrow with the rest of us ...

The Away Fan
For some reason we don't tend to see that many away fans at Huish Park as a rule. There are exceptions: Rushden, Doncaster, Cheltenham, Woking and Stevenage have all brought reasonable numbers of supporters with them at times, but more often than not one can count the number of away fans on the fingers of both hands.

What all away fans have in common is a complete failure of imagination. Yes, the first time we heard away fans sing "ooh-ah, it's ambrosia" it was very nearly funny. Now, having heard it dozens of times since, it's just boring. Similarly all "tractor" references have become old hat now. Sort it out, away fans!

So there it is, the Ciderspace Bluffers Guide To Huish Park Fans. Any resemblance to real life and actual fans (including the author's uncannily accurate impersonation of a BSF) is of course purely coincidental.

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Last Updated : 30th August 2001
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