Tomorrow, Bolton head to Hillsborough, and so will I – along with a good friend of mine who is a die hard fan of (whisper it) Sheffield Wednesday.
I always enjoy going to games with fans of the opposing team – it lends a sense of perspective to the occasion. It’s impossible to describe how differently two sets of partisan eyes can view the same game of football – each convinced that the opposition will score every time they go forward, and before a ball is even kicked, each of the opinion that their own team is about to be taken to the cleaners.
Perhaps that’s just my overly pessimistic self, but there is no doubt that I see this as a tough game on paper, while my Wednesday-supporting mate would tell you exactly the same thing. Bolton are a big fish, make no mistake, and although a draw might be considered a good result for Bolton tomorrow, the same could be said for the Owls.
I’ve never been to Hillsborough, but I’m very much looking forward to it. The recent publication of the ‘truth’ about what happened at the infamous stadium 23 years ago has brought its ugly history to the fore, but there is more to the old ground than that. As much as I like the Reebok, and rank the Emirates as one of my favourite “new” stadiums, there’s nothing quite like an old fasioned ground.
So off to Sheffield we head, an away day at a venue that has hosted football since the last century but one. Since 1899 people have been leaving the place gloating at the opposition, or holding their heads in shame. I hope that I can submit my friends to a bit of the former come 5pm tomorrow afternoon. Come on you Whites!