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Saturday, 30 July 2016

Football, Music and Clothes: the Working Class Cocktail

I think it was Paul Weller who once said that as a Working Class kid your life revolved around Football, Music and Clothes. Now as a Working Class boy myself I can vouch for this! Being born in Middlesbrough I was always going to follow one team, the Boro. A team who stole my heart at the tender age of five when I graced the terraces of The Riverside for the first time on a cold Tuesday evening in November. Little did I know the next 16 years of supporting the boys in red and white would take me on a journey through clothes, music and of course the highs and lows of supporting a proper club. I've always loved football, I've become something of an obsessive over it, reciting scores from years gone by, hoarding ticket stubs and important programmes. I've even got a snapped seat that our Dad got me from the ground when a last minute header by Geremi went in and shocked the lad in front so much that he snapped the back of his seat. Football that.

Now where do clothes and music fit in then? Easy, they all revolve around one another, from the moment you wake up on a match day you're buzzing with optimism. You stick some tunes on, decide what you're going to wear and off you go. I have to pay homage to my good mate Bax's book he wrote with Paolo Hewitt here, "The Fashion of Football: From Best to Beckham, From Mod to Label Lover" it gets it all so right, check it out! One upmanship has always surrounded football, whether you are Mod, Dresser or even Skinhead judging eyes are everywhere. "What trainers are them?" "What Jacket is that?" the questions fly around the pubs and social clubs like a thousand journo's looking for a story. It doesn't stop there, when you enter the stand there's lads everywhere young and old all looking one another up and down, it's like being on the catwalk at times. Of course while all this is going on there's the hoards of shirters who don't give one about what they wear and are just happy with a Regatta fleece and a Boro shirt fairplay, I suppose! Football has been great for me since I turned 18, you no longer have to try and get served in pubs you can legally have a few beers  without that added pressure. Now this leads me on to the nights out. After night games me and my group of mates would often go straight to a pub or club depending on the night. Football has become more of a social occasion than ever in recent times. With all this socialising comes the dreaded dilemma of what to wear. Now what I wear for Football and what I wear for a night out is totally different as you can imagine. I've had to create hybrid looks in recent times which work for both the match and a night out. A steady boozing shoe as we call them usually does the job on the feet. Now a boozing shoe is a leather shoe with repells all sorts of pints, mixers and sometimes even other peoples sick. Nice eh! The whole social occasion of a Football day is a huge factor as to why I involve myself in it so much. A group of lads who all get together every week for that one shared love of their team is truly special. You can't buy that!

Now music is the third element of the holy trinity, which is something else we all obsess over. (Well some of us). When going to the match me and the lads will nearly always strike up conversation on the latest tunes we have been digging, at the end of last season we were talking Tame Impala and the DMA's to name a few. Music always comes into play on the nights out after footy too. The music is essential to us having a good time and if the tunes are shite, then it's safe to say the communal eye roll will definitely occur. After a long working week, Football is that breath of fresh air and excitement you crave. It opens you up and brings you pure joy (well most of the time). LAST MINUTE WINNERS. Jesus, you can't beat these I've been on the end of a few in the last couple of seasons. THAT Nugent header at home to Hull and THAT Leadbitter penalty away to Huddersfield. Football that. When shaken up the Working Class Cocktail provides you with the three things that will add real meaning to your life. Without these three things I reckon I'd be pretty boring! Awaydays are always good, I mean boarding a train with your mates and a load of cans is the weekend right? What's not to like? These trips always produce tails which will be told down the pub for years to come. You always bump into lads from school who went off the radar on away trips so they're always a good opportunity to catch up with people! Most importantly you get to visit different cities, boozers, clubs and of course use unusual public transport like Trams. Culture eh!

I guess wha I'm trying to say is that the Working Class Cocktail means a lot to people and without it weekends would be very dull. From the first game you go to, to your most recent one it never gets boring it just keeps getting better. The old question, "What else you gonna do on a Saturday?" rings true. I mean you're not exactly going to go and watch croquet now are ya? Generation after generation of football fan continue to come off the conveyor belt with each generation evolving their look each time. Football will never go away and neither will good clothing and music as long as there's people around with good taste. So next time you're at the game take note...


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In loving memory of Denise Pottinger