Father and son get the Col U bug.
. click HERE In the meantime, to take a look at our Season Ticket brochure,
In the second in our series, Richard explain why he and his son have decided to upgrade from a six game pack each up to full Season Tickets after some nail biting games last season.
The U's have been pleased to see so many fans getting on board and the good news is that there are many fans who are either getting a Season Ticket for the first time, or returning after an absence. Very promising!
Season Ticket sales have started really encouragingly, with sales to date around 20% up on this time last year.
My first trip to Layer Road was supposed to have been to a League Cup tie between Colchester and Barnsley on 11th September 2001 but, given what happened earlier that day, I didn’t feel like it on the night.
Having lived in various places around the country and been to watch various teams along the way, I arrived in Colchester in 2001 as a Barnsley supporter.
I did visit Layer Road to watch Barnsley on a couple of subsequent occasions (including the first match refereed by Graham Poll after he gave three yellow cards in a World Cup match in 2006) and probably have the dubious honour of being the only Colchester United supporter who only watched matches there from the away end!
My children began to get drawn into the club through the brilliant birthday parties that used to be organised there and taking part in activities like "Little Layer Road Legends" in the holidays.
I remember being shown round the ground as part of a birthday party the week before the team’s first game in the Championship with a young man explaining how the basic changing rooms would provide an advantage against big clubs like Leeds and West Brom whose players would be used to greater levels of luxury.
One of my sons was invited by his primary school to attend an after-school educational initiative organised by the club during the period when the Weston Homes Community Stadium was being built so it was only natural that we would want to go along to the ground once it was built – especially as it was much nearer to our home than Layer Road.
Over the last few years we attended a handful of games each season, but it has only been in the last two years that one of my sons in particular really caught the bug.
Having attended a number of home games in 2011/12 we invested in a quarter season ticket for 2012/13 in the Family Enclosure, although went to at least as many games again in the South Stand.
The real difference for us this season has been that we have caught the away game bug. It started as an idea for me to visit my family in Barnsley and take in an away game although we found that, like many supporters before us, we enjoyed seeing how many other grounds we could "tick off".
Sitting through goalless defeats at Brentford, Scunthorpe, Doncaster and Sheffield United was painful (not to mention the trip to Chelmsford!) but our rewards came with great wins at Stevenage and Bury before the big trip to Carlisle.
My son had been lobbying all season for the Carlisle trip but I had told him that it would probably be an end-of-season mid-table clash with nothing at stake and therefore not worth the journey. How wrong I was!
We all appreciate the friendly atmosphere at WHCS and, having been a regular visitor to Leeds United’s Elland Road as a teenager, I cannot believe how the whole experience of watching football has improved in the last thirty years.
A highlight of the season for us came before the away game at Scunthorpe when a member of the Colchester staff (I think it was Joe Dunne but I wasn’t really concentrating) gave a ball to my son and let him take it onto the pitch during pre-match training to get the players to sign it. That wouldn’t happen at Old Trafford.
And, having followed the team around the country, some of the players feel almost like friends and, unlike many Premiership players, provide an example for younger people that I don’t mind my children following. The players really do give the impression of being genuinely decent blokes.
Although, come to think of it, Valley Parade was the first ground I ever visited and where I first got the football bug. But that, as they say, is another story.
And with Rotherham and Bradford City both promoted, we’ve got a couple of new grounds to visit alongside family trips to Barnsley.
Even though my son won’t make all the games in the coming season as he has to be away for some of the time, we got full Season Tickets anyway to show our support.