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#1: Other Clubs like AFC Wimbledon and FC United?

Posted on 2006-07-23 19:38:57 by Gruber

I used to be a season ticket holder at Highbury, from my first days as
a junior gunner in 1986 through to the time I left the England for a
new life in the USA in 1998. As Sky TV influence took over I often
started to feel detached from 'my' club as the ticket prices soured and
the Premier League sucked the heart out of the game. I missed the
terraces, I missed the whole vibe and somehow 38,000 people sitting
down (very) quietly during games made Highbury just not seem like the
home of my childhood.

With the retirement of Dennis Bergkamp, the last player in the side I
have seen play at Highbury gone, and Arsenal moving onto their new
stadium I can't help feeling that my time as a true fan of the club has
passed. I have long followed the fortunes of AFC Wimbledon and FCUM as
Glazier took over and am wondering if there are any other similar fan
run clubs in North or East London that I can get behind - in fact are
there any others anywhere from recent times?

There is something very pure and healthy about stepping away from the
higher levels of football and supporting 'smaller' but more tangible
and real teams with fans that love the game and players who play for
something other than money. It is the reason that I have enjoyed
watching the Chicago Fire from time to time - getting to walk out
onto the Soldier Field pitch and shake hands with Hristo Stoichov was
something I will always remember, it took me back to the days when new
star Anders Limpar rode home on the Underground and I stood and chatted
with Lee Dixon and Steve Bould outside Highbury on a summer weekday as
I waited to pickup a season ticket outside Highbury.

You used to feel part of it in those days, and now when I come home I
am lucky if I can get my hands on tickets. Am I destined to be an AFC
Wimbledon fan? Or are there others?

I don't care about the level, promotion is promotion, a championship is
something to take pride in and the dream of making it to higher planes
of play is something that I'd love to have again. You don't get that
in MLS, its stagnant.

(I get home often and watch Brechin City and Montrose in Scotland but
feel homeless in London)

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