Prior to getting on board The New Saints express, I had a season ticket for many years at my local professional football team, Wolverhampton Wanderers. In fact, I went to my first game at Molineux in 1963 when Stan Cullis was the manager.
Wolves does an early bird season ticket discount and although I used to hear some fans talking amongst themselves towards the end of each campaign that they would see which division the team would be in before they renewed or not, it was never an issue to me.
I saw Wolves play in the top flight and I watched them as they plummeted through the divisions in successive seasons. My visits to Molineux, as well as the occasional away day, were an integral part of my life and I never imagined Wolves would be anything other than a major player on the stage.
However, you never know where life takes you and in this instance, although it’s a long story, I ended up giving up my season ticket in the South Bank and working for The New Saints.
When the two sides clash, as was the case on Wednesday just gone (March 13), I’m often asked where my allegiances lie and who do I want to win. The reality is that it’s not an issue to me. The New Saints is my employer, and I imagine that there are numerous games up and down the country each week where an opposition player grew up supporting the team he is now playing against. I doubt very much if he wants to do anything other than win on the day.
In the case of the game last week it was TNS FC Ladies who welcomed Wolves Women to Park Hall, with the visitors the happiest come the final whistle, as they recorded a 4-0 victory.
I’ve been to several games between the clubs with Academy, ladies and first team all featuring. They are, without doubt, my favourite fixtures and especially those between TNS FC’s squad and Wolves U-23s. There have been a number of games at Park Hall and a couple at Wolves’ Sir Jack Hayward training ground.
The New Saints FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers – the best of both worlds indeed.
Lead image: On the pitch with TNS Ladies prior to kick-off against Wolves Women.
Rev’s Ramblings is my weekly TNS FC blog, written from a personal perspective, following my adventures with the champions of Wales. Read past entries HERE