Tom Bourne, editor of the Vital Vale website and regular contributor to the Two Unfortunates blog wrote this excellent piece on how he became a Vale fan for the inside Left blog. He has kindly allowed OVF to reproduce it.
Tom’s article begins:
I compare many of the themes from my favourite film, On The Waterfront, with supporting the Vale. Love. Loyalty. Trust. Faith. Hope…
“I have often been asked what it was like growing up as a Vale fan in South Birmingham. I lie. I have never actually been asked that. However, it led me to think how I define my relationship with my club.
My older brother, Peter, describes his long love affair with Italian club Torino as akin to that of his mistress. I suppose Vale in some ways felt like my dirty little secret in those early years. Born and raised among a sea of Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion supporters, I was often met with howls of derision when telling my classmates of my football team. If not quite at Accrington Stanley levels of ‘Who are dey?’, it would be fair to say that there weren’t any other Vale supporters, or indeed many lower league supporters throughout my school years. But then again, supporting the Vale has also been about more than following a football team. It’s been a way of life. Supporting what it is generally perceived to be an ‘unfashionable’ club certainly hardens you to life’s travails. I compare many of the themes from my favourite film, On The Waterfront, with supporting the Vale. Love. Loyalty. Trust. Faith. Hope. Also, the concept that power corrupts is something that Vale supporters can readily identify with, after the club was taken to the brink of extinction over the last couple of years through chronic mismanagement.
To read the complete article please click here: