Sunday 5th of April 2014- Dulwich Hamlet vs Wingate & Finchley
I have very mixed feelings when it comes to football. Growing up in Brazil it was obligatory to love it. Well, it was for a teenager, teenagers mostly want to fit in. My mum was never very keen on it, but I was passionate about – in a ‘brainwashed into it’ way.
So, until my early 20s I had some interest on it, I was a Flamengo supporter in Brazil. Then I came to England at the tender age of 18 and I continued to care about it for a couple of years. I loosely supported Arsenal, as I lived near it. Then I became disgusted by it: the violence, the money, the corruption, the greed and I got interested in other things. Major League football became (and still is) something to be despised as far as I was concerned.
Then in recent times J, and our friends, started supporting Dulwich Hamlet: one of the local teams: the pink and blue army. So every other Saturday (and some weekdays) or so they would all go watch. He kept saying I should come too, but it clashes with my Saturday Capoeira class, so I always had an excuse not to go. Also standing in the freezing cold while people scream and swear in my ear is not my idea of fun. Which is exactly what happened when I went to watch the away game against Kingstoneans.
It was cold, there was an insane amount of profanity, there was a bad tempered atmosphere and to me it felt people were going there just to scream their frustrations out, rather than have a good time. I just wanted to leave. I didn’t enjoy it. There was a fair bit of ‘crowd control’ too. Security everywhere, which I wasn’t expecting. I thought it would be my last foray into minor league football.
Anyway, this Saturday I decided to go, mostly to see friends I haven’t seen for a while but also to take photos. Football was a subject I never explored with my zoom lens, or any lens. It was a reasonably warm day, and it wasn’t raining. And Dulwich were playing home, I was told the atmosphere there is a lot more relaxed, children everywhere, good natured and happy. And so it was. The fans all know each other and I had a great time. I even found myself, calibrated by Guinness & Pimms in cans, celebrating goals. Most of all I enjoyed seeing my friends. And I guess that’s what it’s all about… I remembered when I was a teenager and used to watch minor league football matches with my friends. There were no frayed tempers, just people singing and having a laugh. It was also a good match, 4×2 to Dulwich.
So, if the weather is good and Dulwich are playing a home game I will go again! After the match a sizeable crowd of supporters (about 30) invaded the kids area at the ‘Fox on the hill’ pub. There we ate some pretty decent food, reasonably priced. The children there were bemused by all the chanting still going on, but we weren’t kicked out, I guess they are used to it.
There’s a big thread on urban75 where all the supporters gather:
Link to Flickr gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/plasmatika/sets/72157643474570705/