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The Fan At The Maracana Stadium

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Posted by Oliver Thompson
Posted on Thu 1 Aug 2019
Posted in News

We spoke to David Pearson who has been a Halifax Town fan for more than 50 years and even took the blue & white striped shirt to the Maracana Stadium in Brazil.

Let’s start with how you became a Halifax Town fan? 

“My dad had watched Town since he was a boy, waxing lyrical to me about the likes of Freddie Tunstall, Frank Large and so on.”

He decided to take me down to the Shay to see if I enjoyed it, and the first game I ever saw was the Luton Town home game at the end of the 67-68 season. I was just 8 having had my birthday in March. Allegedly, when we lost 1-0, I was so upset I burst into tears!”

What is your first memory supporting the club? 

“The first clear memory I have was the Stoke City FA Cup 4th round replay.  We’d seen that we had drawn away 1-1 and that the replay would be obviously an evening game. I was given dispensation to go to the game as it would have been beyond my normal bedtime, and I do remember it.”

I believe the club had put ropes around the speedway track so the smaller, younger ones like me, could have a clear view of the match, and in particular, of course, the legendary Gordon Banks in goal, two years after having won the World Cup.  The result was, of course, disappointing, but it was my first evening game, and to see them playing under floodlights against a legend, was just unbelievable for an 8-year old.”

What has been your best memory supporting the club? 

“The highlight has to be the Wembley trip. If you’d said to my dad that Town would appear at Wembley, let alone win a final, he would never have believed it.  The whole day was excellent, the Town fans in full voice from start to finish, and of course when Macca drove it in with his wrong foot, and we went on to win the Trophy, it was hugely emotional.”

The club is in my blood, and we’ve been through many dark days, so to see them at the home of football in this country was incredible.”

You went to the Maracana with your Halifax shirt, what was the reaction? 

“Going to the Maracana Stadium was a part of a tour of Rio that my late wife and I had arranged when we went on holiday to Brazil. Rio is an amazing city, and it was almost unbelievable to be there. As soon as I knew the stadium tour was included, the Town shirt was in the suitcase, and it was always going to be what I wore.”

Some people looked at me, wondering which famous club I supported, and maybe were surprised to hear of little HTFC over there, but it was a proud moment, and I couldn’t help wondering if it was the only Town shirt ever seen inside the famous stadium.”

What are you looking forward to next season? 

“I’m really optimistic about the season ahead. We’ve obviously struggled a little over the past couple of years.”

If we can build on the defensive strengths of Johnson and the back four, to be creative and a little more attack-minded, with goals to back that up, we could possibly get in or around the playoffs. You have to start every season in an optimistic mood, or there is little point supporting your club. Whatever happens, the support from this part of the Midlands will be as firm as ever.”

What was your first memory supporting the club? Would you like to feature in the next ‘Supporters Diaries’?  Get in contact via our social media channels!

Read more posts by Oliver Thompson

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