Ten years. Ten long, emotional years. Two relegations. The loss of our stadium. Two play-off final disappointments. One gloomy administration. Twenty-Five points deducted. Countless numbers of debts owed. One close-fought promotion place. One uplifting win over our rivals. Three opinion-jerking owners. Nine full-time managers. Zero cup finals. Yet, we are still marching on… just about.
As a relatively young fan, at 20 years old, I am both envious and sympathetic towards the older members of our fan base. I am envious in the sense that I would give an arm and a leg to have witnessed Leeds United being crowned ‘The Best Team in England’. What a time that must have been.
I do sympathise though. I cannot imagine how it would feel to watch the demise of my team from Champions to the bottom of League 1, in the space 15 or so years. Disappointment and gloom is all the memories I have, so for me it is nothing out of the ordinary. It still hurts though.
It is a shame that the way our team have been dragged through the muck has led to friction within the support. No one is particularly angry at other fans. They are angry at the way this club has been treated. It leads to so many differing opinions, which are fine, but once given the limited social media platform that is Twitter, it can sometimes lead to unneeded tension. I have myself been involved, but I can say now that most of the time, I have absolutely no issues with the person I am talking to, it’s just a sensitive subject to all involved.
We are all supporting the same team at the end of the day.
We are a weird mix of fans. No one can deny that. A club of fans open to admitting we are ‘vile’ and ‘dirty’. The encourager of the ‘We All Hate Leeds Scum’ chant we have heard so frequently. Happy to mock ourselves in order to unite. We just feel different to other fans. How many other clubs have kept the level of support we have, despite the turmoil we find ourselves in on too frequent of an occasion?
@RhysTBB depressing, uncomfortable, paranoid, broken hearted, trust issues, just some symptoms that come with supporting Leeds
— EH91 (@ellskin10) December 15, 2014
There are many, many words to sum up the emotions and feelings us, as fans, feel in regards to our beloved Leeds United. The one from above that jumped out the most to me, however, was ‘broken-hearted’. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘broken-hearted’ as:
“Overwhelmed by grief or disappointment.”
In some way, I am certain all, if not the vast majority, have fallen victim to these feelings within the past decade. It’s similar to watching a distant cousin, admittedly one that has let you down on numerous occasions, being repeatedly ‘kicked in the crotch’. You cannot help but share the pain.
Nevertheless, when we have a reason to celebrate, it’s like a wave of euphoria takes over us. The sense of happiness that overcomes me when we score is incredible. For that moment in time you forget everything else that has happened at our club. The administration. The relegations. The misery of the past decade. There is no hatred between fellow fans. It’s all gone. For those few seconds or minutes, you remember why you fell in love with this great club.
I’ll just leave this here…
We are Leeds United. Us. The Fans. We have to remember that. Players, managers and owners come and go, but the fans remain forever. So before questioning the loyalty of a fellow fan, remember that. They don’t have to support this club, but they do. We all feel both the misery and excitement our club brings us just as much as the next Leeds fan. We are all in this together. Side by side.
Now, this is the bit that I find the most difficult. How exactly do you explain being a Leeds fan to someone who isn’t one? There are plenty of words, but none do it justice. So I’ll leave you with this tweet, which to me, sums it up as best as possible:
@RhysTBB Some fans choose the club they want to support but at Leeds United, the club chooses you. *sniffs*
— Aravind (SA) (@_satired) December 15, 2014