By Sean Whitelaw
Football supporters are notorious for their commitment when it comes to watching their teams play.
We often see, particularly in Scotland, the numbers in attendance when Celtic and Rangers play at home, as well as the vast amount of people who will travel abroad to have the opportunity to see their idols play in the European competition, such as the Champions League or Europa League.
But, this type of supporter exists across all levels of football, and met with no recognition or the same plaudits as the ‘big teams’.
Andy Semple – Committee Member and East Kilbride Football Club die-hard, left his wife in Tenerife, halfway through their holiday, to watch his club face an away trip to Banff in the First Round of the Scottish Cup, to play Deveronvale.
Andy said ” If it was at home, I maybe wouldn’t have bothered, so much. I had missed previous Scottish Cup trips north to Forres Mechanics and Peterhead, through being on holiday and having COVID, so I said to my wife that I’d really like to go.”
It was a long trip for Andy, who tallied up over 16 hours on the round trip, with East Kilbride Football Club sharing their acknowledgement of his efforts after the 4-2 win over Deveronvale, that saw them reach the Second Round of the Scottish Cup.
Andy added “It was definitely worth the trip, especially with the win. My wife was more than happy for me to go, as it was coming out of my pocket, and not hers!
“I returned to Tenerife the next day, and my wife picked me up from the airport. When we got back to the apartment, she had bought me a shirt, so I knew I was safe!”
Fellow Committee Member, Ewen Stevenson was also in attendance for the Scottish Cup tie in Banff. Driving the supporters bus, that day, he was unaware that Andy was in fact on the team bus.
He said “He’s crazy! Only Andy would do such a thing. It wasn’t just as simple as cutting his holiday short, but he left his wife there and returned the next day.
“It just shows how much it means to him to support East Kilbride Football Club.”
Behaviour of football supporters is always under the microscope, whether that be exemplary or violent, but it’s recognized as a collective amount with a high populous of people in attendance.
Smaller clubs have the same loyal supporters, that would do anything to see their team play, they just don’t have the platform to give the credit that is truly deserved.