Football: It’s a family affair!
By Lee Alexander, Coventry & Exeter supporter.
I fell in love with football at an early age; standing on a wooden stool, supported by my Dad, watching Coventry City at home in the “covered end” at Highfield Road, or away on the asphalt banks of Fellows Park, Walsall.
It was a family thing; not just my family but being part of the football club “family”.
I was lucky enough to be at Wembley in 1987, to witness “one of the best FA Cup Finals ever” (quote: John Motson); I was with my Dad and both of my brothers and a “family” of friends.
So, where’s this leading to?
Well, most people in footballing circles have a “2nd team” that they support; mine just happens to be Exeter!
A mate of mine rang me to say he was coming up my way to watch Exeter play Burton in the Conference and asked if I’d be interested in going; it was a night game in 2004.
The rest, as they say, is history; Eamonn Dolan, who has since sadly passed away, was Manager and I’d adopted my 2nd team, or should I say they adopted me.
Within the 2 years I’d made my maiden visit to Old Trafford, to see “The Exeter” grab an outstanding draw; this resulted in a televised replay and in turn financial stability, I must be some kind of talisman!
Paul Tisdale was installed as the new Manager in 2006 and more even greater occasions followed; a trip to Wembley, where the Grecians were narrowly beaten by Sammy McIlroy’s Morecambe, was followed by a triumph over Cambridge the next season and a return to the EFL.
On our travels, through the Conference and Leagues 1 & 2, the grounds have included Notts. County, Mansfield, Crewe, Shrewsbury and Burton to mention a few, recruiting my Grandson Lewis along the way; I forgot to mention, my son Marc accompanied me on both Wembley occasions, Old Trafford and to the Holy Grail – St James Park, beating Huddersfield with a Ryan Harley goal to secure another season in League 1.
So, to me, Exeter is an extension of my football family; a club run by supporters and it’s Trust of some 3,000 members, operating with family values, a reputation it carries amongst other clubs, the length and breadth of the Country.
Reflected by a Chairman Julian Tagg, a fan since the age of 9, an iconic Director of Football in Steve Perryman and of course, the longest serving Manager in the EFL.
I’m not going to predict a score for today; I just hope everyone in the family goes home happy.
My hope for the future is that I’ll be back next season to enjoy a repeat fixture; this time in League 1.
Thanks for welcoming me to the family!
On Saturday Lewis Alexander my grandson will be the Coventry City Mascot but we will both be supporting both CITYS!
Age: 11 years old
School: Burbage Juniors
Interests: Football, Cross Country Running, Minecraft, Science and Reading.
Favourite Film character: James Bond.
Favourite TV programme: Marvel Avengers.
Character: Lewis is a very chatty, bright young lad, who enjoys not only watching but playing football; having Captained a local team in the 2016-17 season. A Coventry City fan and season ticket holder for the last 5 years (excluding the year at Sixfields, Northampton), highlighted with a visit to Wembley in 2017 to see Coventry lift the EFL Trophy; Lewis has also become a follower of Exeter City, travelling to some away games with his Grandad Lee.