What is the definition of a fan or supporter?
There’s plenty of slightly different variations about but in the main it involves an enthusiastic devotee of an individual or a club following them in an often fanatical way.
They will cheer, sing, shout, celebrate and invest time, effort and money in the fortunes of their chosen subject.
That passion is often handed down from generation to generation or based on location, although the latter is less prevalent in the globalised world we live in these days.
Some show their pride and pain more vocally and visibly, others will vote with their feet if they’re not happy and a fair few will just follow quietly regardless.
There’s been plenty for all of those types, and anyone inbetween, to ponder as a result of the King’s Lynn Stars’ dismal start to the campaign, which led to team boss Peter Schroeck leaving the club by mutual consent on Tuesday.
It’s been one of the club’s worst spells in recent memory and comes at a time when, in truth, you could argue that people should just be pleased to be back at Saddlebow Road after lockdowns.
That said, it’s not easy to remain upbeat when you’re watching your beloved team get beaten comfortably. An away win at Ipswich provided some respite but Monday’s 48-42 defeat to the same side extended the winless start at the Adrian Flux Arena to five meetings.
Crowds have dwindled since the tapes first went up and only the hardcore remain – the type of supporter who will support, come what may. Regardless of the form, entry fee or displays, they will be there because that’s how they feel they should support their club. Others won’t accept being charged decent sums of money for unimpressive action or displays so have already voted with their feet.
Plenty will have vented their anger in person or online and it’s been fascinating to watch the different types clash on social media as they’ve debated how they should be supporting their club when they need it most.
It’s hard for me to judge when I’m not a meeting-going
fan these days. But I do know that I followed King’s Lynn FC through some pretty lean years as a teenager and always ‘supported’ them.
Unsurprisingly I was never shy in criticising if I felt I should and supporters shouldn’t be made to feel bad for saying something negative.
The problem is when in-fighting starts between fans and negativity engulfs the whole club – it’s very hard to shake it off, as the Stars are finding out.
Panthers’ pride much less painful
Usually the sight of seeing Peterborough Panthers at the top of the table would cause untold misery.
King’s Lynn Stars’ fiercest rivals have had a flying start to the Premiership season – which included what would usually be an incredibly upsetting
54-36 win on Lynn shale.
While it was hardly enjoyable – even for someone like myself who follows the club from afar these days – I must admit seeing the Panthers’ pride at their form has been much less painful for me than usual.
And that’s because a good friend and Stars legend, Rob Lyon, is leading their charge on the title. I feel happy that he’s be back in speedway and delighted for him, on a personal level, that it’s working so well after a few years away.
It was funny to see his wife Debbie posting on social media that it was weird to be at the Adrian Flux Arena supporting the away team.
I wouldn’t go anywhere near saying I was also cheering them on but it does feel strange to feel some tiny bit of happiness when that lot up the A47 win meetings.
A blow as big event called off
It feels like we’re finally coming out of the time when Covid-19 caused huge problems for local sport.
Running events are happening again, local cricket is underway, the football season got finished and clubs are being swung on golf courses around the district.
However, with the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ pushed back once more to July 19, one of West Norfolk’s biggest events decided there still wasn’t enough to convince them to return this year
As a result, the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament has been called off for the second year in a row thanks to the pandemic. That’s such a shame as we all strive for the sort of normality that we once took for granted.
The committee reluctantly took the decision that uncertainty and the recent rise in positive cases meant they couldn’t commit to August’s staging of the event – Britain’s largest for the sport.
With the usual excitement around Wimbledon and the warmer weather tempting people to pick up a racket, it’s a shame that more than 1,200 competitors won’t get the chance to do that at Sunny Hunny.
With concerns around safety and an ever-changing picture, who can blame the committee for making the call? Let’s just hope for their sake, and tennis enthusiasts in the area, that they won’t be forced to do the same in 2022.