Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust

The voice of Salford Red Devils fans

Paul Whiteside 0 Comments

The Rugby League Nut.

I am not sure if it’s always been there but in 2019 with social media and the constant changing electronic environment Rugby League snobbery rears it’s head quite often. There seems to be an obsession from certain sections of fans about other teams attendances. Of course we all want the best for our teams and the sport in general. However the constant parochial attitude of my clubs bigger than your club doesn’t sit well with me.

The way the professional game is structured these days with three leagues there are many sides that struggle attendance wise. You go to any of these grounds though and you will meet Rugby League nuts. As I like to call them. These people are the life blood of the game, people who follow there side through thick and thin. On long losing runs, going to matches hoping to just keep the score down. Going to watch your side because you love the club it’s in your DNA. Getting to matches late or at half time straight from work, missing family events like weddings and birthdays usually for a lost cause and a good hiding and probably an ear bashing when you get home.

Anyone can jump on a bandwagon or a bit of success, these Nuts live and breath there side through the tough times. Worrying about your team when perhaps you should have something else on your mind. The willingness to do anything for the club you love is certainly something money can’t buy. Perhaps there’s not enough respect shown in Rugby League sometimes I don’t know I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I know it’s important for the game to grow and survive. Sometimes though too many knee jerk decisions are made by the people at the top. How many times have we seen restructuring over the last decade.

Other sports like football for example don’t have this attendance obsession. Clubs like Bournemouth and Burnley play in the top flight and get no where near as many supporters as some of the top sides. They are just left to get on with playing the game and that’s how it should be. The first question you see people ask on Twitter is nearly always, “what was the crowd? How many were there?” It should be “ who played well” “ what a great try that was” “what about that kick, pass, off load.”

For my team Salford attendances seem to be a hot topic of the last few years.

The hard core support we have makes me proud to play my small part following this great club. To some up my feelings,

Salford RLFC has meant to much to me and come to represent to many things. I’ve been to far to many games spent to much money worried about Salford when I should of been worrying about other things! I’ve asked to much of the people I love sometimes. I accept all that, perhaps it’s something you can’t understand unless you belong. What about this, it’s extra time in a million pound game. You look around and see all those familiar faces full of fear, desperation and hope everyone lost. Then Gareth O Brien drops a goal from the half way line and everyone goes spare with jubilation. Just for a few minutes your at the centre of the whole world. The feeling of belonging to our great club is so special, and the good thing is it comes around again and again. There’s always another season. Lose the cup semi in July well there’s the new competition next April. It’s actually pretty comforting if you think about it!

Every now and again you catch a glimpse of a world that doesn’t work like that. A world that doesn’t start in February and finish in October!

There’s some stuff that never comes back and some stuff that won’t go away!

Some stuff you couldn’t ignore even if you wanted to!

It’s easy to ridicule teams when there struggling, there support might be low in numbers but for those fanatics who follow there club like a religion if it’s Swinton, Salford, Widnes, Barrow, Oldham, keighley, Halifax, Dewsbury, Whitehaven, Workington, Featherstone or anyone those Rugby League Nuts I salute you. For all those clubs struggling financially and for support I sincerely hope you survive and continue to contribute to the great game of rugby league.

God bless.

Paul Whiteside.


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