Date:Wednesday May 21 2008
Vital Leeds Member Dazza71 discusses how to support two teams at once, especially when considering they are both Sunday’s playoff final clubs in a great member article.
League One Final conflict of interests
The fact is that I have followed both clubs for over 30 years!!
I am born and bred in Doncaster even though I have lived in Oxfordshire since 1990. I lived within half a mile of Belle Vue so it was only natural I would go and watch the Rovers.
Some people ask how I can support two clubs.
The fact is that until this season I have never had a conflict of interests. When I first started following football in the 70's Leeds were one of the major forces in European football whilst Doncaster were regularly applying for re-election to the League. In fact that never changed much until the contrasts of both clubs started to change in 2003.
I went to my first Doncaster game in 1976 a League cup tie against Derby County. Both my dad and my eldest brother both liked to go to watch the Rovers but they were big Leeds fans so it was only natural that I caught the same bug. In those days because of all the trouble that was following Leeds United around my dad never allowed me to go to Elland Road although I did see them play pre season games regularly at Belle Vue. The only chance I used to get to see them was on The Big Match, Match of the Day and midweek cup games on Sportsnight.
My bond for both clubs grew stronger in 1978 when Doncaster Rovers made Leeds legend Billy Bremner club manager. My first ever kit was a Leeds kit in the late 70's but I would soon have the shirt of both clubs on my back. That has continued to this day and I currently have the home shirt of both teams from the 2007/08 season!
I still found it ok to follow both teams even when they were only a Division apart in the early 80's after Leeds were relegated and Bremner took Rovers up to the old Third Division. When Bremner finally left Doncaster and rejoined Leeds in 1985 I was old enough to start following Leeds. Before I left Doncaster in 1990 I was easily doing over 60 games a season between the two clubs. Donny regularly played home games on a Friday night because of the racing and Leeds would play Saturday so it was still quite easy to follow both clubs. When I moved down south in 1990 I still found time to get to games, once again because of the racing I could go up to Doncaster for the weekend and watch Rovers and Leeds if they were both at home. I did spend more time though following both clubs when they were playing away in the South of the country.
When Doncaster nearly went out of business in 1998 and dropped down to the conference I never lost my love of my home town team and still found myself going all over with the Rovers. In fact I was also by now going on away days into Europe with Leeds. The contrasts of both clubs were worlds apart and I could find myself in Monaco or Eindhoven one week in front of full house European ties and the next week I could be watching Rovers in front of 500 at Farnborough!!
In 2003 the contrasts of both clubs started to differ with Leeds seemingly going into melt down and Doncaster finally coming back into the football League. Doncaster continued to climb whilst Leeds continued to sink further down the League. I have always followed both clubs through good and bad times and there have been quite a lot of both!
In 2007/08 they were both finally in the same Division, so for the first time in over 30 years of following both I had a conflict of interests. When they met at Elland Road I sat in the Leeds end and Donny won 1-0. When they met at the Keepmoat I sat in the Donny end and Leeds won 1-0!!
When it come down to the last game of the season I was really hoping Donny could win at Cheltenham and clinch automatic promotion whilst Leeds could then go on and win the play offs. My partner has been telling me all season it would be a Donny V Leeds play off Final. So now next Sunday they will battle it out for a place in the championship. My partner also now has the same dilemma as over the last ten years whilst we have been together she has also followed the fortunes of both clubs.
Both my dad and my brother will be watching the game next week. My dad wants Donny to win whilst my brother firmly wants Leeds. I still have splinters in my bum as I am firmly sat on the fence at the moment!!
I had lots of friends ringing me last night asking me what I will be doing next Sunday. They seem to find it quite funny!
Who do I support?
What shirt should I wear?
I am sure whatever happens I will be stood in one section of the ground feeling either elated or dejected for the fans of the other team.
Date:Wednesday May 21 2008
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