For those who didn't see my article in the most recent CPSC Newsletter, below is the story of how I became a Pirate. Suffice to say that I was a huge wendyball supporter (love is blind!) for many years, but supporting this wonderful club helped in no small part in eventually turning me away completely from the dark side......
A conversation with a fellow Pirates supporter or opposition fan at a game, that I have not spoken to before, is usually interjected with (once they have heard my distinct West London accent), ‘So how come you support the Pirates?’ Do you have family there?’, and my reply is normally a quite sheepish, ‘Erm, no’.
Having been born just around the corner from Rosslyn Park and brought up virtually in the shadow of Twickenham, it’s fair to assume that I should be supporting one of the many clubs in that area, but having first visited Cornwall ten years ago, subsequently falling in love with it’s beauty and culture (West Cornwall in particular), and coming back on a regular basis, I became interested in Penzance & Newlyn (as the first team was still known as at the time), by reading about the club in the local press. I wanted to get a chance to watch the Pirates, but they were never playing at home whenever I was down in the Duchy, and due to other sporting commitments at the time, I missed the club when they were playing up country closer to home. I even had a Pirates shirt that I proudly wore, but had never seen them play.....
Eventually my opportunity came when the Pirates had reached the EDF Trophy Final. Now I must admit a little embarrassment to this fact, as it makes me sound like a glory chaser, but anyone who knows my football supporting history (now a former life!), will understand that this is far from the truth. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was an amazing day, but most of all I came to see what friendly supporters the Pirates had and what a special club it was, and with a trip back down the Great Western Railway already planned for the following weekend, my first home game came against Birmingham & Solihull, and then came a trip the Saturday after to Coventry. By now, I had signed up to the forum (an essential tool for any exile to keep in touch with the goings on hundreds of miles away). I was well and truly hooked, and couldn’t wait for my first full season.
The most overwhelming thing for me, as being a non Cornishman with no links to the Duchy, is how welcome I have been made by all of the supporters I have met, and now have a good few that I proudly call my friends. Due to the cost of travel and accommodation, I may only make two or three home games a season, but I attend around 90% of away games, and my enthusiasm to making my next game never diminishes, as I look forward catching up with everyone again, and of course cheering on the Pirates, often joining in with the now famous (or is that infamous?) ‘Give us a P.........................’
I may have been born a Londoner, and it may have taken me thirty six years to discover my destiny, but one thing is certain - I was born to be a Pirate!