Oh when the Sons’ go up, and lift the challenge cup, we’ll be there…we’ll be there.
I grew up in a small town, some of my favourite memories as a child are: heading down to Dumbarton Football Club with my dad to watch Dumbarton play in the rain, hail and wind at our local stadium. Rangers and Celtic meant nothing to me, I was a Sons fan and if anyone dared insult them, I did not hold back. They taught me how to persevere, cheer in the cold and how to back a team through the good and the bad.
Dumbarton FC gave me a lot of memories. My first job was a Ball Girl, the second in Dumbarton’s history. It gave me so much joy to run out before the team, hear the fans sing we will rock you and the bovril at half time was a bonus too! I remember going to football training camps and being a mascot for my tenth birthday whilst all the other girls has princess parties, I dragged my friends to a match. I cheered and I got my picture taken with Iain Russell. He’s now done a full 360 and is back at the club and I couldn’t be happier!
Football was my father-daughter time. From learning the offside rule to shouting at the linesman. I remember the year we won the league and I got to experience a pitch invasion with my dad, whilst my mum looked on with fear! We mourned the loss of our captain when he died and we celebrated the community spirit about the club. “We’re the best part-time team in Scotland” We celebrate not being relegated like we’ve won the league. We are bold, proud, Scottish football fans. And oh my, do we love our wee team.
So, when we got into the Scottish Cup Semi-Final in Wales, it really was a no brainer. Yes, it would be on TV, but that didn’t matter, we had to be there. We set off on the journey, with fire in our hearts, knowing that if there was a defeat it would be ok. We were witnessing Dumbarton’s first semi-final in my life time. The drums were beating, we were shouting, we would have loved to see our club in our first final in over 100 years. That idea seemed almost comical, we didn’t manage a cup final in my dad’s lifetime, I didn’t ever expect it to happen during mine.
So we went to Wales, my dad’s Dumbarton scarf around my neck, and the first one he bought me on my arm. I remembered the days where he saved me from being hit by a ball as I’d broken my arm. The games that I talked the whole way through the 90 mins. On that journey to Wales, I held those memories close, I cherished the times we went to support oor wee team. As that’s what it was. Oors.
And in Wales, we won it. From the banter with the Welsh stewards, moving seats at half time to support the team behind the goal. They scored. Then we scored. And with a beautiful goal, we clinched the semi-final. There were tears of joy, admiration, shouts and jubillee. All because we made the final. The final of a “diddy cup”. But it’s our final!
So, when we head to Perth on Saturday, we will go expectantly. For oor team to play for their badges. For oor team to compete in our first cup final in 100 years. For me, I get to take my dads scarf with me, the memories and the chance to celebrate The Sons of the Rock. So as the town queue’s for masks of Stevie Aiken’s face, personalised Irn Bru bottles and tickets for the game, I know one thing.
That when the Sons go up, to try and lift the challenge cup, I’ll be there, I’ll be there.