Charlie is one of the young people at KIDS who’s an active member of the Southern Participation Group. Charlie lives in Southampton and supports Eastleigh FC. We caught up with him to find out more about a typical match day.
When did you start supporting Eastleigh FC?
It all started back in 2017/18 when I was at college. My friend Connor told me about Eastleigh and took me to some games. I really enjoyed watching the team, but then the dreaded Covid hit and everything stopped for a while. It’s good to be back watching them again now.
Do you go to watch them regularly?
Yes, I’ve had a season ticket since the 2021/22 season. I’ve got one for this 2022/23, and I’m about to buy my next ticket for the 2023/24 season!
“Cheer loudly for your team and shout at the ref or linesman!”
Does anyone go with you?
My housemate Aidan comes with me, and he’s become a fan of Eastleigh too. Because of my disability I pay for 1 season ticket and get 1 carer ticket free.
What does a match day look like for you?
In the morning we stay home and relax, and then we head into Eastleigh to grab some lunch. After that, we take the Number 2 bus to near the ground and walk the rest of the way to the stadium.
At the stadium we show our tickets and head straight to the gift shop. I always like to buy a program for the game.
Then we take our seats and get ready for the match. We’re in the blue stand where you can sit down, but in the past I’ve had standing season tickets in the green stand, too.
We’ll throw some hissy fits if the referee and linesmen get the calls wrong! But hopefully they don’t! And sometimes we’ll get some food at the match if we’re hungry. It could be a pie or a cheeseburger. Although once at an away game at Torquay there was no food because the electricity went out!
What happens when the match is over?
It’s time to head home. We’re either in a great mood because we’ve won or frustrated because the team lost.
Sometimes we wait for the other team’s coach to go past and either cheer at them if Eastleigh have won, or do funny faces at them if we lost! Then we wait for the Number 2 bus to take us home.
Do you have a favourite player?
I like all the team, but if I had to choose one player it’d be Charlie Carter. He plays midfield and his shirt is number 7.
Have you met any of the team?
I met the manager, Lee Bradbury, just a couple of months ago. It was a surprise – they pulled me down to give me a framed photograph of the team, that all the players had signed, and I got to meet Lee. He’s a great manager.
Any advice for young people who want to go to a football match?
- Take someone who you trust.
- Enjoy the match – you can shout at the ref or linesman if you want to!
- Cheer very loudly to support your team.
- Never leave (even if you’re team is losing). Stay ’til the end or you’re not a true supporter!
- And enjoy some tasty food!
You can also watch a video down below that Eastleigh FC created with Charlie, as part of their ‘Our Fans’ series.