AFC Bournemouth fan and former employee John Bard shares how he continues to follow the Cherries in his native home of Turin.
My name is John Alexander Bard. I am an Italian/American currently living in Italy and some of you might know me as one of the two “John’s” who worked in the ticketing department at AFC Bournemouth – I’m the one with the deeper voice… “Good morning, AFC Bournemouth ticket office, John speaking, how may I help…”
I was introduced to the Cherries while studying sports management in my first year at Bournemouth University. I had the unique opportunity to get involved as a student matchday ambassador in the 2016/17 season. I then went on to be involved in different positions at the club, mainly in the ticketing department.
I’d say that my favourite matches were my first ever games, they also happened to be our biggest ever win in the Premier League with our 6-1 win over Hull City and the 4-3 win at home versus Liverpool.
My typical matchday in Italy usually consists of a late morning walk in downtown Turin with my parents and my dog, fully equipped with AFC Bournemouth hoodies.
Coincidentally, my dog’s name is Cherry but I named her before I began working at AFC Bournemouth or even knew of the club’s existence.
We have breakfast at a local cafe, where strangely enough the barman happens to be a Bournemouth fan. We order the standard cappuccino and a croissant. It’s quite common for us to have people looking at us and approaching us asking what team we support because they are not familiar with the club crest.
It’s almost impossible to be able to get other Italians to say Bournemouth with the correct pronunciation. They usually just cut off some letters here and there and the most common pronunciation is “Bornemut”.
When the club were in the Premier League, we would normally watch the matches on Sky Italy. In the Championship, we have been using the stream service that is being offered by the club.
After the match I usually touch base with my friends, Kris (from Latvia), Karolis (from Lithuania) and Alec (from USA) and we have our post-match review. If it’s an evening match (yes – stereotypical Italian here) it’s automatically pizza and football night, but with real Italian pizza…
I would like to thank the club for the opportunity of writing this blog for the May newsletter. I would also like to extend my best wishes to all AFC Bournemouth supporters in the UK and around the world, and of course to all of my former colleagues at the club.
Wishing you all the best and fingers crossed for exciting times ahead. I will look forward to being back at Vitality Stadium soon!
Up the Cherries!