New to afcb.co.uk! In just the second instalment of bi-monthly updates from our supporters around the world, Dave Cordell of the North American Cherries Fans Overseas details how he follows the club from afar.
When I immigrated to the USA from England in 1988, the one thing I missed most was being able to follow the Cherries in real life. As a season ticket holder for many years, and a frequent away game follower, it didn’t seem quite the same trying to tune into short wave radio broadcasts of the games.
To make it even worse, when an American rarely asked me what team I supported, and I replied Bournemouth, there were blank stares of “Who?” in response. In the meantime, I followed as well as I could, and even brought my then 10-year-old daughter to a game vs. QPR in December 2001.
Thirty years later, it is a very different scene. Every Premier League game is shown live in the USA and when I wear my Cherries shirt, the response is no longer bewilderment, but “Oh that’s Eddie Howe’s team”.
The bars are still full of fans wearing the shirts of the big five teams, but around North America, more and more fans are wearing the red and black stripes of our beloved Cherries.
We are lucky that every Premier League game is shown live. If the games are at 7am on the east coast (or 4 am on the west coast) most people watch the games in the comfort of their own homes with coffee in hand. The 3 pm or later games from the UK are the ones that draw the crowds to the bar to watch in unison, and are accompanied by a liquid lunch.
So apart from soccer as we call it over here, I’m often asked what other sports I watch in the Washington D.C. area. My son and I have visited all 30 Major League baseball parks around North America, each of which is unique. Baseball is the sport of summer and while it is slower paced, it is a great way to spend a summer afternoon or night.
My son is autistic and loves to play special ice hockey for those with autism and other disabilities. We were fortunate enough to see the Washington Capitals end a 45-year drought and win their first national (Stanley Cup) title this spring in six thrilling games vs. the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
We plan to go to some D.C. United games this season as they now have signed Wayne Rooney, but I still prefer a game with the Cherries as they are my childhood team.
Finally, I have been fortunate to come over the last few years to see my boyhood dream of watching my team play in the top division. Others may go to Hawaii but I love being able to fly back to see my team play – even if, as this year, it will be in February to see us play Wolves and Arsenal. (Well that’s if we or Wolves/ Arsenal are not in the League Cup final that weekend, but I’ll swap Wolves for a cup final at Wembley with the Cherries!)
I’ll have some NACHOS (see below) badges with me, so if you run into my son or I, don’t hesitate to ask for a priceless memento of the Cherries support in the USA. In the meantime, “Up the Cherries” from all of us in North America.
Dave co-founded the North American Cherries Fans Overseas (NACHOS) which can be followed and contacted on Facebook here.
Have you got an interesting story? Or are you spreading the AFC Bournemouth word in a far-flung corner of the globe? We want to hear from you! Email [email protected].