The latest instalment from our international fan blog comes from Simon Lewis, an exiled AFC Bournemouth fan now living in Vancouver, Canada.
Last season, when the Cherries played Newcastle United at home, it was the beginning for the Vancouver supporters’ group, and approximately a year on heading into this weekend’s clash with the Toon, Simon relives how AFCB Van City came to be.
So, it was 6.30am one morning with about five feet of snow on the ground. It had been coming down all week and despite Vancouver being one of Canada’s mildest climates, the city was blanketed with snow.
So, naturally, this was the day we decided to have our first AFC Bournemouth Vancouver Supporters’ Club meet.
It all started around two months earlier when the weather was better and after I’d had a chance encounter with a Hibernian fan!
After arranging to meet a friend, he brought along a Hibs fan who was waxing lyrical about having watched the football with the rest of the Hibs supporters’ group. So it was really that moment when I thought, ‘if Hibs can have a supporters’ club, then I’m absolutely sure the Cherries can have one!”
And it was as simple as that really, AFCB Van City was born.
The very next day I swiftly moved to set up the Facebook and Twitter pages but, as I waited for the Cherries fans to flock in immediately, it did take a while! It seems as though the club’s success hadn’t reached the west of Canada.
Most people who like ‘soccer’, as it’s called over here, tend to support one of the ‘big six.’
But I did manage to eventually get people to sign up who weren’t my long-suffering Cherries supporting friends. But once we’d done that, the biggest hurdle was the time difference, a 3pm kick-off at home is 7am in the morning here.
So I delved online and I saw that the Newcastle United Vancouver Supporters’ group mentioned they had a venue for an ungodly hour. One Twitter DM later and we were crashing the Geordies’ bash!
And that was that, our first meet up was confirmed for Saturday 24th February last year, the home game with Newcastle.
All of our supporters turned up, despite the horrendous weather, and two had come out of town to join us.
Both sets of supporters enjoyed having rival fans there in a good-hearted spirit, but when we went 2-0 down that wasn’t exactly the best of starts!
We levelled thanks to Dan Gosling and Adam Smith so neither set of fans went home too unhappy.
If ever anyone is in town and you want to join us for a place to watch the game, we’ll be there with a coffee, you’ll need it!
You can follow AFCB Vancity meet for most match days for breakfast, coffee and to watch the games.