#ThisIsOurLane10

Name
Rob Holland
How long have I supported Notts County?
Forever
What Notts County means to me.

I’ve been a Notts fan all of my life and so have most of my family. My Dad started taking me to games when he was a Main Stand steward in the 80s, but I’ve also sold match day programmes and recently I was a Supporter Liaison Officer.

Notts have brought me so many happy memories over the years. Beginning as a child watching the late, great Jimmy Sirrel’s team, through to us becoming almost permanent residents at Wembley (back when an appearance there meant something). But often it was just about being able to see my late Uncle who did so much for my family.

Family is all about what Notts means to me. Not just my flesh and blood, but the same hardy strangers you see every week or so, regardless of the weather or our form, that make you feel at home. We’ve survived all of our many low points because of how the family has come together and only by uniting again will we be able to do this time.

We also have a great opportunity to add to our very proud heritage, one that would surely already be the envy of most clubs, and that is because we still have time to complete what would be the greatest escape of all. There is little glory in avoiding relegation, everyone knows that, but the camaraderie and team spirit needed to fight back can create a springboard for future success – only if we unite together.

This season is far from over. 17 games and 51 points remain to be fought for. What’s been has passed. We can’t change where we are, but we can fight (like Notts have done so many times before) to ensure that our fate has not yet been set. No more criticism. No more fear. Now is the time for the Notts County family to come together again.

Nottinghamshire, the county we call home
Only the oldest football league club in the world
There is no other club quite like us
There have been many ups and downs
Still we’ll always be here, come what may

Can we retain our place in the football league?
Of course we can, our fate is not set
Unity, bravery and determination will see us through
Nobody else can do this for us
The time is now for us to rise to the challenge
You Pies!

#ThisIsOurLane9

Name
Jonno
How long have I supported Notts County?
20 years
What Notts County means to me.

Being a Notts county fan has never been, and never will be, about being successful. We learn that from a young age in the playground, swamped by forest, United, Chelsea shirts and the like. Being a Notts county fan, although cliché is about far more than that. It’s a sense of pride, and belonging.
Although the first game my dad took me to see was against Man City in 1998, it wasn’t until much later that I caught the fever of travelling home and away. It has been a privilege for me, since 2011 to have hardly missed a game on terraces up and down the country. I have countless memories that will last a lifetime, and, like many other fans up and down the country, wouldn’t know what to do with myself on a cold winter Saturday if I wasn’t spending over the odds to watch terrible football.
What strikes me most about Notts County, on the home and away terraces though, is the importance of a sense of belonging to a community of likeminded people. We are a small and proud fan base that are largely together through thick and a lot of very thin. The same 250 faces are there in the away ends whether or not we’ve sold 3500 tickets to Oldham or 250 to Exeter on a Tuesday night. And there’s a sense of pride in that. It’s our club, and we’d do anything for it.
I get the feeling that those 250 people are in many ways friends. I’m sure I could share a beer with anyone of them and likewise them with me, at times of need, or at times when Notts have lost again. And that’s what makes me proud to be a Notts fan.
Alongside this is the pride and the sense of history, watching 11 players in black and white shirts that have so indelibly left their mark on both local and global football. A sense of history listening to famous moments spoken by the wonderfully soothing Colin slater, a sense of history of our connection with Juventus, a sense of history in the formation of the wonderful game that so many around the world enjoy. Notts are a huge part of that, despite our decline and lowly position. And I feel that opposition fans get that sense too in many ways.
Notts are a club that have been in steady decline since I began watching them in the late 90s, so seeing them struggle this year is nothing new. It doesn’t hurt at the moment quite as much as it perhaps should. But despite our flaws and recent patchy relationships with other clubs, the staffroom at my workplace seems to me to sum up the mood of football fans regarding Notts’ plight. ‘I really hope you don’t go out of the league, it’d be a huge loss’ is a theme that I’m hearing every Monday as we dissect our teams’ weekend performances. And that makes me happy.
Notts are a club, that overall, are well liked by the wider football community. In the main, our fans are a loyal, welcoming and hardy bunch (no pun intended). The history of the club is recognised and cherished by the community much wider than our hard-core fan base.
So, for these reasons and many more, no matter what, Notts will be my team. And the last 17 games are some of the most important in the club’s history. I, as many others, will be there on every terrace between now and the end of the season, supporting the boys and club as much as possible, and hoping against hope that the current situation, and the current regime might simply blow over, so that proud Notts County can continue their stay in their rightful home: the English Football League.

#ThisIsOurLane8

Name
James Spring
How long have I supported Notts County?
14 years
What Notts County means to me.

Probably more than it should! My Dad took me to my first ever match in April 2005 when I got tickets through school.

We lost 1-0 to Bury, but in an instant, I fell completely in love with Notts. The atmosphere in County Road was fantastic, and I sensed the family feel to the club. The togetherness, the passion was unbelievable. And I knew instantly that this club was where I belonged.

Sadly, my Dad was to pass away just a few months later, and so that first game would be the first and last one I attended with him, but in a way I feel like this club was the last thing he gave to me. It was going to Meadow Lane that kept me going in some very dark times. It was the unbridled joy I felt when we won that gave me a reason to carry on.

Even when I moved 220 miles away to Weymouth, my Saturday’s were spent glued to soccer Saturday waiting for the goals to flash up and going to all the games close by.

These days I spend probably two thirds of my wages on this club. I travel to most home games from Weymouth and as many away games as I can. For a home game, I spend 11 hours on the road. I wouldn’t do that if it didn’t mean the world to me. When we win, it brings me more joy than anything else in my life, and I skip on air for days after.

That’s why our current position causes me so much heartache, and I want nothing more than for us to somehow battle our way out of this.

I never started supporting this club for the glory. I support Notts because of family. Because of the amazing friends, I’ve made through it. But most of all, because it’s my hometown club, and as sad as it is, I’ve not got much else!

#ThisIsOurLane7

Name
Andrea Don
How long have I supported Notts County?
38 years
What Notts County means to me.

#ThisIsOurLane
Every home-match Saturday when I was small
my dad, my sisters and me
would drive to Meadow Lane to watch football.
We’d go into the Magpie Club to enjoy pre-match drinks
Apollo Cola for us kids and Homebrew bitter for dad.
Dad’s nickname was Noddy, and he played cards with his mates.
Children bring good luck to games,
so we’d kiss the winning deal.
If we’d known we might drop out of the League
we’d have kissed the turf each game!
The adults stood together on the Terraces,
while we stood on the Junior Magpie end.
Every home-match Saturday
we’d stand and cheer and yell
“Get the ball!”, “Pass it!” ,“Play on!”
“Come on you Pies!”
and sing the songs from the record, “Tie them in Notts!”
We were Jimmy Sirrell’s gang
We waved our scarves high and proud.
The weather on the terraces, week-in, week-out, for years,
Football weather was cold and windy, and damp and usually rained.
And the snow and the ice!
When 3 pairs of socks wasn’t thick enough.
And the fog – when you could only see your end,
one half of the game.
But at least we won (sometimes).
And it was dark and the lamplight from the floodlights –brighter than the sun.
And the few weeks of summer when the scarf and hat was too much
(but you had to wear them anyway to show you were cheering on).
We weren’t allowed to sit down on the bleachers
(and now they frown if you stand),
and if we sat, a steward would come and shout at us.
We’d stand at the barrier gates
to watch the players come through
and get our programmes signed at full-time.

We were there as kids
we’ve been there growing up,
Every home-match Saturday,
Going up and down the Divisions,
and in the Premier League once, too.
We were there while the stands turned to seats,
and served in the Teabars, too,
And as ball girls and singing fans,
and winning the Division in March – we were untouchable.
Watching our FA Cup match against Fulham,
walking through London proud of our loss because we played so well,
singing “you only sing when you’re winning”
to their fans who didn’t NEED it as much as we did.

My mum’s granddad went to the very first match in 1862
and we bring our own children now,
who watch each game with excitement,
not realising how hard it is to hope we win this time, please.
Who shout and cheer the same chants we did,
who wave their scarves and drink cola,
while we drink tea.
They BELIEVE Notts is the best team in the world
We all believe it in our hearts
This is 157 years of history,
This is my lifelong support,
#ThisIsOurLane

#ThisIsOurLane6

Name
Anonymous
How long have I supported Notts County?
36 years
What Notts County means to me.

They used to mean everything to me they used to dictate my mood my week when I could take my holidays who my friends were they used to dictate when I could attend weddings / family meals. Nowadays because of a mixture of them treating me like shit and me growing up means I go to games when I want to not because I have too but I respect the fact that (a while ago) they gave me some of the greatest moments of my life and they will always be my first love but they fucking annoy me x

Name
Rich Foster
How long have I supported Notts County?
Over 35 years
What Notts County means to me.

My first match with my dad and granddad (both massive Pies) was against Everton in the FA Cup in 1984. I was hooked. Been some incredible highs, Tranmere and Brighton play off finals, Munto. So many legends, Lund, Farrell, Jones, Yates, Drapes, Tommy, Warnock, Butch, Delroy, Hughes, Ben Davies. Some incredible lows too, Munto, at least 10 relegations, Bradford at Wembley, Ince, Sheridan, Murphy. I live in Cheltenham now so don’t go as often as I used to, but I bleed black and white and my son Isaac proudly wears his Jake Bugg shirt to football at school. I don’t expect to win every week supporting Notts, but I do expect the players and staff to know how lucky they are to represent a club like Notts and what it represents. THE OLDEST FOOTBALL LEAGUE CLUB IN THE WORLD. That is some accolade. All I ask for the last 17 games is that whoever Ardley picks, they play with passion, heart and pride. Give everything, play as if it’s your last season and don’t make it ours. We love this club and we will back you to the end as long as you give something back. COYP!

Name
David Morris
How long have I supported Notts County?
28 years
What Notts County means to me.

Then
The team I chose to support, when all options were open after Italia 1990. My dad’s team.
Barcode shirts, sky blue away, Home Ales and McEwan’s lager.
Warnock, Big Sam. Promotions and play offs.
Coach trips to Wembley, goals against Brighton.
Spurs away in 1991. Telling dad before the game that I had forsaken Spurs to support County and seeing pride in his face.
Standing on the old main stand watching reserves play on cold Tuesday nights.
Meeting Tommy Johnson, revering Steve Cherry.
Hearing old guys tell tall tales about Tommy Lawton, moaning about missed headers he would have put away from halfway.
The black and white, the Magpies, Juve and our influence.

Now
Saturdays with my dad, making the most while we can. He’s 85 now and visits hospitals more than I care these days.
A link between two almost three generations where sometimes conversation isn’t the easiest to find. The desire for Notts to do well is what we share. The desire for us to play football on the ground, to fight solidly, to play for each other and the fans.
My dad and I have seen league football at Meadow Lane for 73 and 28 years respectively. Our League Status and history is something all fans and players are proud of, no matter when we’ve supported, which players we’ve seen, good times or bad. If we have nothing else compete for, that is what we cheer for and what we should play for.

That is our identity, without it what are we?

 

#ThisIsOurLane5

Name
Wendy Patrick
How long have I supported Notts County?
Over 50 years
What Notts County means to me.

Currently, this hurts far too much. Footballing friends feel sorry for, saying, “This has gone too far. We want Notts to stay in the League.” Don’t subject me to more of this patronising guff. Play with pride!

Name
Scott Dench-Smith
How long have I supported Notts County?
31 years
What Notts County means to me.

I suspect it is difficult to concentrate on the game with all of the crap going on upstairs. It will always be at the back of your mind what decision the Chairman is going to overturn, who he is going to release or not release (if rumours are true). All I ask is you give it your all and if we go down, I can live with that. Ignore him upstairs, play for the loyal fans and good luck to us all. COYP!

Name
Will Greasley
How long have I supported Notts County?
42 years
What Notts County means to me.

Love at first sight!! It could have been Derby as the old man was from there but tickets to their games were sold out in those days. First match he took me to was Forest (yuck) but due to bricks being thrown and him a serving copper he decided at half time in their game v Wolves, that the environment wasn’t suitable for a 6 year old … so began a life of a Notts fan . Of course Forest went up that season when Notts blew it, the rest is boring Betamax history. Favourite player was and will always be Iain McCulloch he’d be priceless today. Scorer of spectacular goals and brave and daft in equal measure. Supporting the club has been passed on to my two lads from an early age, I even reintroduced my Dad in Law and as a result nephews as well .. I owe them all for that!!! The club to me like all Notts fans means a huge deal, once upon a time it was everything.

Name
John Smalley
How long have I supported Notts County?
35 years
What Notts County means to me.

I’ve supported Notts for over 35 years, having gone with my Dad, Grandad and Cousin for many years. I remember my Dad used to commentate to my Grandad at games after he went blind, and my cousin and I would watch from the old Junior Magpies area in what is now the Pavis Stand.
Wembley dates for playoffs, including the one against Brighton on my 13th birthday are obvious highlights.
Later in life, I would be fortunate enough to call Meadow Lane my office, with huge thanks to Ray Trew for allowing me to be part of the club, and drink tea with my boyhood hero, Mark Draper.
Above all, ups, down, managers, players, the sense of family, starting with my own, and the great people I’ve come to know as my Notts family, whilst living miles away now, still allow me to feel close to the club I’ve always loved. Anytime I go back to Meadow Lane there is always a cold beer and friendly faces.
This is why I support Notts.

Name
Ryan Miller (Asked by his dad, Paul Miller)
How long have I supported Notts County?
8 years
What Notts County means to me.

Everything *looks at me like I’ve asked him the most ridiculous question he’s ever been asked.*

 

#ThisIsOurLane4

Name
Paul Smith
How long have I supported Notts County?
25 years
What Notts County means to me.

Notts County dictate my every day. My weekly mood depends on the outcome of Saturdays and Tuesdays. Nothing I do ever beats watching the Magpies with my family and it’s long been a dream of mine to take my own son along. He’s been born at the wrong time during this season but I still long for the day I take him to the Lane. I’m desperate for some good times to return so I can pass the baton on to him and create new memories.

Name
Chris Parr
How long have I supported Notts County?
47 years
What Notts County means to me.

I went to my first game with my Dad in 1972 aged 5… 47 years on we can still be found down the Lane maybe not as often as I’d like but I still get the same buzz going to the football with my Dad. We’ve seen the highs of the Sirrel and Warnock years and felt the pain of the Munto fiasco, it’s never been dull following Notts. This season has to be one of the biggest lows in years. It compares with the financial crisis where our very existence was threatened. I genuinely fear for our league status… I just don’t know where our next win will come from. It’s desperate times. Being a Notts fan requires a huge amount of optimism and like other Notts fans; I’m praying that somehow we can still turn this around.
My message to the team is that we still have faith in you. Let’s prove the haters wrong and keep this famous club where it belongs.

Name
OriginalSmiffy_14 (@Smiffy300583)
How long have I supported Notts County?
Since 1989
What Notts County means to me.

I’ve been going down to Notts since my Grandad and Dad introduced me. 1989 my first game and ever since then I’ve been supporting them through thick and thin. After last season and the positivity going into this campaign, it seemed like everyone was ready for a promotion party. I think this is why it hurts so much that it’s gone from one extreme to the other. We have quality players who, in my opinion, are better than League 2. However, apart from a few they lack the two things you need in this league, fight and togetherness. It’s breaking me to see Notts, the club I love and have grown up with in the position they are now.

Name
Ian Marsden
How long have I supported Notts County?
Since I was four years old
What Notts County means to me.

it’s a struggle to put into words, since I was 4 years old they have been the one constant in my life, the club means anything and everything to me, weekends are either glorious or ruined on results basis. Living out of Notts, my trips to see them are few and far between but I think living away has only meant my love for my club has grown more than ever. Seen all four divisions in my lifetime, but wherever we are, Notts are a huge important part of my life, they mean the world to me.