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TJA Fan Focus - ottawa_swan

Our regular feature putting the spotlight on our members to share some memories and information on why they are a fan of the Swans.
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  1. Name: ottawa_swan

    Where you are from:

    Pretty obvious from my handle isn't it! For those who are truly geographically challenged - that's in Canada. It's the capital, i.e. it's waaaay more important than Toronto Imalumberjack!

    How long have you been supporting the Swans?

    Long enough to remember players from the late1950s and early 1960s like Mel Charles, Ivor and Len Allchurch, and even goalkeeper Noel Dwyer.

    What was your first Swans game?

    I can't remember - too long ago and oldtimers disease has ravaged that rat-trap memory I used to have.

    Why did you start supporting the Swans?

    Because I always like an underdog! No, truthfully, it is mostly because I was born in Swansea. My older brother supported Derby County -- where he was born -- and I was looking for any excuse for sibling rivalry!

    What is your most memorable Swans moment?
    When my brother and I found ourselves in the same cyberspace - a live chat room - during a Championship game between Derby County and Swansea at Pride Park. He was in Amman, Jordan and I was in Ottawa and I think it was the Derby Evening Telegraph that ran the live chat room during a game and I was signed in as ottawa swan and he as jordan ram. We went at each other throughout the game so much that others started to join in with him at bad-mouthing me for being on there (bit like Borini and BLOBBY on here). In the end we won 1-0 which was sooooo good to stick it to him and all those Derby County fans! This event just seemed to wonderfully sum up the global nature of football and football supporters.

    Best game you've seen at the Vetch/Liberty?
    When we beat Notts Forest in the second leg of the semi-final playoff game. I'd flown over from Canada with a ticket in the south stand. Went wild with everyone else when Darren Pratley scored from the half-way line and along with a few thousand others invaded the pitch at the end. I kinda knew we were headed to the Premier League at that point.

    Best goal you’ve seen at the Vetch/Liberty?

    Darren Pratley's in that game of course!

    What is your favourite away ground, and why?

    St Mary's because we've never lost there when I attended (two draws and a win).

    Your greatest sacrifice to watch the Swans?

    In our first year in the Premier League (2011/12) I lived and worked in Australia from October to April. (I almost didn't take the work because I realised I would have trouble watching games there with the 10-12 hour time difference!) When I got there it turned out that not only was there the ridiculous time difference, but that I couldn't get the games on the television service I had in my rented place. The place was managed by a hotel right next door and I complained to them about not being able to get the Premier League games. They said they had the right channel for games in one of their conference rooms and I was welcome to watch them there! So, for six months I set my alarm for 1:00am or 2:00 am Sunday mornings and sat in a chilly hotel conference room watching my beloved Swans till three or four o'clock in the morning in my barely concealed pajamas. The hotel's night shift and the cleaning staff got to know me well!

    Your typical pre-match ritual?

    I don't really have one (other than making sure I've gone for a piss so I don't have to interrupt my watching. Mind you, by my age you're always making sure you've gone for a piss before you do anything!)

    Who is your favourite Swans player of all time, and why?
    Either of the two Mels: Mel Charles or Mel Nurse. Mel Charles because he was the first player on whom I imprinted! I was an impressionable young lad just starting to follow Swansea Town when he was in the last days playing centre forward for us and, of course, your favourite player was always the centre forward at that age. Mel Nurse because he was the rock that saw us through a good portion of the (often bleak) 1960s and by then I was no longer a kid but now a callow youth who, of course, had to demonstrate his sophisticated understanding of the game by choosing an oft-unheralded (but always crucially important) centre half as his favourite player.

    Favourite current player?

    Wayne Routledge - easily the most skilful player on the team since Pablo Hernandez left and a joy to watch when he's on song. If Jefferson Montero could get a sustained period of play for us uninjured I suspect my allegiance could switch over to him -- I just love watching wingers dance around full backs!

    Favourite Swans kit from over the years?

    The red and green away kit of a couple of years ago - my daughter bought me that shirt and it was the first time either of my kids stopped making fun of me about supporting the Swans and recognised my passion for them.

    If you could sign one player for the club, who would it be?

    Gareth Bale. Like I said, I love watching speedy wingers carve up defenses and there's no one in the world better than Gareth at the moment -- never mind the fact that's he's Welsh, and the most financially valuable player in the world!

    Your most disappointing moment watching the Swans?

    When I finally got my wife (an inveterate hater of team sports) to accompany me to a Swans game in 2010/11 (I told her we were going on a hiking holiday in the Brecon Beacons!) and we lost at home to Portsmouth -- one of only three games we lost at home that season! Her only comment on the game was "I like Portsmouth's costumes", which was almost as disappointing as the result! Never taken her again.

    If you had one pasty to throw, who would you throw it at, and why?

    Louis van Gaal - the most arrogant asshole in the Premier League. With a bit of luck it would bounce off him and hit Fellaini - dirtiest player who never seems to get the red cards he deserves.

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