Life of a PAFC Fan
Plymouth Argyle, a club in English football’s third division, with
dreams of a championship return. Based in Plymouth, Devon, in the
south west of the country, Argyle are not a massive attraction to play-
ers. Despite that, they are a big attraction to the fans, with the greens
drawing around 10,000 fans per game; the fifth highest average attend-
ance in Sky Bet League 1. If it wasn’t for the outstanding fanbase the
club have, they would probably have gone bust, after being placed into
administration in 2011. Since then, Argyle have got to a play off final,
held Liverpool at Anfield, and gained promotion to league 1 in 2017.
So, let’s have a look at these fans, and see what makes them tick.
Plymouth, the largest city in Devon, mostly remembered by outsiders
for ‘the Janner song’. Plymouth is not a place remembered for its fash-
ion sense. Although that does not stretch to Plymouth Argyle fans. Yes,
granted, no football team in the world will have a whole fan base that
dress immaculately, but the Green Army do scrub up well. In football,
there are usually 3 types of fans.
Type 1: The Casual.
The Casual always looks the smartest out of the bunch of fans. They
stand out from the crowd, mainly because they wear aftershave so strong you could smell them in Exeter. They are smothered in Designer gear, usually wearing expensive blue jeans. Their shirts/jumpers range from anything from Stone Island to Lylee and Stott, to EA7. They also usually wear suede trainers, like Adidas Gazelle or Hamburgs. More recently, this look has been confused and associated with the Football Hooligan, which it is not. The football hooligan trend rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s, causing outrage and disruption throughout the footballing community. Although, people soon started to see the severity of the violence, when, on 1st May 1982, A supporter was killed, during a derby between Arsenal and West Ham. A small group of Plymouth fans also formed a Hooligan group in the 90’s, known as The Central Element (TCE.) Yes, the football hooligan did take on the same style as ‘the casual’, but it is not exclusive to the football hooligan, and many fans can wear that outfit without running a riot at games.
Type 2: The Full Kit W****r.
The Full Kit W****r is the type of fan that is re-
garded with great embarrassment in the footballing community. A Full Kit W****r, is a fan who wears the full football kit of the team they are supporting to the games. A rare creature, the Full Kit W****r usually emerges in the summer, when grown men and women feel the need to show of their legs. Sure, they are giving money to the club and supporting them by buying the kit, but there is just something very cringey about a grown man, or woman, wearing a full kit to a match.
The Full Kit W****r rose to fame more recently over social media in 2016, when Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, met his lookalike Lee Chapman. Chapman was invited onto an organised open top bus parade, put on by City, to celebrate their title winning season. Upon his arrival, his lookalike Jamie Vardy, branded him a ‘absolute Full Kit W****r’ and the phrase has been spread around ever since. Another addition which has more recently been added to the Full Kit W****r’s wardrobe, is Half and Half football Scarves. Let’s make it clear, it is never acceptable to buy half and half scarves. A half and half scarf, is a scarf that is sold at football matches, is a scarf, that has got one teams logo on one half, and the oppositions logo on the other. You go to the
football to support one team, through thick and thin, and never under any circumstances buy any merchandise with another teams logo on it.
Type 3: The Normal One.
The Normal One does not feel the need to dress up for football, The Normal One does not treat football as an event they need to dress up for. This group of people probably makes up for at least 75% of the crowd at most matches.
This breed of creature, treats football as if it’s the most normal thing in the world, like he’s just going down to the shop. He might have a tracksuit and a black jacket, and some yellow shoes. He could have some shorts and a long sleeve top; they wear anything! Food. What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word food? I think chicken, cake and strawberries. However these sort of foods are not available at Home Park, or most football grounds in the country. What foods are there then? I hear you ask. Well here it is. Pies, pasties and booze. Everyone needs to know their target audience, and I think the whole football scene know their audience really well. From food and drinks, to
sponsorships and business deals, they’re all suited to fit the needs of the average
football fan. Look at the food, pies pasties and booze. The reason they religiously sell these foods and drinks at these games, is because they know their fans will love it. They’re providing for working-class meat eaters who like a drink after work. They want to eat big pies, they go down the pub after work and have a few pints; it’s their lifestyle. Look at their sponsors, they’re sponsored by breweries and betting companies because they know their fans like spending an odd bit of cash on a bet for their team to win.
They also have chocolate bars and cans of fizzy drink for the children, because they know fans like bringing their kids to the game; it’s a tradition. Also, for very young children, a 0-0 game might not be enough to keep the children interested, that’s where the chocolate and the drinks come in, to keep the child entertained.
Pulling in around ten thousand plus fans per game, Argyle have the 5th highest
attendance so far in League 1, and the 2nd highest in League 2 last season. Sure the atmosphere is not 100% every game, but the overall experience of being inside Home Park is indescribable. The first thing that stands out in my memory when you talk about atmosphere is Plymouth Argyle vs Liverpool, FA cup 3rd round replay 18th January 2017.