Its been some time since my last visit to Walthamstow, a night out at the dogs with friends. Mind you, I’m pretty sure I left that night £60 out of pocket, so it would have been quicker to just stay at home with a beer and burn the money in the fireplace. Suffice to say, any night out with friends is a good night and now the racetrack has long since gone, I’m just glad we visited before it was torn down.
Being with friends is quite apt, none moreso than throughout 2020 where different lockdowns, tiers, isolations and vulnerable individuals, have meant that keeping in touch has been more important that ever. What I witnessed at Walthamstow, in their Essex Senior League Premier Division game against Enfield, were supporters who were there to not only enjoy a game of football but to celebrate being out with each other. There was no abuse, at least not from where I was sitting, no major swearing, just jocular remarks. The best of which was when the players first came out and the Enfield keeper, approached the goal for which he was greeted with “hello darling, you’re a pretty boy aren’t you”. It was the kind of sarcastic statement which had others laughing, but wasn’t offensive in any way.
I have to admit, in all my time at grassroots football, Walthamstow should be rightly proud of their supporter base, for it’s probably the best I’ve been around.
Of course, the 6-1 scoreline to ‘Stow’ quite possibly helped the good feeling on the night and kept the hands warm of the masses for it was a chilly one too.
I also met a friend from over a decade ago, Andrej, and it was nice to catch up for 5 minutes during half time.
I’m positive that at some point in 2021 I’ll go back to Walthamstow, perhaps during the day this time, even if it is to see the surrounding area properly as I drive through. Maybe I’ll go for a little wander, if we’re either free to do so, or I have that shot in the arm that we’re hoping will change our fortunes for the New Year.