Monday, June 22, 2009


Since a proper roof was added to the West Stand, I've sat in the same seat - but not anymore.

Today I swapped seats!

It was very easy to do too! I rocked up at the ticket office, had to wait a few minutes while three guys sorted out their East Stand seating arrangements (they all wanted to sit together for the first time...), and then told the guy behind the window what I wanted to do. I would say he was very helpful, but actually he was so used to dealing with such requests that his politeness and excellent customer service came as second nature to him.

When we had the temporary stand on the West side, I sat nearer to the covered end (North Stand in modern day parlance...), quite near the back. When the existing structure was first built, I gave over my preference (near the half way line and about six rows back please?) as this was about where we (my father and I) had stood both at The Valley and when we played every game away. In fact, at Upton Park, my allocated seat (even though it had someone else's name on it...) was right next to the away dug out (six rows back...), so I really just wanted to replicate that.

The staff at that time met my requirements exactly, and the bonus was that we were within spitting (or preferably hearing) distance of the away dug out. Sadly, the central post that was in place holding up the stand roof at that time partly blocked my fathers view of the Northern goal, so he wanted to move. He went down to the club in midweek, was given four options and wrote them all down for me to try out, which I did prior to the next home game, sitting in each pair of seast in turn. The option I chose was at the far end of the same block we were in but three rows farther back.

Now, after about 14 years in the same seats, I have switched them back again to almost (two rows farther back) those that I had originally been allocated in 1995! You can see my new seat in the picture above, though I know that's not giving much away! I just hope that my return to that end of the block sees a better average points return than my old seat did over recent years!

Seats sorted, I left the man behind the window to deal with the small group of other season ticket holders that had built up in the five minutes it took to deal with me.

I then popped into the club shop - and the four staff inside looked happy to see a customer - for a quick trawl around buying a few bits and pieces (including a new baseball cap for my forthcoming holiday!). I was surprised by the lack of stock on offer, which I suppose is good just prior to a new season - I just hope that they can fill the shop with something prior to August 8th!


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