This week’s True Blue HQ Fan of the Week, presented by Barfoot & Thompson, is Alan Smith (@Alanhsmith)!
Despite living in Crusader country, Alan is certainly one of our most true blue fans. Read Alan’s story about why he is such an avid supporter below.
HINT: To score more points on True Blue HQ make sure you follow Alan on Twitter:†
I am a born and bred Aucklander who played all my rugby in Auckland. I well remember the split of the Harbour Union in 1985 and the resurgence of Auckland rugby under John Hart in the early to mid 80’s. I also remember clearly some of the hard matches that Auckland played against their Northern partners, in the days of the Going Brothers, Dunn Brothers and Woodman Brothers. Back when they were still called North Auckland. So the region is in my blood.
From the early days of the South Pacific Championship, The Super 6 and the Super 10, all before the advent of Super 12 and The Blues franchise, I’ve been a supporter of the Auckland Region based teams.
In the early 1990’s I moved down to Christchurch (chasing my future wife) and this is where my loyalty first came into question. Of course it was easy to be a Blues Supporter at that time, they were the #1 team with so much success coming from the region, which then transferred to the professional era with The Blues winning the titles in ’96 & ’97.
So picture this:
The 1998 Super 12 final. I’m in Crusader country, The Blues have been dominant for the past 2 seasons and look to be going for the three-peat. What better way to watch the final from out of town than a Super 12 Finals party at my house. My wife insists that we decorate in Red n Black, I insist on having a Blues Corner with my chair in pride of place. We invite all our friends and family around, so I can enjoy watching their faces when The Blues continue their dominance. Well we all know how that ended up don’t we. That moment when the final whistle blew on the first of many Crusader victories is forever etched on my psyche.
“Surely”, I was asked, “you will have to switch allegiance now? You’ve lived here for 4-5 years and now The Crusaders are the best team. You will have to be a Crusaders fan?” Over the subsequent years ( I refer to these as the ‘lonely years’) I have been asked this question many a time and I have stood resolute in my support of The Blues. A brief respite in 2003, but we are now approaching 20 years since I first moved to Christchurch and I remain firmly a Blues Supporter in enemy territory. Over the years I have been abused, spat at, had beer thrown at me (I hope it was beer before it was drunk, not after), and have faced the derision of my work mates as the Crusaders continued to dominate the competition while the Blues results have been less than those glory days of ’96/’97. 2012 was a very dark year for us Blues Supporters, especially for those of us down here in Christchurch. However I have stood by the team, willingly going along to Lancaster Park/Jade/AMI Stadium wearing my Blues beanie and latterly my Blues jersey, despite the risk to my life & limb. The enemy supporters really are feral down here!
So in the face of continued ridicule, abuse and average results, I have stood resolute in my support of The Blues and believe they will once again be a dominating force in Super Rugby. I look forward to that day!