Updated: Jun 15
Author: Lee Adams
I was at work on the Monday, and was asked to change my day off to a Tuesday. Hmm, Fulham are playing away to Watford tomorrow, 'Let's walk it'. A last minute decision but I needed time to myself and this was perfect, 16 miles and 6 hours of time to think and reflect.
I set off at 13:00 from Craven Cottage and did my usual routine of looking up at a statue of the great man himself, Mr Johnny Haynes, and I was off.
As I walked through West London, thinking what a dreadful season it was for my team Fulham on the pitch, but off the pitch #WalkAndTalkMMH had walked to every Fulham London away game, linking up with countless opposition fans to spread the word of our mission, meeting so many wonderful people on the way.
Up towards Wembley, I looked over to see Wembley's famous arch in the distance. My mind instantly took me back to the amazing, sunny play off final only 11 months before this walk with my son and mates, one of the best days of my life, then it hit me...We lose today we are down, let's be honest seal our fate ASAP as far as I'm concerned.
Then it came to me, it would give a chance to walk to Reading again, meeting up with Johnny Hunt and the Reading lads. Going down wasn't so bad, and I had a smile on my face as the rain come down hard.
I was ahead of time so decided to go into a pub about 30 mins walk from Vicarage Road. I walked in, looking like a drowned rat, everyone turned to me and noticed my now well known Red Asics, the looks I received made me laugh.
I finished my pint and carried on the walk, I started to notice Watford shirts, and scarves. I was close, the smell of fried onions were in the air too (best smell in football)...I turned onto the 'main road' and as if by magic out popped Vicorage Road, I had made it...I walked to what I thought was the away end (it had been 12 years since I was last at this ground) and bumped into the Fulham commentary team, Gentleman Jim and Jamie, who have been so supportive of every walk we have ever done. Jim looked at me and and asked if I had walked AGAIN...goes without saying Jim.
As I walked into the away end I received a Text from a friend who was at the game. To give context to this, back in 2000 as young lads, I formed a close bond with Eddie who has dwarfism, and a group of us would go to watch Fulham and stand at the green pole. We lost contact with Eddie (no mobile phones back then), then around two years later I was told he died. I was devastated. Then one day I see a lad that looked like Eddie on Twitter, it couldn't be could it? I messaged him and yes it was my old pal, I was so happy. It turns out Eddie had been in a Psychiatric Hospital for 10 years...we reunited at the game and this gave the walk and the reasons for doing it so much meaning.
We might have gone down but the day had so much more meaning to me personally, being reunited with my friend Eddie. Fulham brought us together all those years ago and the magic of football had done it again.
On the train home I started getting texts from Reading, Blues, Charlton fans regarding our fixtures next season, and of course the normal ribbing haha.