and touches hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of loyal supporters. The other day, I came home to over 800 hits to my blog from Fulham supporters across the world. As far away as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Virginia, Brooklyn, Missouri, Austin and Houston, Texas, Ireland, California, Switzerland, Spain, Prague, the Bahamas and of course London, London, London... Brilliant. My folks always said that The Cottage, FFC, was a real family affair - and judging by the response to the Johnny Hayne's blog - that family is stronger than ever! I was amazed by some of the emails I received and by the great comments - thank you! To Dave from TOOFIF - that asked if he could use the posting in his fanzine There's Only One F in Fulham - by all means Dave, I'd be honored. I must clear one thing up for the supporter that asked about my brother - he's alive and well and living in California. Ironically, Fulham had just played Manchester United that day and after the game my dad drove the wrong way across Putney Bridge at full speed in a panic to get to my brother at the hospital! One of the comments that really struck me was from a Fulham supporter in California who said, "As a fan of the club and growing up in South-West London most of my life we sometimes idolised certain player's and most certainly hated other's....but......we never thought of them as family men or father's!!?? Our focus was totally on the pitch and that's where it ended." Being a daughter of a footballer, football's always been our life and our lifestyle and I never thought of that - poignant!
Writing about Johnny Haynes has sparked so many incredible memories for my folks and for me. It seems that those days at the Cottage, the fifties and sixties were an extremely special era in Fulham's history. My mum and dad were having a good laugh reminiscing about those great days then the frivolity sobered the moment I told them that Manchester United are heading to Craven Cottage tomorrow. "Wow," my Dad said. So I asked, "Dad, what would Johnny Haynes have said to you all before a game like that?" My mum laughed and said, "Did you even have team talks before a game?" Dad said, "A little bit." Then he said,"If it were now Johnny would say the same thing that he would have said to us, We know they're good but let's go out and prove that we can be good too! I asked if that's what their manager Beddie (Bedford Jezzard)would have said? Dad said, "No, Beddie wasn't as serious, he would have said, just go out and enjoy it!"
So Fulham that's got to be sage advice - just go out and enjoy it! Show United that you can be great too! Do it for the Maestro.