When Ian Muir was growing up in south London, there was only one thing on his mind.
“Football, football, football,” he remembers fondly. “We had one football – if the kid who had it was ill, we would go round to his house and borrow it. We were at the park every single day.”
Not that much has changed. Now in his late-60s, Muir goes home and away with Beckenham Town, the team he fell in love with as a boy.
Not allowed to play football on a Saturday because of the league fixtures, the 10-year-old Muir instead sat in the rickety old stand, the driving rain often billowing in and soaking the supporters.
Beckenham did try hanging a plastic sheet from the roof as protection: the rain issue was solved, with the unfortunate drawback that nobody could see the pitch. It was soon taken down.
Like all fans, though, he loved his club’s own unique foibles and even as a child was fiercely protective when new owners treated the fans poorly – he got his revenge in a unique way.