Just in

The Tanner Report

Yesterday a Fulham supporter whom I have known for many years – and began his support a year after me – treated me to lunch at the Reform Club.

I am not a gentleman’s club man, but even so was impressed by its portals, salons and traditions.

It was founded after The Great Reform Act of 1832 and has gained a reputation and membership amongst radicals.

My friend is a noted economist.

Had Parliament not been prorogued he may well have been confirmed as Governor of the Bank of England. I was hoping for some nuggets on the economy but once our conversation settled on Fulham it did not move away.

Fifty-five years is a long time to support a team.

When my support started Fulham – the noted escapologists – could not avoid relegation from the top tier in 1967-68 and then fell through the old second division too.

My friend’s support started in the third tier and – unable to afford the admission – he took a job at Fulham that had free entrance as a perk.

As he rose through various banks, government advisory appointments and officiating at global economic forums, his support never wavered.

He succeeded in ensuring his son’s loyalty – no easy task as Fulham could hardly emulate the success of Arsenal, Spurs and more recently Chelsea.

Nonetheless, in a fascinating review of football and our support over the last 50 years, we both wholeheartedly agreed that we did not regret having a Fulham as our club.

Some of the most interesting people in my life I have met through Fulham.

I no longer have that rather adolescent fervour and there are many aspects of the game I do not like (obscene wages and transfer fees, indifference to fans who have become paying customers, the decline of the FA Cup where clubs no longer field their best teams, the constant moving of kick off times), somehow Fulham has retained both its character and characters.

Over a fine bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir that in itself is worth toasting.

Avatar photo
About Alan Tanner

After a distinguished military service in the Catering Corps, Alan Tanner did well in mufti with his chamois as a window cleaner. Sadly he had to retire after falling from the fifth floor of Danny Murphy's mock Tudor home. He spends his retirement watching and writing about his beloved Fulham whom he has supported for over 50 years. The Alan Tanner Report is sponsored by Tanner Crystal Clear Ltd, Window Cleaners to the Gentry. More Posts