Chants will be a fine thing...

Aasma Day
Aasma Day
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Aasma and Hubby so proud as children are PNE mascots...but the singing fans?

Football fever certainly seems to have taken over our household over the last few years, since Hubby and the munchkins became season ticket holders at Preston North End.

Cameron and Yasmin Day as mascots for Preston North End at Oldham

Cameron and Yasmin Day as mascots for Preston North End at Oldham

With the philosophy: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, I have found myself slowly swept away by their football passion – especially since PNE seem to have been on a winning streak.

While I don’t join my trio on home matches, I have joined them on the odd away game and have shown my support from the sofa during any televised matches.

However, it was an outing for the whole Day family the other week, when Preston played Oldham away, as our nine-year-old twins were mascots for PNE.

For those of you who are in the dark, like one of Cameron’s friends was, being a football mascot does not entail dressing up in a costume and walking up and down the side of the pitch.

I’m sure my lad’s mate looked a bit disappointed when he realised Cameron wasn’t going to be Deepdale Duck for the day, but that he and his sister Yasmin were in fact going to accompany the Preston North End players as they made their way on to the pitch.

The day was superb, and the staff at Oldham went out of their way to make our twosome and the other PNE child mascot feel completely welcome and gave them an experience to remember. Not only were the children given certificates and a little shield to remember their day, they received a lunchbox of snacks and drinks before being ushered into the players’ dressing room where they had the chance to meet and chat to their heroes.

And this was all before having a tour of the grounds and having a kickabout on the pitch before finally escorting the players out with their faces beaming with pride while mum and dad hastily snapped as many photographs as they could. And we picked the right match for our children to be mascots, as the 4-0 victory put the icing on a perfect day.

Now, whenever I’ve been to watch Preston North End in the past, certainly in the years BC (Before Children), it has usually been at home.

Since going to a few away matches, I have realised that Preston North End away supporters are a totally different breed. They are certainly enthusiastic...and so NOISY.

Which brings me on to the other topic. The chanting. Not being used to hearing PNE’s chants in such close proximity, it was with some bemusement that I kept turning to Hubby and children and hissing: “What are they singing?” and “What is that supposed to mean?”

There was the “Oh Joey Garner, You Are The Love of My Life” song and the imaginative: “Pne Pne Pne. Pne Pne Pne. Pne Pne Pne. Pneeeee.”

But the chants that had me completely perplexed and flummoxed were the 
anti-Blackpool chants.

Bearing in mind Preston were playing OLDHAM, which is nowhere near Blackpool last time I checked, I was confused by some chants.

There was the chant: “If you hate Blackpool, jump around, if you hate Blackpool, jump around” and my favourite taunting chant when Oldham were losing badly: “Are you Blackpool in disguise?”

It was all highly amusing, and was certainly better than the chants full of swearing which we also heard plenty of on the terraces.

Luckily, the non-swearing chants had my children happily distracted and certainly made me chuckle.

A few days later, I read about some of the UK’s favourite football chants and found the wittiest was about Rio Ferdinand after he was banned for missing a drugs test in 2003. Sung to the tune of Rio by Duran Duran, it goes: “His name is Rio and he watches from the stand.”

Another good one is: “Your teeth are offside, your teeth are offside, Luis Suarez, your teeth are offside”.

I also had a good giggle at the threatening chant Scotland fans made to Italy in a Fifa World Cup qualifier: “Deep fry yer pizzas, we’re gonna deep fry yer pizzas!”

Fulham fans were also pretty witty in their chant to Manchester United supporters, mocking: “You only live round the corner.” suggesting they all live in London.

There’s nothing better than singing when you’re winning … or even when you’re not.