Darlington are living proof of what football means to us all. Today, it looks as though they will go out of business, something that twenty years ago would have been unimaginable. The vast amount of wages they were paying and they’re white elephant stadium have been the death of them. Who does this impact on at the end of the day? Not the board, not even the players to an extent. The loyal & devoted fans.
They’re not the first club to go out of business and they won’t be the last. Plymouth have narrowly saved themselves, Portsmouth have come dangerously close to meeting their maker. Some have infact gone to the sword, take a look at Rushden & Diamonds and Scarborough for example, they’ve been killed off for one reason or another. I wouldn’t wish death upon any club, no matter who they are. You’re closest rivals or you’re own club. No one deserves it.
We can take one thing from this though. The unity, the spirit and the togetherness of football fans. My Twitter is full of wishes for Darlo to restart as a Phoenix club, it just shows how football fans come together in these times. One thing that really struck me though, was an article written by Dan List on the Quakers Official Site. It details what the club meant to the fans, the emotions they went through on the eve of the final whistle at Barrow over a week ago. It hit me as to how important football clubs are. It’s what we live for at the weekend, take away a man or women’s team and what do they have? It’s like ripping away the heart & soul.
But with that, it offers a unique perspective that is not always seen. The raw side of football, the real emotions, exactly what it means to everyone, not just Darlington fans. I have no connection whatsoever to Darlo, yet reading that article and hearing the news that their players and staff had been made redundant; even made my heart sink a bit. I can’t imagine ever losing my club and I cannot begin to imagine what Darlington fans are going through. But I can say this, we’re all with you.
Their previous 128 years of history and their fantastic supporters will live on in the guise of a Phoenix club. I fear that Darlington will be remembered for the club with the stadium that put them out of business. But it shouldn’t be. It should be remembered as the club that had fantastic support, the club that went down fighting until the bitter end, the club who we all took into our hearts. I’ve rambled and this article is only a taster of how much Darlington means to myself and more importantly their fans. Whenever you lose a game, take a minute and think, at least we still have a club.
Darlington will live on, we’ll see them again soon and I’ll be looking out for their Phoenix clubs results and I hope you do too. I have massive sympathy for all Darlo fans and I hope this heartfelt tribute has gone a small way to re assuring you, how much your team meant to us all. The spirit of Darlington will forever live on.
RIP Darlington FC. 1883-2012.