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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 13:34 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:55 24 August 2010

By Sandy Lerman I LOVE going to away games! Nothing beats the camaraderie of sitting with a large group of fellow-mad QPR fans who have gone the distance to watch our team. Stuffed unceremoniously behind a goal or tucked away in an obscure corner of the s

By Sandy Lerman

I LOVE going to away games! Nothing beats the camaraderie of sitting with a large group of fellow-mad QPR fans who have gone the distance to watch our team.

Stuffed unceremoniously behind a goal or tucked away in an obscure corner of the stadium, it doesn't stop us trying to out-cheer and out-sing the home crowd.

There seems to me to be a much more upbeat and vocal atmosphere at away games. There is a togetherness that just doesn't seem to exist at Loftus Road - probably because we are all spread out around the ground at home.

Would you ask a complete stranger for a tissue just because you'd forgotten to bring some along? At Coventry recently I didn't hesitate - because we're all one big happy family in that away stand!

I've learnt the songs I need (and probably many I don't!) to be a truly vocal supporter from those patient fans who kindly sing the same songs over and over again - until I get the words right!

I travel with a friend, his sons and my daughter. We have developed a wonderful away-trip routine, which includes me making tasty smoked salmon bagels and providing enough crisps, drinks and chocolates to last the whole day!

We exchange heartfelt views in the car about our team; but I am constantly amazed how, even though we sit next to each other, we all have completely different opinions after the game! Are we watching the same match?

But the chatter on the way home is not only about the football. There is always a funny tale by which to remember our away trips.

Take that Coventry game: Nathan was going to stay with his brother Daniel at his university, so he packed an overnight bag. His loving mum included a jar of Daniel's favourite strawberry jam which he can't get in Birmingham.

But the steward outside the Coventry gates spotted this potentially very lethal weapon (?) and insisted on removing it from Nathan's bag! They wanted to eat the jam not throw it, for goodness sake!

The resulting hilarity that caused is only equalled by the Sheffield Wednesday chap who, when I asked for a cup of tea at half-time, proceeded to squeeze the teabag out using his bare hands. Yeuck!

I've been chatted up by lusty young Wolves fans, but also abused by my own fans. But all-in-all, following QPR away from home is an enjoyable and special treat which I wouldn't trade for, well, all the tea in Sheffield!

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