As the Oldham fans’ bastardised version of the Irish Rover rang out across Ewood Park, bringing back memories of a decades old rivalry apparently forgotten in Blackburn, I started my walking stick led route up 23 steps to my seat.
Another football ground where the modern stand doesn’t cater for the partially disabled with luxuries such as stair rails.
After the chemo hit, it’s probably as fragile as I’ve felt at a football match. While the days of 25,000 souls acting as a living creature on the Kop at Anfield are long behind us, there was a new life in the all seater Darwen End stand that made it a dangerous place for an ill man with a walking stick.
Still, despite having to stand up to view the pitch, it was a danger interspersed with fun. Especially when Haitian strike sensation Duckens Nazon scored to put Oldham ahead. And then went and repeated the act with an unexpected but welcomed second goal. The Venky chicken farmers two down to the duck at half time.
Each goal forced me to sit down instantly to avoid being knocked flying by the over excited Oldham faithful.. I missed the player celebrations but enjoyed the occasion nonetheless. However, a decision to relocate at half time to enjoy a guaranteed seat was aided by a kind steward called Boyd.
Alas, the 2-0 lead was lost in a tough second half where some generous refereeing aided a strong Blackburn resurgence and the game ended 2-2.
A short walk to our disabled car park space (£10) and a thirty minute wait to exit the car park.
Despite the lost lead, the day was fun. The delirium of radiotherapy and chemotherapy replaced with the reality of beautiful football. And despite the danger caused to me by my own fans I loved it all.