Home International Reds STFC FANS AROUND THE WORLD: Rob Jamieson (Paris, France)
STFC FANS AROUND THE WORLD: Rob Jamieson (Paris, France)

STFC FANS AROUND THE WORLD: Rob Jamieson (Paris, France)

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The latest installment in our ‘Town Fans Abroad’ section comes from Rob Jamieson, a Swindon supporter based in France.

Rob has been living in Paris for the past 20 years and shares his memories of the Robins, and what it’s like to cheer them on from afar, with TrustSTFC.tv…

When did you start supporting STFC?

Passively, about 1973; first game 1980.

First game? Memories of it?
It was 1980, home versus Sheffield Uuited in Division Three and finished 3-2 (Rowland 2, Mayes). Memories? Thinking my life had begun. Cresting the steps of the Shrivvy Road to see the bright green turf for the first time, adverts and floodlights just like on the telly, and an immediate sense of community with 6,000 souls who all wanted the same thing as me. I belonged. I was hooked. Good game too.

Favourite STFC moment?

Seeing Bodin’s penalty hit the net at Wembley.

Favourite STFC player ever?

Colin Calderwood – had it all: touch, calmness, leadership, hard edge, occasional goals. And a decent bloke with it. Oh, and a bargain at £27,500.
When did you move abroad? Where? And why?
I first moved away in 1983, permanently in France since 1987. Why? Combination of wanting to use my languages and loving the life here, plus a job opportunity at the time. I’ve been in Paris for 30 years, now settled with French wife and confused kids, and on the brink of getting French nationality (cheers for that Brexit).
Are there supporters clubs for STFC or other supporters of STFC around you?
Are you serious? I’ve never met another Swindon fan in France.
Rob Jamieson at the European Championship
What’s it like supporting STFC abroad? How do you keep up to date with news? Is it a big occasion when they’re on TV?
This is probably my favourite advantage of technology. When I first came to France, I was totally dependent on a crackly World Service reception, or if I missed the score, having to wait until the Monday to go down to the station and take a peek inside the sports pages of the UK papers.
For the Gillingham play-off final at Selhurst Park, I got my mum to put Radio Wilts next to the phone. Cost me almost as much as going to the game! I almost wet myself with joy the first time I streamed an STFC game live on TV from the comfort of my own living room. Now get nearly all my STFC news (and wild rumour) from the TEF.

Is it easy to keep up to date with STFC abroad?

See above – it is now. I miss the matchday experience, especially the away-day meet-ups in the pub. But less painful now than when we’re doing well.
Who are you living abroad with? Are they STFC fans? Do they share your passion?
Wife doesn’t know which way up to hold a football.  I tried to instill the bug in the kids, buying kit and souvenirs, but oddly they don’t really get why they should care about a failing English Third Division club. They favour PSG and France. I’m not giving up. Give ‘em time.
Can you get back to the County Ground? If so, how often? Any particular stories of long journeys to come home and watch the team?
Used religiously to get to at least four games a season, but haven’t been at all since the Preston play-off debacle. A combination of no more family ties, less work in the UK these days, Swindon being a bit ‘meh’ at the moment, and a bit of Brexit sulking. I’ll be back.
The funny thing about going to the last Wembley final was that, with St Pancras being easy for Wembley and with time to book early, it cost me less and took less time to come from Paris than those friends who came up from Wiltshire that day.
Have the locals in your country of abode learned from you the ways of STFC? Have you made more STFC fans abroad?
Everyone I know in Paris now knows of STFC, and makes sensitive enquiries as to our continued existence. They’re mostly amazed at the number of fans that continue to follow a mediocre third level team, and put it down to those crazy Brits. But this street sign in Paris shows that my influence must be beginning to rub off:
A tribute to former Swindon legend Paul Bodin in Paris. Picture: ROB JAMIESON

Are you an STFC fan living abroad? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch using the contact form below…

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