Members' Week Article: Mitch Clarke
As we celebrate Member Appreciation Round this week we're bringing you a series of articles written by our members about why they love being part of the Blue and Gold Army! From the friends they make, to being part of our great football team - all the reasons why they love being a member.
Read our first member article, written by Mitch:
You know, I think it takes a special person to be a Parramatta supporter. Not just anyone qualifies.
When a seasons wins might only be counted on one hand, where success is often only measured away from the playing field, it takes a certain type of dogged determination to wear the blue and gold. Uncompromising, iron will.
I mean its gotta be in my veins, right? To get up, go out and watch the games. To cheer until hoarse as our boys go into battle. To sit through both wins and losses, to ride the ecstatic highs, only to be stung by subsequent, brutal lows. To claim the taunts, trials and triumphs as if they were my own.
So, what is it like being a Parra supporter? What might it be compared to?
Is it like a religion?
During a contest, my prayers or praises are not out of order. We chant and cheer in devout unity. Where belief is rewarded, and doubts forgotten. This is a place where gods walk, and mortals had best get out of the way. A place where fate, not the depth of ones faith, determines the bounce of the ball or the solacing shrill of the refs whistle.
Or maybe it is more like family?
Each week, Im greeted by the fellow faces of the Bay 68 members. Knowing we portion a bond, a common goal, a shared heritage. Such cheers, high fives and hugs wouldnt be out of place at any family reunion. Our memories spread themselves across the field, but only those moments etched in glory.
Like it were part of my ancestry, my genealogy; the blue and gold has to be running through my system. Its where my forefathers are named Thornett, Cronin and Sterling. Where my history is stained with blood, grass and soil, covered by blue and gold.
Why else would I care so much? What else could drive such emotion?
Today, I look back and see a well travelled path. A walk started in '47, where dynasties have risen up from the mire, and where success was built on the backs of antiquity. Knowing that we have tasted victory in the past leaves only a thirst for more.
Now, only together well look forward. Our men arent mere mercenaries, they stand proud in the blue and gold, brothers unified. As we turn our despair into strength, the future suddenly looks much brighter than before.
For so many like me, this club is another place to call home.
Unity. Legacy. Commitment.
This is what it means to wear the blue and gold.
Only the most loyal need apply.