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Do I have a colour bias?

Updated: Feb 20

It’s unintentional, at least I think it is, but almost all the clubs I favour at present, or have liked in the past, play in red:

Third Lanark

Clyde (Admittedly only red trimmings.)

Workington Brechin City

Charlton Athletic

Broughty Athletic

Sparta Rotterdam

The exceptions to red have been Dundee United’s tangerine and the equally difficult-to-miss yellow of Dortmund, but supporting a team wearing blue, the Scotland team excepted, has never really happened for me. Amongst Scotland’s clubs, for obvious reasons, there’s not exactly an absence of azure but I seem to have concluded that, as the Chelsea song almost has it, blue is not the colour.

Ironically, it was west London that provided my one dalliance with a team in blue. When I lived in Bayswater between late 1963 and February 1965, I went along to Loftus Road (shown above) a few times. Queens Park Rangers were in the Third Division then but were beginning to put together an attractive and competitive team which won the League Cup in 1967 – Rodney Marsh, the Morgan twins etc. I loved the cosy atmosphere of Loftus Road, so different from most Scottish stadiums of the time. However, when I went back to Glasgow in February 1965, I barely gave QPR a backward glance, not least because the once great and historically important Third Lanark were in the middle of their worst-ever season, losing each of their last twenty-one First Division fixtures. Relegation was unavoidable and oblivion beckoned.

My much more recent support for white and blue-wearing Bury AFC owes almost everything to the unfortunate circumstances which killed off Bury FC – and to some degree my experience as a Thirds fan too. The phoenix Bury AFC is brilliantly run, completely transparent in all that they do, with unmatched communications. So, I have considerable admiration for Bury and all its talented volunteers, but unfortunately I feel no great warmth for Bury. Is that due to Bury AFC’s colours or is it more likely because they are top of their league and I feel confident about their future? Historically, I’m all for those clubs who defy the odds and punch above their weight, as a quick glance at my list of favoured teams in red hopefully indicates. What's undeniable, no matter their colours, is that Bury AFC are very far from being the poor relations of the North West Counties League's First Division North.

Workington AFC are also around the top of their league and yet the Reds remain, in every circumstance, my most enduring and enticing underdogs. However, I must admit I was still struggling to dismiss any subconscious antipathy towards teams in blue until I considered the choice faced by football fans in Bristol. It's undeniable that Ashton Gate is the better of the two Bristol grounds, although there is nothing much wrong with the Memorial. Of the two clubs, everything about City seems more corporate and historically they are the more successful. On the downside, City have a slightly boring red kit and a less than original Robins nickname, both of which they share with Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic. Cuddly perennial underdogs Rovers not only have a brilliant and original blue and white strip and a striking club badge but they offer a choice of two great nicknames - the Prates and the Gas.

Resisting the temptation to take a trip across the Severn Bridge to consult Mr. Vincent Tan of Cardiff City FC over his aborted attempt to get a team called the Bluebirds to play in red, I think I am just going to be much more open-minded about liking teams, irrespective of their colours. Thank goodness I've go all that off my Bristol and West.

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