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In “RKCers Abroad” we’re looking for RKC Waalwijk fans that can’t visit our beautiful club on a weekly basis, because of a simple fact: They’re living too far away. Whether they are originally from Waalwijk and emigrated or have developed a connection with the club in a different way, we’re looking for the story behind those supporters. In this first article we’re talking to Grant from England.
Like many supporters I follow RKC on several social media platforms. A while ago I noticed a lot of English replies on the Twitter page of the club, placed by someone named Grant (@grantsales).
After some scrolling through his timeline I noticed that he’s replying very enthousiastic on news that the club posts and on decisions made within matches. I was really curious about Grant his story and after I told him about RKCNu and RKCers Abroad we started talking.ff
Grant is a 38 year old football fan from the UK. In his daily life he works night shifts at airport security. He is a also a season ticket holder at his favorite UK football club: Fulham FC. Besides football he likes to follow baseball and ice hockey. I asked him how an English Fulham fan discovered RKC Waalwijk, when Grant told me this:
“I have always been a fan of Dutch football, back from seeing van Basten’s Euro ’88 goal, to Bergkamp (and Overmars and Helder… Maybe not the last haha) I am also a long-time player of the game Football Manager. I took over RKC on the 2015 release as they were rated as the lowest team in the Eerste. I had a lot of fun with that save, so when the 2016 release came, I wanted to play as RKC again. I have currently played as RKC for the last three releases (2016-2018) and intend to carry on for the next release later this year!”
Since the moment Grant found RKC through Football Manager, he has been following the club closely more and more. Right now he follows all matches through the Twitter live feed, or he watches them live when he can find a livestream in the UK. Ofcourse I asked him about the promotion game against Go Ahead Eagles and how he experienced it:
“I could not believe it. I took time off to watch all the playoff games (as I also did when we lost 1-5 to Emmen previously). When Stijn scored to make it 2-2, I was sure it was our time. Then Langedijk’s goal had me shouted and cursing him! An ex-RKC player and he did that damage! I was so angry! But I pulled my shirt off and waved it about my head when Hans equalised. And then when the penalty was given, I couldn’t watch. When it went in I celebrated with a few bottles of beer! Haha!”
I was suprised about the passion Grant was speaking with about the club, and asked him if he ever wanted to visit a game in Waalwijk. To my surprise he already visited the club and even a match!
“I have! I went, with two friends, to RKC vs FC Volendam in 2017 where we lost 1-4 🙁 We surprised everyone by coming over to see them and the social media staff were so helpful, they let me see the pitch and changing rooms. We got tickets for the standing section to sing with the fans and it was a wonderful night! I plan to come back this season too!”
Obviously I asked Grant about his favorite RKC player right now, and what is all time favorite RKC player is. His answer suprised me:
“I guess all time is Rick Hoogendorp. I remember when he was firing in the goals when they were in the Eredivisie. I think I even bought him on a few Football Manager games! Current favourite player is mainly to do with Football Manager and it’s Ingo van Weert. He is always the last person to leave the team when I am playing, many years in the future.”
And just like that my talk with Grant came to an end. I really liked talking to a fan that lives a long way from the club but still manages to be very close to it. The last thing I asked Grant if he had something left to say to his fellow supporters:
“I may not have been a fan long, but I am extremely passionate about the team. You can usually find me commenting on the Facebook or Twitter club accounts and this year I am attempting to learn Dutch so that I can understand more about the team and players! I hope to see you all at at a game!”
Foto: © RKC Waalwijk