Away From The Numbers

Fife Fans Worldwide Celebrate Title Triumph

Crowd From The 1930's At BayviewFife Fans Pre Season At DurhamFans At Bayview StadiumFans At Bayview StadiumFife Fans In Fancy Dress At Arbroath April 2007Golden Days At Bayview

Times change. People move on. Their lives take them around the world.

There is one constant though - a love for East Fife Football Club that will never die.

If there's one thing that AFTN is good for, it's bringing East Fife fans around the world together and helping to make those far flung fans feel that little bit closer to their fellow fans and the Club, through the good times and bad.

East Fife Fans Around The World
From looking at the site stats we know we have Fife fans and AFTN readers in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, India, China, America and Canada, to name just a few. Towards the end of East Fife's Championship winning 2007/08 season we asked a few of the exiles to get in touch to tell them what winning the League meant to them and find out how they followed the Fife's fortunes so far from home.

This is their section and here are their stories:

When it comes to moving away from your homeland, you can't get much further than the other side of the world and our antipodean Fife fans in Australia and New Zealand are there in healthy numbers.

BILL DONALDSON is one such fan. Bill moved from Scotland to Brisbane in Australia in 1995. An East Fife supporter since 1945, Bill has been back to Scotland around half a dozen times since making the move and managed to catch a few games of the momentous season, which makes it all the nicer.

For most of the season, 3pm Scottish time means 1am the following day for Bill. Sometimes it's midnight when the clocks are in BST as Queensland doesn't have clock changes. This unearthly hour doesn't stop Bill from avidly following the Fife live though, being a night owl helps.

"It usually means bed about 4.30am (!!!) as I tend to visit various News and Sports sites on the Internet, always including AFTN to catch any up to date news of the days match. I'm still in the land of make-believe !! Elated. I think we have a good chance of staying up this time (not sure if we can do another promotion however ). I tend to watch the score unfold on 'Live Scores' or BBC, but BBC does not note the time whereas Live Scores do. I flip back and forward and sometimes catch nearly live details on AFTN. It's a bit boring sitting watching a blank screen for a couple of hours, with only updates every 2 mins. But with so many wins this season, it hasn't been too bad !! After all the BAD news of the DB era, this has been a revelation !! I also managed to catch a few games with Jim Beavers when I was home with Ziggy and friends, Jim puts a good newsletter of every game on Friends From The Wemyss (FFTW) which I also visit several times a day."

Ziggy - The Dark Side Days
Ziggy's dark side days
ZIGGY is another ex Wemysser but now resides in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Like Bill, it's watching a computer for a couple of hours on the BBC website for the 3pm kick-offs and keeping in touch with the goings on through Jim's excellent "Black and Gold" column on FFTW, whilst reading AFTN for the more "radical views"!

Ziggy holds a deep, dark secret though. He used to play for Raith Rovers! He assures us though that he was ALWAYS an East Fife fan.

Ziggy (and Bill) were part of a group of around a dozen from the FFTW site that had a reunion in 2007 that allowed them to take in most of the July and August games.

You can find Bill, Ziggy, Jim and a host of other exiled black and gold fanatics HERE at the excellent FFTW website.

Even further flung is well known choirboy from the past COLIN WILLIAMSON who now lives in New Zealand.

Colin doesn't have a regular 3pm UK time Saturday routine as it's been "the middle of the bloody night here!. I have stayed up for the cup games, and the game last week, but generally I just log on first thing Sunday to find out.".

A regular on AFTN and the general Scottish football site Pie and Bovril, it's been easy for him to follow all the going ons, but he does feel that it's been difficult to comment on the team or games obviously not being there.

"Although I'm over the moon, I feel strangely detached at the same time. My girlfriend's dad also passed away the night we won the league, so it took the shine right off it for me."

Colin Williamson - Tunnel Vision
Colin Williamson - Tunnel Vision
Like myself, Colin has been in the position this season of being a new exile and this can be difficult to adjust to at first when it comes to being a Fife fan - especially when you've watched your team being pretty rank for most of your viewing years, only to find them winning once you move. And we can't all be jinxes before anyone starts!!!

"I wasn't able to make it to make it back for the trophy presentation. I really struggled with this one, as it's one of the things I want to see before I die - East Fife lift a cup. It was one season too soon for me and if I couldn't come home for my Grandad's funeral, I can't justify coming home for that. I just had to make do with all the pics and video footage unfortunately.".

Colin was lucky enough to catch one game during the campaign though, a 1-1 draw away to Dumbarton in September: "I went through on the train with Stu the Blue and Colin. It wasn't that good a game. We dominated, but weren't streets ahead that one. Good to be able to see one game from our Championship winning season though".

From the land of sheep to an oil rig in the Caspian Sea next. That's where we find AZERBAIJANI FIFER.

"This season has been superb. I have attended all games I was able to, including away games. Although there were a couple of bad results, apart from the Arbroath game (0-2), I have always felt we played decent football even when we were beaten."

"I follow the results normally with Sky Sports on the computer. They have started showing the Saturday Sports Live programme at 3-5pm on the web which has been great as we don't get it on the telly. At 3pm in the UK, it's 7pm in Azerbaijan and I get sorted out in front of the computer ready to watch the Sky programme. Believe it or not but there is another East Fife supporter onboard and he works in another part of the rig. We call each other if something happens during the Fife game, just to make sure neither of us miss anything!"

"Being so far away is not so difficult these days. Communication is easy and telephone calls are free thankfully (and direct dial). The internet also makes a huge difference."

Not as isolated as many of the exiles as a rota of 4 weeks on/4 weeks off means that he gets to see a fair few games during the season, but this can of course mean missing out on the big ones unfortunately.

"I had to go back before the Arbroath game and I was really disappointed to miss that occasion. I was hoping it would be presented at the Montrose game but I think it was probably better at the last home game really. I was at work when we won the championship and we watched the Sky programme together. It was great...honest!"

"I am really proud of the club this season for what they have achieved. I think Wullie Gray has been brilliant for us and I sincerely hope he stays with us for a long time. I think he has got the 'bug' and feels good about being part of East Fife Football Club, knowing now he will always be a big part of the clubs history in years to come."

"I have supported the Fifers since the 50's. Admittedly, I used to sneak in a lot and got lifted over the turnstiles many times! I remember the 60's and early 70's sides most as I went down to England to work in the 70's and didn't see many games for a long time after that. I am back home now though and don't miss a game if I can help it. I was at the Celtic game (1964) when we beat them 2-0 in the league cup quarter final first leg and I remember crying with pride and joy. I was also at a friendly against Dundee at Bayview in the early 60's. I mention that game because Dundee were a fantastic side then and got to the semi-final of the European Cup that year. They were a joy to watch and they beat us 4-2, but that was no disgrace. I hope my memory got all that right!"

"I have a young son (11yrs) and started taking him to the games when he was about 5. He is a STAUNCH and I mean STAUNCH East Fife supporter! He plays for the Young Fifers and is a season ticket holder. I told him if he sticks in at the training etc he could well end up being a professional footballer and who knows, play for Man U or some other big club. He replied..I don't want to play for anybody else, I want to play for East Fife! I said, if Man U want you son, you WILL be going to them!!!!! Got to think of my retirement!"

Kafe Caledonia - Baku, Azerbaijan
Kafe Caledonia - A Scottish home from home in Baku
Well that's always nice to hear that we have some loyal young guns coming through the ranks to take over the singing and atmosphere for many years to come!

One cracking bit of info that Azerbaijani Fifer gave us is that there is a bar in the capital city of Baku called the Caledonian. On the walls are loads of photographs of the Scotland international teams over the years, individual players like Law, Bremner etc and of Hampden Park itself. There is one photograph that is not to do with the Scotland national side though. It's an East Fife related photo showing the main entrance at old Bayview! We don't know why it is there or how it got there but he is striving to find out. No other club sides are featured apart from us!

Across the other side of the world, there is a steady East Fife North American supporters' club growing. The USA has boasted known fans in New York, Texas, California and Seattle last season. Add to that list Louisville, Kentucky and that's where you'll find black and gold exile PETER McCUE.

Peter saw his first Fife game back in 1962 and became hooked instantly. Having been through the few ups and a lot more downs in his supporting years, he views our Championship winning season as "a mix of it being long overdue that we've won something plus delight that we're getting out of the Third Division with a decent shout at staying up for more than one season.".

"I follow the results using a combo of the ESPN vidiprinter and Sky Sports when I'm at home in Louisville. When travelling, or when the wife insists on early shopping on a Saturday morning, I can use my blackberry to check in with the BBC website to follow the scores live.......not as good as being there by a mile but it's the best I can do."

"My 3pm UK time Saturday routine is described in how I keep in touch with the scores. I do like to check-in on Saturday evening with AFTN and view Jim C's photos of the matches and read the Friday Club and Friends of the Weymss reports; that combo helps make it feel like you're still part of it."

"Being so far away is still a little strange. Even though I moved away from Scotland in '83, I've 'followed' the Fife remotely ever since. I have even converted a few colleagues here in the US to watch for the Fife's results including my boss who is a Leyton Orient fan!"

Kenny Deuchar Scores The Promotion Winner v Queens Park in 2003
Peter flew thousands of miles to see Kenny Deuchar's last gasp promotion clincher in 2003 then flew straight home again!
"I've not been able to make it back home to see any games this season. I'd looked at getting back for the trophy presentation but work commitments prevented that. It would have entailed a flight out on the Friday, arriving on the Saturday morning and leaving on the Sunday morning. Daft as that may sound I was able to fly back in that fashion to see the guys beat Queen's Park and win promotion when I lived in the San Francisco area in 2003!".

"Thanks for giving all of us exiles the chance to add to what has been a great season by contributing what it means to us. We may not get the chance to be physically at matches too often but it doesn't change the level of support that we have for our team, even from several thousand miles away or the thrill of knowing that for the first time in 60 years our boys won a championship.".

These sentiments are echoed by East Fife fans the world over and it just shows you what the Club and last year's Championship win means to the fans, many of whom have never seen us lift any silverware.

If we continue our rise then there's going to be a fair few air miles clocked up over the next few years!

As for myself, last season was strange. Like Colin, I felt a bit remote at times, never more so than the day we clinched the Championship at East Stirling. What was one of the happiest days of my life was tinged with a little sadness at not having been there in person. I didn't feel part of it in a way.

When you make the decision to move or work overseas though, that's one of the things you have to accept you'll not have in your life. It makes the returns back home to see the games and enjoy the banter on the terracing and in the stands all that more special.

Going home to see the trophy presentation and being at the Player of the Year dance at night have given me memories that will live with me to my grave. I hope to see many more such days before that time of course, but nothing will be as special as the first.

So that's the exiles' stories of last season. I hope you've enjoyed sharing them and I know there's a lot more out there, so share your own memories and stories from last season, drop us an email and we'll add yours in as well.



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