DERRY JOURNAL Editorial : Brandywell Pride
I would never claim to be an authority on sporting matters (especially if our sports department are within earshot) but a young relative’s passion for Derry City led me once more this season to the Brandywell on Friday night, and it was just an all-round fantastic evening.
As a mass of red and white bedecked men, women and children filtered along Lecky Road on what was a chilly night you could feel the buzz of anticipation in the air. It felt different from those other smaller capacity, post lockdown games earlier in the season. No doubt the buoyant mood was due in part to the Candystripes’ impressive run over the course of those months as the dedicated team of young players dug deep and produced the goods under the expertise of Ruaidhri Higgins and the team. The long called for relaxations on capacity were also part of it.
But it isn’t just the players and club that deserve praise, it is that core of fans who win, lose or draw for decades have been returning and travelling week after week and standing there in hail, rain and sunshine to cheer, chant and applaud the team on; it’s the volunteers whose dedication to the club helps to inspire that self-belief.
And it’s clear to see just how much those fans mean to the team and manager in return. They are the wind at Derry’s back, from the Brandywell Pride supporters club and band members to the veterans in the stands and the young boys and girls glued to the action by the railings. It felt on Friday like Derry was well and truly back in more ways than one.
The fantastic recent film ‘A Different League - the Derry City story’ by Guy King has helped to ignite and reignite interest in and devotion to the club. We have a team we can be proud of (and it would be remiss here not to mention Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe’s fine goal to clinch the three points on Friday night) and a team bringing hope and positivity at a time when we need it most. Fair play all round.