From the Terraces: Do I want to be cut out in cardboard for Harrogate Town's play-off semi-final?

Harrogate Town supporter Dave Worton’s latest weekly fan column.

By Rhys Howell
Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 9:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 10:02 pm
Harrogate Town have invited supporters to send pictures of themselves to be cut out and mounted on cardboard then placed in the stands for their National League play-off semi-final clash

As thoughts turn to the play-offs, Town fans are being invited to pay for photographs of themselves mounted on cardboard cut-outs to be placed in the ground, in order to witness the semi-final.

It’s a good, fun idea and I must admit to having given it some thought. Maybe, in hindsight, too much thought.

Firstly, and this is no small dilemma to start with, what expression would I choose for the photo?

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Most fans so far appear to be smiling, but what happens if, heaven forbid, Town go a goal down. A smile would be totally inappropriate in those circumstances.

A downcast expression, on the other hand, says that I’m expecting us to lose, and that just wouldn’t do as we’re meant to be visually cheering the place up.

I think I’d probably just plump for a picture of myself biting my nails with a worried expression on my face, a standard posture I often adopt, and it fits all scenarios.

Next, there’s the small problem of location, with my cut-out having to sit down.

I’d like to ask to stand in the Wetherby Road stand or the Kop, but it wouldn’t work without legs, and I don’t do sitting down at a football match. Not if I can help it anyway.

The Harrogate Advertiser website declares that one or two ‘lucky’ cut-outs may even get to go into the changing rooms.

That’s a big no-no for me and, let’s face it, the players would probably feel the same way, having me staring at them getting changed, whilst looking worried and biting my nails over in the corner.

Finally, and this really gets to the heart of the issue, I’m just too tight to fork out the required £20.

I know I fork out that, and more, every time I go to an away match on the supporters’ coach, but I’ve got a season ticket, so I’m reckoning my cut-out should be able to view the match for free!

When I ask Molly what she thinks about the idea she answers, “have you seen it’s £20?’”

I’m pleased to see that we’ve bought her up to appreciate the value of money.

When I then ask her where she’d like any cut-out of herself to appear, she replies, “in the camera shed on the roof of the stand.”

Seeing as that’s long disappeared to the tip, along with the rest of the old stand, I think we can safely rule that one out.

I do have to say, though, that the pictures of the new stand rising up in its place this week look absolutely brilliant, even if I do regret missing the chance to ask for the camera shed to be dumped at my allotment for old times’ sake.

Whilst I couldn’t possibly recommend placing a picture of Dominic Cummings in the seats, as witnessed at a recent Australian Rugby League encounter, even though he could plausibly have lost his way from Barnard Castle (his eyesight isn’t what it was, I hear), I did think of maybe placing a picture of my dog there instead.

That wouldn’t be fair, however, as she actually isn’t into football, choosing to run away at the slightest sight of a large ball being kicked towards her.

My wife also hates the beautiful game, so that one’s out too.

Maybe we could get Gareth Southgate to grace us with his presence, pretending that he’s eyeing up the talent on display ready for when England matches resume. But it again comes down to the issue of money.

I therefore have to say that, reluctantly, neither myself, or Molly, will be taking part in the cardboard cut-out scheme, but it goes without saying that I’m looking forward to seeing all those old faces I so miss in the stand.

And, if anyone wants to ensure that they get their money’s worth out of their cut-out after the match, I have an acquaintance who used to stand a lifesize cut-out of himself in his front room to deter burglars when he was out, in the spirit of the cardboard police officer in Poundland in town, looking out for shoplifters.