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REDS ABROAD: Jeremy Gatti from Sweden

4 April 2018

This season we've been catching up with overseas Reds supporters, and on this occasion we caught up with Jeremy who follows Barnsley from Stockholm!

'My name’s Jeremy Gatti and I’ve been living in Sweden since 2010, if you can call any kind of existence outside of God's Own Country a life. 

 

'It's a great place to call home and I can certainly think of any number of worse places to be - the South, for example! 

 

'The glaring problem, of course, is the lack of the world's greatest football team…

 

'I've tried to replace the gaping hole in my life that used to be filled with going to Oakwell with a team here in Stockholm. I decided to go with Hammarby for the sole reason that Peter Markstedt used to play for them, so I figured I would at least have a sliver of emotional attachment. But it wasn't to be. As I stood there in the stadium I felt dead inside. I might as well have been watching rugby or somebody changing a car battery for all the strength of feeling it evoked. It was all wrong from the start; to begin with, these despicable heathens eat a hot dog before the match instead of a pie! I was outraged! I do have to admit though, the atmosphere was fantastic, although I rather cruelly put that down to the fans having to create their own entertainment given the dross that was served up on the pitch. But then I realised that if that were a universal rule, the volume from Oakwell would be similar to a space shuttle taking off, so I would probably have to reassess that thought...

 

'Instead, going to the match has had to be replaced by following the Reds online. It used to be that all you could get was commentary on the day and, while I do feel lucky to be one of the privileged few who got to hear Matt Bailey ‘starting’ on some Preston fans while live on air, supporting Barnsley abroad has been massively changed thanks to the advent of iFollow. Now I can even force my wife and daughters to watch with me and try to get them to understand the joys of following the Reds, which have so far eluded them. It seems that Peppa Pig and Frozen have a certain je ne sais quoi that watching the team get royally humped every week just can't match. 

 

'Nonetheless, I keep them updated on what's going on every Saturday, and the kids have learned to cheer when I tell them we've scored. My wife recently told me that our eldest daughter had told her a secret: "Mum...don't tell dad, but I don't really care if Barnsley score, I only cheer to make him happy." I was touched, of course, but that feeling swiftly gave way to burning fury. My dad had made me dvds of the JPT final and all the Play-Off matches from a couple of seasons back, so I made her watch them all back to back, followed by my 94/95 season review video. Except we don't have a video player, so it was just me acting out every goal accompanied by my best impressions of Dave Copping on commentary. Then to round it all off I made her walk up the biggest hill I could find to replicate the post-match slog up Oakwell Lane. Now when I ask her if she's a proper Barnsley fan she says "Yes!" straight away, so it seems like it was a successful conversion method. No ice hockey for her!

 

'The truth is that nothing will ever be able to replace the matchday rituals, and there's no way any other team could steal my affections. I may live in Sweden but Barnsley will always be home, and even if my family can never really get their heads round it, the Reds will always be in my blood.'

 

Jeremy

 

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