And here is why. Below is an article I wrote about myself and being an expat fan following St Patrick’s Athletic from over here in the USA. It was used in the match programme a few weeks ago.
St Pats fan abroad.
Quick About Me: Billy Galligan, 48. Born and bred in Inchicore, St Pats fan all my life and will remain so from America.
Favorite St Pats moment has to be Christy Fagan scoring the second goal to clinch the FAI Cup in November 2014.
Just as the 2015 Airtricity League season ended I emigrated to the USA, more specifically a city called Decatur just on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, the home of CNN, Coca Cola and Atlanta United. My choice to leave Ireland and move to the USA was an easy one, I moved here to marry my sweetheart and start a whole new life together.
For most of my life I had lived in Inchicore and within sight of Richmond Park. Over the last number of seasons, I was nearly always on the camac side touchline taking photos for ExtraTime.ie and supporting the team through a camera lens, now though I will be cheering them on via Twitter and other online media.
Following matches online, waiting on a score update or news is possibly more nerve wrecking than anything, constantly hitting refresh to see if is there is an update, dreading the beep from the football score app in case it’s a goal against Pats, cheering at the phone when it’s a goal for Pats. I am sure somewhere along the way I will be out somewhere and I will randomly cheer at the phone and my new American friends will wonder what is going on!
Being overseas during a match is nothing new to most fans but to be away and not knowing when I will be home again to see a match is strange. I intend to return to Ireland next December but of course then the season will be over. When I go walking here I nearly always have my St Pats hat on and I am always getting asked ‘What team do I support?’ When I answer St Patricks Athletic from Inchicore in Dublin it raises a few eyebrows as they expect to hear Liverpool, Man Utd or some other English team.
I look forward to the 2016, and will be following the team from the USA and would like to wish Liam and all the staff, players, volunteers and fans an enjoyable, successful and safe season.
As I say in the above article, I will always be a St Patrick’s Athletic fan, even if I start going to Atlanta United games here. Once a football fan, always a football fan.