My Team & I: Scunthorpe Utd


By Nicola Kilmore

Twitter: @footychick25


Why Scunthorpe?

Well, believe it or not for quite possibly one of the most unfashionable teams in England, I actually started out as something of a glory supporter. Glory? Scunthorpe? Yes you heard right, it wasn’t until I started secondary school that I even begun to take a passing interest in football but in 1999, after years of seeing my dad and brother trudge home miserably, something changed. They seemed to come back from games happy, muttering something about play-offs. This ‘play off’ game against Swansea seemed pretty important so I listened to it on the radio, and they won and that meant they were going to Wembley. My dad and brother came home delirious, excitedly planning the trip, and that’s when I dropped my bombshell -“I want to go too”.  Naturally I was ridiculed “But you’re a girl! You know nothing” (True, at that point my only knowledge was about Michael Owen) but I went along anyway and I loved it. In that moment I fell for Scunthorpe hook, line and sinker and haven’t looked back since. I’m a little ashamed my first ever game of football was at Wembley but I always say unlike the majority of the 12,000 Scunthorpe fans there that day, I stuck with it. Big time, and after my brother lost interest, it was me who became dad’s football companion.

Favourite Player?

With absolutely no disrepect meant to our current squad, I cannot think of anyone who inspires me to call them my ‘favourite player’. I feel really bad for saying that – I love them all!

However, in my ten seasons of supporting the Iron, I am very lucky to have been blessed to watch some fantastic talent, we may be unfashionable but we have had quite the players over the last ten years and the likes of Peter Beagrie, Andy Keogh, Henri Lansbury, Jack Cork, Paul Hayes and Billy Sharp all would feature highly on my ‘favourite Iron’ list but the clear winner has to be Gary Hooper. What a talent – rejected by Southend and with Scunthorpe winning a tug of war with the likes of Cheltenham to snap up the former Gray’s Athletic striker, he departed Glanford Park for north of the border, as an Iron legend having scored 50 goals over two seasons.

Fantastic player, who always gave his all and was a thoroughly lovely bloke too, you’ll struggle to find a nicer guy in football than Hoops. It’s no surprise that he’s set the Scottish Premier alight, and I expect him soon to reach even dizzier heights, he has the talent and attitude to make it all the way to the top.


Favourite Game?

Again, despite supporting a lower league team, there have been many fantastic games I’ve witnessed supporting the Iron (I’m probably very lucky that my ten year period supporting the Iron so far, has probably been Scunthorpe’s finest ‘purple patch’ ever), do I go for the felling of Forest? Clinching the title at Tranmere? Coming back from 2-0 down against Reading to preserve our Championship status?

No, it HAS to be May 24th 2009 League One Play Off Final Scunthorpe 3-2 Millwall

Not only one of the best games I’ve seen, one of the best games the new Wembley has hosted, I went through the ringer that day – elation, despair, anger, hope, and finally sheer ecstasy with Martyn Woolford’s 85th min winner and the beautiful sound of the final whistle. The fact it was 40,000 Millwall fans to 8,000 Scunthorpe fans made it all the more sweeter, what we lacked in number, we more than made up for in passion and as we filtered out into the sunshine, utterly delirious, it was clear this was a day never to be forgotten, particularly as we had experienced that awful ‘losing at Wembley’ feeling just ONE month before in the JPT Final. Unbelievable match.


Favourite Kit?

Hmm all of our recent kits are pretty boring, they’re claret and blue, with some white piping mostly so instead I’ll go for this beauty, it’s my favourite because of how jaw droppingly awful it is and yet I vividly remember my brother wearing one, ha! The only place you’ll see one now is proudly adorning a child in Africa as part of a football shirts amnesty, who won’t care it’s an abomination.



Worst thing about being a Scunthorpe United fan?

As a small club, punching well above their weight, we are probably the most ridiculed team in the Championship but believe me opposition fans we have heard it all before week in, week out – Yes, your garden shed is bigger than our ground, we know you want to go ‘hooooooooome’ because Scunthorpe’s a ****hole ( you know where the exit is, nobody’s stopping you!)and currently yes it is ‘just like a library’, but you try watching the hoofball currently served up every week, and see if that motivates you. Ahem.  Like all small teams we struggle from apathy, draw Chelsea or Man. Utd in the FA Cup, and suddenly there’s an ‘excitement’ in Scunthorpe, and you’re being ‘poked’ by some bloke you went to school with, begging you to get them a ticket. But the slog of being a supporter, week in, week out is obviously too much for the people of Scunthorpe and where a subscription to Sky is the preferred option, it leaves us struggling by on a very small core support, which is frustrating.

Funniest Moment?

The goose on the loose story has already been done, so I’ll have to go for the moment our dear lovely friends at Grimsby Town made the mother of all cock ups at Glanford Park in our first promotion season with Scunny leading 1-0, Grimsby goalkeeper comes rushing out his goal, and collides with not one but TWO of his own defenders, missing the ball completely, leaving all three in a heap and a very bemused Hayes side footing into an empty net. A true comedy of errors, the picture of the ungainly heap remained on my wall at Uni for ages, never failing to make me smile.

Favourite Moment?

You’ll know by now that Scunthorpe is actually a very successful club of late for it’s size so choosing a favourite moment is difficult. However, I alluded to it earlier, and it’s worthy of a bigger mention, I’m going to go with smashing the Forest 4-0 in their own backyard, captured live and for posterity by the Sky cameras.

I made the short journey to Nottingham on the train from my uni digs in Lincoln, wearing my shirt and getting more than a few snarky comments and jokes from the Forest fans. This continued on the walk to the ground, where I felt a timely reminder that the previous season’s scoreline was 0-1 was appropriate. I was told, that won’t happen again. They were right, it was much worse for them, this time!

This was a golden era for Scunthorpe with possibly the most amazing strikeforce in our history – Keogh and Sharp working in deadly tandem to destroy the Trees that day. I had just about stopped celebrating when I realised  that I was going to have to make that journey back alone, with hundreds of furious Forest fans. As much as I wanted to, I figured proudly showing my colours wasn’t such a hot idea this time so wisely covered up. I did have a good old smirk to myself as they ranted and raved all the way back to Newark about what an ’embarrassment’ it was to lose to ‘bloody Scunthorpe’. Something I have heard many times over the years, it seems losing to us is the lowest of the low, so it makes moments like these all the more sweeter. 🙂 Up The Iron!


2 Responses to “My Team & I: Scunthorpe Utd”

  1. I love that strip. It reminds me of a ZX spectrum game, but i cant think what one.

  2. Top work. Enjoyable reading. Beats some of the clichéd, tedious drivel that the tabloids print. Fresh and honest approach too. Good work that girl. It did look like a ZX Spectrum game that kit by the way.

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