Tuesday, 14 August 2018

What is it like supporting Brechin City – the club that didn’t win a game all season?

What is it like supporting Brechin City – the club that didn’t win a game all season?
08 May

However bad your team’s season has been, there’s always someone worse.

Well, that is of course unless you support Brechin City.

The side from the Scottish Championship endured the season from hell as they went a whole season without picking up a single win.

That’s right, your eyes do not deceive you, Brechin played 36 games without a win, registering just four draws and 32 losses and becoming the first team to go winless for a whole season for 126 years.

No matter how bad your relegation woes were this year, imagine having to sit through a run of 17 defeats in a row and still turning out to support your boys every week.

Brechin City fans are true football fans.

You know, the type that stick with their side through thick and thin and wouldn’t change it for the world.

… Except the not winning part, they’d definitely change that.

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‘Mon the City

‘Mon the City

After hearing about one of British football’s most remarkable seasons we wanted to find out what it is like to be a fan of the worst team in Scottish football history.

So we caught up with Dean Walker, the chairman of the Brechin City Supporters Club to reveal whether he ever considered giving up on them, if the manager has run out of time and what it feels like to not see your team win for a whole year.

You need to rewind to May last year for Brechin’s last win and the beginning of their sorry story.

Happier times

Michael Schofield – The Sun Glasgow

Happier times

The semi-professional side romped the Scottish League One and got into the play-offs, where they clinched a place in the Championship on penalties.

Walker says all the fans knew their fate was going to be relegation, but after the elation of getting to the Championship, no-one thought it would go this badly.

“Promotion was a highlight, obviously. We never expected to go up and we did it in the hardest way possible, with extra-time and penalties in both games,” the 24-year-old remembers.

“It was a big step up. I thought we were going to be relegated, I think most folks knew that, but we didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was.

“To go the whole season without any wins is unbelievable.”

Live scenes from Brechin’s last league win… in May 2017

Michael Schofield – The Sun Glasgow

Live scenes from Brechin’s last league win… in May 2017

City fans might have thought things were going to be OK when they drew their second game after a 4-1 loss to Queen of the South in the opening match of the season.

Three more draws between then and January were the only points they would pick up for the whole season as they finished conceding 90 goals and scoring just 20.

It was only after that draw in January that it dawned on Walker and the other fans that they were in real danger of going the whole season without a win.

“We thought we would get one or two wins, but in the last few months we started thinking to ourselves, we’re never going to get a win here.

“It’s not a nice feeling.”

Walker was brought up a Rangers fan, but switched to his local side as a young boy and has never looked back.

Despite the worst season on record for Scottish football, Walker says he never dreamt on giving up on his team – a truly passionate fan.

“I never thought about giving up on them. We knew how hard it was going to be and there’s no point in jumping ship.

“They’re your local club so they need your support, they need everybody to get behind the team and put money in the coffers.”

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Brechin City are the only club in Europe with a hedge down one side of the pitch

Michael Schofield – The Sun Glasgow

Brechin City are the only club in Europe with a hedge down one side of the pitch

As a semi-professional side Brechin never drew really big attendances to games, but surprisingly Walker tells me that supporters still turned up week-in, week-out throughout the season, despite the results.

However, because of the stature of most of the other teams in the division, the Brechin fans were often outnumbered by away fans in their own stadium.

In the end, Walker and the Brechin City faithful had to see the funny side of it otherwise it really would have been too depressing.

“There was a bit of humour in the stands and on the busses. like last Saturday when we scored when we were 5-0 down [against Queen of the South] everybody cheered the lads for scoring a goal, after we’d gone 11 games without one,” Walker said with absolutely no bitterness towards the players.

January 2018 ref: “Do you want to stop the league now?”

Michael Schofield – The Sun Glasgow

January 2018 ref: “Do you want to stop the league now?”

Walker has attended nearly every game this season and not seen a single win, and while Brechin flailed around in the league they did actually secure a victory in the Scottish Cup.

But as football is a truly cruel mistress, Walker was in hospital during the game and missed the *only* high point of the season.

“I was gutted because I got out the next day which was annoying. But it’s just the luck of the whole season to add that to everything else,” Walker said, explaining that sometimes life is just unfair.

After the extreme joy of winning the play-offs on penalties against Alloa way back in May last year – a whole season ago – Walker is struggling to remember what it is like to see his team win a game now.

One side that he will be particularly glad to see the back of is Queen of the South, as mentioned they thumped Brechin on the first day of the season, beat them again halfway through and then finished their miserable season with a 5-1 victory in Brechin last weekend.

Walker had hoped they might step off the gas having already secured a play-off spot and Brechin not having won a game, but alas that thought went out of the window at 5-0 down.

Dods literally praying for a win

Michael Schofield – The Sun Glasgow

Dods literally praying for a win

In scenes that would be positively unheard of in the Premier League, the Brechin chairman has publicly backed the manager Darren Dods for keeping the players together and morale up through the season.

But while Walker accepts relegation was Brechin’s only fate this season, he won’t accept such a poor display in League One come next year.

“At the start of the season he was told to go and do what you want because we knew we were going to be relegated and how hard it would be.

“But for next season I would give him the first six games and if nothing improves then he has to go.

“We can’t afford to go down again,” warned Walker.

So, when you Arsenal fans are complaining about finishing 6th, just remember the story of Brechin City.


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