I think we all dreaded after our last relegation that it would be a similar long haul back into the Premier League. We aren’t there yet, obviously but it marks a far more successful first season back in the Championship than last time regardless. To be honest though, I’m filled with dread and imminent disaster, which is the default setting for any Fulham fan.
What a season it’s been for them so far – do you still watch as closely as ever?
I’ve followed it, of course. Since I’ve been young my life has been phases of going to Fulham every week, home and away, and then zoning out whilst different things in life take over then back again. It’s been the latter in the last couple of weeks but I have obviously followed every single result and have been in fairly constant conversation with my mates at the Cottage.
Safe to say they’re your First Love! Tell us a bit about how you became a fan and your early memories of the club?
My Dad isn’t into football, so I didn’t inherit a club really. I was badgering him to go to football and he took me to the Cottage. We got on the train, walked over the river, and watched Micky Adams’ bottom tier side beat Barnet 2-0. I went from that moment on, five pounds to get into the turnstiles and that begun at the very front of the terraced Hammersmith end, slowly moving further back as a form of initiation over the years.
Other than following Fulham of course, tell us a bit about what you’re up to these days…
I co-run a record label called Yala! Records, who are just about to put out Willie J Healey’s album, which is a really special record. I record Tailenders every week still with Greg James and Jimmy Anderson, an increasingly loosely cricket based podcast for the BBC. I’m also in the process of finishing a record, a book and beginning a film score after working on The Edge last year with Barney Douglas, so there’s plenty on.
What do you make of Scott Parker and how he’s got Fulham playing?
I think it’s been a work in progress but massive credit has to go to the fact we’ve been up there all year. I was really impressed by the last half-an-hour of the Cardiff Semi-Final, where we showed a resilience missing from a lot of the season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is still scoring goals for fun! Is he up there with your favourite Fulham players, or does someone else stand out?
Unfortunately for Mitro he has to sit on the bench in my all time Fulham team. I have too fond memories of watching Bobby Zamora, Paul Peschisolido and Dmitar Berbatov up top.
The memories of the 2018 Final are still fresh in the memory. Where did you watch that game, and where does it rank for you?
I’m still recovering from it to be honest. I was there. It was an intensely emotional day. Up there with the Hamburg Europa League Final and last day relegation survival at Portsmouth under Roy Hodgson.
How would you rate Fulham’s chances in the Premier League this time around if they do go up?
What would your message be to the players ahead of the Final?
I don’t think any advice I have is going to be particularly helpful. I just hope they’re as hungry as they probably were in 2018.
Finally, how do you see the Final going – let’s have a score prediction!
Don’t make me do that. I‘ve supported Fulham for too long to ever do that.