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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > Inside Lives > Stories > Forgiving failure in football

Stoke City fans

Forgiving failure in football

If you're a football fan, and your club lets you down again and again... why do you keep going back for more? Lifelong Stoke City fan Neil Cherrington thinks he has the answer...

If you went to a café where the food was terrible, you wouldn't go back. If your car kept breaking down, you'd never buy the same car again. If BBC Radio Stoke put out dreadful programmes, you'd soon give up listening to us.

But if you're a football fan, and your club lets you down again and again... why do you keep going back for more? What motivates the long-suffering fans of clubs like Stoke City, Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, Stafford Rangers, and all the rest of the lower league teams?

Why do thousands of people pay vast amounts of money, endure arctic conditions, and use up big chunks of time on teams that never win big trophies, who simply aren't in the same league as the big teams like Manchester United and Chelsea.

Is it loyalty? Is it optimism? Is it madness? Why do we forgive our football teams their failures?

After more than 50 years of being a Stoke City diehard, Neil Cherrington thinks he has the answer. But to work it out, he had to revisit the traumatic events of the 1971 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough, where Stoke went crashing out to a last minute Arsenal penalty.

Here's what Neil had to say on BBC Radio Stoke...

Relive the heartbreak of Stoke City's consecutive FA Cup semi-final defeats at the hands of Arsenal in the early 1970's...

last updated: 14/11/2008 at 11:20
created: 25/11/2006

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