SUPPORTER and our statistics man, Scott Cooper, is the next to be asked a host of questions on his life as Bannsider…
1. How long have you supported Coleraine?
I started looking out for results in 2002, then attended my first game in 2003 and have been a regular ever since.
2. What’s your first memory?
I did go with my brother and dad to a game in July 1997, a friendly against a Man United XI, as my brother is a United fan, so I tagged along. Don’t remember much about the game (think it finished 3-0), just that it was a nice evening, there was a decent crowd and me & my brother got a few autographs.
Didn’t return until 2003 and the home game against UD Leiria, another nice July evening, a decent crowd too, again, got some autographs and we won, 2-0! Remember hearing on BBC Radio 5 coming over the mountain road in the car with my dad that they had the biggest result of the evening to announce, and it was none other than my beloved Bannsiders!
3. Any funny stories from your time as a supporter?
Apart the Norwegian exploits of our very own Tom Daley, Aaron O’Neill, which have been mentioned here before, too many funny things to remember. There is always a bit of craic and banter with fellow supporters before, during and after the game, especially with our resident wags in the stands shouting humorous things towards the pitch! I had the slightly surreal experience of riding on the team coach with the lads from the Lodge Hotel up the Ballycastle Road on the evening of the day of the Cup Final earlier this year too….
4. Your favourite current player/past player?
Current player, I’ll have a soft spot for the ones I sponsored so Parky or Jackie, and want to see them do well, which they have been doing a lot of recently!
Past player? Hard to pick a favourite, in my time you’ve had players like Gacky to Stephen Carson, local guys that were great players and servants to the club on the field, to people like Eunan O’Kane and Gareth McAuley who have went onto even bigger stages than the Showgrounds.
5. Your favourite away trip?
Coleraine! Living in Sion Mills and travelling to matches from there, every home game has a touch of an away trip feel to it! However, I would say the trip to Haugesund. To achieve European football and to get to head off in a plane with fans and players to another country to watch my team (when I usually just drive down the road to see them) was very special. As a fan, I had a great couple of days, even though the result wasn’t so great. I know myself and the other fans that made the journey (and players) are looking forward to repeating the experience again, hopefully very soon!
6. Your favourite goal?
Johnny Black’s effort from beyond the halfway line, Paul Owens’ two goals from corner kicks in the one match for the sheer wow factor. There’s been a lot of spectacular goals scored so like a favourite player, it’s hard to pick one over all others!
7. Any favourite matches?
The aforementioned Leiria game, I have fond memories of us beating Ballymena 4-1 at home on Boxing Day of that same year (my first derby), the Sky game against Linfield 5 years ago, and recently, the quarter-final and semi-final wins in the Irish Cup last year. Great atmosphere at the semi-final, especially when the match ended and you could see what it meant to the fans and players. The next match is the one I’m always looking forward to and any game we win is good.
8. If you could sign any player from another Irish League, who would it be?
A sign of the times we’re currently in, but I’m quite happy with the team we have – thanks!