‘Goat’ makes China fan’s dream come true
A Manchester City and Shaun Goater fan in China is a satisfied supporter thanks to former Director of Community Affairs, Lowdru Robinson . . . and Goater himself.
Robinson, who has been living in China since retiring from Government 14 years ago and now teaches English at a school, had an experience a few months that made him, in the words of the song,
Proud to be Bermudian. The story came to light yesterday, the same day that Goater’s club, North Village, announced that he would not be renewing his contract as coach which expired on New Year’s Eve. Despite retiring six years ago, and even longer since he last pulled on a Manchester City jersey, the former Bermudian striker is still fondly remembered by football fans everywhere as Robinson experienced for himself on the other side of the world.
“One day I was discussing the English Premier League Football with another teacher, Adam Shaw, and he told me his favourite team is Manchester City. In fact he said when he was a boy he had his bedroom decorated with Shaun Goater memorabilia and kit,” said Robinson who works as a teacher at Wellington College International Tianjin, a branch of the UK College.
“Shaun was his hero and many times he joined in the chant from the crowd shouting ‘Feed the Goat’. He was proud to wear Shaun’s football shirt with its number 10 on the back. His dream was to get Shaun’s autograph but he was never able to get it.”
Robinson chose not to mention that he was from the same country as Goater and immediately began putting a plan in motion to surprise his colleague.
“When he told me about Shaun he did not know that I was from Bermuda,” said Robinson who spent Christmas on the Island and returns to China today. “Adam is a very jolly person who has a great sense of humour that he shares with both staff and students. Without telling him, I decided to see if I could do something about fulfilling his dream.
“I tried to get a copy of Shaun’s biography ‘Feed The Goat’ from Amazon.com. but they were sold out. Undaunted I e-mailed my granddaughter, Thea Symonds, who is studying for her Masters degree in the UK, and asked her to search for a copy.
“She found one in a local bookshop. I had her mail it to my long time friend, Leroy Douglas, who lives in Bermuda. Through his help he located Shaun who not only autographed the book but included a photo of him doing the signing. The autograph in the book reads: “To Adam Shaw, the most loyal MCFC supporter, best wishes, “Feed the Goat!” Shaun Goater”
Robinson estimates there was a wait of more than two months before the book arrived in China in November, waiting to be handed over to the surprised fan.
“When the book arrived in China I presented it to Adam at our college,’ said Robinson. “Needless to say he was shocked and overwhelmed with excitement. This was the first time I think he was ever lost for words. As for me, it was a wonderful feeling to be able to make someone’s long time dream come true.
”It was an overwhelming personal experience that was really heartfelt. The photo of Shaun signing the book now has pride of place above his desk in his classroom and the book is proudly on display in his home. When I told Adam that I was sending the story to The Royal Gazette, this is what he wrote:
“Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lo, his wife Jane and, of course Shaun himself. This was a wonderful gesture and I will cherish the book forever. Having supported City from the age of six (I made the same mistake as Shaun by choosing United first!) I have felt all possible emotions over the past 28 years. My first visit to Maine Road was in 1986 with my father, since then I have witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly.
“The period between 1998 and 2003 was extraordinary, even by City’s standards. We changed leagues almost as often as we changed our socks! During that time some fantastic players came and went, George Weah, Nicholas Anelka, Eyal Berkovic and Ali Benarbia were all great to watch and provided many great memories. However, despite these great footballing names playing week in week out, Shaun Goater’s name was the one sang most regularly, the name cheered the loudest before kick-off and his goals were cheered the most enthusiastically (and there were plenty to cheer!). We loved him and still do.
Now things have changed a little at City, and I for one am loving every minute of it. But, although these are indeed halcyon days for a City fan, if you ask anyone from my generation who our ‘cult hero’ is you will get one reply; Shaun ‘Feed the Goat’ Goater.”