If you’ve been to a Blues game in the last five seasons, then the chances are very good that you’ve seen – or indeed heard – the Blues Supporters 4 Life group supporting our team from the lower east stand at Eden Park.
“It just started out as a good way to share my love for the game and my team,” says Paul Alexander, long-time Blues fan and the Facebook group’s founding member. “I did not expect it to go where it has, or last so long.”
Since August 2012 the Facebook page has grown to more than 4,200 members, spanning multiple countries and even continents. “We’ve got a ton of international fans,” says Paul. “There’s quite a few in South Africa, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and even Sweden.”
It even boasts a few current and former players in its ranks, including captain James Parsons, George Moala, Patrick Tuipulotu, Eroni Clarke, and Joeli Vidiri.
Rain, hail, or shine, you’ll find members of the group at all our home games, bedecked in Blues gear and carrying their trade-mark Blues Supporters 4 Life banner. “We have a lot of fun. Most of us are season members, so we meet up in the members’ lounge before the match.”
Paul himself has only missed one Blues game in the last five seasons. “My young daughter fell down immediately before one of our matches at QBE, so I had to take her to the doctor. Family comes first; the Blues come second.”
How does his wife feel about him being our number-one fan? “She’s not a rugby fan, but she’s supportive of the group and my passion for the team. I think it’s good that we have our own interests.”
He says it also helps that he works as a security officer at the Auckland Art Gallery. “I love my job. It’s gives me a good balance between art and sport, plus because I work the day shift I’m able to go to all the games.”
This year, that included our away win against the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, after Paul and two other Blues Supporters 4 Life members booked a Blues Travel experience.
“As well as an awesome session with Blues assistant coach Al Rogers, James Parsons came up into the stands after the game to thank us for coming all the way over, and then we flew home on the same flight as the team.”
To mark its fifth birthday, Blues Supporters 4 Life is currently running a host of competitions – prizes include signed merchandise, or a season membership for next year. For more details, you can join the group on Facebook here.
The Blues are privileged to enjoy the support of this independent fan-lead organisation, and congratulate Blues Supporters 4 Life on celebrating 5 years!