Indian fan next up in the series
THE 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season may have finished, but the feature dedicated to documenting the stories and experiences of our fans is still going strong.
We are speaking to supporters from all over the world, from Smethwick to South Africa, Great Barr to Germany or even Halesowen to Haiti. Wherever you may be, we want to hear your tales.
This week we make our first trip to Asia to meet one young man, Pranay Kapuria, who is heavily involved with the club.
Pranay, thank you for taking part. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself to start off please?
Thank you for having me. I am 21-years-old and I live in a small suburb known as Jogeshwari in Mumbai. I am currently a student.
How did you become an Albion fan?
I still remember it quite vividly. It was a boring day for me so I just turned on the television and Albion were playing against Liverpool. That was the first time I saw the team play and Zoltan Gera’s strike made me become the fan I am today. That was the season Steve Clark was in charge and we played some fantastic football. Beating Liverpool 3-0 on the opening day also made me a fan. I think we finished eighth in the table that season.
Are you the biggest Albion fan in India?
Yes, I am. That is the perfect title for me. Nobody in India would be a bigger fan than me.
How big is football now in India?
Football in India has now gone to the next level. More and more people are becoming interested in it. The talks for a big 18-team league are going on and this would help Indian football very much in the long run.
How do you follow our games from India?
Sometimes the games will be live on television, but if they aren’t I still watch them online. I make sure I never miss any of the action. The only problem I face is the sleeping, as games are often past midnight. Even if they are after midnight I still make sure I stay up so I don’t miss any of the action.
Have you ever been to The Hawthorns?
I have only ever been to The Hawthorns once and that was back in October to see Albion’s game against Leicester City when they lost 3-2. Sadly Albion lost the game but I feel lucky to have watched the champions play live.
Who is your all-time favourite Albion player?
It has to be James Morrison. I love his attitude, the never give up style. He has been a great servant to the club for the last nine years.
You have a special role at the club. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I run the West Bromwich Albion Indian Supporters’ Club page on Facebook and I love it. I interact with the fans before and after games and I also invite them to share their views. I also run quizzes and things like that to test their knowledge before rewarding with them with prizes. We got a fantasy league started this year too. I take immense pleasure in spreading the word of Albion and reaching out to young kids in my community to make them fans at a tender age. I am very proud to be the Chairman of the supporters’ club.
What does West Bromwich Albion mean to you?
West Bromwich Albion means everything to me. Following the team from 4,500 miles away has become a big part of my life.