Angela Traynor is the Ticketing Manager at Sale Sharks, she has been there since July 2016 and before that the Ticket Office at Edgeley Park 2008 to 2012. She also did the shop part-time 2010 to 2016 and had a short stint in the Ticket Office at the AJ Bell stadium. She’s a one team woman, and when it comes to rugby she quotes ‘I know what I know and don’t pretend to understand all the laws so I’m no expert, half the time I can’t even remember the score!’
I met Angela at Edgeley park and away games with her little crew. They were alway nice to talk to whether we won or lost. The sort of supporters who hangs around till the end to say hello to the boys. As players we get down after a loss and want to go straight into the changing room but to give the supporters acknowledgement only takes a few minutes for their hours of commitment to travel and plan for games, the least we as players can do is give them this.
I’m lucky enough to see her most days of the week to throw a bit of banter around. Take a look into how much effort is put in from her to support her team.
Who do you support and how long have you been a fan?
I support Sale Sharks and have done since around 1999/2000.
What made you become a fan?
My husband Colin was one of the junior team coaches at Stretford Cricket Club and I was Club Secretary (plus tea lady, scorer and bar person), and one Saturday the match was called off. A few of the lads went to watch Sale and Col went with them. On my weekends off work I got fed up of being left home alone so went along with him and got hooked.
What do you as a fan expect from your team?
Big question! I’d like them to give their all for 80 minutes, to follow the team’s game plan but should the opportunity arise to show their skills, to be themselves. Sometimes you remember a match for just one magical moment; a pass out of the back of the hand, a player hitting someone like a train or a length of the pitch try. Recognition of the travelling supporters at every away game is very important; win or lose those people have paid their own hard earned cash to come and support you so it’s the least you can do to thank them whether you’ve won or not.
What are your fondest memories of supporting your team?
Wow, another big question. Let’s start with winning the Guinness Premiership Final in 2006 against Leicester Tigers, 45-20 (I certainly remember that score!). At Harlequins in 2010 the team walking to thank the travelling support, and my favourite player Dean Schofield running over, giving me the shirt direct from his back and a kiss on the cheek saying “Thanks for all your support Ange” – what a moment! Then there are all the beautiful places overseas we have been to that we otherwise never would have – Montpellier, San Sebastian, Toulouse, and because it was near where we stayed for the Petrarca game, Venice; there are too many to mention. Eating and drinking amazing food and wine in France, travelling at night in a water taxi on the Grand Canal in Venice, and drinking Champagne on the TGV with friends travelling from Paris to Toulon are great highlights.
Who is the biggest fan beside yourself who supports your team?
Hmm. Well Graeme Bowers has been a fan since God was a lad, and for a season or so used to commute to and from Prague to matches so that’s pretty hard core. Then there are Anne and Mike Chinchen who, despite living in Twickenham, have a season ticket, but I’d have to say top of the pile is Jo Marsden. As well as the biggest she’s probably the loudest – earplugs are ineffective – and on several occasions she has come direct from an overseas work trip in China to the match. She and her husband Anthony watch pretty much all rugby and berate me for not knowing who players are, but we travel to away games together and have a great time and loads of laughs.
Estimate how much per year you would spend on supporting your team?
Too much! A good European weekend away trip with travel, hotel, tickets and food and drink for two can come out at about the same as a week in Spain for two, so it soon mounts up if you get a good draw with a couple of French teams. We don’t do as many ‘aways’ as we used to but we always do Worcester, Exeter and Newcastle as stay-overs, along with selected European trips and some Premiership ‘there and backs’. It’s in the thousands, definitely.
Give us 5 reasons why others should support your team?
These are in no particular order.
1. For the social side. Unlike football you can stand or sit with opposing supporters and have a drink while you watch the match. The banter between supporters and each other, the match officials and the players while warming up can be very amusing!
2. Acorns to oak trees. You get to watch young players work their way through and play for their international side. The immeasurable joy of watching that player succeed is fantastic, and over time you get to know them. That day when you’re at Twickenham and they walk past you while you’re with your rugby mates and they say hello to YOU – you can’t buy that feeling!
3. You get the chance to go to fantastic places. Not just overseas either, there are some beautiful and interesting places to visit in the Premiership; Worcester, Gloucester, Exeter and Newcastle for starters and Bath, where we got married at the Guildhall before a match.
4. The ups and downs. Those matches where you weren’t expecting a win but got four tries (Clermont away), putting 45 points on Tigers and winning the Premiership, and winning the match with the last play of the game (Wasps at home last season). Then there’s losing by one point in the last 20 seconds of the match, seeing a player suffer a serious injury and be carried off on a stretcher or with their arm in a sling, or just getting totally spanked 62-0 in Toulon. Ouch.
5. The rugby family. Above all though has to be the friends we have made along the way, both on and off the pitch. We all live quite far apart but when needed we are there for each other, for rugby or non-rugby problems. Each team has its own ‘family’ of supporters, but rugby is one big family whichever team you support.
Angela Traynors best XV of Sale Sharks players
Why did you have to ask this? It’s a nightmare question and I really don’t want to upset anyone so sorry if you’re not in there.
15. Jason Robinson
14. Byron McGuigan
13. Bash Brothers – Johnny Leota
12. Bash Brothers – Sam Tuitupou
11. Mark Cueto
10. Charlie Hodgson
9. Bryan Redpath
1. Andrew Sheridan
2. Sebastian Bruno
3. Vadim Cobilas
4. Dean Schofield
5. Bryn Evans
6. Jono Ross
7. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe
8. Sebastian Chabal
Thanks Angela for taking the time to share your experiences with us all. You are a Gem.