Chris Marshall: Let's Eat Pie!

Pie aficionado, and Lok fan, Chris Marshall penned this paeon to the pie hut to celebrate its reopening.

For many visitors to Newlandsfield over the past 12 months something has been missing from their match day experience. At first it was that winning feeling as the trials and tribulations of the last couple of years finally took their toll but as the Tony McInally revolution started to take shape at the 2014/15 season got under way fans attentions were turned to the small brick building located beside the main stand enclosure, where many, both home and away, had become accustomed to a warm greeting and the promise of a hot meat pie. Sadly in recent months this joyous interaction was halted as instead they would be forced to stand ashen faced at the dull grey shutters, seemingly drawn down forever.

For those that don’t know me I am the founder of Meat Filled Pastries, a website dedicated solely to the love of the humble pie at football grounds across the country and so perhaps with me, more than anyone else, the absence of this hut of culinary wonder niggled more than most. How could I, the self-acclaimed ‘Prince of Pie’ support a team (the team I’ve followed since I was young enough to utter the phrase ‘Mon The Lok Now’) that didn’t furnish me with a pie every other Saturday? Well I still did, because not to follow a team due to a lack of baked goods is tantamount to either supreme idiocy or a level of narcissism that would deserve a slap any time you saw me.

In my journeys over the last 18 months, with Pollok and beyond, I have learned that many football clubs are defined by their pie. Just look at Kilmarnock despite being a team playing in the top tier of Scottish football to the non-footballing man they are simply known as purveyors of the Killie Pie. I also had the honour of judging at the World Scotch Pie Championships this year and it saddened me to know that in its current guise there was no way that Pollok could enter. I learned how passionate the butchers and bakers are and how in many cases the work they do and products they provide are at the heart of communities across the land. Even in the microcosm that is 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon the pie has an important part to play in encouraging camaraderie in a world where it’s becoming increasingly easy to just walk on by. It is as vital a part of the match day tradition as donning the black and white scarf, buying a programme or consuming a post match refreshment is, if not more so, and it is in this fact that we should rejoice in its return as opposed to worry about what caused it’s extended absence. As we move towards a return to the Premier Division (hopefully) and continue our cup adventures let us embrace the return of pies, bridies and sausage rolls and of hot dogs, soups and Bovril’s whilst not forgetting the job done by the ‘van on the other side’ as they kept us fed on burgers and chips while we swatched our team struggle through these most difficult of times.

The light at the end of the tunnel is shining ever brighter so let’s celebrate it in the only way a football fan should, with a warm cup of Bovril in one hand and a tasty meat filled pastry treat in the other.

Everybody let’s eat pie!