STFC SUPERFAN: Iris Higgs
When coming up with the idea for STFC Superfan to be added to Vital Swindon Town, one person came to mind instantly. Iris Higgs.
She was a larger than life character that was everything a Swindon Town fan should be. She travelled up and down the country to every home and away game to support her beloved Swindon Town even when she was ill, she still made the effort to get to home and away fixtures.
Iris was known to many as the lady that sold 50/50 tickets in the Legends Lounge and also for her Swindon Town replica shirt that she adorned with badges from years gone by.
Iris quite simply lived and breathed Swindon Town Football Club and it was very obvious to those who knew her.
With Iris in mind to be the first STFC Superfan, I wrote to three of her good friends who travelled up and down the land asking if they could share their memories of Iris and her affection for this little club from Wiltshire.
We know Iris is up there in the sky looking down, holding her scarf high above her head chanting 'PAOLO DI CANIO' right now.
Iris we miss you and think of you all the time. This Iris Higgs is for you.Kim's Iris Higgs Story
Iris first came into my life when I bought a ticket off her and won the half time draw. To thank her I bought her a drink and we became firm friends.
One story that sticks in my mind is the end of season party in Old Town where she cheekily pulled up Lee Peacocks kilt to see what was underneath! She then asked Blair Sturrock if he was a w....r because he was wearing a bandage on his wrist! The next day she declared she didnt think much of the party as there wasnt much food there. She'd walked past the barbeque several times but in true Iris style had failed to notice it!
On a trip back from one of our footie weekends away to Hartlepool we decided to visit York Dungeons. She wasnt very enthusiastic but decided to go ahead. In one of the sections, ironically a medieval tavern, a poltergeist was in evidence and the actor/landlord disappeared into darkness. He reappeared behind Iris putting his hand on her shoulder saying MADAM! She jumped and catapaulted forward into the centre of the room uttering a few choice words while Paul and I collapsed laughing!Carole's Iris Higgs Story
I can`t think of a more fitting person for the inaugural Swindon Town Super Fan article than Iris Higgs. Although she would have been honoured, Iris would have been the first to stand up and say that no one fan was better than anyone else and that everyone did what they could to support Town at home or away.
Football clubs are what fans like Iris was/are all about. From clearing snow off the pitch in a vain attempt to get a game played in the depths of winter, to hounding fans to buy half time draw tickets in the Legends, to stewarding SAS coaches the length and breadth of the country, Iris was ever present.
I first met Iris when she sat behind me in the DR stand many years ago, and I remember my first impression being of a fabulously exuberant and passionate personality.
Iris cajoled me into going to away games with her Paul & Kim, which turned into a highly addictive business!
One of my favourite memories of her was at the away leg of the Charlton playoff game where she shamelessly tried to chat up one of the Police Inspectors on duty outside our pub, and was then grabbed and interviewed by Clem from The Football League Show. Sadly the interview never made it to air, but she was picked up on the Sky Sports cameras in the pre match build up with Kim attacking a couple of unsuspecting kids with balloons. She was one of the first to christen Simon Ferry as Jedward, something that she always found highly amusing.Iris at Accrington StanleyPaul's Iris Higgs Story
Other away game highlights were being chased by the law on 2 occasions at both West Brom and Southend (Obviously both for minor infringements!)
Even if you weren't lucky enough to know her personally, most Swindon fans would have known her for her badge covered shirts.Gary's Iris Higgs Story
I can't think really of when I really started to know Iris, I think most fans who did away games knew her because she would talk to anyone.
One memory that stands out to me though was, at Hartlepool away. I always saw Iris at the ideal grandmother and as such if she was stood near me I would watch my language.
Anyway Swindon Town just made a really bad mistake and I had turned the air blue, Iris turned around and looked at me. I felt incredibly sheepish about it, thinking she must have been absolutely disgusted with my language.
Minutes later Town would give a way a goal and the 'sweet innocent lady' would be swearing calling the players 't*ssers' much to my amazement. I just sort of gasped. There was no denying her passion was exactly the same as mine.
Another story was always seeing her in the legends lounge, where she would proudly be selling STFC Supporters Club tickets and yelling 'TICKETS', We would always wave her away, but she wouldn't take no for an answer, despite never winning she always got a quid or two off us. After all like she said, the money goes to the club.
Accrington Stanley away also stands out as a memory, I had really got speaking to Iris from the Hartlepool match and I was amazed she was downing pints just like the rest of us lads and giving us a run for our money.
I think the best joke from my recent memory was jokingly yelling 'tickets' when I saw her in the winners lounge to which she playfully turned round, pint in one hand, tickets in the other and laughed 'p*ss off'.In Closing
Iris may longer be here but she is still very much missed by the Swindon Town community, so much so that her shirt currently adorns the wall of the Swindon Town winners lounge where she spent much time at end of season dinners, shirt sponsors evenings or just having a pre-match pint.
We know you would be loving all this positivity at the County Ground right now.
Iris you truly are a Swindon Town FC Super Fan.
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