Paul Fletcher poses for a photo with two Raiderettes.
I'm Paul Fletcher from Doncaster in England, and I bleed Silver and Black!
It all started on January 22, 1984 when I saw Super Bowl XVIII on TV at age 12 – Raiders: 38, Redskins:9. I knew nothing about the game, but instantly became hooked on these dominating marauders. After that I tried to learn as much about the NFL and Raider mystique, history and players.
In 1990 I joined the UK Fan Club, and attended Wembley in London for the annual American Bowl. The game vs. New Orleans was not really memorable, though cheering with other fanatics made up for that.
During the late 90's I sensed we were building a winning team, and Rich Gannon became the spearhead for many playoff runs. It seemed fate was always against us: from 'The Tuck' in Foxboro through to SBXXXVII against the Bucs – it wasn't to be. However, bitter disappointment always turned to optimism for the next season.
December 31, 2005, is another date I will never forget. It was my first trip to America and the Oakland Coliseum as the Raiders hosted the Giants. We were seated just across from the infamous Black Hole end zone, and the whole stadium was rocking. In the end, New York ran out clear winners, but we had something to look forward to later that night. Because it was New Year's Eve we had chartered a boat for the fireworks display – oh what a sight!
My second visit to the Bay Area came five years ago in October 2006, and I was lucky to meet two ravishing Raiderettes. We picked the date specifically - the Raiders traveled across the bay to take on the 49ers in Candlestick Park. As expected, the atmosphere was hot (like the weather) and unfortunately the result was another loss. Still, I came home with more bags packed full of Raider clothing and memorabilia.
Even though we've struggled in recent years, I would never turn my back on the Silver and Black! Now, with Coach Jackson at the helm, we have renewed 'Commitment to Excellence.' I feel success is on the way and hopefully I can see the team in action again one day.
Let's go Raiders!
Paul will receive a 3'x5' Raiders logo flag and a photo of and autographed by Hall of Famer Willie Brown.