Timbers Army remembers longtime supporter
Timbers fans paid a impressive tribute to longtime supporter Gisele Currier who passed away last Sunday aged 55. Word spread all week that a fitting symbol would be for fans to bring roses to Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake. The roses were held aloft during a minute of silence just prior to kickoff. Timbers Army member Tim Birr played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes while fans sang along, albeit softly.
At the close of the national anthem some fans tossed rose petals into the air. Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury laid a jersey on Timber Joey's log with "Gisele" and the number "107" printed across its back followed by each of the Timbers starting XI laying a rose on the jersey.
As fans arrived for the game and for up to 15 minutes after the match, which Portland won 1-0, fans lined up to deposit their flowers on Currier’s chair. Some local businesses sent bunches of roses, while many fans brought their own blooms.
Currier had a regular spot in the last row of Section 107. The seat next to hers has been kept empty since her sister Paula, also a Timbers fan, died in 2003.
Nancie Monahan, a ticket collector for Section 107, was amazed by the pile of flowers.
“An hour before the game there were just two roses. Now this!” she said, folding back a banner bearing a portrait of Currier by local cartoonist Mike Russell. The banner covered half of the three foot high pile.
Fans, some tearful, sang her praises.
“Knowing Gisele, she’d blush at the attention, but it’s absolutely appropriate,” said 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107ist) member Bruce Eaton. “She was generous beyond belief and the most gentle soul you would ever meet.”
Eaton said no one else’s death would get the same reaction. “Gisele had no enemies. She had 100 per cent respect. So she was pure in that way.”
He said the Timbers Army will nonetheless evolve and thrive without her.
“Tonight she would see we’re connected,” Eaton added. “It’s awful that it’s because we’re mourning, but she’d accept it. But nobody replaces who she was.”
Fans recounted how Currier hand made many Timbers-themed wedding gifts and baby blankets. She could be found before and after game in nearby pubs, and she was the go-to person for Timbers Army scarves.
“It used to be difficult to front the money to get scarves made and sell them, but she would always sign up for it,” said Laurie Jane, 107ist member, at halftime.
“In sickness and in health we take care of each other, so when we lose someone we want to encourage everyone to be part of remembering her. It’s all we can do. There will never be another Gisele.”
With the stadium almost empty, four women hugged and shed tears over the rose pile.
Timbers Army stalwart James Harrison agreed that Currier had probably helped make women more welcome in the section. “Her presence assured that we’re as broad-based and community-minded as a group of fans could possibly be,” he said, lingering to pay his own silent tribute.
“She’s the single person most responsible for the Timbers Army not being monoculture, in the sense of being twentysomething lads with a hooligan fetish,” he added. “Because of Gisele we have all walks of life here.”