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Are You Looking Forward To The Return?

Are You Looking Forward To The Return?

It’s a bit of a weird time for us all as football fans isn’t it…

We should be right now either celebrating promotion, be in the midst of watching our teams in the playoffs, sat wallowing in a pit of relegation despair or hoping next season doesn’t bring some sort of mid-season mediocrity. Then there’s the small thing of the Euros which would be on the horizon in a matter of weeks too.

But a horrendous virus has spread across the world throwing our lives and our love of the beautiful game into a period of turmoil. Will football come back this season? When can we go back to watch our team in action again? What will happen to my club, your club, ANY club?

At this moment in time whilst football isn’t on the agenda and it’s not been anywhere near the highest on MY agenda, family certainly is, sport and football is a decent little distraction from the mind-bending reality that we currently reside in. With events not like anything else that most of us have ever experienced before now. During this time, I’ve almost left football behind, it has been further away from my thoughts than it ever has been. A game which has ruled my life almost for all my 40+ years on the planet. It seems weird even typing that, but it’s true.

Last night however, that changed somewhat as ITV started showing Euro 96. A tournament which for me was the last time the whole country got behind the national side (before the last world cup). It was a couple of months of celebration, unity and happiness for the most part.

That opening game shown on Monday night between England and Switzerland is embedded into my subconscious as I was away on holiday that week with the missis and some friends. We had too much to drink, celebrated the Three Lions goal a little too vigorously and got far too depressed when the Swiss levelled things up late in the game which then just led to us mumbling into our pints for the rest of the evening.
Of course, as the tournament went on, that emotion just continued, Gazza’s goal V Scotland, the penalty from Stuart Pearce, the penalty save from David Seaman against Spain then well, we know what happens in the Semi-final. But even that sadness which will be replicated on TV again soon will bring memories back of a happy time, time with family, time with friends it brought us together.

So, I suppose last night was a bit of a watershed moment for me, it proved to me what the game means to so many, what an impact it’s had on my life. Where it’s got me to in my career and how many people it’s introduced me to. The game does bring people together, I’d say that’s just about irrefutable. That unbridled and almost unexplainable joy that watching the ball hit the net brings, just the passion in the people around in the stadium and even when you laugh at that person stood in the away end with the white top on with his arms spread wide thinking about taking on the whole ground like Gerard Butler in ‘300’.

I want those feelings back, I want the emotion, the passion, the love, the camaraderie, but not at the expense of life.
We’ve all said it before, players come, players go, heroes and villains are made each season but the club is constant. Football is engrained into my being, like almost all of us. It shapes who we are at times, you get predetermined ideas of who someone is, rightly and more often than not wrongly. That’s the beauty of the game. It just brings people together. And I just can’t wait for it to come back.  

Unread article 12/05/2020 at 12:13



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