Saturday, 12 December 2009

The life and times of an ambivelant football suppoter (Part 1.)

Shearer - who used to be a couple of forms below me when I was at school.

I can count on one hand the coldest moments in my life, I have also just realized that I could easily ramble on about the times that I have been unnecessarily cold, so I will... soon, but not now. After all this piece is football related.

Going back to my early teens, I had a friend who was only marginally less passionate about Newcastle United than his own mother, who I vividly remember shouting and screaming at the TV screen during live matches as I cowered on the sofa. She barked instructions at the players, wailed in pain if the 'Toon' conceded a goal, the Brazilians couldn't hold a flame to this woman if Newcastle scored a gooooal!! The front room exploded in a sudden release of raw emotion, and all this between feverish bouts of ironing.

Around the same time my friends parents took me along to see Newcastle play against Wolverhampton Wanderers. I don't remember much, we were standing right down at the edge of the pitch and there were no fences at the time, football heroes tackled within a couple of arms lengths, and I think Newcastle lost that game. And yet all I could think of was how cold I was!

I was never that keen on football, and to this day I remain only casually interested. For years I came accustomed to what must be some of the most passionate fans in British football, 'The Toon Army', making their way to St. James Park, the football stadium in the center of the city, spilling out of near by pubs in a river of black and white that snaked through the streets towards the home of football.

Jump forward twenty years plus and add to that a change of cities, swapping Newcastle for Cambridge, bring my own football mad son into the equation, and that river of black and white has become but a distant memory.

The Magpie has been replaced by the Canon of the 'Gooners', Arsenal.

Not having a football mad dad to gain inspiration from, my son has turned to a good friend of ours who is a fervent follower of Arsenal. Brain washing?, call it what you will, but my son is football crazy and loves Arsenal. I feel like an unbeliever in the Houses of Holy, slowly being worked on until I fall under it's spell.

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