Me And Football: A History

I’m really surprised I haven’t posted anything like this before, but here you go.

I’ve had a strange relationship with football all my life. At first, and for most of my childhood, football was always second. It was always rugby (union, of course). Of course, I’d follow the results from where I lived in South Africa, as did most of my friends at school, but rugby was the thing. When I was in primary school, I was the scorer for the home matches. I enjoyed doing that. When I was in high school, we’d have to give up most of our Saturdays in winter months to attend the home games, and see the school get comfortably thrashed, or for it to be a low scoring game and a bit boring. Rugby was still the game.

But then again, even with the political situation in South Africa, they still used to show a few live games. Mainly it was the FA Cup matches, including the final, but that was about it. Maybe highlights of league matches about once a month (I think. ‘Twas a long time ago now).

But still, I wasn’t really a fan of football, as much as what some people are.

Of course when I came back to the UK about 23 years ago, the first sport that hits you is the football. I needn’t go into that. It took me a few years to get into the habit of following matches, or even following results. When it really kicked in, was when I realised that Euro ’96 was being played, so decided to follow it then. The morning before, I was listening to Chris Evans on Radio 1 doing his bit and laughing along with it. After England won their match (I think it was the famous “Gazza with water bottle match”), Chris Evans carried it on, cracking the same jokes, making a right nuisance of himself. I stopped listening to Chris Evans from then on, and I still don’t like him, not even in his television appearances neither.

I used to watch England play in their internationals though. Did for years, until they started playing crap, and watched less and less. Now I don’t care, along with the rest of the country.

Around about the year 2000, I became more interested in football, paying attention to more and more results.

And then, suddenly around about that time, I started supporting Manchester City. Why? I can’t really say, because I don’t know. All I knew (at the time anyway, and note what I say here, knew), was that I didn’t like the money-grabbing people on the other side of town. (You know, the ones who play in Trafford and where a red home-strip). At that time it wasn’t all about the money, and I didn’t really like that side of things, but it would seem that Newton Heath Manchester United were way ahead of the rest of the field in that respect.

And I continued supporting them, despite the fact that a few other people, like the Gallagher brothers, supported them too. I watched the matches and gradually took an interest. And it’s continuing.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a “fanatical fan”, but I follow the matches. And now, with Manchester City’s run of luck continuing, it’s a good time to be a City supporter. I’ve never been to a City match before, and neither do I want to. I’d be too busy applauding the opposing team if they score a good goal, which I understand by the “rules of the terrace” is not the done thing.I don’t get angry or depressed when City lose. I’ve got loads more other things to worry about. I don’t call the football team “we” as most people do, (as in “we played well”). I’ve never quite understood that.

A few weeks ago, someone asked me whether I was a City supporter because I was “jumping on the bandwagon” of City’s success. That is defintely not the case. I’m just glad of their success. I don’t particularly care whether they win or lose, but I support them. I enjoy watching them play, and that’s the most important thing.

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