The Beautiful Game

It is a feeling that some will never understand.  Walking to your very first football match amongst your football family. Nerves are building in your stomach, you realise you will see your heroes in the famous strip very soon. You take your Father’s hand and take your seat inside the fortress.  The atmosphere is electric, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, your heart starts to beat a little faster.  Your team comes out of the tunnel and into a sea of colour. You never forget the thunderous noise that flows down from the stands, after you have witnessed your first live goal. The passion of the fans is breathtaking. You think to yourself you will never forget this moment, the moment you felt you truly belong, the moment you fell in love.

For people who do not share the same love, it is hard for them to understand as to why football matters so much to people.  Football matters because it is a sense of identity, your team and fans are your extended family. You share the same love. Fans will go through extraordinary lengths to follow their team, travelling all over the country to stand side by side supporting their heroes. The deathly silence on the long journey home after your team has lost. The exact same journey can be oh so different if your team wins.  The journey will be jubilant and it will not seem as long, people will be reflecting on what they witnessed. There is nothing like the sense of anticipation in the build up to a game. The pre-match rituals some fans go through, the taste of a nice cold pint in the local pub to calm the nerves.  Fans who have never met talk like they have known one another their whole lives.

It may seem like a stereotype, but we can talk for hours in the local pub about our team, sharing our passionate opinions over a few pints to whoever will listen.  I love football because it can bring a whole city together. It is a sense of belonging, a sense of identity.  The team you support is a part of who you are, nothing can change that.

The fans’ relationship towards their club is a unique bond, that can never be broken, one that some will find hard to understand. This is our beautiful game, our religion and our life.