Football means so much to so many people in the world. I grew up watching Mossley FC in the Northern Premier League with my Dad. I first supported Manchester United (before they won anything under Sir Alex) and later switched to Sheffield United (and thankfully had many days of watching great entertainment in the Dave Bassett era). My Dad was instrumental in my love of the game…but nowadays it is as a neutral…almost.
I have another real friend (take a bow, Phil) who is a privilege to call as such. Phil has supported Frickley Athletic (founded around Frickley Colliery in South Elmsall, West Yorkshire) since he was a boy – something he owes to his Dad – and has chosen as he has found personal success to help the club (again in the Northern Premier League, one level above Mossley these days) and has become a director.
The upper echelons of the game are populated by primadonnas who earn huge wages and have no loyalty to the people who ultimately make the game what it is. Most clubs have no chance of winning anything and a lot of the romance of the game has been spoiled by the big business that it has become. At a non-league level (Frickley are in the 7th tier) the sport is more about community and not about making money – there are still trophies to play for but a club like Frickley exists for the people who go. They are currently trying to raise money to fund new community developments so if you have a mind to, please help.
Going to a game every now and again is just as much about the banter and the whole day doesn’t hurt the pocket at all. Hooray for the real joy of football. I am in the 2013 Frickley squad photo below just to the left of the goalkeeper in the pale blue shirt’s head. Magic.