From the pints with friends before a game to the long away days, football has left a huge void in the lives of those that live and breathe it.
A football club isn’t just about the manager and the players on the pitch. It’s a way of life, a feeling of togetherness an escape from the day to day grind. The moment the football hits the back of the net, complete euphoria.
There is nothing like that feeling of celebrating a winning goal. Completely lost in the moment, hugging and singing with complete strangers who become family.
A football club is about people, being a part of something. It’s the special bonds that have been made through football. The mumblings of supporters in bars on a weekend, stating how they would set their team up if they were in charge. The one supporter that always has one too many before the game and cannot remember a thing. It’s something rather uniquely special.
Making up songs for new players, one supporter will start before thousands join in. It’s the pride and the passion shown by supporters for their club and their city. Though, those on the outside will never understand just how incredible the life of a football supporter really is.
The feeling of absolute devastation when a supporters’ team concede in the last minute. The loneliness of the hundred miles plus journey back home after an away defeat. A unique stench of alcohol, piss, smoke and sick on the supporters’ coach is somehow ignored.
Those dodgy post-match takeaways that always seem like a great idea at the time. The dedicated DJ that has possibly the worst taste in music but still we sing along.
It’s the breakdowns on the motorways, the lost voices and hangovers that hardens the mind and soul. The pub brawls and drunken falls, the tears of joy and devastation. This is not “just a game”.
Football isn’t just a sport, supporters are born into a tradition, that “Way of life”. Whether it’s passed down through generations or through friends, football means an awful lot to people.
Stood in the stands watching a defeat through the wind, rain and snow is all worth it to see some form of glory at the end of the season.
During these COVID-19 times, football has taken a back seat. Left to find something, anything to fill the gigantic hole left by football but failing miserably. Finding a small crumb of comfort from watching games of old.
Reliving those fond memories. Football will return and daily routines will go back to normal. For now supporters will have to wait to see their football family again.