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Diary of a starved football fan



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Walking to the paper shop a couple of weeks ago, I had that ‘forgot something’ feeling. I tapped my pockets to make sure I had my usual essentials in tow; wallet, phone, keys. All there, but something still wasn’t right. I knew I hadn’t left the oven on, largely because I don’t use it.

Then it hit me (not the oven) – the hollow sensation I was experiencing emanated from the fact that it was the start of the weekend and the football season had finished. Things just weren’t right and as I recalled that I’d promised to clean out the loft that afternoon then go to the in-laws’ for dinner, suddenly the middle four letters of Saturday seemed more prominent.

Off-season is a difficult time for many football fans. The working week seems a little longer and football-less weekends are filled with DIY, days out and ‘quality time’. But no amount of loving moments shared with the missus can fill that gaping hole left by Jeff Stelling and the boys.

I was daydreaming about the season just gone during an Attentiveness Conference at work yesterday. 2008/09 contained moments of magic and threw up a fair amount of talking points along the way; Andrei Arshavin’s four-goal haul at Anfield, David Bentley’s long range strike at Arsenal price tag, Phil Brown’s tan, Geovanni’s early-season wonder goals, that nice Joey Barton, Man City’s millions, Barcelona’s Champions League final performance and the relegation of a massive North East club, and Newcastle.

That was then and this is now. Football is gone but not forgotten. The majority of my spare time now is spent making sure that absolutely NOTHING has happened in the transfer window. Well that’s how it feels anyway. I’ve found that if you check up to date transfer news every three and a half minutes, five and a half if you value your job/marriage/toilet time, you can actually drive yourself to the edge of hermitage.

By admitting my problem I hope I’ve taken my first steps on the road to recovery. “My name is Gary and I’m a bit sad. I check football news more than Cristiano checks the mirror.”

I do miss my football fix. I’ve managed to view every football related video YouTube has to offer and my Saint and Greavsie video has taken a hammering. I need something new, anything. I’ve even started to think about Channel 5’s John Barnes and Pat Nevin; that’s just wrong.

The under-21 tournament curbed the cravings to a point and the Confederations Cup seemed to calm the shivers. Wimbledon was decent, the rugby was watchable, there’s cricket on the way and I might even watch the volleyball on Eurosport. If it’s that outdoorsy type, that only women play, and it’s hot. Very, very hot. But even this is not enough.

I want my football back.