I have been a football fan all my life.
I come from a working class background and football is in my blood.
Football is the sport of the working class and every working class kid dreams of being a football superstar, a ‘Roy of the Rovers’.
I exchanged picture cards with my friends in the school playground of the top teams players which came with bubble gum and sweets bought at the sweet shop.
I played Subbuteo long before Fantasy football and Fifa Soccer were ever invented as computer games.
I played goalkeeper for my school team and striker for the Sunday league team.
I was never spotted by a scout. I was never good enough. My dream never came true.
To be honest, I hated playing in the cold of winter. I hated cleaning my mud-dirty boots. I hated getting roughed up on the pitch by tougher kids than me.
I watched ‘Match of the Day’ presented by Jimmy Hill on a Saturday night.
Football is about allegiance and loyalty.
They say a football fan can change his sexual gender, his lifestyle, his nationality, everything else about him, but the one thing which cannot be changed is his allegiance to a football team.
Mine is to Coventry City. The Sky Blues.
You can call me a fanatic if you like or just a fan. You can call me a supporter, a follower or just an armchair viewer from ten thousand miles away, thanks to the wonders of cable televison.
Enough said. You get my message, don’t you?
I won’t say thank you for asking you to listen to my presentation but I hope you dare to dream.
I still dare to dream that at an age approaching sixty years, I might still score a winning goal in an F.A. Cup final or manage a team to be successful.
A man can dream. That’s football. That’s football!