I have been asked to describe a football match.

I am a football fan and I regularly go to the stadium of my home team to watch them play and cheer them along.

My football team play in the English Premier League.  I have a season ticket for the home games and I sit in the stands with my father and brother.

In the old days, fans used to congregate and stand on the terraces but since the tragedies of Hillsborough, Bradford and Heysel, football stadiums are all-seater.

A capacity crowd is expected for the local ‘Derby’ between my team and their local rivals.  The rivalry is friendly but fierce and bragging rights are at stake.

I usually arrive to the stadium about an hour before the match.  I enter the stadium through a turnstile and there is time to have a cup of hot bovril and a meat pie before taking to my seat about twenty minutes before kick-off.

The atmosphere is electrifying and tense.  The away supporters are segregated in one corner of the ground.  Both sets of supporters are vociferous in their vocal support of their respective team and joyously sing football anthems which are universally known.

The supporters wear the colours of the strip of the their team.  Scarves, hats and banners are aplenty as the two teams come out of the tunnel together and handshakes are the norm with opposing players, the officials and the mascots before the final warm-up.

The time is now three o’clock on a cold, windy Saturday afternoon and it is time for the match to begin.

There will be two halves of forty-five minutes of football.  There will be a few minutes of added time at the end of each half for injuries or goals scored.

It is bound to be fast and furious, action-packed with drama and tension.  There will be near-misses, penalty shouts and undeserved  abuse hurled at the referee.

The game is being broadcast live on cable television around the world.  Highlights will be shown on ‘Match of the Day’ on English BBC later in the evening.

By five o’clock, the result will be known.  Either we will go home full of joy or disappointment.  There will be goals.  There will be a story to tell.

The stadium empties quickly and the supporters return to their modes of transport to be home for Saturday evening ‘tea’.

This is the story of a football match through the eyes of someone who lives and breathes football.



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