I was going to regale you with the latest episode of my efforts to make a name as an author, but tonight, for the first time in my long life I watched a game of football. England played Italy in the European Cup 2021. I realised that this would be an event recorded in British history, no matter what the outcome. I had heard my father and others talk about the 1966 World cup win, and later sometime in the nineties heard others bemoan about a close win, but I never actually witnessed a game.
Although football isn't a game I'm interested in, it felt important to see it, to have been there along with the millions of others, who are no doubt going to remember the match minute by minute. What did I make of it? What did I see? A group of men tackling something huge, not just a football, but their country's pride and belief in them. A belief I saw shining through the eyes of their fans. A belief so strong it carried their emotions along with it.
Then I watched, with the concern of a mother, as a nineteen old young man had the expectations of the entire nation placed on his shoulders. What a hard place to be. What a huge responsibility. Did he shrug it off? - No. Did he beg to be replaced with someone else? No. He concentrated, focused and gave it literally, his best shot. Was it good enough? Yes it was. He should feel proud for it was perfectly placed to score. The fact England didn't win, wasn't because of it. They could have won at any time in the long, and to my mind, drawn out match. They could have scored at any time. They could have stopped the other goals. They didn't manage to do so, but they represented their country well. Continuing when injured, supporting each other, caring about the players on both sides and providing a positive image of England to the rest of the world.
They may not have scored a winning goal, but in my world that doesn't matter because I'm not interested in games people play. I'm interested in people who have commitment, focus, drive and passion for they are the people who children aspire to be. They are representatives of our nation and should be proud of the game they played, on English soil for English citizens.
Thank you our England Squad.