I didn't get into football until the latter stages of my teenage life, so I often found myself before that interest wondering why we get so passionate about a group of people kicking a ball from either end of a field. I thought that once I became interested in the sport myself I would begin to understand it deeper, but despite being an avid football watcher and often passionate fan, I’m still as fascinated as ever why we do become so angered and emotional by the whole ordeal. I’m interested in exploring this further, trying to dissect and delve further into the ways I connect with football, intentionally or unintentionally both for me and for you as we begin to understand why football makes us so passionate.
I’ve always been surrounded by football matches, my dad has been a Manchester United fan since he was young so i’ve grown up with it always playing on the TV. When I become interested in the sport myself that activity then delved into some sort of family affair. My brother, dad and I all support the same team so we often gather in front of the TV to support our club any time I am home. Now that I am at university, and 80% of the time away from home, I often gather myself in front of my laptop in my uni room and watch the games by myself. I find that alone, I am a lot more expressive in the emotions I portray during football matches but am unsure why.
I have recently begun attending football matches in person, I visited my local team early of this year in which I fell in love with visiting a stadium and cheering on a team in person. I have since begun attending games and will continue to for as long as it is accessible to me. My dad has never had the opportunity to visit Old Trafford in person, however thankfully the opportunity to attend a one off reunion match arose and I was able to surprise him with tickets to the game. It was the first time both of us visited Old Trafford and I’ll never forget the years of joy he cried when I presented the ticket for his birthday. It’s a memory I’ll hold close to my heart for a long time.
When I talk about football with other people, I am often faced with them questioning whether I play football as well as watching it, presumably because I do speak so passionately about the topic. While I have never participated in playing the sport competitively, one of my fondest memories of our summers is when me and my siblings play football in the garden. My sister is on a football team and is equally as interested in it as me, if not more, as she wants to become a footballer later on in life. She often drags me outside to practice drills with her, always striving to improve her game and I take a lot of joy in being that person who can stand in for her when she needs me. I also come from a relatively large family, me being the oldest of 5 children so playing football in our relatively large garden is always a lot of fun and often takes up most of our summertime.