The Magic of the Cup

I contemplated taking to a football match for what would be her very first time – a rather posh woman and witnessing what she would make of it – see if it is all it is cracked up to be.

Watching Xmas tv, that woman would be the golden-haired Rose character from Titanic, Miss Winslet. Watching Spurs v Reading I thought that Reading might become Rose’s team, with Dave Kitson her golden boy. The Royals ever involved in games with lots of goals. Hardly a chance of her getting bored, getting cold, letting go.

Oh-oh, a problem… she points at Berbatov to make a case for supporting Spurs instead. I redirect her fingers towards Jenas and Malbranque as proof she shouldn’t. Anyway, on hearing Kitson speak would seal her loyalty to Reading. The Royals. She’s rather posh afterall.

Hold on! What would she make of the beautiful Arsenal phenomenen? I would explain that whilst they are the best team they will undoubtedly not finish in the Top Six, as the English game is attrition and effort. She would stare at me with enquiring eyes and seek out the lie.

She would be stood in admiration at Upton Park, the entire crowd not wanting to go home, exploding with verses of “Bubbles”, their having beaten the other United yet again. She would raise her gaze to the night skies as City belted out “Blue Moon”.

She would be swamped by green in Glasgow’s impoverished East End at the Parkhead home of the Celtic hordes – squeezed by strangers arms around her urging “You’ll Never Walk Alone”... her breath returning, she would whisper that she thought that someone else sung that song.

“Why Irene?” she would enquire at The Gas as The Bristol Rovers pummelled my Carlisle United. And “Delilah” at Stoke? What on earth has this (song about a) crime of passion got to do with football? – we had better not go there!

Back in the suburbs of the big one (lowly) QPR fans would be singing a loony tune about money as they turned over the Championship leaders. Puzzled she would say that she was sure she had heard that neighbours Chelsea were the rich ones!

We would watch the local game, where she had a chance to get on first name terms with everyone present. But only having scrambled over the Bullens roof at Everton, on our way to the TV gantry, her high on a rail, her arms outstretched, eyes closed (me holding her from behind). After all it was in this very city that Titanic ship was built. Here ends the first part of a titanic football education.

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