People are often surprised when I reveal that I not only understand football, but I also really enjoy watching it and in fact, used to play for a ladies’ team until I was about 18. Only the other day, a taxi driver asked me if I’d marry him because (and I quote) I “dinnae like shoppin’, and do like fitbaw and beers”.
My team is Celtic, it has been since I was a wee baby – and my whole family wear the Hoops. Some of my favourite memories as a kid were travelling down the east coast from Aberdeen, picking up my uncles before heading to Parkhead with my dad. 5 years old, and a season ticket holder. Magic.
I’ll spare you the whole story of my love affair with The Beautiful Game and the Bhoys in the Hoops – all you really need to understand is that I’ve always liked football, and will watch almost any game on the telly. And watch this video – it’s from the best Old Firm game I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.
The reason I’m writing this is wrapped up in my relationships – past and present. My first “proper” girlfriend didn’t like/understand football, and wouldn’t appreciate it if half my attention was on the game in the background. No wonder it didn’t last …
This is why I am so glad that Carley likes football in her own right – she’s always been happy to watch a game, and used to play/train when she was younger. She doesn’t “have a team”, not in the way I have Celtic, but has a fondness for West Ham and Liverpool. And England, obviously.
Football is something we share, something we can “do” together. We’ve got (admittedly somewhat neglected) fantasy football teams, find sketchy streams of games with Portuguese commentary, and watch Match of the Day. And sometimes Sportscene – the horrible Scottish version of MOTD. It’s honestly worse than the Football League show …
Since knowing me, though, Carley has sort-of adopted Celtic. We watch the games together, talk about the line-up, the transfers and injuries, recent league performances, and laugh at how biased Channel 67 is. We felt the pain of being 15 points down, and felt the joy of overturning that deficit in a mere six weeks, finishing with a 1-0 win over Rangers at the end of December. She gets just as annoyed as me when Samaras overruns and gives away a goal kick, and just as excited when our favourite players come on (Charlie Mulgrew and Kris Commons, in case you were wondering).
I got Carley a Celtic shirt for her birthday last August, and even had Commons printed on the back. She’s repeatedly told me that it was one of her favourite gifts, and that makes me really happy. Not because I don’t have to choose between my team and Carley, but because Celtic Football Club is really important to me and she’s made that a part of her life.
There’s no one else I’d rather be watching football with, if I am perfectly honest, and I know it’s cheesy and sappy, but I love nothing more than sitting on the sofa at weekends, footy scores open on our respective computers, wearing matching Celtic shirts. Bliss.
Later. S x
This post was brought to you by a wonderful 4-0 victory over Hearts last Wednesday. Hail, hail!Stacey