A Valentine’s Message

Love your country. Love your region. Love your city. Love your neighbourhood.

Love your team.

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Love your stadium. Love your sector. Love your terrace and love your seat. Love your clubhouse. Love your pub. Love your pre-match rituals and love your post-match pint. Love the fellow fans you see every week without ever learning their names. Love the stadium announcer whose perennially cheery voice pisses you off every time your hear it. Love the uninterested trainee working the bar who still doesn’t know how to pour a beer properly. Love the stained replica shirt from that epic promotion year that you refuse to wash in case it brings bad luck. Love your collection of unread, faded programmes and love your scarf you swapped with a local fan on that pre-season friendly trip abroad. Love getting up early on Saturday to cross the country and love the satisfaction of getting back home again late at night with three shiny new points.

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Love taking your daughter to her first ever match. Love your son’s reaction when he opens his new team shirt on his birthday. Love your Dad for still wanting to go with you on match day decades after you first went together. Love your Mom for doing her best to feign an interest in your obsession.

Love Football and love loving it with your loved ones. Happy Valentine’s Day ya’ll.


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