In my last post, I let it be known that I was that most that unlikely of things a Gooner residing in a spud household. How did that happen? Well, bloody mindedness and if the truth is told, the love of a good argument, combined to lead me down the path to salvation. I was a Walthamstow boy – you would have thought a natural spud. The back page of the Daily Express had a leader writer named Desmond Hackett, who threatened to eat his hat (a brown bowler I believe) if the Arsenal should win a certain game? This they duly did.
Whether or not he kept his promise I know not, but the very thought of such a hilarious conclusion was enough to put a then 7 year old reprobate at odds with his family and on the road to Highbury, if not quite ruin.
Later I was to learn this was a routine expression of Hackett’s. At a time when sports reporters had tremendous influence over huge circulations their utterances were perceived by a far more innocent readership to be based on some kind of knowledge and truth. Oh that we could dare to think that today
The upshot of this deviation from the collective family wisdom was not viewed as it might have been by some, as treason, but rather that the boy had a mind of his own which should be encouraged and challenged. Thus began many happy years of verbal jousting. But more than that, it helped lay down the vocal skills which were to prove such a boon through my business life.
Eventually I had two sons of my own, one born in Manchester and the other near Liverpool. Thinking back to the benefits of my defections from the family cause, I decided that they should do the same. Thus one was encouraged to support City and the other Liverpool and still do today.
Saturday evenings and Sunday breakfast times in the years before Sky became a war zone, when all the matches were played at 3 o’clock on Saturdays. But the kids quickly learnt to hold their end up, when dealing with me and one another. Consequently the verbal attacks of opposition fans among their school friends proved no problem.
These days, as I have all the football channels, we still congregate here and watch our own local derbies and the emails and texts in between are still as sharp and pointed as ever they were.
In fact my youngest the Liverpool fan said this weekend, bugger, if you lot win the league and city come fourth I am turning my phone off and not coming round again
So my question to you all is. Who do your offspring support and why, and if it different to you, do you care?
By our Guest Writer dandan