On Saturday, Young Morgan (known to you all as the Duracell Bunny) went to his first “proper” football match. Cardiff City was playing Manchester City, if you need to know. The weather was absolutely appalling
and both the boy and his Dad were drenched through by full-time. The only sunshine to be seen was the glow on Morgan’s face as he basked in the sheer joy of every precious minute of this special First Time.
Our Boy, father of the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys, has taken great delight in introducing his boys in turn to the Beautiful Game. Last weekend it was Morgan’s turn. Mind you, at six years old, Morgan is a whole
two years older than his father was when he was taken, by his father Mr B, to Priestfield Stadium to watch Gillingham FC for the first time.
Mr B recounts that
of the four or five goals scored on that momentous occasion, he saw only one - the afternoon being taken up almost completely coping with the multifarious demands of his small son. To his credit, he persevered, however, and it was not all that long before
it wasn’t only the offer of coke and crisps at half-time that was the Main Attraction for the Gills’ youngest fan. He would study the programme, match up the numbers on the back of the players’ shirts, and soon knew everyone’s name
and number by heart. In short, he became A True Fan.
As Our Boy wrote, in a letter penned for our Ruby Wedding twelve years ago: “Dad, we both know that
the times we spent over so many years at Priestfield (not to mention Wembley!) will stay with us as the happiest of times we’ve had together. Chips before the match (not always, of course), cheering on “the boys” from the back row, a Coke
at half time and then a quick run back for Sports Report to miss the traffic....Those were the days!”
This morning I checked out a theory with a few people
at Guild Care where Mr B goes for his weekly pamper session - and, yes, it is true, people do remember the very first time they went to a football match. If, that is, they had a parent like Mr B, determined to share the pain and the passion of sport with a
son or daughter though, as it happens, everyone I asked had a story to tell. For several, it was the start of a lifetime watching “their” team, through good times and bad. Wendy, however, could well remember being taken to see her first match at
the age of six but couldn’t understand why her father never took her again. I can only presume that he missed seeing all the goals scored on that occasion....
to Young Morgan’s first footie match. Those of you with an interest in such things may be aware that Manchester City won 5-0. I haven’t heard, as yet, how many of the five goals Our Boy actually saw. I was a trifle concerned that having watched
something of a Goal Rout, my grandson might become a turncoat and switch his allegiance to Manchester City. Young Morgan does like to be on the winning side. His father stoutly declares that he is still, and ever will be (if he has anything to do with it)
a Spurs fan like his father and grandfather.
I don’t know what the meal deal was at half time but I am given to understand that his father was so impressed
with Young Morgan’s sunny disposition throughout the wettest of afternoons that he treated him to a Burger King meal afterwards as a reward.
somebody will ask Morgan about the first football match he ever watched. He will probably remember it was Cardiff versus Manchester City, he may recall the score, he might even have a dim recollection that it rained all day.
Mostly he will remember it was his Dad who took him, just him, all on his own.
That was the day, that