What happened to the days when football was played with all the heart in it. When the names were announced over well used tannoys. Mist usually covered the grounds and when it rained the pitch was more a mudbath than anything else. Coming back to a one-bar electric fire and Bovril in a mug. Going ‘abroad’ was a journey over the Pennines.
Wagstaffe, Grummitt, Labone, Badger, Harris, Droy, Black are all names which sound from a distant past. However, they were only from a generation ago and in the mean time the whole game was turned upside down.
The globalised era brought incredible multi-million transfers and names which are hard to remember or pronounce. These multi-million signings are hard to face with the present economically crises still looming. The whole nature of the sport has changed beyond belief in the last 20 years and seems to accelerate more and more.
Early Seventies football and one sound not being English with an accent. there were 22 teams in the top league then. Looking back it feels like a time-travel. A golden past and maybe not so much skills and techniques but nowadays football slowly has a bitter taste.
Nevertheless, football’s progress was definitely nothing but a miracle. The stadiums are more than comfortable, The curse of the football hooligans had been stopped and the best players of the world can be watched.
The Premier League is the world’s best but you still miss the local heroes playing alongside the foreign players. The lad whose brother still lives round the corner. The player’s mum still works in the supermarket.
There are teams now whose fans are from the entire region but not one local player. It is somethng which is missing and it is part of a tradition or heritage.
Multi-culturalism was part of modern Britain for a long time and football’s stance against racism, Identity is the point, and the key Britain has survived and thrived, at home, at work or at play.
The terrible World Cup where England performed like a team of strangers and Capello struggled provoked a national outcry. Adding to that John Terry, not even being the captain, held a newspaper conference and spilled all the beans. Did he think it would pull the team together just before a vital game against Germany.