30 March 2020

Distraction

Being a newsaholic, I have consumed so many words about the ****ing coronavirus that I am filled to the brim with them. In addition, I have taken to regularly consulting a website called Worldometer that gives running statistical updates about how The Plague is developing around the planet. These visits have become curiously addictive.

Anyway, last evening with little of interest on terrestrial television, I decided to have a break from present reality and travel back in time to May 24th 2008. Almost twelve years ago. That was the day that my beloved football team, Hull City finally made it into England's top division - The Premier League.

Some time ago I  bought a DVD of the match but had not got round to watching it until last night. I had almost forgotten how to activate our DVD player but with a little advice from my technical support staff (Shirley) I  was soon reclining on our Lay-Z-Boy sofa with a mug of tea and a packet of root vegetable crisps ready to watch the historic game.

We were playing Bristol City in the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium in London. It was a warm, summery day and I was there, sitting at the Hull City end with Tony and Fiona and thirty thousand other Hull City fans.

Sadly, Shirley was not there because her mother Winnie passed away on the morning of the match. It had been the inevitable conclusion of a battle with lymphoma. Her death that morning was not unexpected. Of course, I was torn. In the early morning light, there was only half an hour to decide what to do but we decided that I would go to London as planned while Shirley would travel to her mother's deathbed in Lincolnshire. That's how it was. Please don't judge me.

Watching the DVD last night I had a big smile on my face, knowing what the result would be. It was a tight game in which Bristol City played well but Hull City's defence was resolute.

The defining moment of the match happened just before halftime. Frazier Campbell was driven over to the goal line and with his angle severely narrowed, he spotted Dean Windass rushing towards the penalty area. Coolly, Campbell passed back to his partner and Windass met the ball with an exquisite volley that saw the leather orb arcing into the corner of the net with the Bristol keeper flailing. It was a beautiful moment and it is unlikely that Hull born Windass ever volleyed a football so sweetly as he did that day. Needless to say the Hull City end went wild.

After the game, we were three of the last supporters to leave the national stadium. Descending the concrete exit staircase my voice echoed as I sang, "Premiership! We're having a laugh!" Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. The team I  had supported since the early sixties had made it. It was a dream come true.

It was only when the DVD disc ejected itself from our rarely used Samsung player that I remembered we have a different opponent now. But I will never forget that balmy afternoon in London and Hull City's victorious fans singing our adopted song in unison:
Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay? Would it be a sin?
If I can't help falling in love with you
It was one of the very best times of my life.
Windass and Campbell celebrate the dream goal

27 comments:

  1. I remember when Hull got promoted - 12 years ago already?- and in the following season how discordant it sounded when the Premier League football results were read out with Hull City among them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Discordant, Philip? To me it sounded like beautiful harmonics. But I know what you mean. We had two more promotions to The Premier League after that. I can't see us getting back there in a long, long time now.

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  2. Super post YP. I wonder if we will ever see live football ever again or rock festivals?

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    Replies
    1. I also fret about what it will be like when this thing has gone.

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    2. I think there will be less football clubs and pubs if this thing doesn't disappear soon,

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    3. But more polytunnels!

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  3. Football goes over my head I'm afraid. Now, if it was a video of embroidery stitches I might do a rerun, lol
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "And it's Briony! Briony is running down the hem! She's ctoss-stitching! They think it's all over. It is now!"

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  4. It was as good as Beckham's bend it shot, any day.

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  5. I'm glad you got to enjoy the game again. I'm not a fan of sports myself but my hubby loves watching them. We've started watching cooking shows and BBC nature shows, both of which I enjoy.

    Very little going on here. Snow in the forecast, 4-6 inches. Why do I live here?

    Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Four to six inches? Are you referring to the snow?

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  6. Gosh you must be desperate. Watching football matches is bad enough but re-runs? What?

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    Replies
    1. If you would like to watch the match I will send you the DVD though I expect you have plenty of videos of action packed croquet matches to get through - including the one where you chased that woman from Napier round the lawn with your mallet.

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  7. Football. Is that the one with the round ball or the pointy one?

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    Replies
    1. The pointy one is a rugby ball though it might also be an American football. The best football team on The Isle of Man is currently St Mary's. They play in a nice yellow and green kit rather like Norwich City.

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  8. I hope you appreciate Shirley's selflessness in going to her mother's deathbed alone. I've never been much of a sports fan and so have never really understood what all the fuss is about.

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    Replies
    1. I do appreciate it. Her brother and sister were there but I was very torn that morning. Duty said I should have gone to the residential home with her but my heart was screaming Hull City!

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  9. A bit of escapism does no harm in these strange times. Mine comes mostly in the shape of reading ("Secret Ripon" right now) and playing my favourite computer game. O.K. and I have also been watching one or two films over the weekend, nothing too action-packed and definitely no dystopic Science Fiction dramas. Just feelgood stuff.

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    Replies
    1. We would go mad if we didn't try to switch off from The Plague sometimes. It plagues our thoughts.

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  10. It's funny you write about this -- one of my friends in Florida told me her husband was watching a 12-year-old soccer (in England, football) game the other night. At the time, I was a bit mystified about why anyone would do that, but you've helped me understand! (I guess it's like watching a favorite movie again, kind of.)

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    Replies
    1. The positions of the cameras in the stadium were very different from my actual viewpoint behind one of the goalmouths. Watching the DVD took me far away from this horrible Plague.

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  11. Although I am not a big sports fan I am married to one and it is a great loss now to have it all at a standstill. Normally we would be at the beginning of our baseball season here. We have a professional team, The Royals, here and all the children from young ages play on youth teams. It doesn't seem right to not have any sports. It is good to hear your memories.

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    Replies
    1. Your husband could pass a few happy hours by watching great baseball games of the past. You could bring him soda and big buckets of popcorn just to add to the atmosphere.

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  12. I am sure that deciding whether to attend the game was not made lightly. Two very opposing needs, existing at the same time in one relationship - it can be very hard to come to a satisfactory conclusion.

    You're right about the need for escape from the news at this time in history. I read and look at things that amuse me on the internet in between bouts of news. My husband and I spent the last two weeks of mealtimes talking about the virus and the government response, but we've decided it was getting to be unhealthy and have made an effort to find other things to talk about instead.

    ReplyDelete
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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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