Before we beat Crystal Palace on the chilly autumnal afternoon of November 5th, I got chatting to a lifelong Burnley supporter named Eric Young outside the turnstiles of Turf Moor. His words were interesting, his passion evident and dedicating over 80 years of his life to supporting Burnley I thought warranted a mention. I’m going to submit this to the match day programme and hope they publish it.
Eric wistfully recalled that nearly 80 years ago, in the mischievousness of youth, himself and friends used to climb over the walls of turf moor (it was easy back then, apparently!) to watch their beloved Burnley. He spoke of profound moments such as seeing the great Stanley Matthews play at the Turf and remembers himself as a young boy playing on the same hallowed grass for the Lancashire School Boys. The echoes of the female supporters screaming for him still resonates in his memory as if it were yesterday.
I asked Eric what football meant to him and he replied: ‘football means blowing off steam. If the home team do well, it makes me feel ten times better.’
I’m sure these words echo how every football fan feels. Football is about excitement, releasing tension and transporting us to another place entirely for 90 minutes (or 96 if you’re playing United when they’re at a deficit …)
Football makes us all feel better, it anchors lifelong memories in our consciousness and despite the highs, lows and unpredictability, our passion never dies.
Certainly not Eric’s.