Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.
And you think you’ve won
But Sorrow will come, to you in the end, you think you’ve won
OH NO (Morrissey)
My previous post, pre-game, alluded to a specific (footballing) Scouse culture ‘we are scouse not English’, manifested by a palpable reticence for our national team? Many, Reds & Blues ‘Scousers‘ tend to not openly support our national tram, England. In fact some try too hard NOT to support England.
I had backed England pre-tournament at 5 to 1 purely due to such favourable odds. I didn’t really believe we could win the Euro’s. I also backed Germany at 8 to 1 and Spain at 8 to 1 (E/W). My dream (bet) final, England v Spain with an England win, of course! Having reached the final, honestly? I didn’t think Italy would lose and I ‘cashed out‘ pre kick off, in retrospect, I should have waited until we went 1 – 0 up, but I was going out to watch the game so I cashed out as I knew that, once out, on the ale, I would forget all about my bet.
If England were to win and I had not maximised my experience I knew I would regret it and that’s why I decided to go out to watch.
I watched the final with two Reds. One, himself moderate to fiercely opposed to England, explained to me ‘England? It’s coming home (after 55 years), it comes ‘home’ for us (LFC), every couple of years’?
My personal (gradually eroded over 50+ years of dashed hopes and hurt) England support is founded purely upon self-protection, I have literally exhausted my emotional capacity for supporting England, I could not tolerate another disappointment.
Less investment = less pain. Self Preservation.
We watched in the venue I (we) drank our very last pint(s) together, pre-lockdown, some sixteen months ago, one friend commented ‘At fucking last, I have dreamt about this pint’.
The City Centre venue was relatively quiet….for a Euro Final. Very well organised and managed, I felt Covid protected, (safe). Table service. A decent viewing position, a favourite beer (Shipyard Draught), food. Glass (not plastic). Winner.
We arrived (were advised to) ridiculously early, at 4.00pm four hours prior to Kick Off.
Despite two meal breaks (4.30pm and again at half-time), I was well and truly twatted, way before kick-off.
We started well but got worse. The ‘stats’ speak for themselves. Overall, the best team won.
The result was ‘predictably typical England’, by the time we hit the perfunctory penalty’s the pub was almost empty, only staff and maybe ten punters stayed for the inevitable? ‘Sorrow DID come in the end’.
Yes I think so, no shame in any of it. They (we) gave everything and more. At least we have disposed of one monkey off our backs, by reaching a major final? Next step is to win one, a World Cup?
I enjoyed the entire tournament, I enjoyed the final game, the occasion and I especially enjoyed the company. To spend substantial, precious time with two great friends, who I deeply love? Priceless?
I was not surprised by the result so not (that) upset. I awoke the next day feeling more disappointed than the night before but it is not the end for this squad of young amazing humans.
The biggest disappointment of it all for, has nothing to do with football. The horrendous, right-wing, racist, reaction against three of our finest and most talented, young players was sickening, made worse by the fact I knew it was coming.
Keep on saying NO, at every opportunity tell those, sick, thick racists twats, NO.
Next, we have to banish that (Jinx) of a song Three Lions from ever being played again, that along with, banning the broadcasting of Gareth Southgates penalty miss.
Finally, the simple task of winning the World Cup then?
Thanks for reading