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Old 10-10-19, 06:32 AM   #23
Nicey
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Sean me old mucker, great thread here is my story

My most poignant football story is the last football game I watched with my father, the Istanbul Champions Lg Final. My relationship with my Father like his relationship with his father was strained at the best of times. We seemed like two different men from almost different classís and in many ways we were. Growing up I had no interest in football what so ever. I could not tell you who won the world cup, I know this because under caution at a police station in the company of my father, I was asked this question, when the police man accused me of having selective memory, I said Italy, that was not the right answer apparently.

My Dad was a Leeds fan, we are similar in the fact that both of us do not support Man United which 99% of our very large family in Dublin do. He spent some time in Leeds, in his young days working and I think that was why he supported them. They may very well have been the team of the day back then also.

As I got older I meddled with supporting Nottingham Forest because even though I had no interest in football there was a time when they were the sexy team to support. Somewhere around roughly the Roy Evans, Houllier era I increasingly started to take more of an interest in Liverpool. I think in the Spice boys days I started to identify as a Liverpool fan, but being able to see the game back in those days was not easy. They were on the box sporadically and usually on Sky in the pub and I did not quite like them enough to take time out to watch the games.
Truly it was only when I moved to Hong Kong 23 years ago and how every single game is on live here that I became fanatically about Liverpool and then football in general. Ultimately much more so than my father ever was.

Back in the day, my Dad would have his Sunday roast, a pint of beer and watch Match of the Day. It was his Sunday Mass, I remember distinctly thinking to myself I just do not get that at all. Today I do the very same thing, Only its Sunday morning not afternoon and its buckets of coffee instead. The closet we have ever been, is when we spoke about football. It was the one area I think I felt he truly respected what I had to say because in his later years he knew I watched so much of it. I remember watching the only game live with him was I think the FA cup game which was against O Learys Babes and they were flying high in Europe, I still think we ran out winners and we shared a rare genuine moment. Knowing how much I loved Liverpool, my Dad bought me a Treble wining t shirt, which to this day I cherish and I am not in the slightest bit sentimental. I have very special military medals, his prized gold ring with our shared name which he wore every day of his life and various other special trinkets, but its that tattered Liverpool Treble T Shirt that he bought for me that I cherish, because he knew how much I loved Liverpool and in many ways it meant one of the handful of times in our lifes together, he saw me.

My father died of cancer early May 2005. I was lucky I managed to fly home from Hong Kong, just in time to spend one more night with him. My father was a hard man, respected everywhere he went. At his funeral the church was full to capacity and outside the carpark was full of people. He coached Gaelic football, he knew people on many sides of town, politicians, gangsters, old ladies, young lads playing football, they all knew him very well, but I felt like they all knew him a lot more than I ever had.

That night before he died, we had a vigil by his bedside, my Mother and 3 sisters were asleep and I held my once strong man father in my arms like a baby and comforted him. He died the next day.

Over the following weeks, the usual stuff that happens around funerals happened and eventually things settled down. I rarely if ever shed a tear, I donít believe in goodbyes and in my mind I know I will see him again. But the last time I spent with him was watching the Champions Lg final together, Me and his Urn of Ashes, two cans of beer opened for for him and quite a few for me.

Half time came around, we were 3 nil down and as god is my witness to use phrase my mother uses a lot, I said if you are up there, show me 2nd half, thatís my sign you are there.

When we eventually won, I cried for 20 minutes but I cried for my father not for my team and then and everyday since then together we never walk alone.
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