No matter who you follow, being a football supporter can be tough. No matter how much you love your club, a Tuesday night away in the League Cup can feel like a chore - I’d never consider missing it but there are glamour games and not-so-glamour-games.
Then, every couple of years, the final whistle of the domestic season blows and away we go. This year, it's a Euros. Kids swap stickers, non believers are moaning about the disruption to the telly schedules, your dad flies a flag in the garden or front room window. International tournament football is the peak of the game. It’s what we dream of, deep down – even though we might pretend we don’t. Following your country is an experience that is…it’s just different, higher, huger, more intense than the club game. All the English are on the same side, for a start. And, like the rest of the country, I manage to convince myself that England will rule supreme – until about five minutes into their first game….
Nine thousand England fans, all Fred Perry and pink shoulders, will be belting out our songs as we will our side to victory and I just can’t wait to be part of it.
Remember Danny Welbeck scoring in Kiev against Sweden? Wayne Rooney scoring against Uruguay in Sao Paulo? They were two of the most insane, blood-rushing-to-the-temples goal celebrations I have ever been involved in. Seeing spots and having the air squeezed out of me by some fat Geordies bellowing in my ears. I had to get a medical afterwards. Fans from all over England coming together was such a standout, not-to-be-forgotten moment in my life and the thought of heading over to France and making some more memories……wow. Can we just go to the airport now?
Let’s have you England. None of this quarter finals penalty failure business. Let’s bring it back. COME ON!