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Fair Point - When football takes over your life
I OFTEN think those who don't have sport in their lives are the lucky ones.
They get to enjoy care-free weekends which don’t reach a panic-stricken, nerve-jangling crescendo at 4.50pm on a Saturday.
They don’t get sucked into a maelstrom of despair should their side be deprived of victory and they don’t have to spend often futile hours travelling the country supporting that same side.
I’m a Hereford United supporter. Always have been, always will be.
But the club’s precarious financial situation - they need £300,000 by the end of May having staved off two winding up orders already this year - means there’s a very real risk the club could fold in the coming months. At best, it looks likely we’ll be playing at our lowest level in living memory come August.
Working at the Worcester News I’ve been surrounded this past year by sporting underachievement.
Worcester Warriors are bottom of rugby union’s Premiership, facing ‘must win’ games each week. Worcester City, meanwhile, haven’t a ground they can call home and were hammered 4-0 at Hednesford yesterday.
Watching the Premiership title race from afar is undoubtedly exciting but I never really feel ‘hooked’ by top level football. There are many reasons for this; the lucrative pay players receive being one. But, in short, without actually being at a game, I feel detached from it all. I couldn’t support a side without actually going to watch them play.
Nostalgia, as they say, isn’t as good as it used to be, but I often think back to 1991 when my dad first took me to a United game.
I’ve been hooked ever since because football, and for that matter sport in general, does something to you that is very difficult to fathom. It consumes you like a horrid spirit that, perversely, you don’t ever want to shake off.
You’re always looking forward to the next game, blindingly optimistic despite recent results.
There’s euphoria at victory and despair at defeat, which can ruin weekends.
But I would never be without it, and wouldn’t want to contemplate a life without football. To put it more personally, I wouldn’t want to contemplate a life without Hereford United.
But that’s a situation which could become reality later this summer should Hereford United not get its house in order and settle mounting debts threatening to end a club which has been going since 1924.
The club is precariously placed two points from safety in the Conference relegation zone.
Should we pull off our own ‘great escape’ and retain our Conference National status it may only be a stay of execution with the possibility of administration and a points deduction for next season looming large.
Relegation would probably be a drop to Conference North with potential derbies against Worcester, Gloucester and Solihull.
But even if it’s the bottom rung of the ladder, I don’t really mind, honestly. You support a team, not a league.
I just hope I have a team to watch come August.
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