The Premiership Football League win by Leicester City has reached many folk normally unmoved by “the beautiful game”. It is an event which has satisfied a primal desire to land at least a glancing blow on the noses of the obscenely wealthy and powerful outside football as well as within it.
Of course, all things are relative. Leicester City are themselves rich and powerful diners at the pig-trough that is so-called top flight sport all over the world.
So, a brief pause to celebrate the achievements of some lesser lights.
I sing the joys of amateur football!
Honest endeavour, plenty of skill, emotional release, good humour, local pride and community cohesion: all these can be found near you at your local amateur football ground.
My father ended his active sporting life with Shawbury United, who play their home games a short walk from my home. Shawbury is a small village in North Shropshire, but they have just won the West Midlands Premier League, and thus promotion to the wider Midland Alliance. Move over Leicester City!
My friend, Buster Richards (seen joining the joyous group on the right of this picture) has assembled an excellent and talented squad who have been a simple pleasure to watch for the last 3-4 seasons, culminating in this triumph.
I love the words of this song (To Win Just Once) by the Saw Doctors:
To win just once would be enough
For those who’ve lost in life and love
For those who’ve lost their guile and nerve
Their innocence, their drive and verve
For those who feel they’ve been mistreated
Discriminated, robbed or cheated
To claim one victory inspired
To win just once is their desire
To win just once against the odds
And once be smiled on by the Gods
To race with speed along the track
Break the tape and not look back
To never have considered losing
As if to win is by your choosing
Bare your soul for all to find
An honest heart and an open mind
To win just once
That would be enough
So come all ye fulltime smalltown heroes
Cast away your inbred fears of
Standing out from all the rest
The cynics and the pessimists
The self-indulgent almost rich
The blatant hurlers on the ditch
Time is passing so come on
And face the ball, the game is on.
The lyrics sum up so much, about all aspects of life: ’nuff said.
Oh, apart from to celebrate the fact that there is a layer between the amateur world and the super-powers…and in that layer is the glorious diamond that is Oxford United FC, winners of promotion to League One!