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Football before lockdown: Your last football match before lockdown

“I miss out on the anticipation, the delight, the misery and the sense of belonging. I miss the memories of all the video games past and the expect all those games yet to come.”

Norwich supporter Sarah Greaves sums up how 2020 has felt for a huge quantity of football fans.

As England continues through another national lockdown, the return of fans to football premises seems as far as ever.

With that in mind, we asked you to contact us and reminisce about the last live video game you watched. These are your stories.

‘Out of nowhere my child was beside me with the match ball’

Hasan Hussein, 40, from, Claypole, Lincolnshire, took his child Ulus, 12, to see Manchester United beat Manchester City at Old Trafford on 8 March. Scott McTominay sealed a 2-0 win with a long-range strike past City goalkeeper Ederson in injury time.

” As the ball hit the web, we all went bananas then out of nowhere my son was standing next to me with the match ball in his hands,” says Hasan.” We both wondered how it wound up with us, and you can see on the TELEVISION the players needed to wait a good few minutes to reboot as no-one had a concept where the ball was.

” What we later on saw on Match of the Day was Ederson, in disgust, booted it into the fans. Little did we understand this would be the match ball for the last video game we might see at Old Trafford for practically a year.

” My son still hasn’t kicked the ball outside and it has a place on his mantelpiece in his bed room.”

‘Em bodiment of why we enjoy football’

Bournemouth fans Will and Jessica Slinger, both 30, from London, took a trip to Argentina for their honeymoon and saw San Lorenzo de Almagro beat Lanus 4-3 in Buenos Aires on 8 March. Former Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini played for the home side.

” The crowd were awesome – enthusiastic, vocal and partisan to the end,” says Will. “People observed we weren’t singing along and were thrilled to learn we were British – we were invited heartily into the fold, with rumours walking around that we were members of the UK’s chapter of San Lorenzo fans.

” It was a remarkable experience, the personification of why we like football so dearly. I can not wait to return into Dean Court to enjoy the mighty Cherries again and feel that exact same rush and bliss.”

‘The atmosphere was simply one of an extended football family’

Norwich fan Sarah Greaves, from South London, took her 12-year-old daughter Naomi to enjoy the Canaries beat Leicester 1-0 at Carrow Road on 28 February with her sister and father-in-law. Just a month previously, Sarah’s late dad Barry, a lifelong Norwich fan, had actually gone viral after he left ₤ 100 in his will for the players to have a drink on him.

” What a game, what a night,” says Sarah. “In the club shop after the video game there were fans from New york city and Teemu Pukki fans from Finland – the atmosphere was simply extreme and jubilant.

” Looking back, the atmosphere was simply among household – a huge, extended football family. From individuals who sit near us speaking about my daddy to the person from New York who ‘d altered his flight house to make the video game.

” And now we watch the games however it’s not the very same; we send them messages however it’s not the same; we wear our Norwich kit in South London on matchdays but it’s not the same and we see our seats in videos from the club or during matches and we can’t wait to be back.

” To be back with my football household and back in my football home – the noise at that very first video game back is going to be a quite psychological experience.”

‘Unforgettable for all the wrong reasons’

David Clift, 89, from St Albans, has been a Southampton supporter for 75 years, seeing his very first match at Fulham in 1945. The last match he was at was the 9-0 loss to Leicester on 25 October 2019.

” This was remarkable for me for all the wrong reasons and I best regards hope I shall be able to eliminate it from my memory and see them win again,” says David.

” Covid-19 has actually seriously hindered that and as I am 89 it may be really difficult for me to make the journey from my home. My child has assured to take me however who knows when we will have the ability to do it. I reside in hope.

” My father was a Saints advocate beginning in 1906, and my grandparents prior to that back to about 1890 so about 130 years in total and my boy is continuing the tradition.”

‘We satisfied Jose’

Dave Freeman, 58, from Chipping Norton, took a trip to Germany to view Tottenham play RB Leipzig in the Champions League last 16 on 10 March. Spurs lost the video game 3-0, and the tie 4-0 on aggregate, however Dave, his son Joe and friend ‘Quinny’ ended up running into Spurs manager Jose Mourinho.

” While we were out socialising we saw a group coming towards us in full Spurs livery and it was Jose and his group – it would have been rude not request for a picture,” says Dan. “I make certain Jose fondly remembers our conference!

” The game the next day was finest forgotten. I miss out on every video game, the travel, and especially the European away games.”

‘My daughter thinks a 3-2 away success is a normal football experience’

Dan Gardiner, 46, from Suffolk, took his nine-year-old daughter to see Grimsby win 3-2 at Colchester on 11 February. It was her first night match and she saw Charles Vernam score a hat-trick, including the League Two goal of the season.

” The video game was unique for a few reasons and recalling it makes it much more unique as this is something we simply can’t experience at the minute,” states Dan.

” The slight drawback is my daughter believes a 3-2 away victory is a typical football experience and keeps asking when we can go once again.”

‘My last normal photo prior to lockdown’

Jonathan Sealby, 45, residing in Somerset but initially from Lymm, went to view Manchester City in the Carabao Cup at Wembley on 1 March. He enjoyed with his son, who was commemorating his 11th birthday, and papa, as City beat Aston Vacation home 2-1.

” What was unique is that we had an excellent day out, Rental property put up a great fight but we held on to win the game,” states Jonathan.” Covid-19 was ‘in the news’ and we watched out for getting the Tube, say, however truly the crowds were so different to what was quickly to be the norm with the very first lockdown.

” I’m so thankful we got to that video game, as I don’t understand when we’ll be able to go once again.

” I keep in mind publishing this picture on Facebook as part of ‘my last normal picture before lockdown’ because it starkly demonstrates how different things were.”

‘El Clasico was a pretty incredible method to head out’

Aston Rental property fans Mark Attwood, Ian Tetsill and John Preece, all 51, from Kingswinford, West Midlands, managed to get tickets to enjoy Real Madrid play Barcelona in El Clasico on 1 March. The journey, planned the previous year, ended up coinciding with the Carabao Cup last.

” Reluctantly, with flights, hotel and tickets reserved in Madrid, we offered our cup last tickets to our children and wound up enjoying the Villa video game in an Irish bar, simply down the road from the Bernabeu,” states Mark. “We managed to see the entire game right before setting off to take our seats for El Clasico.

” If you had actually understood that you were entering into an enforced duration of not having the ability to go to matches then this was a pretty magnificent way to go out. The environment was electrical – simple to see why this is one of the most significant video games in the world. It was played in torrential rain and both teams were closing in on the league title – Madrid won 2-0.”

‘Satisfying my Chilean hero’

Connor O’Reilly, 21, from Bishops Stortford, viewed his Cambridge United side lose 2-1 at Leyton Orient on 7 March. An opportunity meeting with Orient’s Chilean keeper Lawrence Vigouroux was the emphasize for Connor, who is half-Chilean.

” I take a trip up and down the nation with my Chilean flag with the Cambridge logo in the middle, and as the Orient team were training in front of the away end, he saw the flag and came by.” states Conor. “We had a chat and shared a photo and for me it felt unique to see him doing well for a decent Orient side.

” The game itself began and 1,256 fans packed into the away end chanting for the whole video game. We played improperly, and entered into the half 2-0 down but it didn’t stop the fans singing all game long.

” We got a been worthy of goal back from Paul Mullin but could not get a winner, with Vigouroux making an incredible last-minute save.”

‘My four-year-old daughter met Clucas’

Simon Bailey, 42, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, took his spouse Claire and their then four-year-old daughter Abigail to watch Stoke beat Hull 5-1 on 7 March at the bet365 Stadium.

” What made this actually unique, a lot more than it being the last video game that Stoke fans might attend, was that it was the first match that my spouse Claire went to see and the third match for Abigail, who saw her favourite gamer Sam Clucas score two objectives,” states Simon.

” Now 5 years old, Abigail likes football and is looking forward to going to a Stoke match again when it is safe.”

‘Bucket-list video game’

Matthew Crouch, 26, from Portsmouth, took a trip to Barcelona to view Lionel Messi score as they beat Real Sociedad 1-0 on 7 March.

” My good friends and I had talked about going to Barcelona to enjoy Messi in his prime for near to a years,” states Matthew. “It was on all of our bucket lists and even with the danger of getting stuck in Barcelona for upwards of 2 weeks we were not cancelling the journey.

” Every time he had the ball at his feet, the whole stadium would fall quiet. You felt the anticipation and expectation he would do something unique every time. It’s something that you will stick with me forever.

” Looking back it was not the best video game of football I had actually ever viewed live, however it felt a privilege to be there. Thinking back to the atmosphere still gives me tingles.”

‘Felt like I was passing on the baton’

Martin Crow took his four-year-old daughter Scarlet to watch her very first Sunderland match at the Arena of Light as they drew 2-2 with Gillingham on 7 March 2020.

” It was a truly special celebration for me considered that I went to my very first video game at the very same age and had a season ticket since the age of 8,” says Martin.

” Taking Scarlet for the first time felt like I was passing on the baton to the next generation and it was particularly special offered we sat with my parents, who are both incredibly enthusiastic about Sunderland and their granddaughter.

” This image was taken at the end of the video game. I don’t think she wished to leave! Sharing something that’s so unique to you with your kids simply can’t be revealed in words.”

‘Lucky to do something we no longer take for granted’

For his 50th birthday, Matthew Spillum, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, and his other half Reene took a trip to Liverpool to watch the Reds beat Bournemouth 2-1 on 7 March.

” It was a fantastic birthday present from Renee, made even more extraordinary by the events that rapidly transpired,” says Matthew.

” Looking back, I feel fortunate to have had this chance, not just to have had the adventure of seeing a game at Anfield throughout the title season, however to have actually had the ability to do all those things that we can no longer consider given – a jam-packed arena, a congested however cosy club, live music, museums, travel – right on the cusp of everything changing so drastically.

” In a lot of ways, it feels like it was the last possible international holiday. In numerous methods, I practically feel fortunate that the world changed so promptly afterwards, as I feel like I value the journey so much more.

” We live 6 blocks from Minnesota United’s Allianz Field, where we are season ticket holders. Though the MLS is using, it might as well be in Liverpool, as it is difficult to keep that day-to-day connection when the game is merely an online abstraction and not a matchday experience.”

‘Special journey with papa’

Wolves fan Tom Sperrink 34, took his papa to Spain to enjoy the Europa League last-32 second-leg tie against Espanyol on 27 February – fulfilling a dream to enjoy his side play in Europe. Wolves lost 3-2 on the night, but won 6-3 on aggregate.

Tom says: “The arena was a quarter complete, the tie was pretty much done and cleaned (in our favour) however in truth it didn’t matter because I ‘d been to Barcelona to enjoy Wolves win a competitive European knockout game with my papa, and having been at Brighton when we got relegated to League One a few years prior this would have been abstruse.

” And that was that, Wolves won at Spurs the next week but I wasn’t there and I saw our behind-closed-doors away tie to Olympiakos on TELEVISION (not understanding this would quickly be the norm).”.

‘From the minute we got home he asked when he could go again’

Dom Moret, 39, from Carshalton, Surrey, enjoyed Crystal Palace beat Watford 1-0 on 7 March at Selhurst Park with his sons Dexter (four) and Coby (now seven) and their grandad John.

” The game was special as it was Dexter’s first ever match,” states Dom. “He is the youngest of three siblings and has actually seen his brothers going to games since he was born so had been desperate to go to Selhurst himself.

” The video game wasn’t great, but he was quickly hooked by Selhurst’s popular atmosphere and joined in singing Thankful All Over as the team’s came out. From our seats in the Holmesdale Road stand we were right behind Jordan Ayew’s objective and Dexter went crazy when it hit the back of the net.

” From the minute we got home he was asking when he might go to his next video game, and just a few days later we had to break it to him that it was unlikely to be at any time soon.

” I’m so pleased he got to go to a game before lockdown and Dexter’s actually happy he now understands what his siblings have been discussing.

” My main ambition, once we’re able to go back to live games again, is for me and ‘Gramps’ to take all three of the young boys to a match together as a five for the very first time. Fingers crossed for 2021.”.

‘Hope to see Macclesfield back at some point’

Plymouth Argyle fan Sarah Decent, 62, saw a 3-0 house win versus Macclesfield Town on 7 March. Macclesfield Town were ended up in the High Court in September.

It was an unique game at the time as there was such a positive ambiance around the club. Unbeknown to all, this was the last Saturday of fixtures prior to lockdown and Argyle’s last game too, sadder still for Silkmen fans, as it would be their last game ever.

Recalling I feel sad naturally that our season could not continue. I truly think we would have ended as champions – but we’ll never know. We got our promotion to League One later and now I have to be pleased with following their progress on a streaming service like all fans. I would commit this to the fans, management and players of Macclesfield Town, I want to see you back sooner or later.

‘A chance to celebrate my father’s memory’

Leeds United fan Matt Thompson, 47, attended a 0-0 draw in between Annan Athletic and Cowdenbeath at Galabankon 7 March 2020 in memory of his late dad.

” I found my dad had actually established a bit of a ‘thing’ for Annan Athletic,” states Matt. “Over the years, each time we drove previous Annan we talked about going to view a game.

” In 2018 papa was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinsonism and we soon realised that it wouldn’t be practical for us to check out Galabank as his physical condition was weakening. In 2019 he died of complications due to his health problem. He was just 67.

” I decided to do what we had actually talked about and postpone for so long and actually go and see Annan Athletic play.

” I picked a game and emailed Philip Jones, the Annan chairman, who kindly put a short dedication in the match programme and talked to me prior to the video game to welcome me to the Galabank Arena.

” Although the game was only a 0-0 draw, I took pleasure in every minute of it and was worth the five-hour round trip my buddy John and I made. I will be returning as quickly as possible with my son.”

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