There’s so much to being a dad, it’s kind of difficult to sum the job up in one word. Our fathers are friends, caregivers, well-wishers…the list goes on. And while they’re known to like a lot of things (the strangest ice cream flavour in the shop, spicy food and some music we just don’t understand), there’s no denying that dads and football go pretty well together.
This year to celebrate Father’s Day, we asked Anglian employees to take a look back at their favourite memories of their dads and football in honour of the upcoming World Cup. Here are a few of the extra-sentimental highlights:
“When I was six, back when football grounds had standing areas, my dad organised to take me to see Ipswich vs. Liverpool. I was a huge Liverpool fan. I remember working with my dad in the garage the weekend before, where he made me a special wooden step to take so I could see over the perimeter wall. Always looking out for me – thanks Dad. Happy Father’s Day.”
“My dad was an avid football fan, supporting Tottenham Hotspur and his local team, Enfield FC. I remember as a child being taken along to watch Enfield at the home games and running around in the stands causing mischief and demanding chips from the food stall while my dad cheered them on. He went onto become the Director of Enfield FC before sadly passing away in 2015.
“Being so football obsessed, he was over the moon when our neighbour was the security in charge of looking after the UEFA Cup back in 1984 just a few days after I was born. This is a picture we’ll always treasure!”
“As Grandad used to say in Only Fools and Horses, “Your dad always said that one day Del Boy would reach the top. Then again, he always used to say that one day Millwall would win the cup.” My favourite football memory is going to the “No One Likes Us” FA Cup Final in 2004, Millwall vs. Manchester United (Van Nistelrooy, Giggs, Scholes, Keane, Christiano Ronaldo et al).
“Forget the result; as Millwall fans we were just happy to be there, something my father (born in the East End during wartime) and his generation never though they’d see. Grandad’s joke was funny because it was true. I don’t remember much of the game, but I’ll never forget the noise around us. To quote a football writer in a Sunday supplement the next day:
“Merrr,” it went, as if a herd of unhappy cows had been led into the stands. You kept expecting a second syllable, presuming this must be a precursor to the full-on Millwall cry of “Merrr-warr”. But it never arrived, no matter how long the noise went on. And it went on for ages. Manchester United even scored their third goal in the middle of it and were not able to disturb its monosyllabic momentum. This was the football chant reduced to its most basic, a primal scream of loyalty, a growl of determination that no matter what happened, nothing would stop the underdog having its day out. It was the most defiant noise that can ever have been heard at a Cup final.”
“And I was there. With my dad.”
“Sitting on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon watching the football scores pop up on the TV with the roast cooking in the kitchen is a truly fond childhood memory of mine, though I’m choosing to exclude the expletives escaping my father’s mouth in relation to his local team’s position on the league (Hartlepool), which for some reason was always someone else’s fault when they lost. But obviously he was credited when they won…Needless to say, my love of Sunday afternoon games increased when he switched to a premiership side (Newcastle). Less expletives and a jollier Sunday meal.”
Happy Father’s Day to all the father figures out there! We hope it’s a loving, football-filled day.