I loved it when footballers cried when overcome with emotion. Maybe it was because of the persistent myth of the Englishman’s ‘stiff upper lip’; his refusal to convey his emotions in public. Seeing a player moved to tears, to me, showed that he cared more than the rest. It wasn’t like watching an actor pretend to tear up. This shit was real.
My latest piece for the Guardian Weekend magazine is about my love of English football and my take on UK culture.
I loved any sort of drama on and off the pitch. Family tensions, love problems, scandals. Brother pitched against brother on opposing sides. Managers shoving each other on the touchline. Basically, anything that your typical football fan views as a distraction from the real bread and butter, was my bread and butter. And so before too long, I became a resource of useless, soap-opera-esque facts about players.