15/11/2017

Everyone who has been to Newcastle Performance Physio knows about the TV. There is one channel - the football channel. We haven’t even bothered to get an aerial outlet to access normal tv. Why would we - we have the football channel.

Tonight Fab and I will be there as another chapter is written in Australia’s, and our own, football story.

Mine is somewhat unusual when looking from the outside. My Dad played league, I grew up in Newcastle, I’ve got Scottish heritage. Not your stereotypical Australian football background. I played for many years, not well, and it seems that it has come and gone depending on what I’ve done and where I am.

But that’s what people outside of the football world don’t see. Football is the most common denominator for people around the world. I’ve been to countries where I can’t speak the language, but because I know the game, I find myself laughing and talking with my hands, trying to get my point across that Arsenal can’t win (good) trophies. I’ve played 5 a side in a mountain side village in Peru, on a rooftop in Argentina, on a concrete square in London, on a Mayfield park.

The funniest thing is i’m not even any good. In my head I am Fernando Torres, one of my favourite players (the Liverpool or Atletico version) but in reality i’m a total kook.

But I LOVE IT. LOVE IT.

I can remember watching the premier league highlights show on a Monday afternoon in the late 80s. My favourite team was Nottingham Forest because I thought Robin Hood lived there.

The later 90s was Newcastle United because of David Ginola - best hair in football, and Faustino Asprilla - best name in football, and because they had the same name as where I lived.

I was up watching Baggio sky the last penalty to lose the World Cup.

Then came Harry Kewell and the Socceroos.

If I loved football before Harry Kewell is the reason my wife thinks i’m a total nutbag.

Here was a kid from the same part of the world as me (almost), a bit older than me, who was just awesome. I don’t care what you say about him, his later career, his injuries. He was a Rock Star. One of my all time heroes.

Tim Cahill will be a legend forever, fully deserved, no one has done more. But for me it will always be Harry.

I cried the night Iran qualified. I remember my uncle delivered the most foul mouth tirade I had ever heard at that point in my life. But I remember the away leg more - no footballer had ever affected me that way.

Later there came early morning heartbreak against Uruguay, almost as many tears as Tony V. Early morning wonder of the Champions League.

The Jets! What a rollercoaster. I’ve been to every incarnation except KB - wish I could’ve been there. I will never forget the day in 2007 they first opened the Eastern Stand and filled the top level! At the Jets! There was even a flare!

Two words, Nicky Carle. Just magic to watch live, week in, week out in 2007 - that goal against Adelaide, to this day I have never seen a better goal live.

Please watch it HERE.

Goosebumps.

Living in England was the final nail in the coffin. Football is Everywhere. It is fantastic. I could walk to Fulham’s home ground straight past one of my favourite pubs. I ask you, what was I supposed to do? And it was on at a decent time over there.

But we all want to go to the Big Show.

Wests Sports Bar. October 20, 2007. Bresciano. Schwarzer and JJOOOOOHHHHNNNNYYYY!

Please watch it HERE

I will never, ever forget that moment.

2 hours and a billion Bundy and cokes later and myself and my brother from another mother were on a plane to Germany. Forget we had no money, we were going to go.

Never did get there.

Instead the ritual began in earnest. Early morning, jersey on, unwashed for good luck, fingers crossed.

Nothing compares to the World Cup, especially when your team plays.

The anticipation, the spectacle, the joy, the despair.

Nothing compares to the World Cup. Keep the Olympics, keep everything else.

Tim Cahill against Japan, Harry against Croatia, Tim Cahill against The Netherlands.

So I will be screaming, possibly crying, tonight, and every other such night that may come.

Real love is forever.

In Ange we trust.

Go Socceroos.