As regular readers will know, last night the family attended a presentation evening hosted by the East Berkshire Football League, in honour of the season just ended.
It was a busy, packed room – as you can imagine – with 7 divisions in the Under 10’s age group to be honoured, Champions, Runners Up and Fair Play awards for each division.
For every player attending last night, it must have been very exciting. Certainly T has been counting down ever since his team were announced as Champions in their league, and even beforehand, as he’d been working out the permutations of every game. A time for pride, a time for players, managers, coaches and players families to enjoy the evening.
The vice-chairman opened the evening and after an intro detailing the numbers of teams and players involved, he mentioned the Respect code of conduct.. Aimed at the children, he emphasised that anyone boo-ing would be asked to leave, some parents would have been wise to take heed.
They didn’t boo, oh no, they weren’t that obvious but the ones sitting behind us made little petty remarks and digs at all the other teams.
On just a player and manager going up to get a Fair Play award…”haha, couldn’t anyone else be bothered to turn up then”.
On a team who had made the decision to all attend dressed in shirts, trousers and club ties (they looked very smart)…”haha, look at them, some have short sleeves, some have long sleeves, they couldn’t even get that right”.
On a team who had very bright kits…”haha, look at the colour of that”.
Now, maybe they’d “enjoyed” themselves too much in the bar beforehand, maybe they were tired, maybe the dreadful weather outside was annoying them but was that showing Respect and Fair Play? I don’t think so.
All those players were deservedly there for a reason, they’d played in the snow, wind and rain, often Sunday and weekend games to complete the fixtures and they earnt every smile, every round of applause, every trophy.
My little man had his trophy next to him on his pillow last night, it stayed with him on the sofa until the school run and they’ll be reunited at the end of end day. He’s proud and justifiably so. I’m proud of him too and every little man who stood on that stage last night. Wish others felt the same.