Football Family

Saturdays are football. Simple. Before the female half of you switch off….wait a minute please. It’s about community , team spirit, looking after your teammate. Elaine’s choir I would imagine is similar in a gentler fashion, especially on show night. Theres nerves but you get out there and put on a performance, give it your all. You can’t let your teammates down.

So Saturday we were at home. Round to DHS with footballs, meet the gang. The banters good “were you oot last night?”…”fuck off”… ” few goals today, big man?”… “aye, if selected”. Love that bit of modesty “if selected..”. Humble. We try to stay humble, sweep the sheds after the game- leave the dressing room as we find it.

Ref arrives… good banter..before we shout at him for 90 minutes. Goalies are mental, but referees are off the scale. Holytown lads come out early, some big lads spilling onto our astroturf pitch. Streetwise lads fae Motherwell- it may get tasty today.

Game starts on a dreich November day. The ref had mentioned floodlights would be good. Text to Hutchy and 5 minutes later the floodlights are on. Hes a good lad. Half an hour in and I head off to get the pies – 20 steak/macaroni pies fae John hills. As am driving away we score… I toot the horn… Holytown coach looks round…ragin’. Haha get it roond ye. Football changes a person – I’m quite shy.. but once the whistle goes..

Dunblane high street is busy..I cannae get parked but luckily John is ready with the pies. I’m blocking the street but Johns on it…20 hot pies in the window… car behind is tooting but it’s just Fraser Mackay winding me up.

Back at astro its half time. 1 nil up. The pie sales are slow…the dreich weather means a low crowd. The young crew come over – “two steak pies”… dive in lads.

We win 4-1, but only after they equalised and we miss a penalty. It’s never easy. Every team is the same.

Amateur football, eh. I read an article about Andy Murray that made me change my view on amateur football. He went to the Olympics, it said, and treated it as an amateur. I’m reading this thinking “what, he got pished on the flight over?”. But no, he paid for his flights and his digs. An amateur, the article said , is someone who pursues a sport for the love of it and not for financial gain. And that’s us..that’s us! We’re Amateurs and proud if it.

Back to john hills for 40 steak/macaroni pies. The craic is great, they’re just finishing up after a busy day, wiping the counters, counting the takings. We always get a family steak pie for our man of the match and a foto too. “This is Neil..the main man ..fuckin hattrick the day…” “No way , he looks 12 year old”.

Onto The Tappit. Its packed, the pies go doon a storm. The Holytown lads are in good form despite the result. A cheer goes up..someone’s coupons up. “Get the fuckin drinks in, big man!”.

Aye, Saturdays are good (when you win). Saturdays are good.

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