Keep Going

My beloved Manchester United won today, coming from behind to beat Bournemouth F.C. 2-1. This was even more exciting, given the nature of the winning goal, a last gasp strike from young English striker, Marcus Rashford. United have a rich history of such last minute heroics, harking back to the 1999 Champions League final, when they scored two goals in the last two minutes to win the biggest prize in European football.

I still get goosebumps when those goals are shown. Just like the time I travelled to Old Trafford to watch them beat arch rivals Manchester City 4-3, courtesy of a 94th minute Michael Owen goal. As the ball hit the back of the net I leapt to my feet and sprinted up and down my section of the Stratford End stand, high fiving all and sundry. I was fuelled by the ecstasy of the moment, in addition to the six pints of Stella Artois I downed in the bar before the match.

The list goes on. During the 1990’s and 2000’s under the management of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, United were an unstoppable force in British and European football. Champions League trophies, Premiership titles, F.A. Cups. They won the lot and much more besides. The never say die attitude and attacking football philosophy of the club was epitomised in countless numbers of last second, come from behind wins. It was their trademark. You never wrote United off. Ever.

Since Ferguson’s retirement six years ago, the club has fallen on comparatively leaner times. While still one of the biggest and richest clubs in the world, success has been harder to come by on the pitch. This season has been no different as the team has struggled to find its stride and play the flowing, attractive football it is world famous for. The game today brought back memories of better times. They are a slumbering giant.

Win, lose or draw I will always support United. They are my team and I’ve followed them for over forty years, through thick and thin. Thankfully the kids have heeded me and both Adam and Rebecca also support the Red and White Army. Hannah isn’t a football fan but I reckon if put on the spot would choose United, if for no other reason than familial loyalty. Plus she would never hear the last of it from me if she did otherwise.

We should never give up on those we support. This can be applied from our favourite sports team to the special people in our lives. Loyalty is what drags them through the tough times, as well as the glory days. Life might seem horrific but it’s a little less horrific knowing there are people out there loving us and willing us on. Such love is indestructible and indefatigable in equal measure. It transcends distance and overtones all obstacles.

Such support makes us want to keep fighting to the bitter end. It makes us want to crawl over broken glass and battle through this morass we call life. For maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of the pitch black tunnel. Nothing more than a pinpoint at first, but growing in size and intensity as we break into a run and sprint towards it. Bursting beyond into daylight and new life. A better life, free from the shackles of our old selves.

You might not feel that way today as you read these words but I encourage you to keep going, keep fighting, right up until the final whistle. Keep going for those who are cheering you on, waiting for that special moment when everything falls into place and you score the winning goal. They believe in you, so follow their example and believe in yourself a little bit. For that is where dreams come true.

What’s the most nail biting sporting event you have ever watched?

Are you a loyal supporter? Or a fair weather fan?

Do you believe in yourself enough to fight to the final whistle?

13 thoughts on “Keep Going

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  1. Im starting to believe in myself now. I didnt for a long time. But with the love and support of my awesome friends and family I am now realising, that yes, yes I can do this, I can and i will! xox

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  2. For me, it is definitely the Champions League final between Atletico and Real where Ramos equalized at the death, minute 92:48.
    I was weeping my eyes out and was about to turn off the TV and then after the most beautiful cross in the world, Ramos thundered it in and it felt like someone breathed new life in me.
    I’ve been supporting Madrid ever since 2005 (I was 8 then) and I can never consider switching teams. We’re in a difficult patch right now ever since the departure of Zidane and Crist, but we’ll be back soon ❤.

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  3. I really am not a sports fan, but my husband is. He is a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan – he loves hockey. I love how you use the sports analogy for life. It is true, it is the support we receive from friends and loved ones that help us to keep going when the going is tough – very tough at times. Believing in oneself can be a huge challenge at times. It is then we are lifted up and pushed onward by the sheer strength of love and loyalty. Awesome post! I think it will resonate with many people. Thanks for the inspiring pep talk! Enjoy your Sunday and have a good week.

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  4. The rugby on Saturday was fairly disappointing I have to say with South Africa losing one point at the end with the ref not calling that high tackle! So true what you say that there are a hold host of people cheering us on, if only we’d cheer oursleves with the same amount of love and enthusiasm.

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