Humour me this week. Sunderland is my team. My home town, my home team and now the whole family’s team.
It’s a bit like parenting a teenager (she said bitterly): you love them regardless, would never desert them, hurt anyone who ever criticised them, but they don’t half push you to the edge at times. Today, it looks like dreams really do come true. For the last decade at least, whenever we parted company with a manager, my dad would say to me: “So pet, who’d you like to manage your team?” I would always answer Martin O’Neill. He would then reply, “Yes pet, I know. But who do you think might we get really?” I welled up when Radio 5 broadcast the story today. Bounced up and down in my car. Punched the air. I have faith restored.
Martin O’Neill has integrity; he’s honest, articulate, opinionated, bloody-minded and he’s not a snob; he often champions the underdog. Yes, I know, and the moral of this Friday is… on its way… These are unusual qualities in this day and age and in that combination, whether you’re a football manager or an ordinary Joe or Josephine, I love it. Don’t seek safety in numbers, don’t play at it; be genuine, truthful, loyal and constant.
This year has been my year of being disappointed in and by people. I have certain standards that I try to live by and fairly or not, I measure others by those too. Last week has been a week to measure others by; when you need a little kindness and a little thought. It has cut the wheat from the chaff. It’s a time of cutting back and making do across the globe. In very many respects that’s no bad thing, because you realise what matters and what doesn’t. It doesn’t need bells and whistles and an expensive price tag to matter. A lovely lunch with dear friends last weekend; a sincere hug from a new friend tonight; Mackerel family being on call.
Down but not out.
This is the One: need I say more?
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