Football is as much about the social aspect as it is about the sport. I wrote my dissertation at university about how your sense of attachment grows stronger as you become more physically separated from a place.
That is certainly the case for me. I am detached from the town I grew up in and I have now settled over 100 miles away on the beautiful Roker coast. But the love for your club never fades.
I have witnessed some of the most incredible and devastating moments watching my club, from winning the league in the final second to relegation to the fourth tier. Football is a hereditary fascination passed down through generations of families. Now it’s the excitement of seeing my daughters face the first time when she walks out into the stadium in the future.
Football can affect people in so many ways. Some people walk away because they can’t stand to be involved and the toxicity in the club has forced them to vote with their feet.
Some people will stay when things get so unbearable but cling onto the hope that things will get better, one day.
So, unfortunately, mam, it’s far more than just a game.