My name is Jason Collins, I’m just an average person expressing my perspective on the beautiful game. I’ve always fancied writing articles on different aspects of the game. However, this time, I want to share my complete story of football; how you can regain your passion for football even when you lose someone close to you like your Dad and other personal opinions about the beautiful Game.
Football as we know it is the most watched sport all over the world, it’s like a religion to most people. We become obsessed with our clubs and follow them home and away.
We get all the merchandise, all the home shirts, away shirts it becomes a passion that’s very much a part of your life.
Since my Dad passed away back in 2018, my enthusiasm for football has somewhat gone downhill. They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, which I don’t understand because he always complained about it.
I guess that’s what I miss the most, he would moan about Gazza, Beckham then it went onto Rooney, again I’m baffled why Gascoigne was on that list because he was one of the best players for me growing up!
We had an odd conversation about football and the current state of the game. I always bought back the odd match program from QPR games which I’d give to him and he’d basically flick through it like a Littlewood’s catalog.
Love for the Game
It’s the little things that you miss and I suppose that puts up a little barrier between you and what you love to do the most. Your interest will come back again.
It was in stages for me I’ll like it again for one minute then it goes the next, but eventually, your love for the game will reappear.
On the whole, it will all come back as it’s what you’re passionate about and you’ve just hit a stumbling block on the way.
Your Dad wouldn’t want you to stop loving what you’ve grown up with, whether it is watching games together or having a laugh and a joke about it.
Nine times out of ten, it would have been his presence that inspired you to kick your first ball from a young age. That will never go away.
I think most Dads now like to carry on that tradition that has gone down the family line of supporting a certain team, some don’t and just let them support whoever they want.
In my opinion, that’s a lot of pressure at such a young age, so to let them follow whoever they want allows them the freedom of the triumphs and upsets of the game, that’s what part of growing up is.
Growing up, I was football mad, playing it, watching it I couldn’t get enough of it as every young lad will agree.
How My Love For Football Dwindled
It was in the mid to late 80s, and throughout the 90s to the early/mid-2000s that football was proper to me. I would say from 2010 onwards, the game has got too much money-orientated too much celebrity hype.
It’s more of showbiz entertainment now.
Gone were the days of it just being pure football they play on carpet nowadays, you have red boots, blue boots, white boots, fluorescent…….. What happened to just plain old Black boots?
The balls are lighter now, the new or update offside rule is ridiculous, and don’t get me started on that stupid VAR! I’ve only just accepted goal-line technology!
Football unfortunately these days is a business, we’ll still love it to the moon and back but someone has ripped away something from the game – what that is I’ll let you decide.
As my dad used to say to me, football now is all money and politics.
These days you have Cristiano Ronaldo, and Harry Kane the list goes on that these Gen Z or Gen Alphas now are their heroes growing up.
You can see the difference in the caliber of players now, the game has totally changed; the pace is much faster, and dare I say it; the quality is miles better.
Club Ownership in Football Has Further Ruined The Game!
Until ownership came into the game from close by to far, far away, it has ruined the game, money gets involved and all hell breaks loose. Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and made them a force to be reckoned with, bringing in the right manager and money for players.
That’s what it is now, foreign investors from the far East, the U.S., and even Europe all over the world buy football clubs and just pump money into the club. Is that right? Do they even know the history of the club? I don’t think they do.
Yes, in all fairness it is good for the club to get the money to buy players, but is it the right way to go?
The point I’m making is that all football clubs up and down the country have some sort of ownership that takes something out of the club.
Then when Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore took over the club, it was like déjà vu. They tried to get too much involved as did Tony Fernandes who has very rightly taken a step back.
I respect them whether it’s the right decision or wrong decision. They are in charge of the game and they have to final say not the players or the manager who throw a paddy at the calls they’ve made.
We don’t want that to change, we’re quite happy as it is. Why fix something, that’s not broken?
The Clubs I Fell In Love With – Family Fanship Tail
Liverpool so nearly became a franchise when George Gillett and Tom Hicks bought the club.
They didn’t have a clue, and that’s why I got fed up and walked away. Is there such a thing as a bad supporter, not just for football, but for anything?
I will admit, growing up I was a Liverpool fan. The likes of Ian Rush who was my hero to Robbie Fowler were the icons of that Liverpool era along with the likes of Steve Nicol, Jan Molby, John Barnes, Jamie Carragher to Steven Gerrard. Those were the players my friends and I would look up to.
These days you have players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, and Kylian Mbappe – the list goes on that Gen Z and Gen Alphas like, they are their heroes growing up.
From Liverpool To QPR
I started going up to Loftus Road with my mate to watch QPR, which got more regular. I began to go up on my own and follow them home and away and on the way made some great friendships with guys from my local area.
Before I knew it, I was a fan and had been a season ticket holder for ten years before covid. It was much easier to get to than Anfield! I think the term armchair fan is very true but also distressing for some.
Your Grandad will say that your Dad, Uncles, Brothers, and my nephews will be saying that in 20 years time I’d imagine, it’s a generation thing. I very nearly convinced one of them to start supporting QPR but failed.
How I Became The Odd One Out of The family
I wanted them to experience the joy and heartache of being a Queens Park Rangers fan, going to games with me eventually.
All my family seems to be Manchester United fans, armchair fans I call them, they never go to a game! I’ve even been to a couple of away games up there vs QPR, yes we lost but the experience is surreal.
Nowadays though, I have not got much time for football as I’ve said before that will come back I’m sure. I’m more interested in observing a game now and the goings on, on, and off the pitch.
Football Is Pure Passion
You go to a game to support your team and enjoy the atmosphere, the banter between friends and family, a cheeky pie & chips, and a pint or two, not see the violence from fans or racial abuse which should not be condemned at all.
The behavior of fans at games that provoke reactions from the crowd is so unwelcoming to those who want to watch a decent game of football.
You don’t want to have to turn around and see a section of the crowd erupt causing trouble and you miss a vital goal or moment of the game.
Trying to visit all 92 grounds in the football league can be very exciting to a point. You mix with the home fans and away fans enjoy the game as a neutral always brings a smile to your face – you’re not there suffering with your own team (there have been a few with QPR!)
I can remember going to Manchester City’s old ground Maine Road back in the old Division Two with my friend. We stopped at a service station for a bite to eat.
Sitting a few tables in front of us was a family of four all wearing the Carlisle United kits. Obviously, going to whoever they were playing that day.
That’s nice to see. Something special for them as a family, it’s what you want to see not disorder from the fans.
Why I stopped Supporting England
Euro 2020 did it for me; the England vs Germany game was the turning point. Yes, England beat them – well done but the fact that the fans just cause havoc is just out of order.
We want to enjoy football especially as it’s the Euros or World Cup because it unites people together.
All you have to do is look at the final between England vs Italy, an embarrassment to the game.
All the fans storm into the ground before kick-off, attacking stewards, and stealing people’s seats.
Why would you want to take your child to that kind of environment? It’s sickening. Is this a sign of hooliganism coming back? Are we heading back to the 70s and 80s?
Hate me if you want, but I have no time for England now, especially at major tournaments. It turns you off and it’s sad to see in the modern game of football.
I wouldn’t even call England world-class. Is Harry Kane world-class? No. He’s a very good player, yes.
But has he won the Premier League, Champions League, Euros, or even World Cup? No.
Apart from Jordan Henderson has any member of the England team won the Champions League? No.
Have England won a major tournament since 1966? No. They’ve come close of course, but if you’re not first, you’re last.
England beat Germany 5-1 in their own backyard in 2001 and they still go on about it.
But Germany have won a World Cup since then in 2014, been runners up in 2002, beaten by a talented Brazil side, and 2008 and 2016 in the Euros!
Some Football Fans – Another Ugly Side Of The Game
Today’s game is being ruined by fans who are looking for trouble or want to make a scene.
It’s awkward for the people who love their club or even the game who just want to enjoy the match and the day. We can’t control that, unfortunately.
The only people who can control it are the individuals themselves. It has to stop.
I think younger fans of today don’t see it, but that’s just time moving on. For me, my generation, it’s different. You grow up respecting the game, the legends of your club, and even the referees!