A few weeks ago my middle daughter said the words that all Daddies have longed to hear, “Daddy will you take me to a football match?” I was surprised to hear these words from any of my daughters as, just like their mother they have never shown any interest in the world of sport at all!
What had happened was a few months ago I had won tickets to watch the ATP World Tour final (Tennis) at the 02 and had taken the eldest. My middle daughter therefore felt she was due some daddy daughter time and knew that I love football as much as tennis so decided to ask if we could go. I mentioned this to a friend that had joined us for Sunday dinner. He is an avid Wolves fan and told me that they were doing a family day when they play Blackpool and would I like to attend with middle D so I jumped at the chance.
A few days before the match I started to feel nervous. This was the first football match that I had attended as a father and I was worried on how she would take it and if we might have to sit next to some idiot with a foul temper and a fouler mouth. Also the week before the match Sir Jack Hayward the former owner of Wolves had passed away and therefore before that match there was going to be a special memorial for him.
We arrived at the match which was packed to the brim with supporters both old and young. A panic set in as my little girl felt like a dot compared to all these football supporters.
We entered the ground and sat down in our seats when my daughter said the words all dads dread “ Dad I need the loo!”. Being a father with three girls means taking your innocent sweet darlings into the dreaded mens toilets which are usually a smelly, wee soden place in which no man or child would want to sit. Taking your daughter into the mens toilet at a football stadium however is like this but 100 times worse! We had to queue up and wait for a cubical and then I had to hold her in the air because no child should have to sit on what was available!
We left the toilet and sat down again and the watched the celebrations of Sir Jack’s life. The crowd began to sing “ He is one of our own, Jack Hayward is one of our own” and some balloons were released and then the match began. Ten minutes into the match my daughter said those dreaded words again “Dad I need another wee!”. We had to push past all the supporters and make our way to the toilets which this time was deserted and she did her 2nd mid air wee!
We sat back down and started to enjoy the match… Well I did! My daughter spend the first half of the match enjoying her packet of sweets and the 2nd half of the match trying to beat up our friends teenage son while he enjoyed the action. With the match still 0-0 I noticed a father behind me who had taken his daughter to the match. He too must had heard those dreaded words and was making his way to the toilets. I felt sorry for the guy as during that visit Wolves scored a goal and the whole place went mad, When he returned he looked slightly miffed!
After the match I asked my daughter if she had enjoyed the game which she replied no and that she thought it was lame! To be fair I doubt I would take her again as I think she was more interested with the singing in the crowd and the sweets than with the football. Also there was a lot of swearing during the match. Blackpool have a player called Jamie O’Hara who used to play for Wolves previously and left under very bad terms with the supporters therefore every time he had the ball he was subjected to a load of abuse comparing him to a oversize ladies front bottom! I love sport and I enjoyed the match even if it wasn’t my beloved Liverpool however I had to accept the fact that just like my wife, my daughters just ain’t the sporting type.