For as long as my girlfriend and I have been together, every game I have attended, I’ve tentatively asked “Do you want to come with me?” to which a polite “no, I’m ok” would generally be the reply. I’ve never hidden my love for Town, or has it ever been an issue. I understand that football isn’t for everyone, but ask for the same understanding that, for me, football is everything.
Game after game, the pattern would repeat itself:
“Fancy it?” “Nah, you go and have fun”
“Town are at home this weekend?” “I’m not bothered”
That was, until one sunny day, and must emphasise the importance of the sun, the pattern broke….“It’s the first game of the season; should be fun?” “Go on then, I’ll come”
Immediately I became a nervous wreck, the importance of this fixture had now become about more than just three points. For one afternoon, one measly afternoon, I wanted Huddersfield to be everything I knew they could be. So that she could see for herself why it matters, and why I care the way I do.
But it never happens, does it? Inevitably, the performance will be woeful, the atmosphere sour, and of course, that prick who sits a few rows in front and speaks utter drivel, will spend the entire game doing what he does best.
The first, and to my memory only, game my girlfriend has been subjected to was the 14/15 season opener. Which saw Huddersfield Town host AFC Bournemouth. The team we had beaten 5-1 in the repeat fixture the season previous, something my girlfriend would come to learn during the drive to the game.
Having arrived at the ground in good spirits the disappointment was seeping into her experience long before a ball had even been kicked as she claimed-“This hot chocolate isn’t very chocolatey?” foolishly I replied “Forget the drink, were here for the football”. Something I would instantly regret at 3:01pm, Town had not answered my prays and were already a goal behind. As I began to squirm on my seat, she turned to me and just smiled; it hurt me more than the goal itself. Sympathy, pure unadulterated sympathy rubbed straight into the goal shaped wound, left by Bournemouth winger Pugh.
The disappointment would continue throughout the afternoon, Town were lacklustre and the flavour of pie she had spent 45 minutes with her heart set on had sold out, this was not going to plan. Even ‘Terry the Terrier’ could not cheer her up.
2-0. 3-0. 4-0 with the aforementioned prick justifying his title, if not providing a little entertainment too. The best moment we had to cheer was a saved penalty. As the game entered the dying stages, we were treated to a rendition of “We’re gonna win 5-4, we’re gonna win 5-4”, after a some clarification of the lyrics, she would see find this amusing and appreciate the lighter side of losing.
As the final whistle came, it brought sweet relief with it for us both. My girlfriend, despite no necessarily caring herself, understood its significance to me, and allowed me 15 minutes of sulking before asking “So….What’s for tea?”
Something she would learn that Saturday is happiness is never a guarantee. I know this all too well, but this wont stop me asking if she’d like to join me, because however slim, there’s always that potential for happiness , and if it happens – when it happens – I want to share it. I want her next to me, and I want them to be swept away with happiness.
She is, if only be association, by her own admission a terrier, much to my delight and annoyance of her Leeds supporting father.
Ooh to be a…