The reaction to last night's elimination of both Manchester clubs from the Champion's League is causing me to look back on yesteryear with a hint of nostalgia. I'm not sure if I'm looking back on the past through rose tinted spectacles though. Has it always been this way? I hope not. Childhood memories of a nation coming together to support our representatives against the mighty Germans, Italians, Spanish or whichever other European upstarts stood in our way, would be shattered beyond repair. I'm not sure I can cope with anymore shattered childhood illusions. I'm still getting over the fact that cattle grids aren't for cows to wipe their feet on!
In my mind's eye my family was a typical family. My Dad and I huddled around a television watching an English team showing Europe that fancy tricks didn't always win the day. The team we were watching was not our team, but that night it was. They were England. It didn't matter that usually there were more Scots and Irish in the team than Englishman. On that night they were representing our league and our country. Whether it was Liverpool, Nottingham Forest or Aston Villa we supported them because we too got to bask in their reflective glory. I cheered goals from Alan Kennedy, Trevor Francis and Peter Withe as loud as if it had been scored at my beloved St James' Park.