Being a supporter of a football club is not solely about winning. Being a supporter of a football club isn’t about being there for the success, only to shy away when the going gets tough. Supporting a club is about the camaraderie, the shared sense of belonging. It’s about the journey – the neverending rollercoaster of emotion which can cause tears of sadness one day, only to replace them with tears of happiness the very next.
Eight years ago on Wednesday I shed tears over football for the first, and only time. We had reached our lowest point – relegation to the third tier for the first time in our history. I, like many others, was crushed. Helpless. I promised never to cry over football again.
But today, that is a promise I may have to break – not through our rollercoaster reaching its lowest trench, but rather its highest ridge. Today, Leicester City Football Club have the opportunity to take us to a point on our journey that none of us truly ever thought possible. Today we have the opportunity to become Champions of England for the first time in our club’s illustrious 132-year existence. Today our team have the chance to cease being just players, but to become heroes instead.
They say that if you wish to support a club at its highest point, you must also be willing to support it at its lowest; however today, people from all over the world – many of whom may have never heard of our small city before this year – will be uniting to will on our small club to the unlikeliest of titles, hoping to see a conclusion to a real-life Cinderella story. And I have no qualms with this. This season gives hope to all of those who have been turned away, all of those who have been told that they will never achieve anything. To many, that could mean more than a trophy ever will to us.
But for those of us who cried in 2008; those who broke down in Cardiff in 2010, Watford in 2013, or any other time where we thought things couldn’t get any worse; what we have the chance to witness today will always be supremely special. More special than anything we have ever witnessed before.
Players may come and go, but heroes will never be forgotten. So go forth Leicester City. Go forth and, not only become heroes, but be crowned kings as well.
For all of us.