Story by Robin Popley
So, here it is, the night before the new League season (although both Cardiff and Huddersfield fans may disagree with me as they currently go at loggerheads). Just like every football fan, up and down the country, I have high hopes that my team will go onto achieve their pre-season billing. It should also be added that – like all fans – I like to experience a feeling of nostalgia in my dreams, the night before the big kick off, always hoping that one of the current crop will emulate the former inhabitants of my team’s insignia. My heroes, Steve Walsh, Paul Dickov and Muzzy Izzet, all provided short-lived joy in my life with the actions that they bestowed upon the hallowed turf, formally at Filbert Street and now at the King Power Stadium.
Yet, it has not always been nice being a Leicester fan as there have also been times of sadness, like that day at Stoke in 2008 when their jubilation was met in contrast by our sorrow. Relegation to England’s third division for the first time in our proud history. Therefore, if there is anyone who knows of the highs and lows a fan can experience, I am DEFINITELY your man.
I always see tonight in the same light for football fans as Christmas Eve is to the world’s population. There is an unrivaled expectation, a unification of hope and anxiety and moreover, the ecstasy of that final reward. Promotion, a title. Champions League, Europa League and Domestic Cup victory. Something to cherish for generations.
The over-riding feeling to come from this summer was progress. As we saw, Roy Hodgson has overseen a number of wholesale changes, as well as having had a relatively successful tenure as the England manager to date. Yet, it was his midweek win over our European Championship usurpers, Italy, which impressed me the most. The building for the future, the legacy, the present. That same feeling was experience throughout the whole of our very successful Olympic games and should also carry on through to the Paralympic games. National jubilation: the greatest gift after love and fondness.
Therefore, if our teams carry on the feel good factor we have witnessed – on the whole throughout the close season – I have no doubts that this will turn out to be just like Christmas. So, without further a do, I wish you and your team every success this season and we (at 11) will be there with you every step of the way.
Good luck (hope you’re reading this Nigel!)