MY Irish grandfather was an international referee so my mum caught the football bug early on and Match of the Day featured heavily in our household.
She was a fierce Liverpool and Ireland supporter with a daughter who followed Manchester United and England.
I remember leaving Ireland to visit mum in London to watch a cliffhanger England versus Portugal match with her. On my Ryanair flight, I met a pleasant and jovial chap and we got chatting. I babbled on about my excitement about the forthcoming game and rabbitted on about football.
He let me rant on without interruption till I asked if he had any interest in football? I wanted the plane to take a nosedive when he said ‘yes I do know a bit about it – I am Liam Brady’.
Brady was capped 72 times for the Irish national football team and found success with Arsenal where he won the FA Cup in 1979 and in Italy with Juventus. I was mortified but we had a laugh about it.
Now we have England in Euro 2021 and top of their group. My heart goes out to Scotland but the sounds of cheery ‘Enggggland’ chants after their win against the Czech Republic could be heard throughout Fuengirola. After this dreadful pandemic, it was thoroughly wonderful to see happy smiling faces.
So England now faces Germany, Portugal, France, or Hungary on Tuesday. I cannot wait – so COME ON ENGLAND – we can do it!