Having never started a blog with a revelation, I thought now might be a good time to admit something for the first time.
Just one week ago, I was reluctantly ready to relinquish my Wolves Blog duties and file my final report through dewy eyes.
With an increasingly hectic business to manage, a marriage to maintain and my all-consuming son’s little football team to evolve, time has become a precious commodity, you see.
Thankfully, a get-together with some of the most fervent and passionate supporters on this site not only changed my mind, but told me to stop taking life so bloody seriously in the first place.
A disparate group of die-hard Wolves fans, who’s DNA might never be truly understood by a modern day football club, met at the Park View Hotel before the Carlisle game.
Having only ever conversed from the anonymity of my laptop, I honestly didn’t know what to expect when meeting theDOOGooder and co for the first time, who could quite easily feel underwhelmed by the company I offered upon arrival.
The experience itself was something I will genuinely treasure and one that has reaffirmed my love for Wolves Blog and our special club as a whole.
There was something quite surreal about listening to Lynx’s explanation for his random avatar, for example, which derived in part from his Lincolnshire home and the fact he has hideously furry ears.
Even more surreal was the fact I wanted to stroke his ears, along with his hand-made Lynx identity badge.
Then there was Colin, a guy who’s provided one or two contrasting views to my own during our most miserable of recent seasons, who made the effort to come along and have a beer and say hello. It meant a lot.
Brompton Wolf, a nutcase who even designed his own Wolves Blog T-shirt especially for the occasion, was as generous with his kind words as theDOOGooder was with his wallet, who insisted on buying me a beer.
And stuWolf, clad in new home shirt, briefly became the head of the harem as we formed a mini- circle to touch his glistening Puma cloth.
The Doog was the guy I noticed first, a blue-eyed beacon in the beer garden who had knitted proceedings together so effortlessly (and videotaped all for posterity).
Along came Sleachy, who owed his own Wolves Blog name to a bunch of university mates who mingled some Latin together with a slug. Not that this sounds remotely interesting.
Twixfix festooned us all with appropriate chocolate snacks and Clive from Houston – a man who quite possibly wiped my arse when I was in nappies – generally shimmered.
While I have known Clive as my dad’s (Scooped) best friend for as long as I can remember, I had never known him to be so generous.
Where I was expecting obligatory piss-take upon arrival (he did say I looked like a f**king pirate), I received a Texas shot-glass, a Houston Rockets car sticker and an appropriate piece of Texas Bullshit!
Everyone who met before kick-off – Mark Davies included – shared one common bond. My close friend Thomas Baugh created that common bond, so I must leave the last word to him, as he delicately negotiated my whiny threat to quit last week:
“Time is an issue for me also,” said Thomas. “When I started out, I was living up in Stoke, with nothing else to do in the week. It’s very different now.
“I’m sitting there adding points to the Prediction League table and I think ‘what the hell am I doing?’
“But I reconcile that against the fact that what we do brings genuine pleasure to people’s day-to-day lives. Even if it’s just 10 minutes in their coffee break, they value what we do.
“I’m always motivated by the untold messages from people all around the world saying how invaluable the blog is to them.
“People like Jerry, a disabled fan who hadn’t been to a game for years. Through the blog I was actually able to find someone to go and sit with him at MK Dons. As a consequence he was there for that amazing day. He’s also made a great friend in the process.
“Then there’s Chris, who has been on HMS Westminster for the last two years, reading our blogs from inside a steel tube somewhere out at sea. It’s bonkers.
“That’s what motivates me.”
To everyone in that sunny beer garden on Saturday and to anyone who has ever visited Wolves Blog, thank-you so much.
You’ll hear from me again soon!