‘Grandad, hurry up, the game’s about to start.’
The excited hum of the crowd filled the young lad’s ears, his nose thrilled as the mixed aromas of burgers, pies and samosas wafted temptingly on the waiting air. The old man struggled awkwardly towards him and took his seat next to the boy.
Just in time. The players were emerging from the tunnel, ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ blazed from the surrounding speakers and a huge roar went up around Molineux.
‘Grandad’, said the boy as the initial noise abated somewhat and the captains exchanged handshakes, ‘tell me about the old days again. The time BCV. Is it REALLY true that people actually went to see football games inside the stadiums?’
The man nodded.
‘And did some of them travel miles and miles and then have to queue for ages to get in?’
More nods, and a slight smile from the old man.
‘And did they have to sit on uncomfortable seats, get cold and wet when it rained and then be stuck in traffic jams for hours before they could get home?’
‘They certainly did!’, agreed his grandfather, sighing at the memory.
The players were getting into their prematch huddle and the old man made final adjustments to the boy’s Virtual PremEuroleague Suit. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the atmosphere of Molineux filled his senses.
The young fan settled down in his heated, padded seat which vibrated gently as the excitement rose in the virtual crowd.
He whispered one last thing to his grandfather before the VAR referee in Stockley Park blew his virtual whistle.
‘It must have been awful grandad’.
The old man slumped almost imperceptibly in his chair as he called to mind match days from long ago.
Dazzling sunlit afternoons when the men in Old Gold thrilled a packed Molineux. The South Bank in full cry as yet another ‘Top Six’ team was put to the sword. Magnificent misty European nights illuminated magically by fireworks and floodlights.
Friendships made in the stands and on the terraces of The Golden Palace and cemented in the cosy, beery snugs of local hostelries.
A single tear ran softly and slowly down the lines of his face as he gently gripped his grandson’s hand in his.
His voice quivered with emotion.
‘You’ll never know just how awful.’
He said quietly.
Looking for something useful and positive to do to pass the time until we’re back in the ground? How about betting on some obscure games of football?