A Prologue: James Richardson, Gianfranco Zola and Broadening Horizons

Sunday afternoon, 2pm, about 16 years ago. My father would sit down at this time every Sunday to watch the television. Why?  It was time for his weekly dose of Channel 4’s Football Italia presented by James Richardson (a man who I now fondly associate with my youth). That is my first vivid memory of football.

At first this 2-3 hours of live Serie A coverage was an inconvenience to me, one which took my fathers sole attention as he sat with his eyes fixed on the unfolding action. I would soon join him. Just a couple of years later I was bought my first Chelsea shirt, Zola 25 on the back staying true to my Anglo-Italian heritage. I say shirt, it was of course the full shebang (shorts & socks), an unwritten obligation for young children attending football camps across the country.

From that point on I had unwittingly taken the imaginary vows that many a football fanatic subconsciously take. That is to rejoice and suffer through the highs and lows of the beautiful game.

Times change. Horizons broaden. No longer does my sporting world revolve around the Chelsea result on a Saturday afternoon (so I try to tell myself). No I have come to realise that winning and losing is just a sub story. A sub story in a never ending plot which encompasses the thrills and spills of a blockbuster.

This blog not only delivers news, opinions and coverage on what happens in between those four white lines but also the social and political connotations outside them. While predominately focusing on my two greatest passions English and Italian football (grazie papá) I will also cover other social issues which are often magnified under the sporting microscope.

As interesting as the pre-match gossip, mid-match drama and post-match shenanigans are, it is often the political, social and historical nuances which add that extra bit of spice to games like El Clasico, Il Derby della Capitale (The Rome Derby), The Old Firm Derby (Rangers vs. Celtic) and numerous other rivalries.

Tensions run high as Real Madrid and Barcelona clash

Tensions run high as Real Madrid and Barcelona players clash back in 2010. (Photo from http://worldfootball.dailymail.co.uk/)

The Olympic Cauldron..Roma-Lazio

The Olympic Cauldron…Smoke, Flares, Passion and Emotion – all ingredients of the Rome Derby. (Photo from http://provenquality.com/)

Divisions in Glasgow go way beyond football as tensions run high between Celtic and Rangers fans (picture from lateam.fr)

Divisions in Glasgow go way beyond football as Celtic and Rangers fans face off in Old Firm Derby (picture from lateam.fr)


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