Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, for we soccer supporters, which came first for you – playing soccer or watching it on television?
Looking back to my childhood, I lived in a village of just a few hundred people in west Wales. My earliest memory of watching soccer on television was probably the FA Cup Final of 1976 or 1977. By then, I would have been six or seven years old. I fell in love with soccer by playing it at my local primary school.
If I tried to count the number of hours I played soccer with my friends during evenings, weekends and summer holidays, I would quickly lose count. When it wasn’t raining, I was always at the playground that was down the street from my terraced house. It was where my cousin and my mates from school would use our jumpers as goalposts and we would play impromptu soccer games for what seemed like hours each day. In the summertime, we would play until it got dark. And at that time of the year, it didn’t get dark until after 10 at night.
But my very first introduction to soccer most probably came during primary school which I entered when I was five. We had an asphalt yard immediately behind the school which was bordered by four walls. The class I was in was small, the only class for my age group. And we would have had approximately 12 children in there. Each morning, a crate of milk would be delivered to the classroom where each child was encouraged to take a glass bottle and to drink straight from the bottle. It was the “free school milk” program.
What about you? What are your first memories of being introduced to the sport and was it on television or playing the game? I look forward to reading your stories.