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Happy Holidays From EPL Talk: 2009


My earliest memory of the beautiful game is from my childhood in Wales playing football with my friends in the local playground. I was probably seven or eight years old. But the event that happened that really cemented my love of the sport was the Christmas morning when I woke up and found a black and white leather ball at the foot of my bed.

Thirty three years later, I can still remember the smell of that leather ball and can picture what it looked like. I was definitely a football player before I was a viewer, but I’m sure that ball was the connection for me from the playground to the television set as I began to sit down and watch the classic teams from the mid-to-late Seventies such as Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Liverpool, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and others.

So during this special time of the year, I want to take a few minutes to wish you and your family Happy Holidays. Whether you’re a new or veteran reader of EPL Talk, I want to thank you for being a loyal reader and coming back each day to read or listen to the latest articles, podcasts and videos about the greatest sports league in the world, the Premier League. It’s the love of that one little ball that has brought us all together from all corners of the globe.

I know it’s a busy time of the year for you, but if you have a few minutes, please share with the rest of the readers what your first (and favorite) soccer-related Christmas or Hanukkah present was by clicking the comments link below. I look forward to reading your answers.

Happy Holidays to you from EPL Talk and the team of bloggers.



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  1. man99utd

    December 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I was given a subbuteo table football game one Christmas. I was chuffed to bits, but of course this was prior to PS2 – 3, etc… It was the closest to the real thing, but very time consuming. Now days the lads and I set aside Boxing Day for all day football and the wife does her day after sale spree….everybody’s happy.

    • The Gaffer

      December 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm

      Same here. My favorite Christmas present of all time was a Subbuteo set I got in the late 70s/early 80s that I describe on the holiday episode of the EPL Talk Podcast at

      Every once in a while, I do some Google searches to see what’s going on in the Subbuteo world, which does exist. There’s a shop in Wales that specializes in creating players and accessories. Great stuff.

      The Gaffer

  2. Redmaniac

    December 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Hey Gaffer,
    what In the heck is that picture at the top of your post supposed to represent? Christmas? Winter solstice? What? Last time I checked the December holiday we have all celebrated for centuries is called Christmas! Don’t succumb to political correctness and say holiday, say what the holiday is, we footballing bunch aren’t politically correct and easily offended, that unless you trashing our favorite club.

    • The Gaffer

      December 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      Redmaniac, we have readers from EPL Talk from all over the globe and who, I’m sure, follow different relgiions. Yes, Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate Christmas. But I’m not going to offend my readers who don’t celebrate Christmas but celebrate other holidays. Christmas isn’t the only holiday that’s celebrated in December.

      The Gaffer

  3. Peter

    December 23, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Who do you support Gaffer? Just wanted to know as I have never actually known who you support.

    • Joel

      December 23, 2009 at 9:41 am

      He’s Welsh and supports Swansea City.

    • The Gaffer

      December 23, 2009 at 9:41 am

      I’ve supported Swansea City for the past 30 years. C’mon you Swans!

      The Gaffer

  4. Gary

    December 23, 2009 at 7:11 am

    I’ve only become a soccer fan about 5 years ago when a German colleague had a spare ticket to a Clsea v AC Milan friendly at Giants Stadium and asked if I’d like to come along. From that point on I’ve been an avid fan of Chelsea.

    A year or two later, I was able take my family to London and attend a September match between Chelsea and Charlton. My son Andrew, who by then had also become a Chelsea supporter, was in awe. Seeing his heros up close (and a nice 2-1 win with a beauty of a goal from Drogba) was an experience of his lifetime (even though he was only 8 at the time).

    That following Christmas my wife and I thought that we surprise Andrew and make it a very “Terry” Christmas. We were able to get both the JT England Home and Away kit (Shirt,Shorts,Socks), a JT Chelsea home kit, and even the JT model Umbro boots. Watching his eyes get wider and wider with the opening of each present is one of my favourite Christmas memories and I am sure his too!

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