My love of football

Derek Dooley
Derek Dooley
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My personal memories of football begin in the 1940-1948 era.

I used to watch Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, when it was sixpence to get in.

It was then League North and South with less travelling and guest players. I remember two in particular, Frank Soo of Stoke City and Harry Medhurst of West Ham.

My favourite player for Wednesday at that time was Jackie Robinson and for United, Jimmy Hagan.

When they scored some brilliant goals, it was just a handshake from colleagues not all of this sliding on both knees and then all diving on top of each other and kissing.

My allegiance to Wednesday went out of the window when they sacked my hero Derek Dooley on Christmas Eve after he nearly lost his life for the club.

They have done it again, four days before Christmas, sacking the manager.

The manager is not playing, so in that case, it is the players who are to blame.

Now for the latter stages of my life, I am enjoying watching United as a season ticket holder in the South Stand and seeing honest footballers led by a good manager, Wilder, and assistant, Alan Knill, and all the staff.

A special mention to the ground staff because the pitch at Bramall Lane and the Shirecliffe training ground are in immaculate condition.

Another thing about modern football is the number of players wearing gloves even when it is 10 to 15 degrees.

I played amateur football when the temperature was – 4 and – 6 in Concord Park and got changed in a decontamination building with only cold water laid on.

It was that cold our laces iced up, and we never played in gloves.

If you run about enough and work you will not need gloves, in my opinion.

I still love football with all its faults. The standard of officials has got worse and I think the football league men should watch the rugby league and union players and officials and learn from them.

Brian Gannon

Sheffield, S5