View over the top of my book #20

I love watching football, and there aren’t many things that beat the thrill of a live match. Unfortunately, the distance from West Wales to East London prevents me seeing my team, West Ham United, play very often, but whenever I get the chance, I go and see Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium. While watching your own team play is always a nerve-wracking experience, there’s something wonderfully liberating and agony-free about watching a match as a neutral.

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As my Dad couldn’t make the Swansea vs Manchester United fixture yesterday, he lent me his season ticket so I could go in his stead. I’d not been to the Liberty Stadium yet this season, but it promised to be an exciting game, especially as the Red Devils came a cropper here not too long ago. As I went to the match on my own I took my book with me to read at half time. It drew a few stares, but beat watching the giant Swan mascot trying to save goals kicked by terrified youngsters at the far end of the pitch.

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I enjoyed the match, although, to be honest, Swansea were pretty dismal, and Manchester’s win with three goals to City’s one was more telling of Swansea’s poor performance than United’s flare. I’ve never heard the Swansea fans so quiet, with only one lukewarm rendition of ‘Hymns and Arias’, and even that was lacking the usual gusto. It’s a shame to see the club like this, although there is a silver lining – there’s just the sliver of a chance that on this form, West Ham might nick a point or three fro them when they play here on Boxing day. Fingers crossed!

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