Its Old Year’s Night as I sit here and write this – so a Happy New Year to all, wherever in the world you may be. As they say up in Scotland, ‘lang may yer lum reek’ (long may your chimney smoke).
The most exciting thing about the new year, of course, is that tomorrow’s home match against Bradford City is, barring freak overnight weather of biblical proportions, on. The opposition is of particular interest to me, as Bradford is the city I was born in, so it has some sentimental resonance. This particular matchup always brings back reminders of the terrible events of the Valley Parade fire in 1985, which saw 56 supporters lose their lives. The fire actually has some freaky coincidences for me. It happened on 11th May – my mum’s birthday. It happened in Bradford, where I lived at the time, against Lincoln, where I would move the following year. And the guy I now go to football with, my ex-girlfriend’s dad, was in the stadium that day. It was a terrible event, and one which both clubs rightly commemorate every time they play each other.
But back to tomorrow’s clash - the main question on everyone’s lips after over a month without a match is ‘rusty or refreshed’? Will the break mean that the players are fresh, energized, rehearsed and ready to tear the opposition to shreds? Or will it mean that they will creak like a rusty gate, look like they’ve had too much Christmas pudding, and barely be able to find a teammate with a pass? Bradford lost 4-0 in midweek, but at least they’ve played, and may be fired up after getting a managerial roasting. Only time will tell, and I’ll post a match review tomorrow.