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The fading smell of vomit mixed with disinfectant filled Chris’s nose as he made his away along the aisle to take his seat. He didn’t mind though because the atmosphere was amazing; the people shouting, the colourful bill boards and most of all the pitch - the place where the magic supposedly happened. It gave him butterflies in his stomach. The guy he had been sitting beside on the bus for an hour stank of smoke and urine so he was glad of the change and nothing was going to ruin his first football match.

Tommy smiled as he handed Chris a pie and a soft drink. “This is it son, do you like it? The home of the gods eh?” 
Chris Sputtered as a rogue piece of pie came out his mouth. “Yeah Dad It’s brilliant” 

“You’ll love it son, you will.” Tommy cuddled his arm around him and opened the beer can in his other hand.

The match had just started and Chris followed the cluster of the colours on the pitch; the green and white hoops of one side and the royal blue of the other, the players were moving so fast it was making him dizzy trying to keep track. He listened intently to the chants and songs of the crowd, one side leading the abuse followed by a reply from the other.

“What are they singing about Dad?”

Tommy opened another can. “I’ll tell you when you’re older. It’s nothing to worry about.”

“YEEEEAAAASSSSSSSS!” The explosion of noise made Chris jump out of his skin and he was almost knocked to the floor as the people around him sprung up as one, like a giant Jack in a box.

Picking Chris up and holding him until they were face to face, Tommy, almost in tears, kissed him on the forehead. Chris could smell the beer on his breath and pulled his head back a little. Tommy said “You’ll be playing for them one day son, people will come and watch you, I know they will”.

Chris beamed back at Tommy. “Can’t wait Dad, can’t wait.”
“What is it son?”
“I love you.”

Tommy held back the tears but wiped his face just to be sure “I love you too Son.”

The nearest supporters shot Tommy angry looks and “Tutted” disapprovingly as he drank the rest of his carryout. Tommy ignored them and carried on, joining in with the cheers and gasps of the rest. “I’m just going to the toilet son. I’ll be back in a minute, be good and don’t go anywhere”.

“Ok, I will and wont Dad”.

“This is where I sat the first time I was here”. Chris hugged Alex and sat him on the seat. “It was the last time I saw Granddad”. He added under his breath.


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