I can still remember the excitement of getting into football and picking a team when I was a child and have long hoped that Dylan, Xander and Amelie will take after me and see the merits of the beautiful game. At just under three months old, Amelie can be forgiven for not showing much enthusiasm so far, but I’m pleased to report that, after a few false dawns, Dylan and Xander both seem to be developing an interest. Hurrah!
There are three key factors to this new-found fascination. First of all, Dylan has started going to an after-school football club so is learning how much fun playing the game can be. Then there’s the fact that the team I’ve supported since I was a little older than they are now – the mighty Tottenham Hotspur – have been having a belter of a season, so they’ve seen how excited I get about it.
Both of these lead to the crucial third factor – Sky Sports! In the same way that a key player can be central to a team’s fortunes, being able to watch the games that matter from the comfort of our own home seems to have consolidated the boys’ interest. And I’m delighted!
We watched the massive six-pointer between Man City and Spurs together last week and it was wonderful to see Dylan and Xander excitedly pointing out the players they recognised. Unsurprisingly, Harry Kane is the big favourite and, when he smashed his penalty past Joe Hart to put them one-nil up, we were all dancing round the living room.
Without wishing to sound soft, it really meant something to me that they were as happy about it as I was. Football has always been a shared passion with me and my dad – indeed, we still play five-a-side together every week – so I’ve always hoped that they would get into it too.
Of course, when I was young we only had four channels and the coverage was limited to highlights which were on way after my bedtime – and we didn’t have a video recorder back then either – plus one match on Sunday afternoons. As a result, I rarely saw my beloved Spurs in action. To swipe the slogan Sky used when it first broadcast the Premier League in 1992 though, it’s a whole new ball game.
We now have seven channels in HD, extended highlights of most league matches on Football First, on-demand highlights of memorable games from yesteryear – that serve to remind me that Spurs haven’t always been this good and to not get carried away! – as well as Soccer Saturday with the legendary Jeff Stelling. Not to forget Jim White Day twice a year!
Upgrade to Sky Sports and enjoy all seven Sky Sports channels in HD, plus get a £15 M&S e-voucher. This offer Ends at midnight on 25 February.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.