In this post I would like to tell you about a strange and sad football experience that I had many years ago.
On May 6th 2006 I was studying in my first year at Northumbria University and it was coming to a close. To take my mind off my exams I went to a friend’s house to play on the Playstation and have a Chinese takeaway. My local football team, Middlesbrough FC, was doing well and made the UEFA Cup Final against Sevilla. My friend told me as I was leaving, 'I hope you get your UEFA Cup Final ticket tomorrow'. The next morning, I woke up and heard the sad news from my friend's mother saying he unfortunately hadn't woken up. My best friend had died in his sleep. I was shell-shocked and could not believe what I heard. I was extremely upset. Having to deal with the police was also a great shock, as my friends and I were the last people who had seen him alive.
I was really struggling to take in the sad news and I decided to meet a group of friends in a local bar to see the football results come in. At 4pm I received a call from the chief executive of Middlesbrough FC telling me that my application for tickets to the UEFA Cup Final was successful!
Eight years after my friend died, there was a lottery for the Real Madrid team to determine who would be given a ticket for the final. The magic about it was that the draw was performed on the exact anniversary of my friend's passing away, on 7th May 2014. After a difficult day at work, I got a phone call when I had finished saying that my ticket number had been randomly selected, and I was going to the final!
Both of these finals will live long in my memory. I will never forget either of them, despite Middlesbrough being on the losing side, and Real Madrid equalising in the very last minute to go on to winning their record breaking tenth title! I also happened to be behind the goal where all five goals were scored. I owe both of these football finals to the memory of my closest friend.
Have you ever had a memorable sporting experience?