When I finally got the nomination reduced to 150 words it said, “Spurs Fan is a star, who’ll always go above and beyond what’s required, and whose contribution is often taken for granted. He has coached student and youth football in NI for 15 years. He works in West Belfast and coaches soccer and Gaelic football. An Englishman, Spurs Fan had to learn about Gaelic football in order to coach it. He worked hard; his teams progressed through leagues and won the top local primary school competition. A feature of Spurs Fan’s coaching is the encouragement to all to take part. The emphasis is on attitude towards sport and fair play. Keen to ensure that everyone has a change to participate in sport; Spurs Fan now coaches the junior girls’ teams of the local Gaelic club. I believe that Spurs Fan is a model of how sport builds connections and communities. He works to ensure that children get the opportunity to take part, have fun and achieve.”
It’s true, I was in gushy mode, but even that’s only half the story. There could have been hundreds of words about how he copes with chronic illness in the family, how he coped, and helped us all cope, with Herself’s terminal illness and its inevitable result.
Spurs Fan keeps us all on track. He provides the balance, coping with whatever chaos life throws at him. He makes sure we function. He never knows whether I’ll be happily ditsy, a buzzing loon who’s trying to do all the things, or unconcious and totally useless on the sofa. Whatever it is, he manages. There is food. The girls get nutrition, clean clothes and chauffered to their activities. He does all the driving. When I need to be somewhere, or am all distracted doing worthy things full of worthiness and angst, he makes sure everything at home gets done, and picks up the pieces when I get back.
This morning, the girls are making banners. There are texts and phone messages. Warm wishes from across the world. Nana and Grandad are here- nothing could have kept them from their wee boy’s moment.
That’s today. When we all get to support Spurs Fan during his moment in the sun (although rain is expected).