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I played in midfield and was not one of the better footballers, even though I longed to be and could spend hours and hours banging a ball against an enormous wall during those endless, lazy, boring summer days, or sneak onto a grass pitch with a friend and take penalties for hours on end, but that was never the real point, that wasn’t why I played football, it was because it was always, without fail, fun. It was never boring. It was always exciting. And perhaps, I think now, everything else lost importance, that was the point, you did something together, everyone was in on it, no one was excluded, and you disappeared inside yourself. Playing football was like being somewhere, it was like your own world inside a world, with it’s own rules, where I was happy. Yes, for Christ’s sake, that was what it was all about: happiness. Being somewhere else apart from inside yourself.

I stumbled upon Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game. Why didn’t anyone tell me this book existed!