Four days after the game and I still can’t bring myself to watch the highlights. Maybe I never will. Just pretend it never happened, or simply dismiss it as a bad dream. There were certainly dreamlike qualities to the occasion as I effectively made up the entire away following for the club I have supported since childhood. You couldn’t make it up.
Altrincham v Chester in the National League North Play-Off Elimination Round. An enormous game by any standard. Official attendance: zero. However, those at home watching the live stream may have spotted a grown man in short trousers stood among the flapping Altrincham flags on what is traditionally the away end. Reader, I was that fan.
The wonderful world of journalism has provided me with many privileges over the years, from playing football with Keegan, darts with Bristow and snooker with Davis. But a ticket for a match with no tickets is an honour that almost justifies the decades of deadlines and despair. On that terrace, at that time, there was nowhere on earth I’d rather be.
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July 26, 2020