Well what a night for Our Wee Country!
When the block booking tickets came out last year I couldn't scrape together the shillings to buy one and didn't get a ticket for the game last night - so I watched the match on a strangers phone in the queue into a bar and then with a lot of other random strangers! We sang our hearts out, hugged and cried and danced and talked about France. Grown men were weeping all around me and then Shaftesbury Square was turned into a party zone/dance zone/GAWA mass audition for the X Factor. Ladies were popping bottles of champagne and lads were downing bottles of Belfast Wine faster than they could book their flights to France! There were even a couple of lads doing the bouncy on top of a bus shelter! Then the second wave of supporters came down from Windsor and joined in the party! It was one of those moments that everyone will remember for the rest of their lives! It was proper magical!
I love football. Playing, watching, coaching and now writing about it! The book I wrote over the summer follows a Polish kid as he transitions into life in Belfast ... It focuses on the simple diary of a kid who loves football, then tackles racism and shows how one kid unintentionally weaves a street together. It's on the first wave of editing and still has a bit to flesh out - after last night I might shift the timescale slightly and put that special night into it.
But as I was walked the streets of Belfast last night I had shivers as I witnessed the dream of unity so many of us carry for this nation happen, in a small part, before my eyes. It was a special night!
So I'm off to plan the Kickstarter appeal for the book and work as hard as Davis & co in the hope that I can give this country something else to be proud of just in time for June 2016, in the form of another excellent summer read!