When I decided to write this series of blogs, it took me all of 30 seconds, to know I would start with football. It’s the most popular sport in England and I guess, the world too. Like most 6/7 year old boys, I choose a team to support and I have stayed faithful ever since (well Almost). If you read my last post to the end, you will know it’s Chelsea!

These days Chelsea are know as one of the “big six”. These are the six teams that are said to have a chance of winning the English Premier League, and indeed, Chelsea have won it 5 times in recent years. But the team, 7 year old me supported, was not so successful. The only time I saw them win anything was in the 1969-70 season, when they beat Leeds United 2-1 in a FA Cup reply. Back then the FA Cup seemed so much more important and teams always put out their best sides. I still remember players like, Peter Bonetti, Ian Hutchinson, Ron Harris and the great Peter Osgood! (look them up)

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As well as being a big fan of Chelsea, there are a few teams that I have developed a soft spot for over the years. Most of you will not have heard of Doncaster! But Doncaster has, not one, but two teams I still follow. Doncaster Rovers and the Doncaster Belles. “Why Matt?” I hear you say. Well back in the late 1990’s I moved to Doncaster and lived there for over 10 years. The CEO of the company I worked for was a massive Doncaster fan, and became the Chairman of the Belles for a couple of seasons. We often went to games together (free tickets). The other team, and I never thought I would ever say this is, Manchester United, OMG! There are two reasons for this, the first being Mourinho, who bought so much success to Chelsea, and the second is a little more personal. One of the guys I work with here at STATSCORE, is the biggest Man U fans I’ve ever know. When they have won, it’s always nice to walk into the office and see his happy little face ha ha (you know who you are).

I can’t talk about football and not mention, England! My national team. Now, some of you will know that I was born in 1961, which turned out to be a great year for blog writers, and I was alive when we won the World Cup! (can’t say I remember it). So, as an England fan, the last 50 years has been. We are the champions! Followed by, disappointment after disappointment as we have slowly fallen down the world rankings. It’s no easy gig, supporting the team with the worst ever penalty shoot out record. To be fair, we normally qualify very well, but once the main event starts, it all goes down hill very quickly. The best England team I ever saw, was Terry Venables’ squad from 1994-96. Results during this time included a 4-1 win over Holland and a penalty shoot out win against Spain! Yes, I know! A penalty shoot out WIN!

But is all this about to change? We have just had our best world cup for 28 years and the last match we played (at the time of going to press) was a 3-2 win over Spain. I for one feel very positive (at last) and it’s all due to Gareth Southgate, who’s doing a great job and is like a breath of fresh air. We just love the waistcoat!

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