52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Sports

This is the 15th challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 15 – Sports

I was quite sporty as a child. I played football (soccer) for my school team and during sports lessons I also played cricket and rugby. My other sporting passion at school was athletics. I was pretty quick at the sprint events – 100 and 200 yards (before we became all continental and changed to meters). I also held the school record for my age group at the long jump. I competed in Leeds school events at swimming and athletics – and have some certificates to prove it.

Running Certificate

Outside of school me and my brother played in a rag tag of a local football team made up of friends and other hangers on. We weren’t very good as a team but it was still good fun.

After I left school and got a job I played football for my works team and also for a team called North Park in the Bradford Red Triangle league.

I stopped playing football in my late 20’s – apart from the odd 5-a side game.

Perhaps all this sporting activity is one reason why I now have dodgy knees and according to the GP will need at least one of them replaced before too long.

My local football team is Leeds United. I have supported them since the mid 1960’s when I went to my first game at their Elland Road ground. We had a brilliant team for about ten years up to 1975 winning domestic and European competitions. Since then the fortunes of the club have been really up and down. Right now the club is on the rise again and I think within two or three years we might be back and holding our own in the English Premier League. Here’s a link to The Mighty Mighty Whites website – the definitive history of Leeds United.

My dad was more of a rugby league fan and he supported the Leeds team. This is seen as more of a northern working mans game – unlike that cissy game of football, at least that’s what my dad thought. Every time Leeds United lost he would utter the immortal phrase “bloody mugs” and try to get me and my brother to switch our support to the rugby team. We still often repeat that phrase when Leeds United lose – and I’m sure dad will be smiling each time.

In 1996 the rugby league game in England had a bit of a makeover and the Super League was created. They switched from playing in the winter months to playing in spring and summer. All the teams were required to change their names – so the local team was now Leeds Rhinos. They compete against teams like Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants.

This commercial transformation has certainly helped the sport and I must admit that I quite enjoy watching the games on TV now.

I don’t recall my mother ever having a passion for sport. Although she does quite easily get caught up in the moment especially when the family is together watching a game involving one of the local teams on the telly. She can shout and scream with excitement at the players when they do something daft or at the referee when he makes a “wrong” decision.

My wife is a big tennis fan and we have been to the Wimbledon Championships a few times over the years and to see the Great Britain team in the Davis Cup competition.

These days we are armchair sports fans – although Jayne does run round the block regularly . We will watch most things on TV – football, rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, motor racing, snooker, swimming, athletics, speedway, show jumping, American Football, baseball and even darts if their is nothing else.

I am really looking forward to the Olympics coming to London in 2012. We are hoping to get tickets in the public ballot. I’d like to get to see the athletics in the Olympic Stadium but I guess that is going to be extremely popular and over subscribed. So we will need to have some other options – perhaps gymnastics, swimming, equestrian events or even beach volleyball. Whatever we get to see the experience will be amazing.

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