Love and football

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As I have already told you. I was in love with a Dutch girl whilst at school. She was from Rotterdam, so it made sense to support her team Feyenoord and I felt I was ahead of the crowd in the UK when I was able to champion their win against Celtic in the European Cup final of 1970.  It also made sense to take up the banner for Ajax especially when they played their total football and won three European Cups in a row. I have thus felt an affinity with Dutch football since then. I remember going off to work in 1974 after the Neeskens penalty sure that the Dutch would beat West Germany in the World Cup Final. I was distraught when I returned to find they had lost. Four years later it was the same. Even my mother enjoyed the football of the Dutch team in 1978!

Utrecht though… they are my new team. My son lives in the City, so it makes sense. I know from my nerdy sports statistic days that Utrecht once played in the European Cup, back in 1958, when alas they lost to Sporting Lisbon. Will they ever return to the Champions League? If my home team Leicester can win the English Premier League, then maybe there is hope for Utrecht.

It’s good to see the steady march up the table to fifth place under Jean-Paul de Jong. It’s great that a man who gave so much as a player to Utrecht is now in charge. It makes sense and I hope he does well.

The 4-1 win at Roda is just the icing on the cake and it looks like Europa Cup football again next season.

I am looking forward to my next trip to Utrecht when I will be visiting Stadion Galgenwaard to watch F C Utrecht in action.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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