Will you marry me?

Amongst football-loving friends, I often get asked which team I followed first – partially down to the fact I seem to follow teams from anywhere and everywhere.

The obvious answer is Wales but I guess that goes without saying. I was brought up watching the Netherlands smashing us 7-1 and Italy putting 4 past us in the San Siro. But Wales is my country…. through thick and thin, as they say.

With regards to club sides, most people are surprised when I tell them my first team was not Wrecsam. As much as my birth-town's team are nowadays my first choice, they weren't the first side to whom I was drawn.
Others guess at Liverpool and, as much as the reds (and the city itself) have a special place in my heart, it wasn't them either.

****

I remember my dad taking me to the Prince of Wales pub in Leeswood many, many years ago. I must have been around 8 or 9.
It was there one of my dad's blue-nosed, toffee-munching, Evertonian friends would hand me little badges with Everton on (plainly to annoy my dad) every time I saw him. One day, however, he handed me a green and white pin badge that, alas, I can no longer locate. The team, the mighty Celtic, however, stayed in my heart. And there they've stayed ever since.

To be honest, I guess my love affair with the Bhoys from Glasgow town started that day – pretty much before I even knew what football was. I mean, I wore the shirts and kicked my tatty footballs around the garden but ask me to sit through 90 minutes and I'd have told you where to go. I was at an age where climbing trees and eating worms beat watching 22 men kick a ball around.

****

A little like me supporting a football club before I truly understood the game itself, I've always known who my best men would be even before I met the girl I'm marrying. There were only ever two boys I was going to ask.

To say too much now might ruin a segment of my groom's speech so, to keep it short, I simply hope that when I ask them later today, they'll agree to my request.

It's the only bloody decision I'm allowed to make at this wedding so they best not let me down.

Love you, gentlemen.

PS: Hope you like your cufflinks.

PPS: DON'T F*CKING LOSE THEM!

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