Behind every football mad man is a great woman resisting the urge to strangle him. We all know what attracts glamorous women to professional footballers, but what do our delightful Brits have to offer their long suffering partners?
Everyone's favourite British community football team have enjoyed an early Christmas break with the public holiday leaving the fixture list clean for the recent weekend. It gave the wives and girlfriends (WAGS) a chance to spend some quality time with their hard working footballing beaus. Some were less than thrilled: "It was difficult", said one of the unfortunates. "Normally I get to have some peace and quiet on a Sunday afternoon or evening, if he is around I have to listen to him go on about the football and complain about why there is no football to play". Others admit to taking the time to do some tidying around the house or enjoying some mindless television programme like Sex and the City whilst draped on the sofa eating chocolate. Others are frustrated at having valuable drinking time interrupted by the game. "We do everything together" confessed one WAG, "but on Sunday I have to entertain myself while he goes off to play." Our intrepid reporter pursued the conversation asking why the devoted partner does not attend the matches with their love. "What? Football? In the cold?" came the derisive reply.
Some of the significant others do attend, providing much needed vocal support or even photos and videos. This dedication has its limits, as the temperature drops and the kick off times get later. "I like watching him play", enthused the committed girlfriend, and I didn't know the other players at first, but once they had their names on their shirts it became much easier to shout at them when they did something wrong!"
For other players, the relationship provides a profound, tightly woven support structure that embraces him in a warm fluffy blanket of adopted family bosom warmth. His girlfriend regularly drives him to games and he often arrives in the changing room with a now infamous tote bag containing a classic Spanish care package from his in laws. "He is a growing boy" his future mother in law fussed. "If he doesn't have some tortilla, or a Bocadillo de Jamon, who knows how he would have the strength to terrorize opposition defences so?"
Other partners have been known to involuntarily accept kit washing duties and children have occasionally made appearances, although with varying degree of success. One such supportive offspring wailed relentlessly from the stands as a game was played, shouting with painful wrath at the opposition for hurting their Daddy.
The support network is not always that strong, other WAGS have things to do. Once recently moved city whilst the unfortunate player was away and another player still remains defiantly unattached, if not strictly single. He has struggled to convince any of his weekend interlopers to brave the cold and cheer him on to a sporting happy ending.
Commitment to such a team sport can leave partners frustrated and feel a little unloved. Sometimes the camaraderie and dedication can cause friction. Players have been known to pace the sideline prior to matches to soothe angry girlfriends. Other team members can often gauge the quality of their team mates Sunday by how early he will arrange pick up in the car. If it is full hour before kick off, he is clearly desperate to get out of the house, or has his parents in law are in full siesta mode on the sofa.
The latest cause of tension has been the team Christmas social, to which wives and girlfriends have not been invited. One player soothed his lover's angst by explaining the evening as such..."It will be a bunch of English men eating curry, drinking beer and talking about football." His Spanish partner enthusiastically declined the desire to attend.
Yet the growing fame and success of the "happy few" may lead to more time alone for the devoted ladies. It has recently been suggested that a women's team could be started for the partners to get their taste of Británico team spirit. Perhaps a symbolic team can be made, just so we can line up our ladies to pose together and smile for the camera, before they ravage the red wine and gin whilst bonding over their failure to keep their man in the house on a Sunday.
The boys would all like to thank their patient partners who gain no fame, fortune or glory from their commitment to an Exile player, but we all know without them, we would be unable to ensure kit was washed at the right temperature or specially maintained athletic diets would not be kept in line. We thank you all.
The team will be in Gallagher's late on Friday 14th December for their Christmas social. It is unlikely that many WAGS will be in attendance. So maybe come down and enjoy the beery football chat