In these days of intense football rivalry and none more so than here in Birmingham between Villa and Blues it was refreshing to see both sets of fans put aside that rivalry to make a wonderful gesture towards a young Villa supporter who sadly passed away after illness.
Seven year old Jack Edwards was a Villa fan who recently and very sadly lost his battle with leukaemia. Villa fans held a minutes’ applause in the game v Newcastle and Blues supporters were planning to do the same in the game against Preston.
To see both sets of supporters coming together as one is truly heart-warming and restores faith and more importantly pride in our city’s football heritage.
Every one of us is someone’s Mom, Dad, Granddad, Grandma, Brother, Sister, Son or Daughter and can relate to this family’s sad loss.
What would be fantastic is that both sets of supporters have a minutes’ applause on the 7th minute in memory of Jack during the upcoming ding dong derby at St Andrews.
Sometimes we can get a false picture of the game with a lot of national media stories that show the game in a bad light and the reality is that they would rather report a war than a wedding. That is just the way it is and what sells newspapers and glues people to TV screens.
But recently we have had some other wonderful examples of the other side of the game. Just recently Everton made a £200,000 pound donation towards lifesaving surgery for a 5 year old Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery who is suffering from neuroblastoma and was mascot for the Wearsiders in their game against the Merseysiders.
These issues put football into perspective as anyone of our families could find themselves in a similar situation.
Villa, Blues, Baggies and Wolves all have All Star charity football teams made up of former legends that want to put something back into the game. Between them they have helped raise millions for local worthwhile causes.
These are the sort of things that don’t get much media coverage but they help to restore a little faith in a game that increasingly appears to love money more than it does football.