An Old Blogger
One of the advantages of being an Old Blogger like me is that you can always find an anniversary to celebrate - although sometimes by I remember I am a day or two out as with this one.
10 years ago my son, Stephen and I saw a classic FA Cup Semi-Final at a full-house at Old Trafford in which Chesterfield (our Local League Team) played Middlesbrough of the Premiership.
We Was Robbed
Chesterfield rushed to a 2-0 lead, but the Bro pulled one back. The defining moment arrived when Chesterfield clearly scored a third that would have established a commanding lead.
The TV evidence showed the ball to be well over the Bro goal line, but the Ref and the Linesman did not see what had happened. The Bro then fought back and took a 3-2 lead.
In the dying seconds, Chesterfield broke down the right-wing. The ball was centred and took a high bounce for Jamie Hewitt to rise and head it into the net. It was a great 3-3 draw.
The fact that Chesterfield lost the reply 3-0 does not take away from us what very nearly happened - a dream trip to Wembley to see Chesterfield play in an FA Cup Final with the chance of becoming the first team outside of the top two Leagues to take the trophy.
The Politics Of Football
All of this occurred in the middle of the 1997 General Election Campaign when I was the Labour Candidate for North East Derbyshire, which is a huge "C" shape around Chesterfield itself. Tony Benn and his late wife Carolyn were on the same coach. Tony being Chesterfield's Labour Candidate.
We had to abandon our red Labour favours as that was the Bro's colours. We transferred to the Tory blue of Chesterfield.
Labour went on to win a landslide electoral victory with my own majority trebleling in size. But that would have been put in the shade if Chesterfield had been able to clinch the Cup.
Such a win would have brought Tony up to speed on soccer. For when we passed a crowd in red shirt and red and white scarves he was heard to say "Oh! Are they Bro supporters ?" Perhaps he had in mind the alternative thought that they might have been Labour canvassers !
Whilst it was certainly a day for celebrations for Stephen and myself 10 years ago, we had much more to celebrate 2 years ago tomorrow. It was just 4 days after I retired as an MP. I will report on that later, but not tomorrow itself as we will be too busy with the anniversary celebrations.