Sunday, 8 April 2007

Road To Damascus

I'm not a religious girl by nature. But today I went on a pilgrimage.

It all started on Friday when I was planning to go out on my motorbike over the weekend. I decided Sunday was the day but wasn't quite sure where to go. It is nice riding on your own in some ways but it helps to have a destination in mind I find.

Then all of a sudden it hit me. I would go and see the stadium. Our stadium. The Walkers stadium.

So that is where I have been today. Over 200 miles round trip. 2 and a half hours to get there. Lost in Leicester for a further 2 hours. No help from 5 of the 6 people I asked. 2 had never heard of it. Not sure they even knew what football was. 2 gave me detailed directions, but I didn't even manage to find the first landmark they alluded to.

The fifth was wearing a Leicester shirt. I couldn't go wrong. His directions were clear if complicated. I navigated my way through the city and there before me was the stadium. The Rugby stadium! Can you imagine.

Anyway, victim number 6 of my drive-by quizzing was spot on. As I went around a corner there it was. Massive. And beautiful.

The place was pretty much deserted. All locked up. I wandered around the small garden of remembrance at the front. I was touched by the messages of love for lost ones and by the passion they must have held for their team to choose that as their last resting place.

As I say I am not religious. But the hushed silence of the place reminded me of an empty cathedral. I reflected that maybe this is a modern cathedral. Both are places where people raise their voices together in worship.

And as I travelled back home along that old roman road, the Fosse Way, I thought about all those soldiers that had marched along that way over the years. All around I could hear invisible voices chanting "BLUE ARMY, BLUE ARMY"

No caustic comments to make. No irony. Today I was touched by the spirit of football. Awesome!


Anonymous said...

Yea. That's the thing. Sociology. Totems, Rites of Passage and collective understanding. Who was it said there was "no such thing as society?"


Georgina Best said...

I can't imagine who would say such a thing