Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 17th June print edition.
One of the things I have missed most over the last year with the coronavirus pandemic has been watching Burton Albion play at the Pirelli Stadium. Being amongst fans cheering on the Brewers, the atmosphere and the excitement of the ‘beautiful game’ is not replicable and something I hope we can all look forward to doing again soon.
Last weekend saw the start of the delayed Euro 2020 competition and England have got off to a winning start, beating Croatia 1-0 on Sunday. It was great to see fans back in Wembley stadium along with the whole country coming together for this football event after what has been such a long time following the pandemic.
That said, we saw throughout the pandemic how football brings people and the wider community together even when the final whistle had been blown. Locally, Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT), stepped up and helped individuals who were required to shield, they delivered prescriptions, shopping and kept in contact with residents who were feeling lonely and isolated. This is what football is about, community coming together and the club supporting one another.
The proposals that emerged a couple of months back for a European Super League (ESL) caused great concern because it went against this very nature of the sport being there first and foremost for the fans and the local community. These plans would have been deeply damaging to the relationship between clubs and their dedicated fans who loyally support their team through both the good and the bad times. I am pleased that the Government, amongst others, vigorously rejected the idea when proposals came to light and the backers eventually dropped their plans.
Back to the Euros, I am looking forward to the next match this Friday. This will be an interesting game for the UK with England up against Scotland. Let’s hope that the warm weather continues and come on England!