Nine months have passed. Nine long months since we all piled in through Plainmoor’s squeaky turnstiles, met up with Torquay United friends and cheered and chanted merrily for the boys in Yellow.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself in those crazy nine months. One is to never take normal life for granted and the joy that football brings to our lives.
I’ve tried to be a better man and remember that ‘it’s only a game’ but if you’re like me, it means more than that. People who don’t get that, don’t get me.
It’s a game that brings me ups and downs, banter and beers with mates, camaraderie and friendship on the terraces, a warm sense of belonging and expectation to make life more rewarding.
When we sign up to support Torquay United we’re in a fairly exclusive band. We follow the team up and down the land. Our expectations are to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Whatever happens we’ll be there.
Saturday will be emotional. Maybe I am just weakened slightly by the turmoil of 2020, but a return to the place that has been a constant in my lives for over 30 years will be a moment to savour.
It won’t be the same. Many people won’t be there, people who may have sadly passed or cannot yet attend – my dad falls into that second category and we’ll miss him dearly.
There will be an acclimatisation period I’m sure. The normal matchday experience is etched in our minds, and will not be repeated on Saturday.
But we’ll have to make the best of the situation, and with the Gulls flying that shouldn’t be difficult.
We have a team to be proud of, a manager who is making us dream of the Football League and a promotion battle to wage in a league that could be ours for the taking.
Let us abide by the club’s rules without fail and do what we can to spur these boys on to even better things. It’s what we are there for.
Be thankful for your health, your club’s continuing existence and that golden ticket. Here’s to a GJ fist pump at 5 tomorrow, I think we’ll deserve it.