Tuesday, 6 June 2017

I used to be a ....... soccer mum.

I used to be a soccer mum.

My eldest started playing football aged 5, for Forest Rangers in Cinderford in 1997, the middle child joined him in 1999 aged 4 and for the next 14 years, I spent 2-3 evenings a week sitting in car parks at training and weekends spent locating fields in the middle of nowhere for matches.


My career as a soccer mum came to an end in 2013 on the side of a pitch in South Africa, when the middle child declared he was no longer fussed with football and was concentrating his last 2 years in school on cricket and rugby.

I cannot begin to image the number of hours or the mileage I've driven, the time and cost of getting lost, even in convey. The rain and snow storms I've stood in, the number of times I've dug holes in the pitch to drain the water. The cups of teas and bacon butties made at home games, first aid administered, meetings attended, training, lifts given, the amount of subs collected or the money raised and the time spent organising presentation evenings. The kit washed and boots cleaned and tears dried when games were lost. I was never just a spectator. I dread to think how much we've paid for kit.



The boys have played football and/or referred in the Forest of Dean, Malvern, Birmingham and many, many tournaments around the UK. There have been trials, there have been holiday clubs and middle child spent 2 years training with Birmingham City.
 The middle boys trophies.

As well as supporting the kids playing football we've attended professional matches around the UK, mid week and weekend games to Manchester, Arsenal, Birmingham, Southampton and Wembley. We've seen England qualifiers and FA Cup finals, as well as promotions and sadly relegations. We've appeared on Match of the Day more times than we can remember. We watched Spurs play at Ellis Park.

Chelsea

Birmingham City

Promotion back to the Premiership

18th Birthdays

Wembley and a close up of David Beckham.



FA Cup Finals

Ellis Park and the vuvuzela.

My typical week was spent at work every day. Eldest child had local matches he referred on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in adult leagues, Training on a Friday and matches on Saturdays. Middle child had local training on Tuesdays. Training in Birmingham on a Wednesday night and Saturday morning and local matches on a Sunday afternoon. I usually juggled getting the boys to their venues, either organising lifts or driving between local matches. Local meant within a 30 miles radius of home and often at opposite ends of this radius.

Sponsorship with McDonalds and local and national trophies won.
 There was a core group of around 6 kids who played in this team for 8 years.
With Geoff Hurst and Eric Harrison

Being the goalies mum is nerve racking.

The last 2 years as a football mum were spent in South Africa at Tuks University in Pretoria. this involved Fridays and Saturdays at training where I was the only soccer mum who stayed for the 2 hours, with a book, a flask and enjoying a walk around the grounds.

Training session at Tuks, South Africa.

video

For many years our lives as a family revolved around football, playing, watching, supporting, fundraising and I even worked for the local FA for 2 years.

I get to Birmingham City when I'm in the UK with  a combination of kids, with hubby or on my own. I miss the football and the way of life, the socialising, the training and the matches. At the time it was hard work and very time consuming, but a great way to spend time together as a family.

How do you spend your family time?

































13 comments:

  1. I call myself a hockey widow because every saturday I was left as my hubbie and 2 children would go off and play. Of course, I used to watch and encourage and cheer on the sidelines. My daughter does not play as much now (aged 17) but my son is playing at a good standard and my hubbie still plays although not as much. Its hard at the time but it does become part of our lives doesnt it? I watch these grandparents there and I think -I hope that's me one day. A fun post. Thank you. #TweenTeensBeyond.

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    1. i really miss the football, not the the winter weather though and standing in muddy, cold fields.

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  2. Oh yes I remember those days until my son converted to rugby and cricket too, but latterly just cricket. Our summer's are spent watching many a long game! It is very sociable though and I will miss it when he heads off to University. Thanks for sharing your memories and fab photos - particularly like the one of you blowing the trumpet. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. now cricket in the summer is a much better option as long as rain doesn't stop play

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  3. Fab Suzanne - what a trooper you have been and I loved looking through your photos of the old football matches. I can imagine the miles and hours you have put in - and the wash loads!! Who knew David Beckham was so young once. I don't suppose there is anything similar now where you are? Thanks for your support again this week #tweensteensbeyond

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    1. we have the rugby 7s here and cricket as well as various major tennis and other sporting tournaments, but it's really expensive to attend and not the same without the boys

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  4. I too have boys and me and my hubby have spent every weekend for years standing at the side of cold/wet/hot pitches. I'm in a choir now and make both boys come to my three concerts every year. I think they're getting off lightly! Lol! #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. at least the choir is indoors so they can't moan about being cold etc

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  5. Wow, you've done your time, true dedication. I was a gymnastics mum for many years, with training five times a week at one stage. I'm currently driving daughters 2 and 3 to netball and swimming a few times a week. It gets in the way of cooking supper! Thanks so much for joining us again at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. oh yes getting dinner ready for everyone was a nightmare, it was mainly frozen food and takeaways

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  6. I love this! I think of myself as a football mum, but I'm a total amateur compared to you! I only have one football playing child and he's never made it as far as playing for a 'proper' club like Birmingham City (or Cheltenham Town). My husband is obsessed with football, so he's taken the kids to a lot of big games, but nowhere near as many as you. I guess I'm more of a dance mum/ panto mum!

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    1. I'm waiting with keen interest for the championship fixtures to be released on June 21st so I can plan the Birmingham City matches

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