There are few things more important in the modern society’s consciousness than keeping fit. Equally, is there one thing this nation universally loves more than football? It would only make sense, then, to combine the two. The beauty of amateur football in England is that you don’t need to be very good to take part. More often than not, showing up is more than enough. If you’ve ever played football in even a semi-serious capacity, you’ll have come across a few familiar faces.
The ‘Dad Bod.’
You can tell just by looking at him that this quite possibly Northern soul doesn’t always take the best care of his body. A round of half-time pies will do that to you. Even if he can’t quite keep up with the pace, he brings a boundless enthusiasm at least. During breaks, he can be found sweating profusely while bemoaning everything to do with his supported club of choice. Which makes you wonder what pleasure he actually gets out of watching football.
The ‘Just Happy to Be Here.’
Usually the last of your mates you managed to round up to form a team. He’s never been any good at football. You sometimes wonder if he even watches the sport. What he does bring to the table, though, is something that nobody else wants to: a safe pair of hands. Stick the lad in goal and try your best to forget he’s even there. No doubt you’ll concede a dozen or so times, but it’s a dirty job and someone’s got to do it.
The ‘Marathon Man.’
The endless runner, who will go for hours with seemingly no direction. Every side needs one if only to disrupt the flow of the opposition. Usually working in tandem with the Tough Tackler (see below), this guy makes up the engine room of your team. Wind him up and watch him go. He may not be very good, but he won’t stop running until the final whistle. After that? He’s probably gearing up for a jog home, too. How does he do it?
The ‘Top of the Class.’
Head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of talent, and yet never able to quite ‘make it.’ This guy spent his entire childhood working towards becoming a professional but failed to make the breakthrough. Now, he spends his time bitterly taking Sunday League football very seriously. He’s even brought along a bunch of glass football trophies from Premier Trophies with any eye on winning them back as top scorer.
The ‘Tough Tackler.’
No doubt you’ve come across this guy before, if only on the wrong end of a foul. This is the bloke that thrives in the middle of the park, crunching anything that moves with his best Roy Keane impression. You’ve got to give him credit; he’s even shaved his head to look the part for the occasion. Is usually responsible for at least one mass brawl per game, and spends most of his time looking on from the sidelines after being red carded.