Sport is all about special moments and memories that last forever - Johnny Cantor

Chelsea celebrate winning the Europa League on Wednesday. Picture by Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea celebrate winning the Europa League on Wednesday. Picture by Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

There can be no doubt it has been an exciting finale to the season in many respects for a lot of teams in several divisions and Saturday’s Champions League final is an intriguing all Premier League affair.

Even the Europa League final threw up some talking points if not the atmosphere!

The semi-finals of the Champions League had late drama but for me the EFL play-offs delivered the most wonderful moments, the pain and the ecstasy. Albion fans certainly will recognise that.

And for me that is what sport is all about, special moments. Some people may question why a supporter would spend so much time and money making a long trip to Madrid or Baku, Barcelona or Kiev but it is because the fans want to be able to say ‘I was there’.

It could be a drab nil-nil but it could be a 4-3 thriller with a winning goal for your team in the final minute. Those memories will stay with them forever. Like any sports fan I have vivid memories from my childhood and my career and this week I was fortunate enough to join a group at the Sussex Cricket museum at the County Ground called Sporting Memories.

The weekly meet-up encourages people over the age of 50 to come together, build relationships through a sport quiz and games like Boccia and skittles.

It has only been going for six months but already new groups have been set up at Worthing FC and in Polegate at the Community Centre. The network is popular in the north and in Scotland but it is now hoping to establish itself in Sussex with the help of the Sussex Cricket Foundation.

The session was fun and provides an opportunity for older people to reconnect through sport in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The quiz forced us all to reach into a different part of our mind to recall the names and dates that we haven’t heard or used for years.

The games provided a chance to be a little competitive. I met Betty who was a former netball and bowls coach and it turned out she was an assessor for England. She said when her brother came along it was the best day of his week. Frank sank a few putts across the carpet with no danger of the glass in the museum being broken!

It all ended with a cup of tea, a biscuit and a good old sing song. One member said it was lovely to put a face to the name of the person he listened to on a Saturday afternoon on the radio and we ended up chatting for ages.

We all have memories from recent exciting matches or of sporting characters from yesteryear. However, memories need to be prompted, they need to be shared. It’s how we remember, it’s also how we learn.

I have a happy memory from my visit and I hope the network goes from strength to strength. It is important we look after each other, no matter what age we are, and this is one way we can do that.

The only question remains. Who was drinking out of chief executive and former England rugby international Rob Andrew’s mug ? It wasn’t me. I would have remembered that.


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