August and a young fan’s fancy turns to the new football season.
In those mixed households where the non-footie fan has gritted their teeth through the World Cup, the misery is set to start afresh as the Football League kicks off this weekend.
Is it me, or does the new season start earlier and earlier each year?
And for those poor souls who stifled a quiet sob when the BBC finished its Brazil coverage with the inevitable compilation of ‘highlights of the tournament’, hardly knowing how to fill the empty days (well, apart from watching cricket, Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games), THE FOOTBALL SEASON STARTS THIS WEEKEND!
So it seemed a good time to have a rummage through the files to share some of those great old team pictures that would have been eagerly pored over by fans pre-season in the past.
A new season, a blank sheet, an occasion for hopes and dreams. Well, hopes and fantasies, anyway.
Will that new signing be worth all the money and will he inspire some of the old warhorses to greater efforts?
Will we have a cup run this year and even a promotion chance or are we doomed again to be gritting our teeth, anxiously listening to the half-time scores, praying that another team scrabbling to avoid relegation is doing even worse than us?
And will the new manager last until November?
The Green Un may have gone electronic these days and you may be doing your post-match praise or grumble via an online fans’ forum but newspapers like The Star still produce those team pictures poster size, ready to adorn many a keen young supporter’s bedroom wall.
On one legendary occasion about 15 years ago, some painters working at the ground strolled on to the poster photo shoot of the Doncaster Rovers squad and, embarrassingly, no-one spotted them until after the picture appeared in the paper.
A memorable own goal.
So, whether your team’s at home to Bristol City or Crawley or away to Brighton, Yeovil, Derby or Leyton Orient on Saturday, all the best.
And to the non-fans, never mind, at least the European Championships don’t start until June 2016.
n Don’t miss this Saturday’s 12-page Retro supplement, with more football pictures, plus stories of Sheffielders in World War One and strange links between a Sheffield roller skating rink and Robin Hood.