The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Rubble With A Cause …

Recently I came across this photo of the old Wembley being demolished …

And while I know the new stadium is better – albeit with terrible wifi/phone signal access, which is ironic given it’s sponsored by O2 – there was something about that photo that made me sad.

Of course it’s because I’m a sentimental fart.

Because despite seeing my beloved Nottingham Forest gain promotion in the new stadium, that old one has even more significant memories for me.

Live Aid.
Seeing Queen there.
And the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.
Not to mention Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and countless other bands and singers.
Then there’s watching Brian Clough lead Nottingham Forest out for their various cup finals.

There was something magical about that old stadium when I was growing up.

It was the pinnacle. Where World Cups and Legends were celebrated and made.

And while there were other venues around the World that could lay claim to a similar standing … this was mine. In England. In our capital. A way to reinforce that for all the Madison Square Gardens and Giant Stadiums out there, we had ours. We still mattered. A bit.

Now I should point out I’m not saying this from a xenophobic ‘ENG-GER-LAND’ perspective … I mean it more in the same way I viewed Raleigh Bikes in Nottingham.

And while we replaced Wembley with a new and improved version – which is far more than Raleigh managed to do – there’s something about that photo that still hurts.

Not because I don’t love change – because even though I’m a sentimental, old fart, I do – but maybe because the replacement feels a bit soulless. Designed to look the part without ever really demonstrating they understand what it takes to be the part. Efficiency over character. Optimisation over soul. Money over memory.

I get this is probably only felt by people of a certain age.

I get the times have changed and so Wembley is not as unique as it once was.

But what shapes our identity is often the weird, the inconvenient and the personal symbols of possibility … and somewhere along the line, we’ve been made to think these aren’t as important as efficiency and complicity. Of course the irony of this thinking is that this is the sort of shit that is keeping us down rather than lifting us up.

Or maybe that’s exactly what some people intend it to do.

Jesus, I’ve become a conspiracy theorist now. That’s all we need.

See you tomorrow. Unless the FBI pick me up before then.

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