Greatest day of my life!
For many a year, family and a few close friends aside, I very much felt that I had nothing else in my life apart from Portsmouth Football Club.
I lived, breathed and slept football, Pompey at the forefront of all of this!
The memories of following Pompey were plenty over the many years before, but May 17th 2008 was etched in my memory as 'the best day of my life'...
Being at Wembley to see my beloved Pompey win the FA Cup with so many of my friends and family - being a long side my younger brother, who had almost died in a motorcycle accident a couple of years before - meant the world to me.
Jeez, the scale of this importance can be viewed by all on my right inside arm, XVII - V - MMVIII, 17 - 5 - 2008, is tattooed boldly on it! Even now I still get a regular 'what is that tattoo on your arm.' And I am still proud to explain.
The events of the ensuing years had put one hell of a strain on this love, and tested it almost to breaking point at times and if I said that it had not 'tarnished' that magical day somewhat I would be a liar!
Portsmouth Football Club still means so much to me, but a couple of years after that FA cup win I found a new love, the true love of my life in a beautiful girl named Trina Bryant, who I was set-up with by my then (would be, but no longer) sister-in-law and youngest brother. They played cupid with us to be the godfather to my nephew as she was to be the godmother.
We hit it off instantly.
This love affair grew, and as it grew a love for things other than football took a hold.
I realised there was more to life and have since developed a love for walking - trekking up many mountains in England and Wales, including two of the three highest peaks in Britain to boot - and cycling.
Moving in together was the next step, then came the proposal, on a walking trip in North Wales...
After some 18-24-months of planning the big day arrived!
Portsmouth winning the FA cup on 17th May 2008 is still a huge highlight in my life but without a shadow of a doubt I have a new 'greatest day of my life' now as Saturday 22nd June 2013 has become the pinnacle of my life.
What an absolutely incredible day it was.
It was perfect, beyond perfect and beyond the wildest dreams either of us could have had. It was a fairytale come true!
I felt immensely proud, in fact I felt 100 feet tall - I still do! - and how stunningly beautiful did my wife look, when she walked down the aisle I almost cried. I managed to hold in the emotion but cracked during my speech a couple of times with the following day an extremely emotional day for me, the adrenaline wore off and the enormity of the day sunk in.
I cannot believe that it is a week ago!
I wish I could do it every day and if I can get just a small fraction of enjoyment from following Pompey this season as I did that day - and I have a good feeling I will, as we are on the long, and difficult, road to recovery at last - I will be a very happy man but nothing will ever compare to that day.
Well, until my first child comes along...
That same buzz, wishing I could do it everyday, was something I used to get from following Pompey, win, lose or draw.
The problematic years drained so much enjoyment away, it has almost killed my love of football that much I know for sure, although this enjoyment started returning to a degree last season from the end of 2012 onwards, and like I say I feel positive about the season ahead but must confess that my priorities in life have definitely changed.
I still love this club and will follow it but not to all the corners of the globe anymore - some things just mean more to me these days!
Even in all the emotion, excitement and happiness of that day though I still remembered my mistress Pompey! I had to make sure that I got a shot of the Pompey fans in attendance, and boy there were a good few that travelled (more arrived in the evening), unfortunately my brother that I shared the cup final with was busy dealing with one of his children so missed this photo opportunity...
Royal blue featured predominately in our colour scheme too, be that in my suit and in the room, and that worked a treat.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Vital Pompey on: Vital Pompey on: