I just received this email from a reader in the Far East. I thought I would share it with you.
A few years ago I started a blog of sorts. Like you, I chose not to post just for the sake of it but only when I had something to say that I thought might be of interest to others. Last month I stopped for various reasons.
Firstly, (like me with regard to your blog!), there were the people who visited but never wrote or gave any feedback. And then there were the bored people who seemed to expect me to spend 100% of my time creating free material purely for their entertainment. In the end it seemed to be a thankless task and I couldn’t understand why I bothered. So I didn’t.
As a result of ending the blog, a few people wrote to wish me well and to thank me. I wish they had done this before as it may have had a bearing on my decision. That’s the first message: that there are people who appreciate what you write even if they don’t leave comments or write to tell you!
Secondly – as in all aspects of life – it’s always a few idiots who spoil things for everyone else. I know it’s not always easy to do so, but we should just try to ignore them.
I grew up in Hall Road, East Ham just off the Barking Road near East Ham town hall. Naturally, there was only ever one team in that area and I went to school (played cricket, and even football occasionally) with Steve Whitton who later had a (not very successful) spell at WHU before going into management.
As a youngster in the early 70’s I used to go to games but a family move to Brentwood – combined with the football hooligan era – resulted in a lack of interest for many years. However, I started visiting Upton Park again in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
In the final game of the 1992/3 season when we beat Cambridge to gain promotion I left the ground by ambulance as a result of breaking my wrist as I tried to clamber over the wall on to the pitch to avoid being crushed in the North Bank! That’s a game I will never forget – the four inch scar on my right wrist from the resultant surgery being a permanent reminder!
My brother and me had three highly enjoyable seasons as season-ticket holders in the Lower East in the mid-90’s (along with attending half-a-dozen or so away games each year) but called it a day because of the ridiculous price increases that came about every year.
Of course, following a team is something that you never stop doing and it always gives me a lift to see West Ham do well (even better this year to see Spurs doing so badly!). One of the ways I follow events and team news is through your blog which I enjoy because of the intelligent way it is written. Also – by and large – the reader comments (for a football blog) are normally good and not just filled with profanity.
So, don’t let a few crass comments get you down. From my own experience I know what it feels like and I sensed your feelings from the comments a few days ago which is what prompted me to write. I think this is what is known as empathy! The on-line world is a very public domain and by entering it we put ourselves at the mercy of every sad loser with an Internet connection.
I noticed that some of your other regular readers also chipped in with supportive comments so you have a lot of people on your side. Football is a topic that tends to attracts idiots – as we all know from some of the comments we have heard from the stands – so this kind of thing is inevitable from time to time.
There are people who do and achieve things in life, and people who never do or achieve anything themselves but just criticise what other people do. They are the losers.
I really don’t feel there is any reason for you to give up. You obviously enjoy writing about a subject that you have a great love for, and many people enjoy reading what you write. Just ignore the idiots. If I visit the blog and there aren’t any updates I assume you must be busy or there wasn’t anything newsworthy to publish. No big deal; I’ll take a look later.
You’re doing fine!
The cockles of my heart are suitably warmed. I am also now back from Israel so will hopefully be posting regularly again overt the next few days.