〇One of the amazing and inspiring parts of running a football club is regularly hearing from supporters who want to recognize and celebrate their loved ones who have passed away. Before the first game of 2023, Stockport against his County, her one-minute celebration accompanied by one whistleblower in memory of all the club’s supporters who have died in the last 12 months The we.
Not a week goes by without hearing from members of our community who have lost loved ones asking them to be remembered and commemorated on match day. Saying goodbye and marking the age at which he died.In the past few weeks we have lost one of the oldest supporters I have met, Millie (95).She at the recent game against Stevenage As Brian and Millie demonstrated, a lifelong commitment to the club is striking and life-affirming as it reinforces the social significance of the sport and the importance of emotion, memory and place. It’s a privilege and a constant reminder of the importance of a football club and its ability to open up emotional space for celebration, especially for those who find it difficult to express their emotions elsewhere. .
As the son of an absentee father, some of my earliest memories relate to playing and participating in football. I didn’t have many positive adult male role models growing up. Admittedly, there weren’t many “emotionally available”. Like many places, the town was beginning a painful transition from old industrial jobs to a service economy. That meant the men in our lives worked the oceans, docks, and factories that most of us would never do.
It was the world Grayson Perry brought to life in his book human descent, It reflects the masculinity shaped by the harsh working conditions of a fishing trawler, a mining industry, or a steel mill. The mental and physical toughness required to endure the rigors of work spilled over into the wider environment, and that hardness always threatened to escalate into violence without warning. The ability to hold and punch and throw was a real currency in addition to playing and watching football. I piled up a lot.
Over Christmas, I read Andrew O’Hagan’s book Mayfly before watching the television version. Both versions really impressed me. The main theme was male friendship and love over time against the decline of the aforementioned industry. For men in particular, it got me thinking about the role football plays alongside music as a primary driver of memories and opportunities to build deeper connections and relationships.
I was shocked by the physical affection of the main characters in the TV version. The musical experience shared by the characters recreated my experience watching a football game. In my memory, it was part of the only way men would demonstrate to each other—a moment of ecstasy and abandonment when scoring a goal, or the end-of-match whistle declaring the outcome on their own terms. Supporting a team for better or worse, speaking up together, singing in unison, is ingrained in the nature of our relationships in a way like no other. Professor Alan Bearner said:
We are social creatures, driven by our need for attachment and relationships, which has proven to be a key driver of happiness in people’s lives. On a personal level, I feel like physical expressions of affection slowly started to find a place in our lives in the 90s. Partly it was a combination of exposure to different cultures, growing language, and our understanding of psychology, which in no small part imagines the prevalence of ecstasy around that time. For some, the male psyche was deeper and opened to hitherto unknown expressions of love. connection.
The impact of this social narrative is becoming more apparent to men my age who are more aware of their mental health challenges. Grimsby Town FC partnered with mental health organization Navigo to see how football can help men talk about and improve their mental health.
Unemployed men living alone between the ages of 35 and 50 were found to be at the highest risk of suicide. Those working in sectors such as construction and manufacturing were at higher risk, with men with severe mental illness (SMI) being 2.8 to 7.1 times more likely to die before age 75 than men without SMI. Become. Football clubs play an important role in opening up a forum for deep connections. Navigo CEO Simon Beeton said:
Football’s toxic images of ‘hyper-masculinity’ and outdated stereotypes are slowly changing and becoming the natural place to build positive relationships, share experiences and express yourself. has taken steps to make the sport more inclusive, such as introducing the Rainbow Race campaign, which encourages players and fans to show support for the LGBTQ+ community, and since 2018 has partnered with Mind and launched On Your Side. Focus on initiative. About happiness.
Grimsby Town recognizes the vital importance of football in building and maintaining relationships and is willing to play our part in our own humble way to build an environment of understanding, acceptance and connection. I am determined. We owe it to the memories of our loved ones like Brian and Millie to ensure that football continues to be a place that honors and celebrates their lifelong passion for the game. We hope that by doing so, we can create a space for positive experiences that make a difference in the mental health of our community.
Jason Stockwood is Chairman of Grimsby Town
In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can call 116 123 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the lifeline for crisis support services is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.