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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

10 Years of the Blog: Best Video/Best Goal/Best Day

The thing that has given me most pleasure over the years of the blog is Mishka Henner's video of his father walking across the pitch following Man City's last gasp title winning victory over QPR in 2012.

I used to go to football a lot, home and away and all the rest of it but hadn't been to see a live game for a long, long time. I only followed City when they were shit which about sums everything up. Still, my wife and daughter say they have never seen me as happy as they did on that day.

My main job at the time was teaching ESOL to young migrants at the time (my favourite job incidentally) and I went into work the following day and we did a couple of things. First we re-enacted the goal. I was Sergio Aguero, a boy called Abadin was Mario Balotelli, and a girl called dua was the QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny. In my mind it was virtually identical to the real thing, complete with ripping my shirt off and waving it around my head. In reality it was probably a bit like this scene from Kes. But so it goes. You can see the last five minutes of the game here here.

The other thing I did was play Mishka Henner's video to the class - over and over. For a couple of months it was the start to the day. It was emotion cranked up with a Cowboy Junkies soundtrack (which had its own nostalgia for me).

And then earlier this year Mishka Henner's father died, and that changed it again. It becomes a dual memory, a double nostalgia. It brought tears to my eyes before, and now it does so in double doses, in two different ways. But it also brings me closer to a man I never met and have no involvement with except through a youtube video. And that is something, because it doesn't feel that way when I watch this video.

This is from the post I made earlier this year.

But from that simple video, I remember Bill's face, his smile, his, hat, his little jaunt that is not quite a dance, and Henner's affection as they head back to their seats. I watch it for the good-naturedness of it all, for the jubilation, for the smiling steward, the man on his knees in the centre circle, the disbelief, for the feeling of summer peace, all accompanied by the slowest Blue Moon every by the Cowboy Junkies.

It's not part of the Henner ouvre, it's something else, and it's quite beautiful. And enjoyable. I don't know if there are too many things in photography I've enjoyed quite so much as Bill walking across that pitch in 2012. It's a window into a soul that I can identify with, that I can share a moment with from a distance. So I feel like I know him a little bit. And for that I am grateful. Thank you Mishka Henner and thank you Bill!

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