EDITOR’S COMMENT: How real sports changed my view

Barry Peters is editor of the Bury Free Press
Barry Peters is editor of the Bury Free Press
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I had a bit of a seismic shift in my long-held opinions this week – and I need to get it off my chest.

I was fortunate enough to have booked some tickets for the first Ashes Test this time last year and we duly rolled up on Sunday for what was a thrilling climax to a topsy-turvey match.

Trent Bridge was a picture. Beefy, Athers and Newmarket’s Michael Holding carried out pre-match duties right in front of us.

Come the incredible denouement, I looked at the Aussie contingent in a couple of stands. Motionless in yellow and green, disbelieving, they were shaken by the loss.

Then they started applauding – not just the Australia pair trudging off dejectedly but the England team, too.

At a stroke, my healthy sporting disregard for that nation went up in smoke and I found myself bathed in the sense of what real sport is about – which, if I’m honest, has never been my forte. I’m a win-at-all-costs sort of player. A sledger.

So I hope I’m able to applaud an Aussie Test victory this summer. Well, just the one perhaps (and as long as England are 4-0 up at the time).