Date:Sunday August 3 2014
As some of you will know, I'm an older Chelsea fan who has been around a lot of years and seen a great deal of football heartbreak as well as glory days, the latter of which I believe I'll see many more, but I also know there'll be bad times too.
In many ways being a fan has mirrored the other parts of my life, both work and personal as in both of these areas there's been highs and lows, good, bad and a lot of average days; I've made mistakes but I've also made decisions that I believed were right at the time, although with the benefit of hindsight they maybe sometimes weren't the best choices.
One choice I made a good few years ago was to call time on my marriage, it wasn't that I didn't still care for the lady because I did, but perhaps just not in the right way; not feeling able to move on to the next level - parenthood, with her or anyone else, still loving her but not in the right way. I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea.
So part we did with much sadness from both parties but loads of mutual respect. I sowed some wild oats but also forged new relationships, one of which was to become long term, marriage and children etc and, although I never saw my ex-wife, I heard about her from mutual acquaintances. I remember the pang of jealousy, in fact almost anger, that I felt when I heard she was marrying again, to someone I knew, and the even bigger surge of emotion I felt when I learned that she was pregnant, something I'd no right to feel given that I was by then a father myself.
The point I'm trying to make here, and it's a view that in my personal life I was only able to come to with the maturity that age brought, is that I / we / Chelsea have no right to deny someone we let go, someone we loved, someone we'll always care for, the right to forge a new path in life even if that path feels so wrong to us, feels like it's something the person we once held so close should not be doing, feels like a betrayal of all we had together.
Because my friends there is no longer an 'us', no matter how fond the farewell it was a farewell and the one who was freely let go has the right to do what he / she wishes with their life. Of course that doesn't mean they're doing the right thing, only time will tell that. In my own case it turned out, albeit 26 years later and then thanks only to the Internet, that it wasn't really farewell, t'was actually 'au revoir' and on Sunday 4th August, we celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary, or our 8th if you add the 7 from first time around.
The love and the respect survived and now grows daily and we've both brought extra things, learned in the years apart, to the reborn relationship. So Frank, good luck, just not against us obviously, and may you one day come home and help to lead us to more glory so that a new generation of Chelsea fans will love not just the legend but perhaps our future treble winning manager?
Date:Sunday August 3 2014
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Marin Free to Leave Chelsea (Sunday July 5 2015)
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