SEEING RED: ‘Sport is a drug, an addiction which draws you in and once hooked there’s no going back’

Watching your side score a last-gasp goal is one of the best feelings ever, says Ashley Booker. Pic: Mark Fear
Watching your side score a last-gasp goal is one of the best feelings ever, says Ashley Booker. Pic: Mark Fear

Who doesn’t love sport?

Well, quite a few of you it would seem.

And as the saying goes, each to their own.

But as someone who grew up loving sport, I must confess there are times when I am left baffled by those who don’t.

Now, I am not going to launch into a ‘self-obsessed and boring’ rant against those who perhaps prefer to watch a documentary on tall ships than 80 minutes of Wigan Warriors v Hull FC - that’s Super League, by the way, or rugby league in old money.

But those who do like to sit in front of the TV watching a ship sail along the Solent on BBC4 do not know what they’re missing.

Sport is a drug, an addiction which draws you in and once hooked there’s no going back.

The addiction grips you in vice-like fashion.

In fact, my thumb is only just recovering from the battering it took at the weekend from the constant channel-hopping between football, rugby league, the Six Nation, England’s T20 international Down Under and the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Sport has its highs and lows, and you really have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs.

Believe me, following the England cricket and football teams through the years makes you question your faith. In fact, supporting a football team even makes you question your sanity at times.

But through all the trials and tribulations, sports fans stick by their team come rain or shine.

Non sports lovers don’t get this. They tend to see football fans as thugs, as people who terrorise towns and cities wherever they go.

But they’re wrong. British sports fans are the best in the world. We travel in huge numbers and spend heavily to watch our heroes play.

There is no better feeling than seeing your team win. The sense of exhilaration has to be experienced. The highs you feel are immense. Remember the Olympics in 2012 and 2016?

How great was it to be British back then when our sports stars were winning gold after gold after gold.

People who ‘don’t do sport’ really are missing out on the sense of pride which envelops a community when success comes its way via sporting achievement. What on earth fills this void that the rest of us experience?

I would love to know . . .

- Give me two hours of Silent Witness, Vera or McMafia than a five-week freak show such as Celebrity Big Brother.

Why anyone would want to watch eccentric former Tory MP Anne Widdecombe in the Big Brother house is beyond me, but it appeals to some.

However, is it me or are the more quality programmes becoming more and more baffling?

The traditional ‘who dunnit?’ dramas seems to have been replaced by mind-boggling productions which leave you utterly perplexed.

Anyone who says they fully grasp these new-style dramas must have a record-breaking IQ or are simply lying.