Whatever the game, my enthusiasm has never waned - Johnny Cantor

Wembley Stadium. Picture by Getty Images
Wembley Stadium. Picture by Getty Images

Sometimes as you get older people don’t celebrate their significant birthdays but I think anniversaries are an opportunity to take stock and take time to assess all sorts of things.

Last week I was honoured to be invited up to London to give a talk to the Seagulls Over London group.

SOL are celebrating 25 years and it was wonderful to meet so many people on the night. Congratulations to Roger Bevan and his team. We all took a moment to also remember Paul Whelch who was a key figure in the history of the club but also set up SOL.

There are now of course lots of Seagulls fans groups across the country and the globe as the Albion continue their ascent in the sport. Deep in Chancery Lane after my talk, we headed into a Q&A and I had to dig deep to remember and recount some of the dark days, the highlights and the special moments over the last decade at the club.

I’m not sure it was a cathartic process but it was a valuable reminder of everything that has happened both on and off the pitch. As the club moves into one of the busiest months in its history it also embarks on one of the most exciting.

As the bid for Premier League survival intensifies with games against Southampton and Cardiff, Chris Hughton and his charges head to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final, only the second ever for the club. On Wednesday in the heart of the city I was asked many questions about my time as a journalist, reporter, presenter and commentator. I was also asked about my upbringing and how my love of football and radio began.

Tales of homemade wireless sets with an ear plug under the sheets in my bed listening to Peter Jones were recounted and ditties of how I used to be transfixed by my hero Des Lynam on the TV in the corner of the lounge all featured.

As I headed south afterwards I began to recall some other memories. When aged ten my father took me on a tour of the old Wembley when you got to walk out at one end with a deafening noise of the crowd played over the speakers. It wasn’t an FA Cup final, or a Premier League game but it gave me a tingle. I have been privileged to commentate at Wembley but I still get a tingle just before kick-off 15 years on from my first.

That feeling will be there again in the first week of April. It doesn’t really matter though where I am, whatever the game that enthusiasm has never waned.

Hopefully that buzz continues and pervades through the radio to the listeners and out of the TV or tablet to the viewers. Congratulations once again for making it to 25 Seagulls Over London, thanks for the memories and here’s to another 25 years!

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger
To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com
Albion Unlimited podcast is available to download via BBC iPlayer & iTunes

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