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1985 | Coley Primary School | United Kingdom | Reading – Berkshire

COLEY PRIMARY NINERS

The moment I fell in love with the NFL and the 49ers. Thank you Coley Primary School for the classroom show-and-tell activity and thank you friend for bringing along your NFL encyclopaedia. I’m not sure how I managed to never find out why, where and when the book was obtained because at show-and-tell I was contemplating finders keepers. The Tuck rule and Carson Palmer rule may have changed the game but finders keepers supersedes all rules and all games.  

Fittingly my friend took interest in my interest which naturally led to polite encouragement to pick a team. I studied the encyclopaedia from page to page, bio to bio and of course the amazing illustrations, vibrant pictures and the glorious uniforms. I had a few teams in mind but somehow to this day, I still have no idea how I managed to pick the same team as my friend, San Francisco 49ers. The gold standard, red and gold had a polite magnetic like charm.

At this time (85) NFL information on this side of the pond was sparse but gradually the exposure increased between the late 80’s to mid 90’s. Teletext was my friend, latest results, individual stat leaders and division tables, what more could you want? Turns out a lot more and some. Channel 4, Eurosport, ITV and Channel 5 scratched the itch and along the way I discovered the truly wonderful First Down, a biweekly newspaper made in the UK and the momentous 95 debut season for live coverage on Sky Sports.

Thankfully NFL has come full-circle now but along the way we lost Kevin Cadle, who returned to the greatest field of play, the stars. We’ve had regular International Series in London since 2007 and we’re now set for the inaugural game in Germany, Michael Carlson, a dedicated in-season TV Channel (Sky), Gridiron Magazine and the wonderful NFL Game Pass International and hopefully someday a full season (9) of home games in London. I’d love a UK based franchise but Jacksonville Jaguars are de facto Team UK.

Featured Image – Copyright © San Fransico 49ers | 49ers.com

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