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Good evening all and welcome to my new blog!

I’ve often been told that “good news is no news” and, to be honest, I’m sick of it. Why does everything have to be sensationalist, scandalous or just down right smutty? Well I’m here to buck that trend. I’ll hopefully tell you about good things that are happening in the game and give some balance to very lop-sided perception.

Soccer star embroiled in “enjoyable banter” shock!

At a time when questions are being asked about the line between ‘banter’ and ‘abuse’, let me tell you about Monday night. I’m playing in the FA Cup 1st round replay for York City away at AFC Wimbledon, and it’s live on ESPN. We get a corner in front of the home fans and, as usual, the big ugly lumps come striding forward to add our unrefined yet significant aerial prowess to the attack. As I line up at the front post the whole stand breaks into song:

he plays like he’s pissed

he plays like he’s pi-issed

that Clarke Carlisle

he plays like he’s pissed’

It was all I could do to stop laughing there and then. I’ve made no secret of my past, of the mistakes I’ve made and what I’ve done to correct them, so I knew I would get something like this from time to time; it just had to happen when it was live on the bloody telly! Not long later there was a break in play while someone got treatment for an injury and I walked over to the dug-out to get a drink. As I quenched my thirst a lone voice shot out of the crowd:

Oi, Carlisle, where’s your motor?

A very well angled dig at the fact that I’d lost my licence. So good, in fact, that I actually bit back at this one…

Which one?”¬†I shouted back, “the Porsche or the Merc?!

A little jeer went up around him and smiles were on everybody’s face. Before you lambast me for my arrogance, I don’t even have a car, but that wasn’t the point. It was great to get involved in an amicable way, to show that I am human, I can hear you and I do appreciate the funny side.

I was laughing on the inside!!!

This is where I think social media comes into full effect. Many players are on sites like Twitter, Facebook and such like, and many use them to great effect. The days are long gone where players travel on the bus to matches with fans, (although I have been alongside a few on the trains this last year!!) or have a pint in the local with them afterwards (although I did try and resurrect this tradition once or twice!!), but the technological distance between us all is just one button click. That gap between player and fan has been bridged and it is fantastic for us all. As long as everyone remembers that there are human beings on the other side of those screens, players, fans, adults, kids, men, women, boys and girls. Your screen might be faceless, but your reader is not….