It all started out as just a bit of a laugh, a way of keeping fit, nothing more than that. What it became is more of a cult. Not a dangerous cult that may get us killed, but a cult in a way that a small group of us will remember it for quite a while.
I am talking about our 7 a side football team, the Gravel Cows.
A friend and I decided that we needed to keep fit, so we thought that it would be good to set up a small team in the University Inter-mural league. We hoped this would be more fun than grafting at the gym, where it sometimes feels more like a punishment rather than pleasure.
We couldn’t think of a name, and this was proving a real stumbling block especially considering the deadline for the teams was looming. Someone threw out Gravel Cows. There is no rhyme or reason behind it, we just loved it from the off.
We assembled our team and won our first game 11-0, and from there it snowballed. A facebook group was set up, and tongue in cheek match reports were written, depicting us as football greats, when that was probably a bit short of the truth. It even got to the point where we were writing fake news stories saying we were in line to represent England at the World Cup, and that two of our players were linked with the vacant Darlington job. We even looked into buying shirts, until we realised we were too skint to do so.
In games we took it seriously, each game was like the FA Cup Final, with the obvious jubilation or depression, depending on the result. Our aims were to win the league, we actually came 6th or in the football cliché of ‘mid-table obscurity.’ The rest of the time was spent bantering about the team.
It got to the point where we weren’t the only people bantering about our team, our friends were, and their friends were. We had readers of our match reports all over the world, friends in America and Australia regularly reading the exploits of the Cows. We even got small crowds to our games occasionally, the record being a whole 6 people, who stopped to watch us on their way to the pub.
I feel it is strange that a daft little football team that was set up for us to keep fit could become something that spiralled out of control, but in a good way. It is a weird sensation being part of a team, something important, to you anyway. I think you probably don’t realise how important it is to be in a team or a group until you are in one. People all united together for one goal or purpose or with the same interests, whether its football or anything.
So I think I speak for all of us when I say we are proud. Proud to be a Gravel Cow!