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It came home.

After over 500 days of heartache and protests, Coventry City returned to the place they belong, their home location.

Coventry City: Where the heart isOver 27,000, as many as were allowed to be accommodated, packed into the Ricoh Arena for a high octane emotional homecoming. It was an occasion some thought may never arrive. But you never give up on something you love. And while the club often flickered like a candle in the distance, the resolution to never give up fighting for what is right and true was finally rewarded in abundance.

It was a victory for footballing fan power. In the end, the bickering parties and wavering authorities were forced into submission by the campaign that refused to go away. It was also a triumph for two of the most important components in football and in life, friendship and family.

Friendship, because so many precious alliances were lost during the period of isolation. Things you took for granted, the simple acts of having a pint with mates before the game and after. And family, because the dispute threatened the act of passing support through the generations of kin. Then there was also the football family.

The term is much over abused but the support from fans of other clubs I received on my Twitter time line was superb, as were the messages of congratulation on the triumphant return. It meant so much and it was clear, that fans of other teams realised in the money obsessed madness of the modern game, nobody is safe. It could be any club next.

That was what the “Bring City Home” campaign was so important and the taste of victory so fine. Ultimately owners, no matter how rich, are merely custodians of a club that belongs to the supporters and wider community. There has been too much dabbling in football in general, with heritage and tradition on the assumption that because of investment, we owe something back. It’s wrong.

The homecoming at the Ricoh was a celebration of the simple things that really matter. Relationships reunited, men and women of a mature a mature age punching the air with joy with one hand while clutching their child’s hand with another. And those kids wearing a football shirt of their local team, making their first emotional investment in something way beyond hard cash.

There is a tendency when you’ve won a famous battle to assume you’ve won the war. No longer must we take our football club for granted, assume it will always be there for us. That is something we’ve learnt. You never know what you have until it’s taken away from you. Now we’ve got it back, these are times to cherish and a platform from which we must all learn and go forward.

It came home. The Sky Blue Song echoed through the air and grown up’s welled up with tears. We are back where we belong. Home, where heart of any football club is, representing the dreams and aspiration of the fans in their spiritual birthplace. A love supreme that keeps us going through the hassles and mundanity of wider everyday life. Because we cared enough to fight and win back what we knew was our right, our club.

Nothing ever tasted sweeter. #PUSB

Post written by Rob Summerfield
Blog: rob-summerfield.jimdo.com, Twitter: @RobSummerfield1

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