I could not write today, unless I gave a tribute to a good friend who has gone on to soccer heaven. Michael Roy Dudden was someone who I first met via Facebook prior to the last election. Mike, as an OBA supporter, and me, as a PLP supporter, were pre-destined to lock horns frequently online.
One of his favourite expressions whenever there was a heated online debate was “FFS”. I will let you Google the meaning of that. I am sure anyone who has ever known him, can verify that claim.
One day, I received a message from Mike and our exchange went like this:-
Mike: “TCF, I’m hoping to be at Flanagan’s Sports Bar for United v Sunderland tomorrow. KO is at 11am. I would welcome a chat and a brew with you.
“That being said, with an unusually hectic weekend for me, I may not make it.
“If not, I will message you tomorrow to let you know. Glory, Glory!!”
Me: “OK man thanks for the invite 599-0901 Chris”
Mike: “Got it! I’ll be wearing a United jersey with ‘Giggs 11’ on the back! He’s my all-time United hero!!”
From there on in, the relationship between Mike and me took on a different complexion (pun intended). We used to spend hours talking about Manchester United and Mobylettes. I mean ,c’mon, what else do all decent-minded Bermudian males discuss?
We used to sit and talk about life in Bermuda back in the day, bikes and a lot about his two daughters in the UK.
Mike had such a love for them and it was as if his face began to glow every time he mentioned them. They truly were his pride and joy.
During one of our get-togethers, Mike gave me a rundown of almost every column I had written up to that point and stated that, inasmuch as he may disagree with some things that I write (who doesn’t), he was a faithful reader and often shared my columns with others.
On one of his trips to the UK, he kept in constant contact with me, telling me how overjoyed he was to be visiting his girls and going to Wales.
I write all of this not solely as a tribute to a friend, but more importantly to share a life lesson.
Many times we will meet persons in real life, or increasingly via Facebook, that on first glance we may have very little in common with.
Mike, white; myself, black; Mike OBA; myself, PLP. Destined to never agree, correct?
We need to take a moment to look for the similarities between us rather than the differences. We may actually find that we have a bosom buddy in the raw.
There are many out there that share common passions and goals, but because we lock ourselves in silos we never get to meet or interact with each other.
Mike, you and I never really agreed on politics, and if you were here today, we would probably be arguing over politics right now.
What we did share was a love for our country, our children, our Mobylettes, and our beloved Manchester United.
I will attend your service wearing something Manchester United, as well I know you would have come to my service likewise.
Mike, I miss you, my friend. However, I know God called you home to make sure Manchester United wins the league next season.
PS Say, look for my cousin, Nathan; he will have on a Manchester United Jersey.