THE end of amateur Saturday football in Worcester has taken few people by surprise.
It is a sad indictment on the decline of our national sport in parks across the county, and nationally, that its passing has barely caused a stir.
There was a time when the local Saturday league was a hive of activity – with six divisions and a youth set-up too.
This year, just four teams expressed an interest.
Plenty of reasons have been cited behind the demise and I expect all have contributed in some way.
It is difficult to lay the blame at the feet of any one cause, whether it be lack of commitment, greater leisure options, rising costs or society in general.
One comment made on our website in response to the story suggested that increased bureaucracy and too much administration had driven teams away. Again, another valid concern.
Lack of commitment is certainly an issue. Many of the teams have been run by the same person for years and nobody wants to take on the responsibility.
I have experienced this first-hand as captain of a local snooker team. Whenever some paperwork or the weekly ring-around trying to get players needed doing, it was always the captain who did it.
Yet suggest someone else has a go and there are seldom any takers. That’s how teams fold.
People, it seems, are happy to play but not pull their weight and I suspect there is an element of this here.
But, above all, perhaps the issue is not commitment, rather motivation.
In the past, football was a focal point for the community, now there are many other things to occupy time.
If someone really wants to do something, then they will find a way to do it.
Maybe playing football is no longer top of people’s priorities – it’s perfectly possible.