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Anorak | RIP Chris Ralph, the man we never knew but whom football will mourn

RIP Chris Ralph, the man we never knew but whom football will mourn

by | 1st, April 2012

RIP Chris Ralph, the 47-year-old footballer who collapsed during a football match between Chagford and Topsham Town. Mr Ralph fell ill playing for Chagford in the Devon Veterans’ County Cup final at Newton Abbot.

Mr Ralph, of Budleigh Salterton, Devon, died in Torbay Hospital.

The game was abandoned.

And so begins the grim procession of orchestrated grief. Any sane human being would love Mr Ralph to be alive. He was a family man who will be much missed. He died suddenly. His family would have had little or not time to prepare for his passing. That is cruel. The game being abandoned was the correct thing to do. But only who those knew Mr Ralph in life can feel pain at his passing. However, next weekend the league wants clubs to hold a minute’s silence. The story, at the time of writing, is the second most read item on the BBC News.

What attracted so many people to read of a man’s death? Was it the football element that made readers look? The BBC headline says:

Footballer dies after collapsing

The BBC understands the power of football and how to get an audience.

Football is about escaping the pains of life and relaxing. But modern football is so bloody serious. If it’s not some pathetic politician using football to showcase their anti-racism credentials, to bind the nation against the white working class mob who must be controlled lest they race riot, it’s fans being invited to be silent for a minute or applaud for the full 60 seconds.

It’s utterly depressing, like seeing the bunch of flowers tied to a tree where a life was taken in a road traffic accident or reading the bench’s inscription to the dead who enjoyed the view; a view once uplifting now tainted by death and loneliness.

On Twitter, a Matthew Collins ‏ @mdcollins1984  notes:

Footballer dies after collapsing. Any reason why ChrisRalph isn’t trending?

Best to invert the question: why should he be? Is trending on twitter the ultimate accolade? Why would strangers feel a need to mourn a

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Posted: 1st, April 2012 | In: Sports Comments (47) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink