Those of us of a certain age remember football’s close season being tough – very tough and very long.
Back then there wasn’t dedicated 24 hour football channels offering endless packaged programmes from the footballing world, there wasn’t social media and there certainly wasn’t the prospect of friendlies between Manchester United and the Laos national team and the like to help give us our fix.
It was a lot of weeks of the good old fashioned waiting game as summer sports took centre stage, whether we liked it or not, and the long countdown to August began.
Of course every two years we had a Euros or a World Cup to see us good, but when it was a blank summer, oh boy, did it fill us with dread.
Here’s just seven ways we managed to survive.
Now we have Sky Sports News around the clock, club twitter feeds and website for our favourite club and a whole lot more besides in the wonderful world of the internet. Back in the 1980's the best we had was teletext. How many of you spent whole afternoons endlessly hitting refreshing, desperately hoping it would update and bring you a 120 word story on who you club has just signed? Photo: Getty Images
2. Playing football with our mates
If we couldn't watch football then we at least played it. Life seemed simpler back then (yes, I really do sound), distractions in the house were much fewer and farer between and life seemed safer and more worry free. It was a classic summer of 'jumpers for goalpost' and playing football with friends on the streets all day with only meal breaks stopping us from being John Barnes and winning the FA Cup. I can almost still hear the 'Barrrnneeess' shout from our imaginary commentator. Photo: POOL/AFP via Getty Images
3. Championship Manager
Of course not all kids were as active as others and computer games always proved to be a great time killer. The Championship Manager series came into fashion in the early 1990's and I have to admit the Italian version of the game always saw me through the summer. There wasn't anything better than taking charge of a village side, finding the undiscovered Marco Van Basten's and setting off in pursuit of footballing glory. Photo: Getty
4. Watching other sports
When live football wasn't around we had to fill the void with something - and back then you didn't need multiple subscriptions to watch all sports. The summers became all about Test cricket, The Open golf and our course Wimbledon. We remember the iconic moments of SW19 but somehow watching Steffi Graf beat Martina Navratilova never quite cut the mustard compared to seeing your side score a big goal. Photo: Getty Images