It's not just that the term "fan" itself originates in the English language (sure, coming from "fanatic", but still...), it's that I on all my travels have never met any group of people more devoted to this game. More loving. With more heart and soul. And yes, I know that the hooligan also originates in England, but still...
... whenever you hear fans in stadiums singing "You'll never walk alone", remember the English fans. You may be able to lose faith in your wife, so goes an English saying (which I'm paraphrasing now), but you may never lose faith in your squad. Chins up, England fans. You'll never walk alone. You'll never be alone.
... whenever you play footie or watch it, remember that the English invented this sport, and while the travelling world cup is a wonderful idea, bringing people together on every continent every four years (marketing bullshit included), it would also almost be fitting if the world cup was in England every four years.
... whenever you hear the chants, the singing, the clapping, the exuberance, remember the English fans. Who are angry now. At their own team. Which failed yet again to fulfill its promise. And worse, who failed against us. The Germans.
Or as comedian Michael Mittermaier once said, "Sure, you won two world wars, wow, big whoop, we won three world cups. Guess which is more difficult?"
Remember the English fans. Remember that they deserved better than the team they have. A team that is only this weak, because Russian billionaires and oil sheiks have taken over the club footie and buy up every available pair of feet around the world not quick enough to climb the nearest tree instead of bringing forth a new generation of their own national players.
Remember them all.
And when you meet one tonight, in a pub, on the street, if that fan wears the colours and if they wear the three lions, say "thank you". Thank them for their passion. Thank them for their loyalty to their team and the game itself.
And buy them a pint, will you?