It's important to remember that beyond the hype, banter, bile and bollocks that often surrounds modern football, what really matters is human life in all its glory and messiness. So my thoughts and wishes are particularly with Exeter City fans this week, following news of the tragic death of striker Adam Stansfield on 10 August 2010. He was 31 years of age, and had been suffering from bowel cancer. It all happened remarkably quickly: abdominal pains in March, a dagnosis in April, a young man's future snuffed out within four and a half months. How precious and frail life is.
I saw Adam in action on numerous occasions over the past few years, the Grecians being my local side until I moved first to Birmingham and now to Edinburgh. He also featured several times in my regular matchday magazine column, naturally. 'Stanno' also made over 110 appearances for Yeovil Town and Hereford United between 2001-6, prior to his Exeter move.
The English Football League Division One game that Exeter would have been played on Saturday 14 August against Dagenham & Redbridge has been understandably postponed while people come to terms with the loss. Up at Dumbarton, we are unfortunately well acquainted with grief, following the awful death of Sons' captain Gordon Lennon in a road accident on 6 June 2009. I'm sure everyone associated with the Club would join me in sending sincere condolences to all Adam's family and friends, near and far.