Football is a fire in my heart.
Narrator: Wu Chunming, a villager from Chejiang Village, Chejiang Township, Rongjiang County, Qiandongnan Prefecture, Guizhou Province.
Someone asked me, "Village Super" is so hot, did you think of it beforehand? I always answer: for me, football has always been so hot, and this fire is burning in my heart.
I am a post-70s. When I was a child, after chopping firewood in summer, my friends all gathered in Zhaitou to watch the big brothers and sisters in the village play football, and they followed me to pick up the ball. It was also very satisfying to touch the ball. From elementary school to high school, from the yellow mud on the edge of the village to the small half of the campus, there was no professional venue, no professional coach, a football and a pair of sneakers, which were torn and patched … Those years were not rich, but as long as I could play football and run freely, I could forget all my troubles.
Later, when I grew up, I found that there were fewer and fewer people in the village who could play football together. Rongjiang county was still in deep poverty at that time, and many young people left their homes to work in the coastal areas after graduating from junior high school. Those simple stadiums that used to be lively on the river beach and the dam are gradually becoming scarce. After graduating from high school, I had no choice but to join the tide of working in the south.
I always look forward to going home during the Chinese New Year holiday, because I can go back to the humble stadium that brings me happiness. There are many festivals in Miao village in Dong township. When there is a festival, we have to play football. Sometimes, a game lasts for more than 10 days. Please go home to play football for such a long time, and the factory will definitely not do it. No leave, so I have to resign.
I remember one year, the village started a "riverside football match" again, and all the football experts from ten villages and nine villages came. Already the main striker in the village, I ignored the boss’s face, took a bus for six or seven hours, and finally returned to my hometown before the start of the game. On the sandy land of the river beach, with the cheers of my fellow villagers, I rushed to the front and felt that my life was glorious.
In recent years, poverty alleviation and rural revitalization have made Rongjiang look different every day. Not only have new houses been built in every family, many people have bought cars, but every village has sports fields, and many standard football fields have been built in schools, towns and counties. Although I am 45 years old, I can’t help but be eager to see these stadiums. So, I decided to stay and form a "Happy old boys" football team with a group of golfers. I usually kill pigs, sell fish, repair cars, and play football whenever I have time. You don’t have to worry about the venue anymore-there are more than a dozen free and open standard football fields in the county to choose from. Township primary and secondary schools have also set up football leagues. We take out the same energy as playing football to provide voluntary training and guidance for children, hoping that our love for football will be passed down from generation to generation.
This year, I heard that the "Village Super League" was going to be held, and I signed up at the first time. A slogan on the side of the stadium, "Life should be about chasing the ball", speaks the voice of many of our old players.
As long as the villagers love watching the ball, I will run on the field; As long as there is a game in the village, I will keep chasing the ball. As long as the popularity of the village is growing, the fire in my heart will continue to burn.
(Project team: Guangming Daily reporters Lu Shen, Wang Dong, Chen Guanhe, John Zhang, Wang Simin)
Guangming Daily (June 28, 2023, 07 edition)