Boxing Day Football: A View From Both Sides Of The Touchline

Recent calls for retail workers to be given Boxing Day off have raised the question as to whether footballers and fans should also get the Bank Holiday off?

A recent online petition calling for shops to close and those working in retail to be given Boxing Day off gained over 200,000 signatures, yet there has been little call for footballers to get the day off.

Nantwich Town left back and semi-professional footballer Andy White, 24, spoke about how playing so close to Christmas affects his festive diet.

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Nantwich Town left back Andy White

He said: “I’ve played on boxing day for the past 5 years now so I don’t mind it. On Christmas day I have to look after my body and make sure I don’t over indulge.”

It wasn’t just missing out on all of the festive food on offer that Andy was concerned about, and he suggested that Boxing Day matches should be local derbies.

“I think this would be a good idea because many non-league players would like to spend more time with their families, especially if they have children.

“I’m having to make sure I’m in bed early and sacrifice my entire day to travel one of the furthest distances so the non-league fixture organisers need to look into this because it’s wrong,” he said.

Highlights of Nantwich’s Boxing Day game away at Workington (Source: Nantwich Town FC)

Travelling at this time of year is also something that affects the fans.

Recently engaged Manchester United season ticket holder Matty Nield, 21, spoke of how football can’t be top priority every day, particularly around the festive season.

“I’ve travelled to Boxing Day games (most recently Hull in 2013) and I do love it, but now with a fiancé I have to think about travelling on Boxing Day, but I suppose you have to look at it on a fan by fan basis,” he said.

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Matty enjoying a day out at Wembley in April this year

One option that has often been talked about is a German style winter break over the festive period, allowing both fans and players some time away from the sport.

Matty said of this: “I wouldn’t mind a winter break, it’d give our players the break they deserve and the fans a break over Christmas, all the better if they have families.”

What do you think? Should festive football stick around or should it have Boxing Day off? Let us know by tweeting us @FromMarsOnline.

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