‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’
It was Liverpool FC Manager, Bill Shankley that eloquently demonstrated football fans dedication to the beautiful game in possibly one of the most famous quotes ever (above).
When I found myself in the death zone on Mount Everest, I was determined to demonstrate my devotion to my beloved Cardiff City FC.
Every team has its song, as it happens my football team has the Ayatollah. The Cardiff City signature chant, the Ayatollah has accompanying actions so it can be recognised in a photo or video without hearing the words.
Therefore doing the ayatollah at significant venues, for example, holidays, weddings, and other celebratory occasions are second nature to a bluebird.
So when I started climbing mountains the first thing I did when I reached the peak was an ayatollah and I have a selection of pics of me looking undernourished, barely visible under layers of down and Goretex waving my hands around my ears.
On reaching the summit of Everest even though I was exhausted – it was a now or never moment for me and although I felt pretty awkward asking, I knew I’d be gutted if I didn’t give it a go. The Sherpas as always we’re enthusiastic and happy to accommodate.
You can see the result below – which all things considered I’m delighted with! There’s also the outtake clip of me trying to explain what I want them to do.
For the rest of the trip, the Sherpas did the ayatollah every time they saw me and I’d like to think it’s become a tradition of theirs and summit ayatollahs will live forever in the Himalayas!