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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Christie’s life events put football into perspective

Cyrus Christie signed on loan from Fulham yesterday after what seemed like a mad 24 hours where the transfer was on, off and then back on again as he completed a loan move that will keep him at Swansea at least for the remainder of this season.

Bit whilst we, as Swansea fans, speculate over the next transfer rumour, Christie has been through some life events that really make the discussion around our next sale or purchase completely irrelevant as he revealed in an interview with the Evening Standard last month.

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Christie opened up in that interview on several matters on top of football including the premature birth of his daughter last September together with the racism he has experienced during his time as a footballer.   It is a fascinating insight into what his life can be about and gives a great indication of Christie as an individual more than Christie the footballer.

It was last September that his partner Nahide experienced a series of complications during pregnancy and, one night in September, she was rushed to hospital while struggling to breathe.

Doctors had to deliver the baby a month premature and, after a sleepless three-day ordeal while Nahide was stabilised, their first child, Amaya, was born.

“When she came out, she didn’t make a sound,” Christie says. “You’re panicking then, even more. They said she was breathing and you’re thinking everything’s fine, you’re holding your baby and then the doctors come rushing in saying they have to take her to the ICU,” he told the publication.

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“When I came in, she was all wired up, had all the tubes through her nose. That was a shock, seeing her there for the first time.

“She’s still quite tiny now, but she’s catching up.  It was tough for my partner, both of them being ill. Thankfully both of them are doing really well now.

“It was a tough period, you have to be strong mentally. My friend lost his daughter to cancer, so you just have to count your blessings. I can’t complain when there’s people out there in worse situations. But it was definitely an eye opener. I have a whole new human being relying on me. It definitely changes your whole outlook on life.”

Many of us will be able to relate to what Christie is referring to even if you haven’t experienced any of the worry to the level that he describes but this is just a part of some of Christie’s life and he opened up on some sickening racism that he has experienced during his time as a player, relaying some horror stories of events since he moved to Fulham.

“When I came to Fulham, a guy was sending me pictures of black people hanging from trees and saying, ‘This is you and your family next’,” he added.

“The police make out they’re going to do something – but they don’t. It gets to the point where people don’t bother commenting and speaking about it. That’s the point it got to with me.

“I even said to Fulham I don’t want to speak to the police, there’s no point. After we went through the investigation, they said, ‘I can see why you didn’t want to’.

“Fulham were really thorough and dealt with it really well. They have a lot of people doing a lot to make a change.”

The fight that football faces against racism is well documented and progress is being made.   However, we have seen here at Swansea through players such as Lowe, Dhanda, Rhys Williams and Cabango that there is a long way to go.    Football has called many times on social media companies to play their part, something that Christie widely appreciates.

“You’re seeing a lot more white people talking about it and at times their voice is probably more powerful than someone going through it.

“But it’s small gains, nowhere near enough. It’s the same old conversation really: social media platforms have to do more.”

The Swans were, of course, at the forefront of a social media boycott last season as sport in general took a stand against racism and when you read the words of Christie above you know why.  The fact that it is 2022 and these things happen remains unacceptable in all walks of life and this demonstrates why it needs to end.

Cyrus Christie is clearly someone who has much respect both within the game and it is hard to not respect him fully for this interview alone.   He is someone who appreciates hs life but his family comes first and whilst we have signed a top quality player, football is definitely second in his life as he finally added “The biggest thing for me in life is being the best father I can be for my daughter. I need to be there for her, I can’t let her down. It’s such an amazing feeling. It’s indescribable, really. Especially with the things we went through to be where we are now, it just makes it even more amazing.”

Cyrus Christie was talking to the Evening Standard.

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Phil Sumblerhttp://www.planetswans.co.uk
Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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