Jack Averty: Freddie or Jesus, the goal is to know why we celebrate

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So today is the day. The day we recognise one of the most important moments in history.

It's the day when the nation unites to remember one man, the man who laid the foundations for civilisation today as we know it.

It is, of course, Freddie Ljungberg's birthday. That's right, it creeps up on you every year but today the Arsenal legend and iconic Swedish winger turns 40.

People also commonly refer to the day as the day Christ was resurrected, which, given Freddie's heroics in the greatest football team ever assembled, is a fair statement.

As well as his invincible season, Freddie racked up two Premier League titles and three FA Cups for the Gunners while giving defenders nightmares.

Despite this, however, the majority of people today will remember this bloke called 'Jesus' instead.

Of course 'Jesus' could just be another nickname for Freddie but apparently this is a fella who came back to life (not possible) and had an array of abilities, including being able to turn water into wine (also not possible).

Even if these things did happen (they didn't) they would never live up to Freddie leaving John Terry on his backside before bending the ball into the top corner in the 2002 FA cup final.

You can keep your water Jesus, we'll take Freddie's goal anytime.


The bit that's confusing however is that to remember Freddie today we'll be scoffing chocolate, which does not make much sense as, given his physique, he's clearly never eaten chocolate in his whole life.

A quick Google should provide all the answers. Clearly everyone is intrigued as just below the search of 'why do we exist?' is the question 'why do we have Easter eggs?'

Apparently the chocolate eggs, with their hollow centre, represent this Jesus bloke's tomb where he was buried but then came back to life in the form of Freddie Ljungberg.

How many people actually knew that? (the hollow egg thing not the terrible joke about Freddie)


Realistically, what's going to happen today is people are going to eat a load of chocolate and not really understand why. There'll be no thought of Freddie and certainly no thought of Jesus.

We can joke about Freddie and chocolate but there's an important meaning to Easter. Something we should all know, even if we then don't give it a second thought.

Religion, however divisive it is, is a major part of the UK and the society we live in. We can't just ignore it if we don't agree with it, that's not how it works.

While the Easter bank holiday is just an excuse to get time off work and eat chocolate for most of us, for thousands of Christians up and down the country it's the most important time of year – a time to celebrate the rebirth of Christ.

A lot of us aren't religious, which is perfectly fine, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't know and understand why today is significant.

We can dismiss Jesus as fantasy, and his alleged achievements as not possible, but many believe he was real and these things did happen. How would you like it if there was something you deeply believed in and had a specific time to celebrate it but no one bothered to understand why it was so important?

It's a similar story around Christmas as we rip open our presents and play a game of who can get the most bloated around the dinner table as masses of food are wolfed down.

I bet most of us forget that it's the day that Jesus was born and actually that's what we're celebrating.

No one is saying in order to celebrate these holidays you must become a Christian and attend church every Sunday, they're just asking for some understanding as to why you are celebrating and do get to mark these holidays.

But let's not confuse having some perspective with losing complete sense of all reality which seemed to happen with the farce surrounding the National Trust and its alleged omission of Easter from its egg hunts in partnership with Cadbury.

We had Prime Minister Theresa May branding the move 'just ridiculous', which also left her counterpart Jeremy Corbyn 'upset' and led the Archbishop of York to claim the move was 'spitting on the grave' of John Cadbury, the founder of the chocolate firm.

Sadly, what everyone had failed to spot was that actually Easter is all over the branding for the egg hunts, and there was no attempt to 'airbrush' the religious holiday out at all.

As for Mr Cadbury having his grave spat on, his great great great great granddaughter took to social media to kindly explain that as a Quaker he never actually celebrated Easter. Perspective. You do not have to say a prayer today, or attend church, or picture Jesus as you bite in to your chocolate egg, you just need to know why it is a significant day.

If you don't know why, then how will your future family know why? And their future family? And the family after that?

These things are so important to know, even if they don't mean anything to us, as otherwise they will just be lost and Easter Sunday will legitimately become Chocolate Sunday.

How will future relatives know about Freddie's FA cup final goal if no one tells them?

It's up to us to pass on what's important, but if we forget what's important then how can we pass it on?

If we all make an agreement to remember Jesus and Freddie every year then we can rest assured that the future is safe, apart from the impending threat of nuclear war and World War III.

What a nice thought to end on, Happy Easter everybody.

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