I REMEMBER a university housemate once asked me why I invest so much money and time watching football the length and breadth of the country.

What, I was asked, was the attraction of writing a day off each weekend to travel long distances to watch 22 grown men kick around a pig’s bladder in the name of sport, often heading on the homeward journey downhearted?

Well recent events have illustrated all that is good about being a football fan and the bond that exists among those of a like mind.

For every modern-day Arsenal TV voicebox who wants their snippet of fame after each game online, there are those who care just as much about the game and their team without the need for fame and the limelight.

We all have our allegiances, of course, and that is what makes it such a passionate sport to watch.

Getting one over our rivals, laughing as they falter or being ridiculed ourselves for our own team flattering to deceive – the ups and downs and banter are all part of the game.

But when push comes to shove, we are all the same really, regardless of what colour our scarf is. As fans we bleed football be that blood white, red, blue or yellow.

This week was another example of that when Dortmund’s game with Monaco was postponed after the German team’s bus was attacked.

Travelling Monaco fans sang their hosts’ name in support once news broke their game would be put back and Dortmunders responded by offering rooms and beds for those French followers stranded for the night.

Unity was on show as it always is when it matters.

Just like on these shores when a club is hit by tragedy or death of a legend, it is not just scarves of the team involved that are laid in shrines.

The football world, with all it’s faults at times, is a strong family unit that looks out for its own.

Another recent example is the overwhelming support for young Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery, who has terminal cancer.

It is not just at home on Wearside where his story has touched people – it is far and wide.

I even saw a post on Twitter recently from a group of Perugia fans, a team in Italian Serie B, with a banner in English wishing the youngster well.

Support for our own in their hour of needs stretches beyond club allegiance, just like those Monaco fans demonstrated this week.

And like those who showed worldwide support for Brazilian team Chapecoense when their team was decimated by an air crash last year.

The beautiful game may not always live up to its moniker with allegations of corruption at the top level.

But shows of togetherness like the support for Borussia Dortmund, its players and fans this week prove it has an unbreakable spirit that so many across the globe relate to.

Long may that continue.