We lost mum last week. In the small hours of Thursday to be specific, but we knew for some time. She had one of those cancers. You know the type. From beginning to end, three-and-a-half years, but from January without any hope at all. And we’re not special. There will be many thousands of people living that way in Britain right now. Waiting for the inevitable.  
Maybe you know someone. And, if you do, maybe you are taking small  pleasure from whatever gets you high: the concertos of Rachmaninov, the films of Humphrey Bogart, a good play on Radio 4. But us, in our house, we like sport. We like watching it, we like  playing it, we like arguing about it. And while sport won’t save a person from metastasizing tumours, it can perhaps save those in the vicinity. It can, for a moment, occupy their minds or lift their souls.

Martin Samuel is Britain's premier sports writer. Today's article is one of his best.