About me

My name is Ryan Heuvel and to call myself a football enthusiast is as much of an understatement as saying The Pope is just another Catholic (though I am hardly the head of all things football). My love for the game, and my club of choice, knows no bounds, which is mildly ironic seeing as I couldn’t stand watching football growing up.

I couldn’t understand how, with massive goalposts at either end of the pitch, two teams could play for more than ninety minutes and there wouldn’t be a goal to show for it. Effectively, as far as I was concerned, a game of football was similar to a tennis match – the ball bouncing and flying hither and thither, only over a much larger area and with much a higher risk of there being no winner at all. Thus, the size of the pitch was directly proportionate to the possibility of there being no winning team – which is also ironic because the players ran like hell for most of the match.

And as for Liverpool … wow! Every time I heard the name, I would picture a large, kidney-shaped pool filled to the brim with an innumerable quantity of a vital organ.

Nevertheless, the early-to-mid nineties saw the rise of Manchester United, and several family members were more devoted to the club than they were their families and I was forced to align myself with a football club. At first I thought The All Blacks would be a good team to support, but alas …

Manchester United simply steamrolled teams in the nineties, and only really made headline news when they lost matches. Victories for the team in red & white were foregone conclusions, regardless of the opposition but I watched them play in hope they might lose occasionally so I could back them. Manchester United NEVER lost.

For me, there’s no point in watching any sport if you already know what the result is going to be, and so my search for a new team began.

My brother supported Liverpool (and still does), and aside from their terrible name, the club fitted the bill perfectly for what I was in search of: they were a good team, winning most of their games but not all. They were close enough to the top of the log that they would trouble the teams above them and maybe even win the league one day, but most importantly each result was something new and it made sport, and football in particular, worth watching.

As things stand, I’ve not missed a televised Liverpool FC match in … well, too many years to count.

In respect to the written word, I was employed by Africa’s leading sports broadcaster in 2003 as a content editor and controller. Three years later I embarked on my literary journey with the same company until we parted ways in 2008. In my tenure there I briefly studied creative writing through a distanced-learning institution, but left the company before I completed the course.

I started Ruffgrain.com in February 2014 with a view to writing meaningful, opinion-based content that would give football fans and readers an alternative insight into the English Premier League and football at large. Ruffgrain.com aims to spark debate among football fans, and I thus urge readers to challenge me on what is said.

I trust I’ll hear from you soon … I love this game!

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