If Alan McDonald was still with us today, he'd be telling us how much he misses football.
Instead, eight years on from his shock passing on June 23, 2012, we are still thinking about how much we miss him.
I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It felt like an ordinary Saturday as I strolled into the kitchen and tossed clothes into the washing machine.
Then I switched on the radio and everything changed. 'Why are they talking about Alan?', I thought.
The full horror soon dawned on me when I learned Alan had collapsed while playing golf and died suddenly.
He was only 48-years-old, the same age I hope to reach before this horrible year is over.
There are some moments in your life that stay with you forever. When the congregation sang "We're not Brazil, We're Northern Ireland" as his coffin was carried from Ballygowan Presbyterian Church, a shiver ran up my spine.
Alan's life may have been short but he achieved so much more than most of us will.
He captained Northern Ireland and played at the 1986 World Cup finals.
No ordinary person does that.
He enjoyed a laugh, a drink and a smoke, but few things in life gave him greater pleasure than putting on the Northern Ireland jersey, which he did 52 times.
Queens Park Rangers, where he made 483 appearances and also wore the armband, loved him too and even named a plane after him.
Although there was no fairytale ending to his reign as Glentoran manager - and that's putting it mildly - he is the last Glens boss to win the Gibson Cup, in 2009.
Former Glentoran captain Paul Leeman said: "Alan was a great man, someone who I had the utmost respect for and as captain of his Glentoran team he allowed me that same respect.
"As the last manager of Glentoran to win a league title he should be remembered fondly for this great achievement by everyone connected with the club.
"As a player it was a pleasure to be his captain and to work and learn under Alan. His tragic death at just 48 came as a big shock to everyone. We lost a great person and a great football man. He is always fondly remembered."
The football community in Northern Ireland was left reeling in shock eight years ago today and that feeling of loss will never leave us.
We will never forget the words of the 1985 Wembley warrior after the scoreless draw against England en route to the 1986 finals.
"Anyone that says that's a fix can come and see me and I'll tell them it wasn't a fix because we bloody earned that and anyone that says different is a joke."
Northern Ireland legend Pat Jennings remembers a man who was fantastic company and a personality you would always want alongside you in the trenches.
"I can't believe it's eight years since we lost Alan, it's unbelievable," said Jennings, who is still his country's record appearance holder on 119 caps.
"Like everyone else I couldn't believe the news. Alan was a big, strong lad and he was very young, you felt something like that couldn't happen to him.
"It was a complete shock but it was nice to see a great turnout for his funeral and it was a fantastic send off.
"Alan was such a lovely lad, a gentleman. I only played about seven or eight times with him but they were big matches, leading up to qualifying for the 1986 World Cup.
"We kept a lot of clean sheets during qualifying and the World Cup was brilliant for all of us. Alan had a big part to play and the England game was unforgettable. Before that we had Romania and he was superb.
"Alan's interview after the England game summed up his passion. The Queens Park Rangers fans also consider him a legend.
"He was a fun guy but never over the top, just a great team-mate. He had the right build for a centre-half and was very strong in the air.
"The clean sheets tell you all you need to know about him and how important he was to the team.
"We had six clean sheets in the run-up to the '86 World Cup including against Turkey and Romania and friendlies against the great Michel Platini team in France and away to Spain. The success of any team is based on a strong defence and we had that."
Alan's brother, Crusaders legend Roy, has carried on living with the weight of grief on his shoulders.
"I've buried three brothers, Ian the youngest at 19, Alan and Jim," said Roy.
"Alan was always with me and he used to go to the matches when I was playing. There's 11 years of a difference between us but I can remember him training with the first team at Seaview and he was always a talented player with ambition.
"He broke into the schoolboy international team and won a European Championship medal. Ian Russell was the manager and the final was at Maine Road in front of 21,000 fans.
"Northern Ireland beat Wales, including Mark Hughes, in the final.
"Clubs like Manchester United and Bolton invited Alan for trials but he went to Queens Park Rangers and fell in love with the place. Tommy Docherty was the manager and they wanted him to finish school in England, that was a big sacrifice for a teenager. He roomed with Ian Stewart and I used to have to push him back on the plane because he was messing around with his mates at home.
"Alan and Ian took up gliding lessons but the club soon put a stop to that when they joined the first-team squad.
"The game at Wembley was a major highlight for him because the defence and Pat Jennings were outstanding. I went out to Mexico to support the boys.
"Alan liked a good laugh and he loved winding people up but when it came down to the football he was focused. It was tunnel vision, he was in the zone.
"He really loved playing for Northern Ireland and in training and matches he gave his all. He wore his heart on his sleeve."
Born in Sandy Row, it was written in the stars that Alan should grace the Windsor stage.
He also coached his country's Under-21 side and throughout all his success he remained the humble boy from Rathcoole.
Eight years on, I found myself looking at the words on the back of the Service of Celebration for Alan.
"You can shed tears that he is gone, or you can smile because he has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left."
Alan cared deeply about his family, his team-mates and the game. The supporters enjoyed watching him but the privileged few were those who got to know him.