Just who is Jay Spearing?
I happen to know that he is a twenty-year-old Midfield Player for Liverpool, who came on for the last half hour of their match against Real Madrid last Wednesday, and played really well. I know, because at breakfast the next morning, this heartwarming snippet – this giving a chance to new talent – was the bit of George’s Match Debrief that caught my attention and made me smile.
George is a passionate Liverpool fan. Hence, soon after we met, he took me to watch a match; they were playing Stoke, I think - somewhere beginning with ‘S’ anyway. As it was my first ever live match, I determined to concentrate very hard and amaze George with my astute comments.
I was busy concentrating when everyone around me suddenly leapt up cheering and waving. Oh hell! - how had they scored so sneakily? And no replay…
Do you like sport? I like sporty things if they make me laugh; for instance, Cancanning on the mini-trampoline; sploshing about in the sea with an inflatable of some ilk (dinghy, dolphin, waterwings…)
At school, I was strangely good at Netball; in spite of being height-impeded, I could leap up to the net like one of those hunky seven-foot basketball players. And, of course, you could grasp the ball, whereas in Hockey you had to try and hit it with the end of a stick longer than I was.
In Hockey I was also horribly hampered by moving schools half way through the first year. I had learnt the Bully Off chant in a sort of slow motion: “Ground… Sticks… Ground… Sticks… Ground… Sticks… AWAaaaay!” - then the one paying most attention would solidly thwack the ball and set the game off in her favoured direction. At this new school they bullied off so fast, they’d scored before I’d even recognised the instructions.
Worse than that, the six months of growing that everyone else had had since buying their hockey shorts, meant theirs were trendy micro-minis; mine were a draughty tribute to Baden-Powell.
So sports lessons for me and other like-mindeds were generally a time to hide in the loos and compare scant notes on boys and eyeshadow. In post-school years I decided to try being sporty with Badminton; although this involved the tricky hitting-with-appendage, the target at least sailed through the air at a more gentle rate than a Tennis or (heaven forfend) a Squash ball...
Sadly, it it didn’t sail slowly enough for me, and I never graduated from Beginners’ Courses (in spite of taking three sets of them). But I wasn’t the only one. And we Put Our All into those games, hurtling desperately after the shuttlecock, shrieking “Good Shot!” whenever it made it over the net, and retiring to the bar afterwards to discuss our performance.
Definitely a cause for hilarity.
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