My Sporting Life
Causton Hawks v Colneis @ Colneis circa 1979
This was my full debut for Causton Hawks. They were formed as a team for the boys who had no real football ability. Walton Colts were the side the good players played for. I was 5th or 6th choice for the Hawks.
One Saturday I was told I was in the side. There must have been an outbreak of malaria or something as I only used to get 3 minutes a month and here I was starting the game. In goal!
Very hazy memories of the game and not even sure of the result or who was even in my team. All I do know is that I made a cunt of myself.
The first time was just before the break. Colneis got a penalty. I saved it. Cheers all round. Or so we thought. I wasn’t content with catching the ball from the spot kick. I had to add cream. I caught the ball and proceeded to roll acrobatically across the goal. My head hit the post. I dropped the ball and it rolled into the back of the net.
1-0 down at half time so the manager, who I believe was Stuart Hazlewood’s dad, made me play on pitch. This is where my second fuck up occurred.
We kicked off and the ball came to me. I made my way down the pitch and went past several bewildered players before slotting the ball past the keeper. I’d scored a goal!
But before the celebrations could take hold I was swiftly reminded that we change ends at half time. We were 2-0 down and I was soon substituted never to play for the side again.
Picked for the school Basketball team 1985
Back in the 80’s channel four was a fledgling TV station and used to fill it’s schedules with American sports. One of these sports was basketball. This proved popular and before too long they were covering British basketball. I got quite into the game and one Christmas got a brand new red, white and blue basket ball as a present.
I took my ball to practice and lo and behold old McNally soon picked me for the squad. As long as they could use my ball. I didn’t appear much in any predetermined practice routines but I was continuously told I was an integral part of the squad.
Off we went to Copleston for our first ever match. I was in the squad of ten. I was to take to the bench for the start but could they use my ball? We lost the match and I never got on. All the other 9 did but I didn’t.
Not long after this I was dropped from the squad as I didn’t fit in with coach McNally’s plans. By an amazing twist of fate this coincided with my ball being stolen. How lucky was that?
Almost getting selected for the school football team 1985
I’d put my basketball disappointment behind me and tried out for the school team. Goalkeeping was my favoured position and one Friday night I went to the trials. The game kicked off and I was kept busy. Very busy.
It seemed I was doing enough to earn a place on the bench as reserve goalkeeper. I was chuffed.
The second half kicked off and again I was in outstanding form. Then I heard my name being called. Jamie, Jamie, Jamie. I looked up and saw my sister running across the field.
I was late for my tea! My sister had been sent out to get me. I couldn’t even see the game out. Off I had to go.
I never made the team!
Sending off in the football house cup 1985
As you’ve probably worked out by now I’m not renowned for my sporting ability. However in my house I was the big player.
It was Wolsey (my house) v Constable. Mr McNally was once again involved. He was the house master for Constable and was refereeing. Not a lot happened as my team was utter shite. We had all the remedials, fat kids, geeks and smokers. Not one person, bar me, had any interest in being there.
We were stuffed in more ways than one. The star player for Constable was my old mate Ian McKinnon. Halfway through the second half he made yet another mazy run past our overweight midfield general and left our defenders for dead. It was just me and him.
I charged out of my goal and went for him. I dropped the shoulder and he went over it. He flew through the air and ended up in a heap on the floor.
I was given my marching orders, I believe we lost 8 or 9 nil but at least McKinnon never scored past me!
Sending off in the rugby house cup 1985
The next term it was rugby. I still had the same non sporting team mates. This time up it was Wolsey v Felix.
I hated rugby and still do. It was made worse as we weren’t even allowed to kick for conversions if we ever scored a try or a penalty.
Basically we were being taught sport by guys who’d failed the teacher training course and couldn’t do anything else.
Anyway on with the game. Once again my memories of the game are somewhat sparse but I remember getting sent off for fighting with the opposing hooker Julian Dessaur.
So in the same school year I got sent off in both football and rugby. Hopefully it’s a record that has never been equalled.
Making a break of 37 at Snooker 1991
Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s a few of us used to get in the Felixstowe Labour Club and play snooker. I wasn’t very good but joined the team to make the numbers up. One week they were short. I was in. I played some old boy who looked like Joe Davis’s dad. He broke off and we exchanged shot with neither of us troubling the scorer. After 15 or so minutes I got bored so whacked the reds open. 3 off them went in! I followed that with the black so already my break was 10. Another red and black followed with a pink taken as the colour off the next red.
I was shaking. I went and had a slurp of my pint and a mouthful of my crisps which I believe were Scampi Nik Naks. Back I went to the table and potted another red followed by the blue. Again I went red/blue to give myself 37. My hands couldn’t hold the cue I was shaking so much. The next red was hanging over the pocket. I potted it but my luck had run out as the white followed suit (how many of you have actually added up my break to see if it does indeed add up to 37?)
I went on to win the frame but never played for the team again. I didn’t drive so the captain said I couldn’t play the next week away. I told him to poke it up his arse.
He died shortly after that.
Man of the Match In Germany 1997
A weekend with the boys over in Amsterdam and Wesel included a game of football against a Wesel side. I think somewhere in translation it was lost on what level of ability we were. They were the equivalent of a Blue Square side and we were a pub piss head outfit.
Having spent the previous 24 hours travelling on a coach from Felixstowe to Wesel via the delights of Amsterdam we weren’t in the mood for a game of football. They destroyed us.
7-0 down at half time so I got my chance in the sticks. I let 6 in so we lost 13 0! In between I missed a penalty and made one Banksesque style save to win the man of the match award. Which was stolen from a German service station on the way home!
A cracking tee shot 2003
I once tried golf. As you’ll probably already have guessed I wasn’t very good at it. I could hit the ball straight just not very far.
One Saturday I was playing with a couple of guys from my workplace of the time. We played a little 9 hole course at Purdis Heath. By some stroke of luck I had won the previous hole so it was my honour at the par 3 4th.
As we arrived at the tee a couple of old boys were just off the green but called us through as they reckoned we’d be quicker than them. I put my ball on the tee and selected my club. Just as I was about to play my shot another couple of guys appeared. So there was the 2 old boys in front of us, my 2 playing partners and these two new uns. Pressure was on.
What pressure? My ball flew of the tee sweetly and landed a mere 5 feet from the pin. I was greeted with slaps on the back and a round of applause.
I felt like Nick Faldo.
I 3 putted!
So that’s my sporting highlights. Not many I know but when you’re short, fat and blind you take all you can.