Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Fresh Prince of P.R

With the Freshers Fair only two days away preparations are being put in place hurriedly by the P.R team so that our stall entice them keen young eyes. We are targeting new and old students who study Public Relations, Marketing and Events Management. We aim to build on the foundations we made last year and turn our department in to something special this year.I

have started to write anecdotal stories about my past and as we have nothing yet to cover I thought I would share another short story with you. This time I recall the key moments in my failed football career.

A fall from grace

“And the winner of this year’s player of the year is……..Adam Burns!!” announced Colin Suggett, the head of Ipswich Towns Football academy. I was honestly surprised as I had been playing most of the season at right back and not centre mid which I felt was my natural position. Even so my team mates seemed to agree with the ex Sunderland and Norwich player and as I walked up to collect my little golden mini me, I had a sense of pride in my belly that I had never felt before. As Mr.Suggett handed me the trophy he whispered “Keep your eye in Burnsy lad, and make sure you start eating your veg, you could do with growing a few inches” his thick Geordie accent reminded me of my hero Peter Beardsley, and as I posed for photos, tightly holding my proudest achievement to date, my dream of becoming a professional footballer seemed as tightly in my grasp as my trophy.

“Who’ve we got this week?” asked Ross in his broad Maccem accent as he put on his Nike astro trainers. “Inter Ya Mam” I replied. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Instead of running out to thousands of adoring fans at St. James’s Park and scoring a hat-rick at the Gallowgate End, I somehow find myself paying £9 a time to play teams called Multiple Scorgasm and Sporting Lesbians. Instead of rubbing shoulders with other graduates of the Ipswich Town academy system like Kieron Dyer, Titus Bramble and Darren Ambrose I find myself facing opposition who have clearly spent more time thinking about a funny team name than actually playing football.

The beginning of the end was probably that night when I experienced pride like never before, the comment Colin Suggett or should I say Mystic Meg made about my height was like a Nostradamus prophecy. When I returned for preseason training my team mates had suddenly been swallowed up my puberty and spat out looking like the BFG, whereas I looked like I had just got of the boat from Lilliput. I was smaller, slower and weaker than every player in the team and I new from the very first training session at the young age of fourteen that my days with the tractor boys were numbered.

It didn’t take long before I was sat on the bench, freezing my pre pubescent balls off, watching other lads becoming more accomplished players as they came up against the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham. The final nail in my coffin came ironically after I scored my first goal of the season, a header in a 3-3 draw with Arsenal. My parents were taken into a room with my coach and told that their son was not developing fast enough, that he would not be able to make the step up to Y.T.S and that it would be unfair to drag the process out any further. I found out later in life that apparently my Dad fought my corner well, but my mum had to throw the towel in as he took too many devastating blows. The news hit me like a punch in the stomach, I felt winded and unable to breath. The drive back to Newmarket in my Dad’s Ford Granada was quite easily the most depressing forty five minutes of my young life. I knew it had hurt my dad as he didn’t even go to the Cherry Tree for killer pool, Super Sunday and a pint of Boddingtons smooth. I can now understand why my Dad felt this way as looking back it had been he who picked me up from school to take the ninety minute round trip, four times a week to Portman Road, and he who had kicked, headed and tackled every ball with me during my 8 year career with “George Burley’s Barmy Army”.

When we pulled in to our modest semi detached house on our sleepy Suffolk street, I turned to my Dad and told him I was sorry, “Never mind that! Gan and get the grow bag out the shed, we’ll have ya 6ft in ne time” he joked, in his familiar Geordie tone, whilst ruffling my hair and playfully kicking me in the direction of our weathered shed. My Dad’s optimism wasn’t shared by myself, but I laughed anyway and told him they’re plenty more clubs in the sea.

After brief spells at Norwich and Colchester which had also ended with my Dad going punch to punch with some old pro turned coach, It seemed I was never going to be good enough to make a living out of football. This was not a decision made voluntarily, it was more forced upon me. My career didn’t go completely Alf-Inge Haaland, as I once again tasted success at Portman Road, unfotunately this isn’t Roy of the Rovers and I was not picked from obscurity by new Town boss Joe Royal, instead I was represetning the county in the F.A County Youth Cup Final. We won a dramtic game 2-1 and at the function following the game I enjoyed champagne and salmon whilst the usual boring speeches took place thanking the refs and the county officials. There was one last tropy to give out however and that was for the County Player of theYear, the tropy would be presented by David Sheepshanks and yes you guessed it, now head scout, Colin Sugget. There were whispers that I had done enough to win the award, and when Mr.Sheepshanks said my name, I made the long walk through the tables of people I had never seen before with the same smile I was wearing when I was fourteen. Colin Suggett handed me the trophy and shook my hand, “Well done son” he said. I thanked him and the club for the hospitailty and told him inperticular the vegatables were some of the finest I had ever eaten, he replied with a puzzled “thankyou, I’ll have to tell the chef”. I wasn’t dissapointed that he hadn’t remembered me, it had after all been nearly five years, he probably thought I went on to become a Jockey like my dad or a Borrower like my mum. I was happy that I had in a way had the last laugh, of course the last laugh would have been sweeter if it was the World Cup I was lifting as captain of England, but like I said beofre this is’nt Roy of the Rovers.

Heres the amzing goal that won us the final!

No comments:

Post a Comment