I always liked playing football when I was at school. In fact, at my junior school I used to stuff the sandwiches my mum had made me into my desk and skip lunch just so I could get out onto the field early and have five or ten minutes of bliss, taking penalties into an empty net. I got caught out because I wasn’t smart enough to throw the uneaten sandwiches away, and after a couple of weeks the caretaker traced to my desk the awful smell that had begun to fill the classroom, and the game was up. Or would have been if I hadn’t found another way of getting out of lunch early, but that’s another story.
Suffice to say then, when I found out that there was an England Writers Football Team, I was really interested in playing. Amongst others, they play writers’ teams from Scotland and Germany and there are games against both of those later this year. There was even a writer’s world cup a few years back. But there is also a match on the 28th June against a team of film directors, and I’ve got myself a game. That’s the good news. Hooray! The bad news is that in a bit of over-enthusiastic training for it, I’ve pulled a muscle. Boo! It’s had ten days of healing so far, and there are still eleven more days until the game, but I can’t run on it yet and I’m more than a bit fed-up. I think ‘gutted’ is the right footballing word. With luck I might be able to make some of the match, but it’s going to be touch and go, and at the moment I’m about as unfit as it’s possible to be without actually being dead, so none of it is looking too hopeful. It is, however, my only chance to ever play for England at anything, so even if I have to crawl there I’m going to try and make the 28th. I’ll let you know if I do.