x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Terry's enviable position

Sitting in the rain, I looked at the sun-kissed pictures of John Terry, the former England captain, and his wife at the Royal Meridien Hotel in Dubai, which have been splashed all over the English newspapers.

John Terry and wife Toni on their return from Dubai.
John Terry and wife Toni on their return from Dubai.

I have been in London for the past week. Sitting in the rain, I looked at the sun-kissed pictures of John Terry, the former England captain, and his wife at the Royal Meridien Hotel in Dubai, which have been splashed all over the English newspapers. A happy couple they looked indeed, cuddling with the kids.

But as I huddled round a warming coffee at Borough Market in south-east London, I couldn't help but wonder how different my own reception would have been if I'd been in big John's position. My wife would have been lazing round the pool with the kids swimming away, but as I outstretched my arm for a welcoming embrace, hot off the plane from Gatwick, I would have been met by a right-hander straight in the mouth.

No doubt followed by a swift boot to the groin. Of course, I would have pleaded innocence and explained the world's paparazzi were camped with their lenses on us for the first reunion meeting, only then to receive another stinging punch and kick with language the kind of never heard at a beach club. She would have then stormed off taking the children with her, never to be seen again. I suppose it's the rich tapestry of life, that makes us all so wonderfully different.

I now know why big Derek Whyte, our main Premier League analyst on Showtime, has been training so hard recently. Surely it's a matter of time before AC Milan snap him up. I mean at the age of 41 he's a shoo-in. It must be the cushiest OAPs club in sport. No wonder Paolo Maldini played until the age of 62 or something. Halfway through Manchester United's win over them in midweek, I half expected the coach Leanardo to strip off his coat and run on himself.

And honestly, I love David Beckham, but he was embarrassing. Skulking around in the right back position hitting hopeful worldly balls straight out of play. OK, he still looks the part at set-plays, but he was supposed to be up the pitch attacking. Mind you, he's been nicking that deep lying right back role for years now. In the end, the 48-year-old Clarence Seedorf put life into the tie, but Sir Alex Ferguson will be fuming United only scored three. It should have been six.

I've been wracking my brain on how to write the following story without trying to sound big-headed or like sickeningly proud father. But try as I might I can't, so here goes. Last Monday, my 17-year-old son, George, was net bowling against England at the stadium in Dubai Sports City. When the great Kevin Pietersen walked in, he clean bowled him first ball with a googly he didn't pick out. There, it's said now.

Sorry for that, but fatherhood can be so difficult that the good times sometimes have to be shared. sports@thenational.ae