Thursday, June 08, 2006

My eldest son, who is six, had a bit of a dilemma the other day. Football induced. I don't mind football, but other than playing in a summer five a side league to keep fitness going between the end and start of the rugby season, I've not played since primary school, whereas I've played rugby every season from the age of ten, I love the game, playing and watching, it's been a big part of my life. C has been playing football since he was four. A guy in the village started a junior section, and thanks to his endless effort, it's gone from strength to strength. I try and mooch off early every wednesday to watch the match at the end of practice. To C's delight he got man of the match yesterday for a crunching goal saving tackle, which in his mind qualified him for a chocolate biscuit with his bedtime milk. Anyway, with the world cup approaching, all the kids are getting pretty revved up, C's got his wallchart up, ready for the first game. One slight problem. No Wales. No great suprise to followers of football, but a bit bewildering for a six year old who wants someone to cheer on. I'm Welsh, born in Wales, Welsh parents, three Welsh grandparents (one slipped in from Yorkshire, it barely taints the bloodline) My wife has a English father and a Portuguese mother and the boys were born in Cheltenham. This caused a problem. I thought it reasonable that as soon as labour started, we would jump in the car and hot foot it down the M50 so they could be born over the border. my wife, selfish mare, was having none of it. Being Welsh is important to me, I have a strong sense of Welsh identity, and the boys think of themselves as Welsh. So here's the little fella's problem .At footie last night a good two thirds had the England kit on, the boy had his rather snazzy Portugal shirt on , the old purple one, they all want to be Rooney. So he sidles up to me with his sticker book, all earnest of expresion. "Daaaaad" "
"Yes chum ?"
When it's a long drawn out Daaaad, I know it's something he's been dwelling on
"You know this world cup"
"Just this once, and I don't want a flag or anything, is it okay for me to support England ?"
I want England to win the World Cup, they were the only home nation to qualify, and I think its fine to want them to succeed. Rugby's a different one, support only two teams, Wales, and anyone playing England.
"Go on then, just this once"
"Thanks Dad, but I promise, never at Rugby"

Thats my boy.

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