Charity match proved that age catches up with us all

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.

Why is it that so many of us, men especially, are unable to face up to the fact that as we get older we are no longer able to do the things that we once could?

Last week I was invited to play football in a charity event at Morecambe’s Globe Arena in a match between local solicitors and estate agents.

This had been an annual end of season fixture but, for reasons that I am unsure of, had not occurred since Morecambe had moved from their former Christie Park ground.

I had played in the match on many previous occasions, when obviously much younger and fitter, and even though the aim was to raise as much as possible for charity the games had always been fiercely competitive.

When I was informed that the fixture had been resurrected I instantly went to dig out my boots as I felt sure that I would have no difficulty in rolling back the years and, at least in my own head, playing like the English Lionel Messi.

I should have remembered the last time this game had been played at the end of Morecambe’s final season at Christie Park in 2010. On that occasion, I had ensured that the majority of my work colleagues had turned up to spectate as I felt sure that I would put on a performance to be proud of.

With all the hype that I had created, and my family as well as colleagues turning up to see if I could live up to my own star billing, it was 
really no more than I 
deserved when, without warming up, I pulled a hamstring and had to be stretchered off before the game had even kicked off.

I must confess that I had more than a little trepidation last Thursday when the two teams were led out to the centre of the pitch Champions League style. Following handshakes I warmed up as thoroughly as I could and was confident that I would last the full 90 minutes. I did but only because we had agreed rolling substitutions.

The game ended with a 2-1 victory to the solicitors, and I’m pleased to say that my oldest son Brandon, making a guest appearance for the solicitors, managed to get on the scoresheet. The bad news is that I ached for about five days afterwards.