Today is Fathers Day in the UK and so I wanted to write a blog for my dad. With so many nice moments over 31 years, I have written my top 10 memories 🙂
1) First football match – When I started to watch football aged 4 I briefly liked the then champions Liverpool and my dads team Chelsea. After a few weeks I settled on Tottenham and never looked back (not necessarily in a good way lol). Despite not following his team, dad took me to White Hart Lane for my first match. He carried me up the stairs, I sat on his lap, and he lifted me when spurs scored. I can’t remember the team or score of my first match, but I remember that great moment with him!
2) Cub football linesman – I attended Beavers and Cubs as a young boy (part of the Scout movement). The organisers ensured I was fully included, even raising the flag as a sixer. Despite my love of playing football with my non-disabled friends in the playground, I wasn’t allowed to play for the cub team in matches. So instead my dad pushed me up and down the touchline holding his hanky, and I held the flag. Why you say? Well after training with the team, I was the officially linesman on match day.
3) Deck chair detectives – I wasn’t much of a reader until more recently. In my younger years I did enjoy mum and dad reading to me. One of my favourite books was the Deckchair Detectives and I’d ask for it to be read repeatedly.
4) Walking with me in my callipers – as a kid I had to lock my knees straight with callipers (think Forest Gump) and walk around. It wasn’t fun, but it was very important for my development. I fondly recollect Dad patiently and tirelessly supporting me with this in my younger years. He even helped me rollerskate in Center Parcs.
5) Physio and Hollyoaks – I also had to lie on my front for a while every weekend to stretch my hips. Again, not particularly pleasant, but important. Dad helped make this grueling activity better by suggesting we watch the tv program Hollyoaks. Back in the late 90s the stories were second best to some very pretty actors. A very clever tactic…
6) Cricket matches – During my teenage years we went to watch England play cricket. The matches weren’t as action packed as football, but I remember the beer/conversation/experience so fondly.
When we fundraised for my first car we had an auction with a cricket bat signed by the England and Australian teams, except for the then captains Shane Warne and Nassar Hussain. Dad tracked them down at a one-day match in Essex. We drove there, met the two celebrities who signed the bat, and enjoyed the game. Also I eventually got my car and learned to drive
7) Music concerts – my first ever concert was at the Cambridge Junction watching the Lighthouse family. I loved their song ‘lifted’. Whilst there’s not so much more to say about the night, it ignited my love of music/concerts and gave me the confidence to attend more later with my mates
8) Hungarian Goulash – having a full time job, dad didn’t cook so often when I was growing up. When he did cook they were yummy. He cooked a few dishes like a great roast dinner. My favourite ever was his Hungarian Goulash. Beef pieces, delicious sauce and rice. So tasty!
9) Disability support meetings – in adulthood I’ve had to fight for my care, equipment and transport support. Dads always been there to bounce ideas for ensuring I get my deserved support and helping attend these horrible meetings.
10) Education and Employment – there were times I couldn’t, quite frankly, be assed with education or employment. They were fleeting moments because I’ve generally been ambitious. But on those low days mum and dad encouraged me to crack on. Without their encouragement and belief I worry if I could have managed alone.
Thank you for everything dad. Here’s to making many more memories together in the future.