How an Ibiza '˜holiday' led to watching Kirk from Corrie take on Denis Irwin, Ivan Campo and Finidi George
This is the column that never sleeps. Or the one that never takes a break anyway.
I’m sure you all could use the break too, but I’m not that good at relaxing.
It’s surely a cardinal sin to go on holiday during the football season? It must be with the amount of guilt that washed over me every time I clicked on Twitter or walked past a bar showing Spanish football.
Guilt now comes two-fold due to the peculiar feeling of separation and the unfamiliar sensation of time off now costing me money in lost income. You see, even if football for footballers is generally only a ten-month sport, the time off in between is still paid leave.
Off-duty footballers are still footballers, the same as teachers are still teachers during their extensive break too, but freelance writers/pundits/models/whatevers flip between those professions and unemployment.
Whether that makes me a fully-fledged civilian yet is up for debate as I still refuse to admit I’m 42, even though when I look back at my own face every morning I tend to look every day of those years more and more.
“Holiday” should rightly take its place sandwiched between those speech marks as I’m not actually sure a week in Ibiza counts as one, but if it does then that’s what I’ve just tried to have.
Even if I do say so myself, it was a valiant effort that lasted all of 24 hours as an invite came through to attend a charity game that included former stars such as Denis Irwin, Ivan Campo, Finidi George and Kirk from Coronation Street.
Not only did I drag everyone from the villa (our house, not Aston) along with me to watch the game, I also negotiated myself into going to watch a local Under-12s game that it turned out I wouldn’t be able to attend due to the fact I would go on to lose the brand new telephone I had only acquired three days before in a taxi around 4am that very next morning.
Anyone who has ever spent a reasonable amount of time in my company will testify that the fact I lost the phone rather than had it surgically removed is difficult to believe, but anything is possible in Ibiza.
I’m just grateful for each time I return home in one piece from there, but the disappointment of losing my main form of contact with the uncivilised world was compounded by the fear I may have just missed out on my chance to scout the next Iker Casillas.
Maybe it was just as well, seeing as I seemed to have mixed up my plans with watching the beautiful Ibizan sunset with staying up for the less glamorous sunset.
As for the football though, the seal had been broken. Watching Sunderland v Coventry with one eye and West Ham v Manchester United, followed by a Chelsea v Liverpool chaser washed down with coffee just in case I was required to file some analysis, probably wasn’t probably what the others had in mind for their Saturday, but it just wouldn’t be a proper holiday without it.
I even squeezed in Cardiff City v Burnley and Match of the Day 2 on the Sunday as well, but that was just to save my legs from doing any more dancing.
It’s not that I don’t have rhythm - I do. It’s just that it looks like I’m dancing to a totally different tune.
These boots were made for launching the ball into touch and definitely not for raving.