Sporting Heroes

I have to confess to being a Man U supporter, so naturally some of the biggest Old Trafford heroes rank amongst my top 10 sports personalities. Probably top of my list is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – a legend, not just for his goals, but for his humility, selflessness and commitment to all things Red Devil. I’ll always remember the night he scored against Bayern Munich to help us win the Champions League – I was five at the time and in a restaurant in Spain surrounded by Bayern fans! I’ll equally never forget the match in which he rounded the Middlesbrough goalkeeper to put the ball in the festive net – I was sitting right behind the goal. I went to his testimonial v Espanyol at the Theatre of Dreams and have to admit to feeling quite overcome.

But I’ve many sporting heroes, form the simply incomparable All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, to the genius that is Rafael Nadal. Add to that list Jimmy Anderson, Freddie Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick and you’re getting close to my top 10, with others like Fernando Alonso and legends like Phil Taylor, jostling for the other positions.

When tickets to matches just aren’t available or aren’t affordable on my student grant, that’s where I can find other sports heroes – writers like Oliver Holt, Mick Dennis and Sam Wallace and commentators like Alan Smith and Gary Neville, with a great knowledge to impart and the ability to keep it impartial – well, most of the time anyway, and you can’t blame a man for his passion. Hope you remember that proviso when you read my pieces!