I remember winning a penalty shoot-out without conceding a goal. I also scored my penalty too, which surprised the life out of me. It was a hugely proud time for me, as I’d never been part of anything like that before.
Mr Stokes had always said that if the ball was going wide of the post, I should leave it alone as it was far better to resume with the ball on the floor rather than in my hands. We got into the final of a competition and somebody kicked the ball quite softly towards my goal. As the ball was travelling towards me, I looked over my shoulder quickly to check the goal post and decided that the ball was going well to the left of my left hand post, so I left it. The trouble was that it was the right post I’d seen and by leaving the ball it trickled tamely straight into the middle of my goal. I was gutted by that. No one realised that I’d left it on purpose. They just thought I’d failed to save it, and we went on to lose that match 2-1. If I’d not made that mistake, I know we would have gone on and won the cup.
For some reason when I moved on to high school I never tried out for the football team. I think I was a bit intimidated by the size of the place. I didn’t really know anyone and didn’t make the effort. I think if I had I would have been in the top two keepers there.
I remember my last day at junior school. It was a unique day. I’d never had to leave a school before and I was really surprised to see that a lot of people were crying. They were changing schools and might not see some of their friends again. I was more excited that it was the start of the summer holidays. I’d always enjoyed that six or seven weeks off school.