As a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s, I had a dream (like most lads) that I would one day represent my country. Sadly I turned out to be crap at football, rubbish at cricket, too lightwieght for rugby, and never quite good enough for snooker. Before I realised it, I was too old to have any chance, and my dream died.
I suspect that most young kids who love their sport have aspirations of emulating their heroes, but of all those who dream, only a microscopic proportion actually succeed. This year, completely out of the blue, my dream has been re-ignited, and I will finally have my chance to record a place in my own history that I can take pride in, and look forward to recounting to my grand-children in the future.
After a decent season on the APAT Amateur Poker Tour, my selection to the England team for the forthcoming European Championships of Amateur Poker was assured. It's with immense pride that I shall don the England shirt, and in my own small way I feel that I will have joined the ranks of Kevin Keegan, Steven Gerrard, Ian Botham, Freddie Flintoff, and many other of my sporting heroes, who have all been privileged to have represented their country.
OK so Amateur Poker is hardly Test Cricket or World Cup Football, but my selection is enough to fill me with pride, and my fervent Englishness means my desire to win will be up there with that of Keegan, Gerrard, etc.
With just six sleeps to go, I find myself going to bed and thinking about Luton, waking up in the night thinking about Luton, and going to work in the morning thinking about Luton. I just hope that when the day arrives, I'm able to do my selection justice, and not look back on my performances with regret.