I had better start by saying, I am only 28, I am not old, nor do I feel old, and nor with I care when I am old. I am happy with each year I can add to my counter, and do not fear any number that stands before me, although mourning a few that have passed is all well and good.
This just struck me the other day when I was reading a newspaper article, and then, as my mind does, it snowballs, and suddenly I found myself staring down the loaded barrels of the aging shotgun, just wondering, where did the time go.
This little fact set it off…
David Beckham is 37! for a football player, that is ancient, and his retirement, no matter how much he loves the game, is immanent (even Teddy Sheringham had to give in to age).
I read this line of text a few times, and then sat back and though… my kids will never grow up and see David Beckham play football. OK, they will have the stars of their own generation to adore and gossip about, but they will not see David Beckham play. This guy was one of the sporting icons of my youth.
I remember watching a champions league game where Manchester United played out to IFK Göteborg, and in the starting eleven were a number of young, unproven players, hopeful and eager to get their shot at glory. This included, among others, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, David Beckham plus Garry and Phil Neville. All of these players not only went on to become Red Devil superstars, but were the backbone of my sporting generation. These players are all now of a similar age to Mr Beckham and in some cases have already retired from the sport.
It may only seem like a simple thing, but thinking about how the people who I grew up watching play are now retiring I feel inexplicably aged. There are already a handful of managers and coaches involved in the game who, when I see them, I can remark ‘ I remember him when he was a player’ but these were people already in their twilight years when I came along. To start saying for the people I grew up watching just seems wrong.