Since a young lad I have loved rugby. Like many it was an inspiring PE teacher who got me involved in the game. From PE lessons at a local comprehensive, I plucked up the courage to call my local club and ask if I could come down to train. The man who picked up the phone that day and introduced me to the coach and other players, some 30 years ago, is still volunteering at the club and still helping young men and women into the game we all love.
From Juniors, Colts, then onto Senior rugby, I could think of anywhere I’d rather be at the weekend than playing or watching a match. I toured Holland and Canada at Juniors/Colts in Norfolk, and then I moved to London where I enjoyed some senior rugby around Twickenham and Wimbledon.
Life offers many twists and turns so when I was 25 I hit what I can only describe as a big twist. I was diagnosed with kidney failure.
I was told I had to stop playing rugby as I was heading towards a life of dialysis, but with the hope of a transplant later on.
My world could have fallen apart if it hadn’t been for the love of a good woman, my girlfriend, now wife, Claire. After being together now for over 20 years, and two wonderful rugby mad boys, I see my cruel twist of fate has made me focus on what is important in life. Its essential I feel in coping with illness like this to turn a negative into a positive, and that’s how I’ve tried to live my life.
So I’ve stuck two fingers up to ill health and have managed to do things I never thought possible. From overcoming a serious fear of flying to travel to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, volunteering at the 2015 England Rugby World Cup to going on the ITV Chase game show to raise money for my Japan trip, plus going viral in Japan with my reports on the rugby world cup typhoon!
After Japan in 2019 I came home buzzing, but also deflated…what would be my new challenge to keep me going? After many months pondering, it had to be the following…
- Get lost in France and watch all of the England games in the opening rounds.
- Go to Australia to see one of my oldest mates get married
- Sneak in another trip to Japan for 4 – 6 weeks
- Finally get fit
So, that’s the target and what this blog will be about. Taking up from my time in Japan to my new goals. I hope you enjoy the ride.