Football on the telly this evening and just before the match starts Joris asked if I ever played football myself. So here’s the story of that one time I played in an official football game for Pijnacker, the place where I lived at the time.
This was before I got married. On a Saturday morning I got a call from the coach of a team in which most of my friends played. “I’m sorry to bother you but can you play football? One of your mates says you’re good at it.” I said I never played it and I heard the utter despair in a gasp Oh Gwd! at the other end of the line.
He explained that the striker in his team had broken his leg and there were no other players on the bench to fill in and he was desperate. “Can you come? It’s a cup match.” I have no football shoes but other than that I can come and play I suppose. Go buy new white Adidas shoes immediately, we’ll pay for them and come as quick as you can because in an hour from now the game starts.
So off I went on my moped and bought new shoes and went to the football club where I was greeted with loud cheers. First half was rather dull with almost no action in it for me as I swapped with a defense player so at half time I went into the canteen and waited in a long line to buy a quarterpounder cheeseburger. Eventually I got mine but just at that moment the coach blew his whistle to tell us to get on the field. I decided I would under no circumstances part with that delicious burger so I walked onto the field and took a huge bite.
Of course the referee ordered me off the field immediately to get rid of it but with a mouth full and a burger in my hand, wearing the official club colours I walked straight into the cameras of the press. I threw the burger in the bin and got back on the field, all my mates were laughing. We didn’t win that day but that didn’t matter to me, I played my first and last official football game. The real surprise was in the papers the next morning, me in the picture on the front page, chewing that burger.