I remember my Dad taking me to Celtic Park to see my first football match when I was 6 years old. It was Celtic v Dundee and that day was one of the most exciting in my life! The pitch was a far cry from the kick about in the street with my pals with jumpers for goal posts and dodging the dog muck! The buzz was electrifying, I’d never seen so many people together high with excitement. When the players came out I could feel the roar from the crowd through my chest, it was an adrenalin I’d crave for the rest of my life.
47 years later, I’m still hooked on football and never miss an opportunity to chat about any team around the world. And I’m still playing in a local “over 45s” team! I’m not as fast as I used to be and its not the hollowed turf of Celtic Park but I hate missing a game; its still such a buzz, kicking about with a bunch of grey haired professionals living their childhood dreams for 90 mins on the local football pitch. And not forgetting the star-studded line up for the annual trophies over a few sherbets.. top scorer again this year, just saying!
Last year we got ourselves a defibrillator in the village after what can only be described as an adrenalin rush I’d rather forget. David, is one of our regular players up front, never misses a chance to make an appearance and at 47 years old he’s one of the younger ones in the team. We’d not had our best game ever but David had scored and it was the usual good natured banter in the changing rooms, with us all excited to have a few beers that Saturday night. Then without warning David collapsed, started shaking and turning blue. I tore through to the clubhouse to ask if there were any medics and as luck would have it there were 2 off duty fireman who started CPR before a helicopter whisked him away.
It was a sobering evening and I did wonder if he would survive. That night all I could think of was his poor wife and kids. Teatime on a Saturday night expecting Dad home and he wasn’t going home at all. And then you start thinking how they are going to cope without Dad, how’s she going to support the kids, what about the mortgage, she has 2 small kids and a big dog. He was a fit man; how can this be happening?
The thing is we all think we are invincible. David thankfully survived with the help of those off duty firemen, the emergency services and gaining 5 stents from a Dr who said he was a time bomb waiting to happen but no-one had a clue. The last football match I went to with my Dad was in 1983. It was Celtic v Nottingham Forest and I was 19 years old. There’s no bond between father and son quite like football so his passing hurt like hell. Sadly for my mother she was left with a lot more challenges as he didn’t have life insurance and as a stay at home mum with three kids it wasn’t easy.
It’s not a subject we often talk about. We’re all comfortable chatting about our home and car insurance but life insurance is fraught with emotions most of us just don’t want to face. The thing is life insurance these days can have many more benefits than leaving a pot of money for the loved ones left behind. It can be used for inheritance tax planning, business protection, mortgage protection and funeral expenses and it’s not as expensive as you might think. I’ve certainly got my life assurance sorted so my wife and fur babies are looked after and I can carry on pretending I’m Maradona every week!