Sometimes you get a laugh when work and sport cross over in your life. Take last week for example – I was away on a golf charity gig in Spain with Denis Taylor and a host of old soccer pros and what three days of fun we had.
Dean Windass used to play with Hull City among other clubs and he was the guy that had the rest of us falling around the place. On the bus to our first round of golf, he set the tone by taking the microphone and giving a team talk as if he was a manager and we were on our way to an away game in the Premier League.
No one escaped, not even me or should I say especially me. He used the word ‘ugly’ to describe virtually every one of us and then had an add-on or two which had the place in stitches.
“Taggart,” he said as he addressed the former Northern Ireland international. “You were so brutal in training that you only turned around in time to get on the bus.”
And he continued: “As for you Howie,” (talking to Steve Howie, the former Newcastle United player: “I tell normal players coming out with the ball to ‘give and get’ but in your case it is ‘give’ only.”
Denis Taylor should be nicknamed ‘in/off,’ Windass went on and when he came to me, he said that aside from being ugly, it wasn’t against the laws of snooker for me to win the odd game.
I had been telling most of the crew on the trip about the miserable run of luck I’d had this season where I couldn’t win a game and obviously Dean had picked up on this.
Guess what? When I came back earlier this week, I had a game against Dominic Dale from Wales in Brimingham to qualify for the Scottish Open.
I raced into a 0-2 deficit and was thinking to myself: “If only Windass and the boys could see me now, they’d have a right laugh.”
And then something strange happened. I reeled off four wins in a row to beat him 4-2 and advance to the next stage. I’ve no doubt the banter and the memory of what was said while we were in Spain helped me throw caution to the wind and beat Dominic in that game.
It came hot on the heels of a great soccer Sunday for me… Liverpool losing to Arsenal and United beating the other half of Merseyside 2-1, a game by the way I think they would have lost this time last year.
All in all then, a great old week of fun and games. I think I will back in the glow of my first win of the season for a little longer if I may…
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