Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Bedtime Story (11/7/2018)

This story goes live an hour before England play in their first World Cup semi-final in almost 30 years.  What else could I write about?!

This story is dedicated to Gareth Southgate and the England team - whatever happens tonight, I'm so proud to support you! 

Apologies for the lack of podcast the last two weeks - I've had a terrible sore throat and not much of a voice, recently.  Hopefully it'll be back very soon!

Harry The Football Hero

Harry liked lots of things.  Cars, dinosaurs and chocolate spread on toast, to name a few.  But he loved one very special thing.  Harry loved football.

As soon as Harry got up in the morning, he wanted to kick a ball around in the garden.  He wanted to practise penalties when he was supposed to be getting ready for school.  And he had a football at his feet the very second he got onto the school playground at break time and lunch.

When Harry was supposed to be doing maths, he was usually planning the perfect pass, instead.  When his whole school gathered for assembly, Harry would close his eyes and imagine himself scoring the winning goal for England.  He wanted to be a footballer more than anything in the world.

Harry belonged to a football club.  Every Saturday, he practised with his teammates and hoped that maybe next time they played against another club, he'd be picked to play.  The trouble was, Harry was the youngest player and he always seemed to sit on the bench, waiting for his chance.  He was starting to think it was never going to happen.

This Saturday was no different.  Harry's team were playing a club from the next town down the road.  He was on the bench, digging his studs into the ground, fiddling with his football shirt and sighing loudly.

His team were losing one nil.  Harry wasn't very impressed.  He stared down at his hands.  In fact, he was looking so closely at his bitten nails, he didn't even notice the team's best striker slip and twist his ankle.  He barely spotted the club's coach dashing over, waving his hand at Harry.  Before Harry knew it, he was being ushered onto the pitch!

Harry jumped from side to side, trying to calm his nervous legs.  The ball was being passed between his team and it seemed to be getting closer and closer.  Harry could hardly breathe.  He found himself jogging backwards, watching the ball all the time as he got closer and closer to the other team's goal.  He knew someone would pass the ball to him soon and he knew exactly what had to happen.  Sure enough, soon the ball came flying towards him.  Harry didn't even think.  He caught the ball with his foot, quickly turned on the spot, shifted his feet and booted the ball as hard as he could in the direction of the goal.  He watched, his heart in his mouth, as it sailed past the goalkeeper and landed safely in the back of the net.  The crowd went wild, Harry's teammates came rushing over to hug and cheer him.  He couldn't believe it - he'd equalised!

"Ten minutes left," one of Harry's teammates whispered.  "We need another goal to win!"

Harry knew what he had to do.  He ran down the pitch, jumping carefully in front of one of the other team's players, nipping the ball out from under their feet.  He turned, keeping the ball close and ran as fast as he could, ducking and dodging the other team's players as they chased him, desperately trying to get the ball back.  Harry could see the goal getting closer and he darted around the other team's last defender, walloping the ball in the direction of the net.  

"GOAL!"  Harry's teammates were shrieking and jumping.  He'd done it!  They'd won!

The rest of the game passed by in a blur.  Harry's team carried him on their shoulders around the pitch, all of them shouting his name.  Harry was overjoyed!

That night, Harry lay in bed, exhausted, but with a wide smile on his face.  His mum came in to kiss him goodnight.  "I'm so proud of you," she told him.  "You should sleep well, tonight!  You've probably worn yourself out.  And have a lie-in tomorrow morning.  I think you've earned it."

Harry grinned, shaking his head.  "Oh, Mum," he smiled.  "I've got to practise!"  He closed his eyes.  Suddenly, he didn't think he'd be sitting on the bench too often, anymore.  

Harry still had a smile on his face as he drifted off into a wonderful dream about scoring the winning gold for England...


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