With the Euro 2012 Football tournament in full swing football fever has spread here to Engine Creative as I was lucky enough to get a once in a lifetime opportunity to play for England (albeit an amateur match).
How much can you actually pack into one weekend? Well thanks to an amazing competition prize won by my very fortunate brother I managed to make my international footballing debut against Belgium, recreate the official England team photoshoot in my brand new tailor-made M&S England suit, attend a luxury box at Wembley as a VIP, see Danny Welbeck score a cracker and then mix it with the rich, famous and very inebriated Freddie Flintoff at the London Mayfair hotel. Not a bad weekend!
Fourteen footballing veterans (aged 34+) started out on this journey from a modest Wellingborough station where we were whisked first class to a champagne reception at London St Pancras. There we were given our own team bus and driver for the entire weekend who got us to our 5 star Mayfair hotel where we dined at the AMAZING Quince!
All suited and booted we had a 9 o’clock photoshoot call at a secret location where we recreated the official M&S England team photo.
From there we had to get our game faces on as we were representing ENGLAND against a very youthful Belgium XI at the David Beckham Soccerdome. Putting on my No.9 England shirt and taking to the field, I actually felt like a kid again fulfilling a huge ambition!
Although we fought like English lions we were no match for the youthful Belgian side leading to a 3-0 defeat. For a full match report of the game courtesy of The Sun please click here.
After a Man of the Match performance that will live with me forever, we travelled across London to the impressive Wembley stadium where we had to endure more VIP treatment in our very own box. Sitting just yards from “The Sir David of Beckham” we saw the three lions canter to a 1-0 victory. Then it was time for the Veterans of England, with every single muscle aching in our bodies and 5 hours worth of free beer consumed, to be transported back to central London where we celebrated our heroic 3-0 defeat in lavish Soho style.
Without doubt it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and one which I will never forget.