Have a back up plan.... by Jonny O

This was a mantra from my old man. It was always what he said. He couldn’t get his head around people not planning. If I was stuck somewhere (Brecon Jazz one year...in a phone box...desperate)

How did you get there?

Uhhh....I don’t know.

You don’t know?

Uhhh....I thought that....ummm

You thought what?

I don’t know.

Exactly! Get a bus or thumb a lift. It’ll teach you. 

(And I did...I thumbed a lift and arrived home freezing and damp...and it did teach me).

One time I’m at the table....I’m about 8 years old.

I’m gonna be a footballer! 

Are you now?


(If this was a Hollywood film the music would start and there’d be a montage of me trying hard and scoring goal and him shouting from the touchline...instead it was Merthyr Tydfil)

And what’s the back up?

I don’t need one.

Don’t you?

Nope! I’m gonna be the new Pele. 



And what if you’re not.

I will be.


But what I you don’t get past 5 foot? (I was below average height at that point but he was making his point).

I’ll be like Brian Flynn!

So not Pele then.


Okay. And what if you have a terrible injury.

(My Mother) Brian!!

(My Father to my Mother) Alright...but I’m just helping the boy know how the world is...(to me again)...what would you do if you hurt your leg say?

Ummmm....I’d train hard.

You can’t train.

(He’s got me). 

What subjects in school do you like?


There you go. Concentrate on that too. Get that as a qualification.

I could be a teacher.

That’s it. Good boy.

But a footballer first.

Aye, footballer first but you’ve got the teacher thing as back up.


Right....pass me the butter Pele.


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