Every now and then my job throws up some beauties. Three weeks in Galway covering the Volvo Ocean Race. To be creative and innovative without question. Being asked to attend a global meeting in Cape Town for a week. And recently the opportunity to play a round of golf with the former manager of my hometown football club, Steve Coppell.
This is the man who took the non-stars of Reading Football Club to the promised land of the Premier League for the first time ever in their history. A man who guided them to a football league points record in doing so and rightly claim his place in Reading’s history books for eternity.So, as you can tell, I was more than slightly chuffed when Steve was paired with myself and the Active boys Matt and Kevin at Ray Wilkins’ 3-Charities Golf event. Ericsson have supported both Ray and his charities (Macmillan being our main interest) in this event for the past three years – all of which I attended as non-playing photographer. This in itself was a much sought after position – after all, spending a day zipping round a golf course in a buggy taking paparazzi style photos of the various celebrities whilst making more than one detour of the wine and cheese hospitality tents is not a bad way to spend the day.
It was like a who’s who of football and TV at Foxhills Golf Club in the morning – aside from Ray Wilkins you could find Gianluca Vialli, Jamie Redknapp, Kevin Blowfield, John Salako, John Inverdale, Matt Lewis, Richard Keys, Lawrence Dallaglio, Ainsley Harriot and of course me!
I’m not going to bother even writing about the actual golf game itself. Shocking. Possibly the worse I’ve played in years. For me the highlight was enjoying the company of Steve for 18 holes and the meal afterwards. A great bloke who I wish all the very best and hope to see him back managing at the top level very soon.
The day was all about the charities though and pleased to say that with the auction in the evening and a chance to have your photo taken with the FA Cup trophy, over £30,000 was raised at the event. My financial contribution to the total for the photo with Steve was more than worth it.