Today is a special day, today is Fathers day so with that in mind and being a father myself , I've decided to write a blog about my dad, and what he means to me. Dad this one is for you.
When I was a kid my dad took me where ever I wanted to go, he encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do, to be whatever I wanted to be. I may not have always agreed with it but looking back now, he had my best interests at heart. It's only looking back now as I father myself that I see this. Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing.
My love for all sport comes from my dad, when I was little he took me to all different sports, football, cricket ( sorry dad still don't like playing it), archery, swimming and athletics. Whether I was any good at it or not he still encouraged me to go and enjoy it. Where ever it was what ever time it was we went.
He took me to my first football match, West Ham vs Leyton Orient ( West Ham won 2 nil ), I remember wondering why all these blokes jumped up and cheered when the Hammers scored. I just sat there, well I was only kid I didn't understand. He took me to the Daggers as well many years later and we still go now when he can. We go to Lords every year to watch an England game as well, just me and him in the rain, well when is the sun ever out?.
He tried to sneak me into see Rocky 2 at the pictures when I was little, told me to sneak up the stairs, which was fine except it was a 15 and I was 9!. Well it was worth a try wasn't it.
He took me to play football as well and when a local club folded and all my mates that played for that team turned up for my club, he started a new team so I could play, we were successful as well winning promotion 3 years on the trot. When I finished playing we started a local team ourselves Barking Colts, part of Barking Football Club, I had one team and he had another, it grew and grew and produced a few professional players as well, Mark Janney being one of them.
He taught me right from wrong, what is acceptable and what isn't, morals and standards I still carry to this day. He taught me manners and how to treat a lady. He shares his love of music and old John Wayne movies with me. The things I enjoy now are a direct result of how he brought me up and the things he shared with me. I watch him now getting older and not able to do things he did when he was younger, I watch him with my kids and the way he pulls chocolate from their ears, the same trick he did when I was a kid. To see the kids eyes light up makes me smile and brings back happy memories from when I was a kid. I watch him kicking a ball around the garden with his grandchildren, showing them how to kick a ball the same way he did with me when I was a child.
I wasn't the easiest teenager, I argued and fought against him whenever he told me to do something, thinking I was right and he was wrong, somethings I regret now, but he made sure I didn't have too many. He tells me to live every day, cherish every moment as we don't know how long we have, something I try to do but not always successfully I might add. I'm proud of him and what he has achieved in his life, he had a thriller published at 70 for one thing, I know he is proud of me as well, even If he doesn't show it all the time, it's not his way, but a look says it all and that's enough for me.
The biggest compliment I can pay him is to say if I am half the man he is then I've done well, if I am half the father he was to me then my kids haven't done too badly, and if I am half the husband he is to my mum then Sarah hasn't done badly either. We all have people we look up to and heroes we want to be when we are little, mine was my Dad, always was and always will be.
I know I'm lucky to still have him here, there are people I know who's fathers are not around or more sadly have passed on. If your dad is here today then tell him how you feel, make a fuss of him today. If he's passed then be sure he is looking down on you and proud of what you have achieved, do something today to remember him. My dad has been there for me at all the most important days of life so far, my wedding day, my children's births and I hope for many years to come. Dad, well let's just say you know how I feel about you, even if we don't say it, its not our way and I know you get embarrassed with all that stuff, so this is for you, your son.