Role Models

Role Models.
I’d imaging like most people in business my role models are probably the same, or very similar to everyone else’s, Richard Branson and Alan Sugar to name just two. But I’d like to dedicate my first ever blog to someone else.

I find many things have the power to influence and inspire and sometimes these occurrences happen in the most unlikely of places. Like most of you reading this, I’m lucky enough to have children and have spent the last 15 years or so ferrying them around to pools, tracks, pitches, fields and parks. From swimming to cross country and rowing to football, I’ve stood (or sat) around for what seems like an absolute age watching the little one’s learn their sport and in some cases, flourish at it.

Back in November 2013 I was watching my youngest, Jonny playing football for Newcastle City under 16’s in a cup game in Fenham. The second half had just started and they were losing 1-0 to a team a couple of divisions below them. Things weren’t good and it was a real battle on an awful small and sloping pitch. Jonny plays in the middle of defence and after a team mate missed a bouncing ball, Jonny decided to get the ball away by doing an overhead kick. As he went to take off he slipped and fell awkwardly on his left arm and wrist. I knew from the time it took to get up that he’d hurt himself.

The next few minutes he ran around holding his arm down by his side. When he came close to where Hazel and I stood I asked if he was ok and he replied that he’d hurt his wrist. I told him to speak to his coach and he refused saying he’d be taken off and with no substitute defenders, he wouldn’t. So, on they played and soon found themselves winning the game 3-2 with Jonny and his defensive colleagues doing their job well.

After the game, back in the car I knew Jonny was in pain but he insisted that after food and a bath he’d be good. We used an ice pack on the now swollen wrist and Jonny had his bath. When he came down afterwards I could see he was in pain and he asked to go and get it checked out. Luckily living in Jesmond, it was only a 5 minute drive to the Royal Victoria Hospital where, after a wait, he was X Rayed and told it was a double break of the left wrist. Jonny was gutted to be told he’d now have a plaster cast for 6 weeks and be out of football until the New Year. Before I could call Hazel with the news we had to let Jon his coach know what had happened and we sent a text explaining what was going on.

A text to the whole team from coach Jon soon followed and it said,
“After 50 minutes on Sunday Jonny fell and broke his wrist. He carried on without telling anyone of his pain to help his friends. It touches me that a player of mine would show such a selfless act. We wish him well”.

Jonny’s never give up attitude is absolutely amazing and just shows that if a 15 year old with a double broken wrist can help turn things around, then those little things that go on at work (and in life) are exactly that.. little things.

Jonny you’re my hero and role model. I couldn’t be prouder.