I've lived by Clapham Common since 1969 and all that time I've gone and run around out there, joining whatever football game was going. It's very democratic. People usually invite stragglers at the side to play. Recently it was about 25 Eritrean young men, who were gracious enough not to betray any sign that I was 30 or 35 years older than them.
I went to a rugby-playing school, so I was never taught football. I've become a more confident and effective player over time – the opposite of the normal decline of age. If you start at a low enough level it's possible to improve into your 60s. You learn about yourself as you play. I tendency to do things too fast. You must stop the ball and then become its master, drawing out the other players. When will I stop? My body will make that decision.
Beyond the Horizon, Gillett's eighth selection of the best music from around the world, is out now on Warner Classics & Jazz.Reuse content