Tim Key: ‘I captained my school football team in 1992 so I’m no stranger to the big stage’

 

Share
Related Topics

This week I scored such a beautiful goal at football, I really need to lay it down in print. It was as sweet as a plum; a dipping volley right off my laces that left the goalkeeper helpless – confused and gaping, like a teenaged giraffe coming face to face with a mirror for the first time. It was sublime. People need to be told about it.

Apart from the money, the main benefit of taking a column in The Independent Magazine is that they let you write about what you want. For example, I could write about elderberry-picking; I could write about how there’s more social media these days, or comment on phenomena like the Harlem Shake or GIFs. As long as I’m not unacceptably fascist and don’t include diagrams about stuff you can make to terrorise people with, the girl who hired me doesn’t really mind. Freedom. So this week, let’s talk about this goal I scored.

We won a throw-in right in our opponent’s half, and I became interested. I’d grown bored of patrolling our defences, and now, like a cow, I plodded forward. Huge doubts hang over my fitness levels these days (I eat too many rolls and bits of cheese) but, if I plan ahead, it’s still possible for me to migrate and catch the back end of an attack. I have nice big thighs that I can ride to the front on. In that respect I’m like Wayne Rooney, though my passing range and attitude are more like Michael Carrick’s. Also, I have Jan Molby’s shape, the front half of Lionel Messi’s haircut, and I share a birthday with Joey Barton. At about 4.20pm I arrived in attack and yelled at Leonard B to chuck me the ball.

In terms of context, it doesn’t matter where this goal was scored. Whether it was in a mid-level five-a-side tournament, or in a league two fixture involving Bristol Rovers, or at a doctor’s birthday barbecue, is irrelevant. The important thing is how good my goal was. Having said that, this was no mere kickabout, don’t worry about that. A lot of the players wore trainers, not all of them wore jeans, and we had a ref.

Or more accurately, the lad whose barbecue it was had a whistle. Anyway, the point being, a great goal is a great goal, and as  the ball drifted through the air towards my ample chest, a great goal was precisely what I had in mind.

I captained my school football team in 1992, and scored a penalty for the company I was working for in 2006, so I’m no stranger to the big stage. These days I am in my mid-thirties though. I wheeze when I do exercise or put my headband on.

And as the ball floated into my hemisphere I was racked with self-doubt. I hadn’t really struck a ball cleanly this century and I’d just eaten a minted lamb leg steak. My eyes were full of sweat and my feet were heavy with Kronenberg. Plenty could go wrong.

I cushioned the flat football on my bust and, as it dropped, a bare- footed man tried to put me off by  waving his burger above his head  and yelling the ‘c’ word at me. But I  was in my bubble. I pulled back my Gazelle, stuck my tongue out for concentration and fired the ball like an arrow. The girl in goal did her best of course, she stopped chatting and  tried to move to her right, but her heel plugged in the grass and the ball shot past her and inside the four-pack of Strongbow that served as her goalpost. GOAL! I almost exploded with joy! I ran to her and gestured at her and loudly proclaimed that it was “too easy” into her face. I was elated!

I overdid the celebrations and felt my back go a bit so I had to drop out and they had to rejig the teams. And then I gingerly made my way to a tree, leant against it, and ate a barbecued banana with chocolate buttons in it. It was overripe and undercooked but it didn’t matter. I’d just scored the type of goal people will talk about for weeks – so my banana tasted magnificent. I closed my eyes and chewed the fruit and replayed my goal again and again. Perfection.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Investigo: Group Financial Controller

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

Ashdown Group: HR Generalist - 2 week contract - £200pd - Immediate start

£200 per day: Ashdown Group: Working within a business that has a high number ...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Recruitment Genius: Business / Operations Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well-established and growi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Old London Bridge; how to fight UKIP; and wolves

John Rentoul
Muslim men pray at the East London Mosque  

Sadly, it needs to be said again: being a Muslim is not a crime

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible