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Warm down and stretching. I then took Richard Lee for an hour's goalkeeping. Got back home and relaxed in the afternoon before Dychey called in with the family for a chat and cuppa and to see how the game had gone yesterday. Sunday dinner was a bit late (you know how Dychey can chat!) More friends called in later after dinner to catch up.
So the day has finally arrived. Left for the ground early as the committee had a meeting at 11.30am to finalise arrangements for the day. Felt quite nervous about how everything was going to go but as the game approached it started to feel more like a normal match day and my routine for the warm-up etc. kicked in.
It was really special coming out of the tunnel with my son Ryan and the other mascot Tom to a guard of honour from both sets of players. All the supporters gave me a great reception and the photographers were snapping away! My wife and daughter came onto the pitch for photos before the game, which was a nice touch.
The extra honour was being captain for the day so once we had sorted out the toss up, it was down to business.
Charlton started well and I was pleased to make a couple of saves in the first ten minutes but then the rest of the half we came back strongly and it was Dean Keily who was forced into action a few times.
By half time there were no goals but we had finished the stronger.
Instead of spending half time in the dressing room I was on the pitch receiving a silver salva from the club acknowledging my testimonial which was a lovely gesture. Then, the cross bar challenge!!
I was asked to go first and my effort finished short but nearly bounced up and hit the bar. The rest of the auction winners then had their turn and I give them credit for having a go and providing the half time entertainment. It looks a lot further when you get to the half way line than they probably realised!
After they had had their go, I finished off the proceedings with another turn and this time I was quite close - just going under the bar at the last second - good fun though.
Second half Charlton changed formation and caused us a few more problems. Their goals though came from two set pieces. A dubious penalty and a quality free kick. In between that we scored a good goal ourselves from Marlon King, who got on the end of an excellent cross from Paul Devlin.
We pushed for the equaliser but could not quite get there. So it finished 2 - 1 to the premiership side.
After the game we had a reception over in the club lounge for family and friends, which was great. It was a chance to say hello and thanks for coming to all our VIP guests including Graham Taylor, Nicky Wright, Ray Lewington and Gibbo. We finally left the ground at about 8.15 pm and came back home where some friends joined us for a quiet drink to round off a fantastic day.
Up early and did an interview live on LBC Radio to talk about the match. At training - final preparations for the game tomorrow - but back home at a reasonable time. More calls and emails and checking we have not forgotten to do anything. Luckily my Committee have been working their socks off and we should be all sorted and ready to enjoy the day.
After dinner, Tom Watt from Radio London rang for a live interview which went well. Tom is a great guy - a real football fan and makes you feel like you are just having a chat with him down the pub! Early night ready for tomorrow.
More rain whilst we train. But good work on the training field achieved.
Back to the ground again to do an interview with Sky Sports News about my game on Saturday. The sun came out during the interview, which made a change from the morning's weather!
In the evening I had been invited to Northants Cricket Club's Centenary Golf Dinner. Sir Bobby Robson was speaking and I managed to get a quick word with him and a photo, which you can view on the website. He was my first manager at Ipswich Town and still is as passionate about football now as he always was. The comedian was excellent (Jimmy Bright). A good evening indeed.
Did some goalkeeping work with James Hoade and Ricky De Villiers. Joined in with the group who were playing tonight at Dulwich and Hamlet.
Had to go back to the ground again to take some pictures for Richard Walker to use in the programme.
In the evening all the family went to watch Dychey play for Northampton against Birmingham and my son's football club got presented with an award at the start of the game. The game went well for the Cobblers as they beat a very strong Birmingham side 1 - 0. Gav Mahon won't be happy!!
Got up early and went in for treatment. Calf feeling much better but it was decided not to play me in the game at Northwood this evening. Did some general fitness work in the gym and had several bouts of treatment.
In the afternoon went to the ground to see how all the preparations are going for Saturday and collected the kit for the mascots (my son Ryan is being one and is very excited as you can imagine!).
Went straight from the ground to Northwood where we won 7 - 1. Finally got home about 11pm.
Day off after the trip to Denmark. Lots to do ready for the testimonial this Sat 30th. Spent most of the day on the phone, making sure all will be in place for the big day.
Time to go home! Lunch time flight back to England and the rain. Jane and children met me at the airport. Catching up with all the news and emails concerning the testimonial. Cannot believe it is now this Saturday!
Not fit to play but the injury has settled down overnight. Hopefully I will be fit for training by the middle of next week. The game starts well but we fail to take our chances and they take the lead with a great strike. We never really recover from that disappointment and can't get back into the game. In fact, they go on and score 2 more to give us plenty to think about.
Another tough morning followed by set pieces in the afternoon. Unfortunately I tweak the top of my calf and look set to miss the game tomorrow.
Really tough morning session with lots of work for the keepers. Afternoon - more walking through set pieces rather than physical work.
Double session. Swimming in the morning, followed by football in the afternoon, with lunch and a rest in between. The hotel is really looking after us well and the food is excellent.
Playing tonight so just one training session today. Richard is starting so do all the preparations for him for the game. Game goes well, after a shaky start and we end up winning 4 - 0. Richard had a good game and made a couple of great saves and took one cross really well.
Off to Denmark. Left the house at 6 am before the children got up for school. Flew out about 9.30 am, and then had a coach journey to the hotel. Trained later that day.
Day off. Went to a christening at Capel St Mary, the same church where Jane and I got married - 18 years ago!! Good friends Kev and Tina had their little boy Daniel christened - really nice day. Called into see my parents in Ramsey on the way home. Got back and found the children's guinea pig was sick so then up the vets to try and get him sorted - quite a busy day off!!
Left Northampton about 12 noon and got to Borehamwood in the sunshine. I played the second half, Richard the first half. We scored 3 quick goals at the start of the second half in a fairly comfortable victory. Unbelievably hot today so the supporters got a good suntan whilst watching the game.
Met up with a ex-colleague of mine after the game - Ian Allinson - from my Colchester United days. He went on to play for Arsenal, and we had a nice chat after the match about the old days!!
Just one session today as we prepare for the game at Borehamwood tomorrow.
Double session. Came home and straight out again for a testimonial committee meeting - my game is getting closer and plenty to talk about and arrange.
In later today after a late night last night. Everyone felt a bit stiff and tired after the first competitive run-out.
Match at Redditch for Jimmy Davis memorial fund. We won 3 - 0 but the game was blighted by a terrible injury to one of their defenders. We had to wait for an ambulance to come and take the poor lad off to hospital before the second half could start. I played the first half and Richard the second but neither of us had much to do.
Double session - preparing for our first match tomorrow.
Day off. Went down to Lords to watch the one day international between England and Australia. Had a good day but it was a disappointing result as Australia cruised to a comfortable victory.
Just one training session today at the end of a long week. Went over to Rushden in the evening to friends Sally and Richard for a BBQ.
Training today - 3 sessions.
Got home just about in time to collect Natasha from her trip to France which she enjoyed. We then went to Ryan's school where a musical concert in aid of the Tsunami Appeal had been organised. Ryan was playing the recorder and singing and it was good to see him and the rest of the school do so well.
Football and training very much second after the news of events in London.
Same again for the first session and second sessions. In the afternoon we went to the swimming pool for stretching and general loosening-off. In the evening, we had an official cricket match where I was asked to be Captain as I did used to play a bit of cricket and do love the game. We played Shenley Colts' fathers at London Colney Cricket Club.
They made us very welcome and quite a few people came to watch us win in a very unlikely fashion. Jordan Stewart was the surprise package and had to retire with 25 not out. Ben Gill also had to retire with the same score. I did a bit of bowling and managed to make a catch but did not make it into bat as it was "all over" by the time I was due to have my turn. They made 106 and we knocked them off in about 13 of our 20 overs.
8 am report for 8.15 start. First of 3 sessions today. This session is all about getting familiar with the football again and Richard and I are encouraged to join in with the main group for this session.
The second session is where we can do our goalkeeping and I put my "coach's" hat on.
The third session is in the gym for core stability, pro-preception and stretching. Stayed over at Richard's
FIRST DAY BACK PRE-SEASON! End of my summer. Always a bad day in the footballers' calendar. Not in till 1 pm where we had our body weights and body fats tested. Did the bleep test to check general fitness and had a meeting to welcome us back.
Took Ryan to another football training session with his friend Charlie and then drove down to Richard Lee's to stay with him as he lives closer to training than me and we had an 8 am start in the morning.
Took Tasha to school and then onto a football Tournament in Northampton where Ryan and his team were playing. This went on till 3pm and we were due at Nick Wright's house then for a bbq. So, got there a little late but luckily Nick and Fiona did not mind. Heidi and Nigel Gibbs joined us later and it was good to catch up and Nick's cooking was not too bad!!! Fiona had made some tremendous puddings but had to be careful as pre-season scales would be out tomorrow!
Watched a lot of sport and music on tele with the Live8 concert on and Ryan and I then had a game of pitch and putt in the afternoon. The Lions game in New Zealand was on first followed by the tied England Australia one day international.
Bed early as Tasha needed dropping at school for 6.30 am ready to go on her school trip to France.
Heard the sad news of Nigel Gibbs' departure from the club. I am really disappointed as Nigel is not only a good work colleague but also a very good friend who I will continue to keep in contact with where ever our paths take us. Hopefully he will bounce straight back into football, because as we all know, that is where he belongs.
In the evening Jane and I met up with Espen Baardsen and his partner Kate in St Albans. Espen now works in the City now but in his time immediately after leaving football, he spent 18 months travelling around the world. So, he had plenty to tell us and it was good to catch up - we did talk about some football memories too of course.