Like Utd, I missed Messi

During my early years, I drove my parents mad trying to get the autographs of some of my sporting heroes.

I felt like a kid in a sweetshop when I bumped into some of the Liverpool greats along with members of various national cricket teams.

Well, old habits die hard. I tried but failed to track down Lionel Messi ahead of the Champions League final. My son was desperate to meet him.

After all, it's no not every day that a living football legend comes to town.

The only problem was that the Barcelona team had moved out of the Grove by the time we arrived and the only familiar faces to greet us were those of Mark Lawrenson, Luther Blissett and North West Neasden's Bradley Sharp. No offence lads!

Days earlier, I took the family on an outing to the Champions League fans' festival at Hyde Park. My wife was particularly impressed with my football skills as I fired a record seven shots through the Soccer AM style Champions League montage in 30 seconds.

The sporting flavour continued into the week for my children when triple-jumper Larry Achike visited their school. The GB Olympic athlete made a big impression on pupils and teachers alike.

● I'd like to offer some words of encouragement to the players of South Manchester Sports Club following a heavy defeat in their latest Greatest Manchester Amateur League match.

I remember taking Casual Nomads from the Maccabi Sunday League into the Middlesex Sunday League. The jump in standard was too much for some as it took them out of their comfort zone.

My advice would be stick in there as one can only be content being a big fish in a small pond for so long. It's always better to test yourself, continuously, show the desire to improve and rise to the challenge every time you set foot on the pitch.

With match-winners such as Avrom Topperman in their ranks, the good times could be just around the corner.

● MAL go head-to-head with London Maccabi Vale 2nd in the Middlesex Sunday League Division Two on Sunday.

The Croxdale Road clash sees LMV looking to register their first league win of the season and with Jeremy Harris in great nick, anything is possible.

● Tweet of the week goes to Dan Levene. Discussing this week's big elections, he said: "FIFA rep Julio Grondona slates English media 'lies'. The same man who said Jews aren't fit to referee because they don't like hard work."

    Last updated: 1:56pm, June 2 2011