Mostly cricket, rugby and football . Bill Shankly of Liverpool Football Club famously said:
‘football isn’t about life or death – it’s much more serious than that’. Any sportsman can agree with that in tense moments!
Sport is the best thing for everyone at all ages and all abilities. It takes you out of yourself, it always involves others and it has its own communication.
I’ve played cricket all my life and been involved with clubs all around the county (and country) – and re-founded and captained the Shanghai Cricket Club. Cricket brings people of all ages together. I play for Gloucester City Winget Cricket Club, sometimes with either or both both my sons, the Gloucestershire Gypsies, and occasionally the Gloucestershire Over 50s.
What I really love in all three sports is the enthusiasm of playing with the young, going off to nets at the Spa Road ground, or at AIW nets, or with other teams. It’s like early Sunday morning rugby at the Hucclecote RFC, Old Cryptians and other clubs – or the junior teams of the Gloucester FC – lots of boys out on a weekend and plenty of competitive matches.
The other great family experience for all ages and both sexes is going to watch a great game at Kingsholm. Tom Walkinshaw, who has now sadly passed away, was a huge asset for the city and the club. GRFC, with the Cathedral, generate huge pride across the city – and we need more of that.
And if we can get the Tigers (Gloucester City Football Club) back to Meadow Park – then we might get the roaring going there again.
Meanwhile I’d like to see a charity 6 a side football competition each year – anyone up for this?
I married Anthea on April Fools Day 1989.
Anthea, who is Kenya born, was running a tented lodge in the Rift Valley at the time. Since then we’ve lived in Hong Kong, China and – since 1997 – back in Gloucestershire, where I was brought up. Our home in the centre of Gloucester is close to my parents, one of my sisters and my brother, and Anthea’s mother – who all live nearby in Gloucestershire.
Anthea works with a local travel agent and is a trustee of the Family Haven charity. She is also a part time caterer.
We have 3 children: Bertie, Kitty and Rowly. The children have played rugby, cricket or hockey at different levels up to county.
Then there’s Twiglet (Jack Russell with a bit of something else) who comes to many meetings in Gloucester.
Bertie and I are the first MP and son combination to have played cricket for Gloucester City Winget Cricket Club.