Can I strike a deal for Harry Kane?
We have been here before. Just two short years ago, I indulged myself in meeting strangers at lunch-time, posting several ‘wanted’ lists on Twitter and carefully placing packages in the post going off to all corners of the country.
Yes folks, it’s time for the hashtag #gotgotneed to take over my life again as I once again fulfil a boy’s dream – mine and my sons’ – and try and complete a Panini football sticker album.
Only this time, it is a case of double trouble as both my sons have their own albums.
This might be great for an immediate remedy for ‘swaps’ but woe betide the first one to get England’s star man Harry Kane. There will be tears, of that there is no doubt.
Of course, we all know this scenario gives this 37-year-old a chance to be 10 years old again.
I immediately regress 25 years or so every time I open a packet of football stickers – because they struggle to open them, you understand.
And their faces when they get a ‘shiny’ or a team photo or the star man makes me realise that there remains so many good things about football.
I maintain that it also teaches them important educational skills. While I used to learn about capital cities, they are seemingly obsessed with numbers, whether goals scored or the difference in points between top and second.
George, my youngest at four, delights in reading the numbers on the back of the stickers – often focusing on that before he even reveals what player or country he has. This surely can’t be a bad thing.
Naturally, I am gearing myself up for when the three of us can cheer on England in this summer’s European Championships even if it ultimately, and predictability, ends in failure.
It is these father and son/daughter moments that you cherish forever. Another one came on Sunday when the three of us, all clad in Ipswich blue, warmed up together on Bury Town’s Ram Meadow pitch before the Legends match.
Many of these moments seem to revolve around football. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised, but I protest that I have not been a pushy dad.
I want my boys to be healthy and active but there are many ways of doing this, of which football is just one.
But they have become obsessed. The oldest, Darcy, is a Tottenham fan and his little brother idolises him. Hence the problems facing sticker number 148. Is it possible to get two Harry Kanes in a single packet? I hope so.
At least if you see me walking around Bury carrying an envelope, looking shady, you know I’m on the way to striking my next big sticker ‘deal’. It’s for the kids of course.