Childhood heroes so often bring us disappointment as we and them age. We see the world differently and need to reconcile our memory of their heroics with the new lense of adulthood.
Everton chose me. And I chose Duncan.
It was the mid 90s, we had just won the FA Cup, and I remember watching the SBS highlights package, and I remember seeing him. He was unusually tall for a footballer, and I remember seeing the passion in his eyes. The image was a little pixelated, a little blurry, but that passion burned through the screen. I was done for.
That number 9 became a messiah to me. He was something special. He was talented, fierce, passionate, loyal, kind, and generous. But he was enigmatic too. I was a world away, and he was a legend. Was he even real?
Then I met him. It was in 2000. I was 13. He was real. I never forgot that moment. It reminded me these qualities are attainable. It reminded me to always strive to be talented, and fierce, and passionate, and loyal, and kind, and generous.
I built my life around Duncan Ferguson.
Last night he reminded me why.
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