18 July 2019, The Tablet

Dads and daughters: the cost of deceit during a holiday treat


I write this in a hotel room in Alicante. With me is my 16-year-old daughter. I brought her here as a treat to mark the end of her GCSEs. But we are on very bad terms indeed. The thing is, we arrived two days ago to find that the following day my team, West Bromwich Albion, were playing a pre-season friendly against Villarreal just half an hour away. What are the chances?

Would you believe that my little girl has convinced herself that her father knew full well “stupid West Brom” were playing here all along, and that’s why he’d picked this particular city at this particular time! Honestly, the cynicism and distrust of the youth of today. It’s so disappointing.

It’ll be a long time before she allows me to forget this. The night before the match, I bumped into some Albion fans in a bar. They told me they were all planning to meet at The Pig and Whistle in Benidorm at 11 a.m., and then seven hours later six coaches had been booked to convey them to the stadium for the 7 p.m. kick-off.

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