Like most boys, as a child i dreamt of becoming a footballer, turning pro, playing for club and country, winning games, titles, cups and medals and becoming a hero to hoards of adoring fans.
Playing at Wembley in the FA Cup Final was high among the dreams, scoring the winning goal, climbing the steps to the Royal Box and receiving the trophy and my medal.
Well, none of those things actually happened, but today i got as close as i ever will to any of those things.
Today i held a genuine FA Cup Winners Medal in my hand. To begin with i was fine, but after a while the realisation of what it really was in that small box on my desk hit home, and became quite emotional. Holding in my hand, turning it over and over, i had a few tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.
I can remember the game it was won for very well. It was a sunny day. I paced the room in agony watching the game, which flowed one way and then the other before finally being won in extra time. I leapt around the room in sheer joy that afternoon. Yes, i remember it well, but probably not as well as the man the medal belongs to. He has waited a long time to get it (for reasons that i won't go into here), and it almost certainly means more to him than it does to me, but, for a few short minutes, i had the tingle of excitement, and the briefest of glimpses at what it would have meant to me if my dream had come true.
As it is, i have held an FA Cup Winners medal in my own hand, and that will just have to suffice for now.