At 4.15pm this Saturday the New Zealand football team kick off their hugely important FIFA World Cup qualifier against Peru. Every kiwi football fan will be totally focused on this game. Some of us will be there. Others will be watching on telly.
Can I ask a special favour please? As the game starts, please take a moment to think of young Jordan Dolbear.
This is a postscript on this story I wrote last year about a promising young player who was battling cancer. Sadly this week he passed away.
In my post I wrote of Auckland lad, Jordan, who had been diagnosed, at only age 24, with a malignant brain tumour. I said “An ex-Central player, Jordan has been a keen footballer all his life and toyed with the idea of trying an overseas career. He even toured Croatia and Japan with the Wynrs academy.”
Gutting. My ex-wife attended his birth not so many years ago and we watched him grow up into a fine young man. He wanted to be a pro-footballer. For a while it seemed on the cards. But sometimes on life the cards fall the wrong way, and in his case, tragically so.
Also from my article. “He speaks well for a young fella despite telling me “I’m a bit spaced out on morphine”. He expressed a desire to keep playing football despite a steel rod in his leg from a 2014 injury. “I played some football again this year for Papakura in the AFL… trying to get back into it. Now this”
Jordan we will not forget you. The Allwhites have a huge match this week. Who knows, if the universe had shifted slightly on its axis, you may have been out there playing for your country. You may have been simply watching the game on telly but you would have been involved.
I also wrote that football isn’t and can’t be the MOST important thing in life for 99% of us. I stand by that. Family, career and health are usually ahead of the round ball game.
I hope anyone reading this might take a moment, maybe just before kick off on Saturday, to reflect on the life of Jordan, a kiwi football player that you probably have never met. But like you, a lover of the beautiful game.
Rod de Lisle
Waikato based follower of Leicester, Hamilton Wanderers, Allwhites and Phoenix, roughly in that order. Underdogs all. I pen stuff that I feel I'd like to read myself but there's no accounting for taste, eh? Some of my opinions occasionally may be factually correct, sorry about that.