Getting a toehold in Wayne's world

PUBLISHED: 12:54 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

TRY as I might, I have been unable to escape from Wayne Rooney s troubled toe. It is a shame for the ambitious young footballer if, as seems likely, his broken metatarsal - and more particularly the time it takes to repair - will keep him out of the World

TRY as I might, I have been unable to escape from Wayne Rooney's troubled toe.

It is a shame for the ambitious young footballer if, as seems likely, his broken metatarsal - and more particularly the time it takes to repair - will keep him out of the World Cup.

A personal disaster, indeed, but is the nation really so eyes wide openly interested that the fortune of the damaged member has to be plastered across the national press and TV news?

As far as I'm concerned, if he makes it onto the world football battlefield in Germany all well and good, but if he doesn't, well, there are others who can play a bit.

The trouble with Rooney not playing is that, if England fail to lift the World Cup again 40 years after the only time they did, then we will never hear the end of it from the moaners saying that the outcome would have been different if the boy had made it into the team.

But maybe the allure of Wayne is waning. There are very early signs of it but I am convinced that the fame bandwagon is rolling ever faster towards the even younger Theo Walcott.

The media is fickle, always ready to ditch the old and plonk the new - and therefore exciting - on an ever higher pedestal.

It was almost a dream start for Theo on Tuesday night. When he trotted out onto the pitch to face Hungary he beat Wayne's record as the youngest ever player for England - is that why Rooney looked so glum? - and he surely reinforced the undisputed fact that he is already a soccer superstar - even before playing one game in the Premiership - by almost scoring. After all, the ball rocketing from his foot was only a few feet away from the waiting net.

The glory can be Theo's, if Sven picks him for any of the games in Germany. But he must beware. If he does play and, heaven forbid, the team loses then he should not be surprised if the media turns on him like a savage pack of wolves thirsty for blood.

They are like that, Theo, get used to it.

For those not agog at the prospect of national glory on the football pitch, may I suggest an alternative to spending hours parked in front of the TV cheering or crying depending on what Beckham and co are getting up to.

Thanks to a tip-off from an old school chum who knows of my interest, I am delighted to report that the pitch and putt golf course in Howard Gardens, Letchworth GC - which had been sorrowfully overgrown and neglected for much too long - is back in business.

New, short fairways have been mown and new holes dug and now all it needs is players.

The separate area where the first three holes used to be is still a quagmire and lost forever to the cars of the bowling fraternity.

But the main course is there to be enjoyed. The only thing I'm not too happy about is there are now only nine holes when before there were 15.

But as I used to say to my kids on the rare occasion when I had a bad day with the putter, you can't win 'em all.

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