I have been a foreign correspondent for much of my journalistic career. Although I covered two World Cups for the London Daily Mail newspaper, most of my traveling was to war zones, natural disasters, presidential campaigns and various celebrity meltdowns. But soccer has been the common language on many of these adventures. In Baghdad during the Gulf War I was confronted by a Revolutionary Guard who wasn't happy that I'd lost my guide. He knew only two words of English - Manchester United – just enough for him to turn a blind eye (I lied and said I supported United too!)
My childhood disappointments mostly revolved around the performances of England and West Ham United. My most magical memories still evoke the likes of George Best, Bobby Moore, Pele and Diego Maradona.
I don't like cheats and whiners, I respect referees and I love players with passion and fire.
I am now based in California where I play soccer twice a week at a place we call the Field of Broken Dreams. Need I say more?
The saying goes that when you die all you leave behind are the stories. My fondest ones will be about soccer.