I often receive letters from readers crying plaintively “Mr Key! Mr Key! How can I become a tiptop sporting champion? If anyone can give me a top tip, it is you!”
Actually, it is not me you need to ask, but Hooting Yard’s tiptop sports correspondent Fatima Gilliblat. This is what she has to say:
The best way to become a tiptop sporting champion is to ensure you were born on 23 March. It was on this day of the year that champs such as Roger Bannister, Mo Farah, Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Steve Redgrave, and the bobsleighing Olympian Shelley Rudman dropped from their mothers’ wombs, as did the cricketer Mike Atherton and the pugilist Joe Calzaghe. If you were born on any other day, I am afraid that the road to sporting glory will be steep and pitiless and you will almost certainly fail.