Heroes will emerge this summer to inspire the next generation - Johnny Cantor

Seve Ballesteros pictured after winning the Spanish Open in 1995
Seve Ballesteros pictured after winning the Spanish Open in 1995

I  need a hero. Or so the song goes. Actually I think we all need a hero. It doesn’t really need to be any particular area of life but it always helps. It certainly helps in sport.

Growing up we probably have different heroes at different stages in our life but in sport they can provide the inspiration for a future elite athlete or just provide the dreams of a child looking to imitate their idol.

While commentating on the cricket this week at Arundel we threw out the question: who was your favourite cricketer and why?

Sobers, Gower, Richards, Botham and Flintoff all got a mention, it really doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with any particular nomination it is about that fact that everyone involved, and those listening in, had their own hero.

Many a candidate for a favourite footballer or cricketer comes from a big tournament. We are lucky enough to have some fantastic competitions underway at the moment with a very open Cricket World Cup and an enthralling Women’s Football World Cup.

We won’t know for a few weeks who will emerge as the next household name but I hope my children and all the youngsters across the country have a hero to worship.

There are the swashbucklers, there are the workers, there are the mavericks but we all have our own favourites. Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros was an icon and one of my heroes.

He had that ability to inspire, entertain and an undoubtable belief in his own ability to get himself out of a hole, and then into one!

There is a huge surge in interest in the women’s game and this World Cup should be the perfect catalyst to take things to another level.

In Sussex there is already a healthy interest with Brighton and Hove Albion, Lewes FC, Chichester City and Crawley Wasps all generating headlines and I have no doubt the young girls attending ‘Wildcat’ sessions and playing in youth teams will have an extra spring in their step over the next few weeks.

Good luck to England in both competitions and good luck to all those youngsters aiming to follow in the footsteps of their new found heroes.

Bonnie Tyler wasn’t really a hero of mine but I think she got it right when she belted out that tune and fulfilled her dream.


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