I am quite a sucker for a Hero. Our son’s middle name is Haynes, after my childhood idol Johnny Haynes – lifelong Fulham player, captain ofEngland, first £100/week footballer and the sweetest passer of the ball that I have ever seen. (More about The Maestro on another occasion.) This weekend, the subject of ‘heroes’ comes particularly to mind, by way of the coincidence of nominal juxtaposition of the death of Neil Armstrong and the virtual admission by Lance Armstrong that he has been a drug cheat. The concept of a Human Hero is possibly the ultimate oxymoron. I have come to accept learning of things that disappoint about ‘my heroes’ and allow them the latitude than any human being deserves. JFK, for instance, who despite his frailties remains for me as a symbol of change and hope brought by the Sixties generation. However I can think of no other individual that I elevated to the pedestal of hero that has so disappointed me as has Lance Armstrong. I held his lance xachievements in awe. His book, It’s Not About The Bike, really moved me. In the end, it’s not the fact that he took drugs that disappoints me. He was not the first and will not be the last. It’s the decade of deceit that accompanied his actions – the lies, the manipulation of the press and the bullying of those who dared to call his bluff – that has in my estimation morphed Lance Armstrong beyond ‘fallen hero’ to ‘despicable human being’. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? This ex-fan feels the same way about you, Lance!

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