Evidence of childhood ambitions?

by Harry on July 24, 2017

England beat India in an absolute thriller yesterday. Ironically, given this post, I didn’t watch is – I’m in Spain, and was, during the most exciting part of the game, sitting in Barcelona airport awaiting the arrival of my daughter.
The BBC account includes this charming tweet, from Ian Shrubsole, with pictures of his daughter, Anya (who was the hero of the hour with 6/46) aged 9, at Lords:

The tweet immediately put me in mind of another picture (which is owned by Getty, and which I can’t insert, but think I am linking to here), of a similarly aged Harold Wilson standing outside number 10. When I first saw the picture (at a similar age myself) I thought that probably every PM had a picture of him or herself outside number 10 when a child (I bet Theresa May does), because I assumed they’d all have parents who were feeding their political ambitions, but in the many years since I’ve never actually seen one. So — any similar pictures/stories of children marking their future territory? I suppose there are obvious ones — Tiger Woods, and everyone who has ever succeeded in tennis — but non-obvious ones please?[Child actors not admissible]. Or, if you saw it, tell us about the World Cup Final.

[A sort of aside. When I was 12 my dad, to the consternation of my cousins, promised me 1000 pounds if I ever played at Lords. To his horror, within 3 months my school team had won the county cup, and entered into the national competition — we were four games short of a Lords final. Fortunately, we played Radley in the next round and were massacred. I think that he promised the same to my sister, which shows how optimistic he was about the progress of women’s cricket, or maybe he just thought it was a safe bet — in fact, she was playing for her County women’s team at 16, but, fortunately, like me, buggered off to the US to become a philosopher. So his money was safe]



MDH 07.24.17 at 12:56 pm

This probably falls into the obvious category, but since it was among my favorite stories out Rio 2016 (and for the benefit of CT’s non-American readership, where it might not have gotten play), of Michael Phelps and a then 13 year old Joseph Schooling is significant because Schooling would best his idol in the 100 butterfly eight years later.

Also in the probably-obvious category, Bill Clinton meeting JFK as seen


rea 07.24.17 at 3:58 pm

Also in the probably-obvious category, Bill Clinton meeting JFK:



Dipper 07.24.17 at 8:30 pm

These stories are nice but in the sporting world I think they must be fairly common. If you are a top sportsperson in a team-based sport you probably started in your local club and were a fan of the sport, so you probably knew people who went to see international matches, and ended up going yourself. It would surely be more unusual to find a cricket player who never went to a Test Match ground as a child, or a football player who never went to Wembley, than one who did.


Chris S 07.24.17 at 10:37 pm

From David Runcimans review of Rosa Princes book on May:

“By the time it was turned into Wheatley Park Sixth Form she was confident enough to announce, in front of her classmates and teachers, that she intended to become Britain’s first woman prime minister…. At Wheatley Park, May’s ambition struck her contemporaries as nothing more than quaint. When Thatcher beat her to it in 1979, May was working as a junior analyst at the Bank of England and is reported to have been seriously aggrieved. “


J 07.25.17 at 5:31 pm

This isn’t precisely what you asked for, but watch this exchange from 1983 between Indigenous chief Bill Wilson and Pierre Trudeau:


Today, Jody Wilson-Raybould is Justin Trudeau’s Attorney-General.


g 07.28.17 at 4:56 am

In 1992, the San Francisco Chronicle published a photo of Brandon Crawford, age 5, at the baseball stadium, unhappy that the SF Giants were threatening to move to Florida. The Giants didn’t move, and Brandon Crawford is now their shortstop.


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